MANIPULATED (Hammered #3) by Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 31, 2016
My name is Owen Blackwell, and I’m currently in recovery.
Not from what you think, though I do enjoy a bit of whiskey.
No, my issue is that I fell foolishly in love with my best friend. Oh, and she’s getting married.
So, in my eternal stupidity, I hooked up with a woman at our annual masquerade ball. You know what they say—the best way to get over a woman is to get under another.
Who is this woman, you ask? Calliope Templeton. She’s unlike any other I’ve ever met. And believe me, as the guitarist for Hammered—only the biggest selling rock band out there right now—I’ve met quite a few.
Now I have to figure out how to convince her we’re more than just a one-night stand. She’s supposed to be my happily ever after.
And if necessary, I’m willing to show her just how resourceful one determined Irishman can be.
REVIEW: MANIPULATED is the third full length installment in Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott’s contemporary, adult HAMMERED rock star romance series focusing on the members of the rock band of the same name. This is bass player Owen Blackwell, and photographer Calliope (Cali) Templeton’s story line. MANIPULATED can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommended reading the series in order for cohesion and backstory. The Hammered series is a spin of from Quinn and Elliott’s Lost in Oblivion series. Some of the characters cross over including Lila and Nick Crandall, Donovan Lewis, and Gray and Jazz Duffy.
Told from dual first person points of view (Owen and Cali) MANIPULATED follows Cali Templeton as she is hired as the in-house photographer for the rock band Hammered. Hammered’s recording company wants to release a ten year anniversary coffee table book focusing on the band, and Cali’s photography work has caught the attention of the man in charge-Donovan Lewis. But Cali knows that to work with the band means coming face to face with her ‘almost’ one-night stand Owen Blackwell-the bass player for Hammered-and the man who has occupied her fantasies and thoughts since they first me four months earlier. What ensues is the building relationship between Owen and Cali- a friends with benefits/no strings attached agreement that turns into something more. Owen wants forever but Cali fears losing her job and her reputation by fooling around with a member of the band.
The attraction between Cali and Owen is immediate. Their first meeting with one another came four months earlier at a Halloween masquerade ball at the invitation of Cali’s sister and journalist Ava Templeton, and in the ensuing time Cali never forgot about the man with the Irish brogue and sexy a$$. As Cali continues to reject Owen’s advances, our hero makes Cali a deal for a no-strings attached relationship as Cali still has issues and struggles with her past. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive, although limited in number as the couple continues to find themselves interrupted on more than one occasion.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including all of the members of the band: piano player Faith Keystone and her soon to be husband and bodyguard Quinn Alexander; Reed (Bats) Mason; lead singer Hunter Jordan and his wife Kennedy McManus; drummer Zach Kane; and band manager Indie West.
The world building continues to focus on the band: on stage, behind the scenes, on the bus, in the hotels, and on the road between concerts and gigs. Because Cali is hired to photograph the band in action, the reader is front and center while the band plays on stage.
Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliot’s MANIPULATED is a heartwarming and energetic story line; a passionate look at two people struggling to find love on the road; an inspiring tale about success, friendship, and a happily ever after. There is very little conflict to the story line premise except what is brought into the relationship by our story line heroine, The premise is entertaining and fun; the characters are engaging and energetic; the romance is electric and hopeful.
Copy supplied for review
Reviewed by Sandy