Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: Pianist Envy by Helen Hardt

Title: Pianist Envy
Author: Helen Hardt
Release Date: September 22, 2010
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Category: Erotic Romance, Menage
Type: Kindle

Book Blurb:

Huge success has so far eluded musician Jane Rock. Coming from a modest background, she’s had to work hard for everything she has. When a music agent attends one of her rock band’s performances at a local club, she thinks her big break has finally come, until an inebriated—though handsome and muscular—patron spoils her show.Classical pianist Chandler Hamilton has had most of his success handed to him due to his family name. He has his reasons for detesting rock music, but he finds himself drawn to beautiful and talented Jane. Although the two sizzle between the sheets, outside the bedroom they bicker endlessly and envy what they perceive as the other’s good fortune. When Jane needs a favor, Chandler resists. Can love blossom amid clashing notes and tempos?

Book Excerpt:

“Encore, encore!” voices shouted.
Jane turned to Fernando, her bass player, and nodded.
“Thank you,” she said into the microphone. “You’ve been a great audience.” She
signaled Lenny, her keyboardist, and began the count.
“Aw, fuck me! Not more of this musical atrocity!”
The voice boomed above her count, and Jane turned to stare at that same man who
held another shot glass to his shapely lips. His chiseled jawline tensed. She inhaled.Should have followed your instinct, Jane, and asked to have him thrown out before it got to this. He might look like a Greek god, but she was hoping the bouncer would have him booted.
“Hey, Jim!” she called to the large man sitting by the entrance. “Could you get rid
of that guy?”
Jim, burly and balding, headed toward asshole’s table.
Jane closed her eyes to clear her head. She tilted her head back and let her long dark hair tickle her bare back. Feel the music, Jane. Let it take you. The pure rawness of rock and roll always moved her. The cheers of the audience were icing on the cake. She breathed in, visualizing success. Though regionally Jane Rock and the Stones had been
headlining for a few years, they hadn’t yet made it nationally. Lisa Taylor could change all that.
Jane exhaled and opened her eyes.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
The asshole’s voice was deep and just a little husky. Sexy, actually—a bit of a
contradiction to his clean-cut looks. Gorgeous, yes, but very clean cut, as though he had
been reared on milk and corn with a side of caviar and educated at the finest prep schools in the country. His honey blond hair was cropped fairly short above his ears, and his striped cotton shirt screamed Ivy League. All he needed was tortoiseshell glasses to complete the look. To cover those smoky green eyes, though, would be a sin.
Even from the stage, they smoldered.
Not Jane’s type at all.
No, she preferred long-haired rockers.
Hmmm…asshole would look great with long hair. Wavy blond locks feathering
around his perfectly-shaped face, dipping just a touch into those long-lashed green eyes…
“I’m kickin’ you outta here, is what I’m doin’.” Jim’s Southern accent boomed over the din in the audience.
“I haven’t done anything.”
Jane grabbed her mic and took a deep breath. “You’ve been rude all night,” she
said. “You’ve been drinking like a fish and now you’re interrupting my music.”
Asshole scoffed. “You call that music?”
His companion touched his arm. “Calm down, Chandler.”
Chandler. Perfect rich boy prep school name.
“Uh, Chandler?” she said into the mic.
“What?” He jerked his arm away from his friend.
“If you have such a problem with my music, why exactly are you here? There are
plenty of other clubs where you could harass the talent.”
He scoffed again. “Talent?”
Jim yanked him out of his chair. “I said you need to leave, friend.”
Jane’s blood boiled. But she had the rest of her audience to think about. Focus, Jane. Don’t let him get to you.
She closed her eyes again. Time to get ready for her encore.
“I bet Jane Rock isn’t even your real name!”
Her eyes popped open. Asshole, er, Chandler, again. Who did he think he was?
“Just something you made up to make yourself sound like a rock star.”
Jane seethed and the hair on her arms stiffened. “Jim, please.”
“I’m tryin’, honey. The guy’s stronger than he looks.”
“I’m really sorry,” Chandler’s friend said. “He’s had a rough week.”
“Sure, whatever.” Jane rolled her eyes upward. When she looked back out into the
audience, her stomach dropped. Jim lay flat on the floor with Chandler standing over him, a loafer-clad foot resting on the burly man’s chest.
“What the hell?”
“He’s a black belt in taekwondo,” the friend said. “Shit, Chan, you’re gonna get yourself arrested.”
“Damn right you are.” Jim’s muffled voice rose from the ground.
“Fuck me,” Jane muttered. “Ladies and gentlemen,” she said into the mic, “I’m
afraid we won’t be able to offer an encore tonight after all. As you can see, we have—”
“Oh please,” Chandler lifted his foot and Jim eased into a sitting position, “don’t let me stop you. Continue with your noise.”
That was it. “You think you can do better?” Jane’s voice cracked, but determination won over nerves. “Come on up here and give it your best shot.”
“With pleasure.” Chandler stalked forward.

