cover image Hard Rhythm

Hard Rhythm

Cecilia Tan. Forever, $12.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4555-3366-4

Tan skillfully makes her third Secrets of a Rock Star novel (after Wild Licks) do double duty, first as a wildly creative, enthusiastic, immersive, and incredibly hot romance between experienced kinksters, and second as a public service announcement that clearly illustrates the difference between BSDM and domestic abuse. Sex-toy reviewer and switch Madison loves her singlehood and independence, but she falls hard for rock band drummer Chino during a mutual paddling challenge at the Los Angeles dungeon where she works as a hostess. Chino gently takes charge, holding out on fully consummating the relationship until he can guide her into complete submission and be sure she’s comfortable with exploring her most intimate thoughts. Meanwhile, Maddie’s background as a counselor lets her help Chino’s mother and sister extricate themselves from his abusive stepfather’s grasp. Tan explicitly shows a power-exchange relationship in all of its modes—party and public play, private scening, and thoughtful negotiation of rules—with both love and heat coming through strongly in every context. Her portrayals of BDSM will delight the experienced and the curious alike. Agent: Lori Perkins, Lori Perkins Literary. (Feb.)