5 STAR BOOK REVIEW: Back Stage by T Gephart

Back StageBACK STAGE (Power Station #3)
by T Gephart
Publisher: Self Published (UK) / (USA)
Publication Date: June 2015(UK) / (US)
Format: Ebook (276 pages)
Source: ARC

Rock Star? Angie Morelli was not one. Growing up next to Power Station’s drummer didn’t guarantee a taste of the limelight, unless you count catcalls at low paying gigs in seedy bars and second-rate venues. She was okay with that; working her ass off at her dad’s mechanic shop during the day meant she could live her dream at night. She didn’t need Power Station waltzing back into her life, Jason Irwin had done enough damage the first time. Could she let go of her hurt for a chance of hitting the big time?

A one-night stand right before Jason Irwin left for his big break was no big deal. Except it wasn’t just any girl— it was Angie, Troy’s hot but young and inexperienced neighbor. It should never have happened, so best he pretend like it didn’t. Ten years later he remembered exactly why he went down that road. She was even hotter and she was also pissed as hell. Sounded like the perfect combination to invite on their world tour.

The road was not the place for history. It was bound to get ugly. (Goodreads)

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The saying goes “Leave the Best to Last” and in Back Stage, the last book in the Power Station series, Gephart has more than met the challenge. In the last book in the series, we are given Jason’s story, the mysterious and often overlooked keyboard player of Power Station.

While Jason played a bit part in High Strung and proved to be a pivotal player in the covert relationship shenanigans of Troy and Megs in Crash Ride, I still felt that I didn’t know that much about him. He was a shadow, a man who clearly had a history that kept him from seeking his “other half”.

Back Stage shines a light on his history, better than any shady tabloid reporter for a trashy magazine and what you find is a man whose past most definitely has tainted his outlook on life and love. It would take an extra-ordinary woman to break down the carefully constructed walls around his heart. The lucky woman in question ends up being Angie Morelli, former next door neighbour to Dan and the only woman to have put a crack in that wall.

This is what really makes Gephart such a brilliant storyteller. Each character and couple in the series really come across as living, breathing, different people. It can be very easy for an author to really give a reader what they are used to and while Gephart more than meets the heat and sexual chemistry she has created in her previous two books, Angie and Jason have their own DNA. You root for them to get past the hurdles because really, they work and gel together. Even though you know about the troubled start they had in their relationship and the fact that there is something really dark lurking in Jason’s past, you want them to make it. Logic dictates that since this is a romance book, the odds are pretty darn high they will, but you read on, wondering what that God, known as the author, will throw in their path before it all comes together. And let me tell you, when Jason’s past demon’s do resurface, you will be left feeling the emotional turmoil, along with a deeper understanding of the “shadow” of the band.

As I said, this isn’t a book of two strangers meeting under difficult circumstances, but that of a girl still reeling from the hurt she felt and being rejected by her first love. Angie has let this fester and morph within her, that it has moulded her into a sassy, head-strong, stubborn woman. So much so that it almost prevents her from giving her band the chance at the big time by touring with Power Station. Even before she accepts the offer, she really does make it clear that she will not make Jason’s life easy and the fact that her band does a cover to reflect her feelings about Jason, becomes a game. It really does become a case of “the Lady doth protest too much”.

As always, Gephart once again weaves in sex scenes that not only seem to add, advance or give more depth to the plot or characters, but are also natural in the when they occur. On reflection, I noticed that Gephart didn’t need to resort to shock tactics or gratuitous sex scenes in order to give her readers a book that sizzles with chemistry that it deserves its own subject at school or element on the periodic table. This really is a rare gift, especially in the current romance climate. Other authors should take note on how to construct a well written, sexy romance book with characters that seem so real.

Like any story, you need a supporting cast in order to create something that feels tangible and while we do see many familiar faces in Back Stage, there is one new character that instantly jumped out. This character is Angies fellow band mate and best friend Rusty. Rusty was just one of those characters you wanted to know more about and hope to the writing muse gods that will get a book of their own. (Yes, I know this is the last book in the series, but I keep praying for a spin off). He is the poster boy (or man) for the sexy rocker, who every guy wants to be and every girl wants to date. Yet, he has such a sweet side to him, especially when it comes to Angie. They really do have an almost sibling like bond that you know they have each other’s back.

While my love for Dan and Ashley and Megs and Troy, will never be doubted, Jason and Angie really did end up stealing first place. Watching the trials and tribulations these two go through, you savour it all the more when they do get together. Gephart isn’t afraid to push the boundaries and more than once I did feel myself rooting for Angie to kick Jason to the curb for the way he acted towards her. Yet, Gephart still managed to make me forgive him when his history comes to the surface.

VERDICT:
This is a series that I have instantly fallen in love with and like the break up of any good band, parting with the Power Station boys is going to be sweet sorrow. However, Gephart has left us a heck of an encore and Back Stage is the cherry on an excellent series. After reading this series, Gephart is now on my auto-buy list and no higher honour can be bestowed upon her. She joins the likes of Samantha Young and Tiffany Reisz in those authors who I would recommend any romance reader to read. All three ladies prove that they can write books which can make you laugh, cry, scream and joyous, all in one book.

As Power Station said at the end of their book

“Know that this isn’t goodbye, but see you later”

(And yes, I did read that line with more than a few tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat.)

5 star

BUY LINKS
AMAZON UK | AMAZON US

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T GEPHART ONLINE
WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1 High Strung
2 Crash Ride (Review Coming Soon)
3 Back Stage

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