Dialogue Highlight:

Several hours in jail hadn’t done anything to lessen Chandler Hamilton’s physical appeal. The man was a god. Nature had certainly wasted a vast amount of beauty on the jerk. Even with his striped shirt wrinkled, his golden hair a mess, he was the most delicious hunk of flesh Jane had seen in some time.
“Hello, Chandler,” Jane said as she held the door open.
“How do you know my name?”
“Ryan, of course, though I could have easily checked the registration in your yacht on wheels out there. You’re Chandler Wade Hamilton the third, of blood bluer than the Pacific. I know all about you.”
“Ah yes. The curse of the family name.”
“Ha! If it’s a curse to have everything handed to you since day one, then please,” she held up her hands, “let your curse fall upon me.”
“Look,” Chandler raked his long fingers through his disheveled blond locks, “could I just have my keys?”
“Sure. Come in for a minute and I’ll grab them for you.”
He shuffled in slowly. Poor thing was no doubt exhausted.
Poor thing? Had that thought really just crossed her mind? The poor thing had heckled her all last night and had cost her Lisa Taylor’s representation. By the time Jane and Ryan had talked Jim out of the charges, Lisa had already left, taking Jane’s big break with her.
“Thanks for not wrecking my car.”
She sighed. What an asshole! No use getting bent out of shape at his rudeness. “I do happen to possess a valid driver’s license in the name of Jane Christine Rock. Which is my real name, by the way.” She waved toward the couch. “Have a seat. I’ll go get your keys.”
She hurried to her bedroom and retrieved them from her purse.
“Here you are.” She jingled them as she returned to the living room.
He’d fallen asleep on her couch. A soft snore sneaked from his throat. Just what she needed.
She knelt down beside him and nudged him gently. Damn, his hard muscled shoulder felt wonderful beneath her fingertips. Better shoulders didn’t exist on the planet, she was certain.
Chandler, wake up.”
“Mmmm.” His deep voice rumbled, a husky caress.
Why the hell was this turning her on? Yeah, he may look like a god, but he was an asshole of major proportions.
“Damn it, Chandler, come on.” She nudged him again.
“Mmmm. Jane.”
“Yes, it’s Jane. I’m right here.”
One green eye slid open. “Mmmm. Beautiful Jane.”
His hand gripped her forearm and pulled her downward until her lips were inches from his full pink mouth.
“Kiss me, Jane Rock.”
Was he kidding? He raised his head slightly and brushed his soft lips against hers.
Apparently not kidding.
Electricity tingled through her and landed between her legs. Damn. From one little kiss?
Chandler’s emerald eyes widened. Had he felt it too?
Within seconds Jane found herself on top of the tousled hunk, his hardness pressing into her thigh. His full mouth, lips slightly parted, beckoned. His breath was warm on her cheek. Before she could think herself out of it, she pressed her mouth to his once more.
The tip of his tongue glided across the seam of her lips, and with each gentle caress her skin ignited. Her breath caught, then rasped out in a shallow pant when she parted her lips.
He tasted of peppermint, and his tongue was sleek and warm against hers. She chased it, nibbled at it, sucked on its soft tip. Every cell in her body screamed at her to explore his mouth, to kiss him harder. Yet she held back. This was Chandler Hamilton the third, asshole extraordinaire who had screwed up her chance with Lisa Taylor.
She pulled away.
“Look, Chandler, this is—”
His talented hands captured her face between them and pulled her back to his mouth. His tongue thrust inside, not gentle this time, but with a forceful domination that pulled her into his heat. Their lips slid against each other, their tongues entwined and swirled together. Rumbling moans from his throat vibrated against the inside of her mouth and fueled her lust.
She wanted Chandler Hamilton the third.
She wanted him to take her to bed.
After a few frenzied moments of kissing, he broke their connection with a loud smack and nibbled across her cheek to her earlobe. “Where’s your bedroom?” he whispered.
Her mind a jumble, Jane slid off his hard body and grabbed his hand.
“Mmmm,” his voice rasped from behind her. “Such a nice ass. Even in those gray sweatpants. But especially in that tight leather skirt you were wearing last night.”
He had noticed? Through the haze of his drunkenness? She had sure noticed him despite his crass behavior. Even rumpled as he was, a finer specimen of manhood didn’t exist at this particular moment.
Could she really do this? Sleep with him? She hadn’t had sex in so long, he might find cobwebs down there. She was dripping already, so wet she might not even feel him thrust into her.
When she reached her bedroom, Chandler pressed her against the door, flattened his palms against the hard wood and caged her, then pressed his erection into her lower back.
Oh she had noticed while lying on top of him that nature hadn’t cheated him in that department either. Didn’t matter how wet she was—she would definitely feel his thrust.
She inhaled a shallow breath.
“You’re gorgeous.” His raspy whisper caressed the sensitive skin of her neck. Tiny ice drops penetrated the scorching blood in her veins. She shuddered.
“I want to slip inside you. Fuck you slow and sweet, then hard and fast.”
“God.” She thunked her forehead against the door.


