Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Filed in Olivia Cunning , Review , The Danger Lover Posted on November 18, 2010 @ 7:00 am 7 comments

Series: Sinners On Tour Book 1
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release date: October 1, 2010
Formats Available: Trade Paperback & e-Book
Source: Gift from friend.

Purchase information: Goodreads, Barns & Noble, Amazon, Borders, The Bood Depository, Books A Million, Author Website

Book Blurb:

Human Sexuality Professor, Myrna Evans, wants nothing but a weekend of hot, no-strings-attached sex with Sinners’ sensual lead guitarist, but Brian Sinclair is looking for something more permanent than a one-night stand. Unable to compose music for months, when Brian makes love to uninhibited Myrna, he hears exquisite guitar riffs and finger-burning solos.

In Myrna, he’s found his muse.

My Thoughts:

There are many excellent reviews of this book posted already and it is well documented that for those readers who enjoy their erotic romance smoking hot and sexually explicit, Backstage Pass certainly fits the bill. However, as the foundation book for Ms. Cunning’s “Sinners On Tour” series Backstage Pass offers readers not only a hot love story between Dr. Myrna Evans and Brian (Master) Sinclair, the Lead Guitarist & Composer for the Sinners rock group, it also gives a glimpse into the idiosyncrasies of band members Sedric Lionheart (lead singer), Jace Seymour (bass guitarist), Trey Mills (rhythm guitarist, background vocalist), and Eric Sticks (drummer, composer). In addition, the story provides a look at what life on the road is like for the members of this group. While yes, these guys engage in a cornucopia of sexual exploits that would exhaust a randy stallion, band members keep a grueling travel schedule to meet the commitments of a whirlwind tour itinerary. They travel on two buses manned by a coterie of staff called ‘roadies’. There is a real high for these talented musicians, who perform to sold out shows full of rabid fans at each venue. However, there is also sleep deprivation and a diet of junk food that would invite malnutrition, not to mention an outbreak of infectious mononucleosis. (I have to comment this does not happen in the book, I’m just being a realist. lol) Further, these guys wallow in what can only be described as disgusting ‘pigsties’ on the tour buses. Then along comes Myrna…

Brian is a musical prodigy who is one with the guitar in his hand, he has had a dry spell with respect to composing which seems to be associated with his train wreck of a personal life. Now don’t get me wrong, Brian has certainly sewn lots of wild oats in his day, (no pun intended re the earlier ‘stallion’ comment). He has innumerable skeletons rattling around in the closet associated with recent choices of female company and the need for a long term relationship with someone who will love him, for him, not because he is the sexy “Master” guitarist of the Sinners. Then there is his mother who readers meet much later in the book and all I can say is wow, just wow.. o_O Brian wears his heart on his sleeve, and he has suffered hurt at the hands of the charismatic Sedric (Sed) who picks up and seduces a gaggle of readily available nubile females pretty much every morning, afternoon, night – you get my drift. Sed cares not that one or more of these women may be involved with a fellow band member. This has, needless to say lead to insecurities and trust issues for Brian with respect to his recent girlfriends. He is drowning his sorrows in a bucket of alcohol following his most recent relationship catastrophe when he meets Myrna.

Myrna is a scholar who certainly has her own skeletons related to a previous horrific marital relationship which you will learn more about if you read the book. I think it is enough to say that her ex-husband still haunts her. Myrna loves music, particularly when of the rock variety and some of her research and publications are related to the effect of this type of music on sexual response etc. The Sinners happen to be one of her favorite groups and she doesn’t waste the opportunity to talk to the band members when she spots them in the bar of a hotel where she is attending a conference. Myrna has no intention of giving sexual favors to any of the guys much to the surprise of Sedric who has an ego the size of the Texas. She does take pity on Brian who is suffering the effects of his over indulgence in alcohol and invites him to her room to treat him for his symptoms and impending hangover. Myrna is attracted to Brian, she has had a long sexual dry spell and, after all, this is a love story, therefore one thing does lead to another.

Myrna’s grant funding is going to be cut off for her current research project and she is about to be out of work. A stroke of brilliance strikes when she decides to approach the band about traveling with them to study the female groupies who will do anything, and I mean ANYTHING to spend time with one or more of the Sinners. The band of course readily accepts her proposal because Brian was desolate and not composing after she left following their initial intimate encounter. Hence, for Myrna, what started out to be a fling with Brian Sinclair, becomes much more.

