Columns > Published on October 8th, 2014

Rocking Out With Romance

I absolutely love a good trope, and tropes are successful for a reason—because they work! Never is this truer than with the romance genre, and one of my all-time favorite tropes in romance literature is the unattainable rock star fantasy. Rock star romances run the gamut, from sweet, tender love stories to no holds barred, sexy backstage antics. There's something for everyone, humorous to serious, all featuring the glamorous world of a rock star. 

Starting from sweet and moving to sexy, here are six rock star romances to get you started with the well-loved trope.

1. Taming the Country Star  by Margo Bond Collins

Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled when country music star Cole Grayson comes to visit her small town. She gets her frustrations out by tearing down his promotional posters and being sure to change the radio station when he comes on, but even that doesn’t quite do the trick. Everyone in town is crazy with excitement for Cole’s arrival, but Kylie could do without seeing the man who deceived her years before. Cole Grayson, on the other hand, just can’t forget about Kylie and her sweet smile. It is his main goal to prove to her that he’s not the player she thinks he is, and writing a song just for her, he fully intends to try.

Taming the Country Star is a unique take on the cowboy theme with a wonderful small town setting and unforgettable characters. It is a short, sweet romance that plays on the rock star trope with a sassy southern twist. If you like your rock stars dreamy and your romance tame, this is a great read.

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2. The Sound of Us  by Ashley Poston

Eighteen-year-old rockoholic Junie Baltimore couldn’t be happier to hear that America’s favorite pop band Roman Holiday is done for. After all, she knows music better than almost anyone, and that pop nonsense is not music! As the one person in America not obsessed with the sexy lead singer, Junie isn’t swayed when she discovers Roman himself hiding on the boardwalk where she spends every summer vacation. She’s more than willing to honor his wishes to be kept a secret, but when a sleazy paparazzo offers her cash in exchange for information, she can’t help but be tempted. She needs that money to save the bar her father left behind, and she doesn’t owe Roman anything. The answer to her moral dilemma seems clear, but then again, she never planned on falling head-over-heels in love with a pop star.

This book has a wonderful feel of nostalgia as Junie returns to the place she’s spent summers her whole life, with carnivals, street vendors, and dive bars. It delves into the seedier side of rock stardom, with the sleazy paparazzi and tawdry headlines that seem to plague the sexy lead singer of Roman Holiday. It’s a wonderful foray into rock star romance featuring a pop star and a music junkie who can’t help but fall in love.

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3. The Rock Star in Seat  3A by Jill Kargman

On the eve of Hazel’s thirtieth birthday, she pretty much has it all. She loves her job, her dream apartment, and her perfect boyfriend who is just moments away from proposing. The next day, when Hazel is bumped to first class on a flight to L.A., she can’t believe her luck as she’s seated next to her all-time biggest celebrity crush. Even her fiancée agreed that if Hazel ever had the chance at a night with rock star Finn Schiller, she should absolutely take it. Hazel and Finn genuinely connect on that fateful flight. He loves that she’s more than just a typical groupie and she loves his dynamite physique and soulful music. When their mutual attraction turns into a dream date and taste of the rock-star life, Hazel must examine her own path in life.

What starts off as pure chick-lit fluff turns out to have much more heft than anticipated in this lively novel. Kargman has an extremely quick-witted writing style that bursts from the page with sarcasm and bite. Tackling more of the issues that come along with a rock-star lifestyle, all is well that ends well, and this book is a fun romp through the world of a rocking musician and his faithful follower.

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4. How To Kill A Rock Star  by Tiffanie DeBartolo

When young music journalist Eliza Caelum moves to New York and meets talented songwriter and lead singer of Bananafish, Paul Hudson, the chemistry between them is immediate. Eliza falls in love with Paul’s reverence for rock and his wildly enigmatic style. The two fall in love as Paul plays the small-time circuit with his buddies, performing in a dive bar and dreaming of the big time. When a major record label signs Bananafish, Paul is catapulted into the fickle world of stardom and Eliza must make a heartbreaking decision to make things work. When Paul suddenly disappears, what happens next will rock your world.

This is a wonderful twist on the rock star trope in romance literature, with a glimpse at the rock star before he makes it big time. The reader gets the chance to see Paul in his humble beginnings, and then how stardom and the rock star lifestyle affect him and the people he loves. With a mind-blowing twist at the end, this novel is sure to please.

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5. Reforming the Rock Star  by Christine Bell

Fledgling caterer Sydney Metcalf can’t say no when her best friend asks her to cater her lavish wedding, even though the idea of returning to her hometown is less than appealing. Her devotion wins out, and things seem to be going well when best man and sexy rock star Lazlo Stone calls with a request to provide food for the bachelor party too. Syd is consumed with thoughts of making everything just right, but Laz is intrigued by the sweet and sexy voice on the other end of the line. When a mix-up occurs that has Laz thinking Syd is the stripper, the two are thrown together. After a drunken kiss, Laz can’t stop thinking about Syd, and will go to any lengths to be near her. Things get intense as Syd’s past and Laz’s rock star present collide, and Syd must decide if she can handle a relationship with a superstar.

Christine Bell has done a wonderful job of delivering compelling characters within the rock and roll world. Equal parts sexy and sweet, Reforming the Rock Star has something for everyone.

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6. Lick  by Kylie Scott

Evelyn Thomas went to Las Vegas to celebrate her twenty-first birthday and hopefully have a great time doing things she oughtn’t have been doing. Even up to no good, she never expected to wake up tattooed and married to a half naked rock god. In the aftermath of a wild night, Evelyn finds out that sexy David is more than just rock royalty. She must learn to navigate all of the paparazzi and band drama that plagues his every day life, and in the process manages to fall in love with the man that the public doesn’t get a chance to see.

This book has one of the best starts to any romance novel I’ve ever read. Evelyn’s experience waking up hung-over as hell in a Vegas bathroom, with a ginormous ring on her finger and a tattoo on her ass is hysterical and spot-on for voice. This novel is definitely a steamier look at the rock and roll life, full of sexy moments.

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This is just a quick glance at one of the most popular tropes in romance literature. From sweet to sexy, each book delves into the turbulent world of a rock musician. Do you have a favorite romance trope? 


About the author

Riki has a long-standing love affair with all things books and writing. She indulged her love for all things literary with a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University and is currently studying at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Although she is well past her own teen years, Riki’s reading passion lies with Young Adult literature where she devours books that handle the “firsts” in life. When not reading and writing she can be found yelling at the television while watching sports.

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