First of all, I was cracking up when I first read this title. I totally took it for a double entendre and consequently figured I would end up reading a novella full of sex, sex, and more sex. Well, it had the steamy, hot sex alright, but I was surprised and delighted with the story told within. PIANIST ENVY was a cute story of two musicians who are worlds apart that unexpectedly strike a common chord when their attraction proves too much to resist.

Jane is a focused individual in the rock world trying to make it big. On the night of her big chance, with a music bigwig in the audience, she has a lot to prove. Unfortunately, she meets self-centered, obnoxious, Chandler. Even his name scream life of privilege and Jane immediately dislikes both his attitude and his lie of ease. Chandler has just been dealt a blow within his music profession and ends up drinking himself into a surly asshat. Problem is that while he instantly opposed what Jane’s music stands for, he is drawn to her with such intensity that he immediately retaliates with rudeness. And knocks her socks off when he takes her challenge to prove himself.

Probably the most interesting thing about this story is that both characters are complete opposites while fighting for the same thing. Each looks at the other as a fool for taking certain aspect of their life for granted; proving that people always want what they don’t have and frequently take for granted what they do. And somehow in all of this confused emotion, Jane and Chandler discover a deep attraction to one another that ends up stronger than each can resist.

I was a bit blind-sided by the unexpected instance of ménage in the story. Had to warn you all. The ménage doesn’t hurt the story at all, but neither was it necessary to the progression of the character’s relationship.

Overall, PIANIST ENVY is a fun story that incorporates a bit of character depth with a fun tale of two people from glaringly different worlds that ultimately find happiness in both similarities and differences. The sex sizzles off the pages and is sure to satisfy. For a quick read, guaranteed to strike a harmonious chord with your reading senses, PIANIST ENVY is a success.

(eBook provided by publisher for review.)


I lurve comments! Say whatever is on your mind; just keep it respectful. I am always game for a conversation. :)