Brian discovered during their first time together that Myrna is his muse. Specifically during sexual intercourse, he hears beautiful music and is able to pen riffs and songs. Brian does like kink and he introduces Myrna to new levels of sexual intimacy. She is a willing participant. As their relationship intensifies, of course comes “I love you” feelings on his part, which she cannot or refuses to reciprocate. Like I said, skeletons. I really liked the realism Ms. Cunning instilled into this aspect of their relationship, Brian’s trust issues and insecurities, Myrna’s fear of commitment, and they do have their arguments. Then Myrna learns something startling about one of the band members during a ménage à trois arranged by Brian, which affects her deeply, she is however able to move past this. At the end of the day, for this reader, Brian and Myrna’s HEA was extremely sweet.

After a while, the band’s living conditions on the tour buses get the better of Myrna and she starts cooking nutritious meals and enforces a clean up of one of the buses. She earns their respect, and trust me, the multitude of young women who fawn all over these guys are used solely for sex. Respect isn’t something that is gratuitously handed out by the Sinners, especially by Sedric.

I enjoyed Backstage Pass very much, while it is a love story between two lonely people who are perfectly matched for a variety of reasons, it also is an exploration into the lives of a close knit rock band who are consummate musicians. Ms. Cunning professes her love of rock music in the novel’s Acknowledgments and her description of the concerts and music seems well researched and added authenticity to the story. I also loved the humor that permeates the narrative of this novel which caused me to laugh out loud on a number of occasions. Ms. Cunning’s characterization of each of the group’s members along with their camaraderie and issues is excellent. I am looking forward to reading “Rock Hard”, Sedric’s story due for publication April 1, 2011. “Rock Hard” will be followed by “Hot Ticket”, Jace’s (an extremely interesting character) book in October 2011. Eric and Trey’s books are scheduled for publication in 2012.

If you enjoy a smoking hot erotic romance with loads of explicit sex, (as in if you have impressionable young ones around who can read you had best hide this one) you may like to give Backstage Pass a try. 😉

As an aside, my good blogger friend Ms. Moonlight once told me that she can’t read stories where the main character(s) have the same name(s) as her children particularly when there is a lot of sexual content. Well, our eldest son like the hero of his story is in his 20’s, outside of his scholarly pursuits he is a drummer with a rock band. And guess what? His name is Brian. I have to say I covered my ears a couple of times while reading some of the erotic scenes between “Brian” and “Myrna” in Backstage Pass and screamed TMI, TMI. (lol) Ms.M. you were right and thank you, you know why. 😉

I have to also thank the ladies of Book Lovers Inc. for inviting me to do a guest review again this week.

*”Band” pictures courtesy of Ms. Cunning’s Website and the “Sinner’s Blog”.*


My Rating: 4 bookies out of 5!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Lea

Lea is an animal loving, tree hugging vegetarian who lives in Toronto, Canada with her family, which includes three dogs. She is a prolific reader and has been blogging and reviewing since 2008. Lea is a contributor at the USA Today HEA Blog and an active member at Goodreads.

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Join the Discussion
  • Chris November 18, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Oh, I can definitely see where the same name would be problematic!! I've had a few disconnects sort of like that, but not to that degree.

  • Lea November 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Hey Chris, thanks for stopping by. It was different for me. I have read books with my sons & husband's names in them before but I think it was the parallels with Bri that increased the TMI factor.. LOL

  • Blodeuedd November 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Great review, this book seems so HOT, you all are just loving it.

    The name thing, hm, would be very strange, so glad I am from these parts. Not that I have any kids yet, but like if my dad's name showed up, icky…hm most avoid Viking books

  • Lea November 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hi B!

    Thank you so much. Yeah, with the spelling of his name being exactly the same too it was a yikes, factor.. LOLOLOL


  • MsM (Elizabeth Jules Mason) November 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Great review Lea!!

    And LOL to the characters named after our children *shudder*.

    You're very welcome… *wink*



  • beth kery January 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    It sounds like the kind of book I'd like, when I'm in the mood. I actually love rock star types. Sucker for them.

    Nice review, Lea!

  • JessS May 6, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Great review! I really liked this book and can't wait to read the next one. I like how there was so much going on both with characters and back story and it mostly seemed realistic.

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