I cannot describe how much I like this story.
Scarred Melody (Bold Melodies, Book One) by Heather E. Andrews released a couple of weeks back in the Contemporary, Rockstar Romance.
When Skyler strummed the final chord, he closed his eyes. I savored the moment with him, enjoying what we’d created together.
“I’ve never enjoyed singing that song so much,” his voice choked with emotion.
I smiled, memories racing through my mind. “After my accident, when I realized how my life was going to change, I listened to that song on repeat. Nothing was going to be the same again. I tried—still try—to accept it.
“How did things change for you?” He put down the guitar gently on the stand.
“For the longest time, I wanted to be like my mom. To be on stage feeling the electricity from the crowd, creating an experience with them and the music.” I stared off into the distance, my eyes glassing over with tears. “I wanted to travel with my mother back then. We were going to be the Clarke Ladies on tour. Like the Judds!” Giggling, I remembered how thoroughly I’d planned it in my head. “But then she was gone.”
“Elsie, you can still perform. There’s nothing stopping you. Scar or not, you’d take the music world over.”
“Maybe. But I wouldn’t be with my mother.” I tried hard to put the idea of being on stage out of my mind, despite how much Amelia pushed. Facing the hard wall of public scrutiny was exhausting to think about.
“It would still be amazing. Elsie, you are gifted. Your mother would be proud of you.”
I turned my head away, not able to look him in the eye as a tear slipped down my cheek.
“You are so talented, El. I’ve never seen anything like it. Your eyes light up like the Fourth of July when you play. I can see a stream of joy radiating from your body. It’s the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen.” His voice had gone soft–nearly a whisper.
He stared at me, his face intent. I saw the truth in his eyes. He really felt this way.
The man I’d idolized and adored from afar since I was eleven years old called me exquisite.
What a beautiful word.
Heather E. Andrews has been reading romance since the age of twelve. She lives as a disgruntled pug-mother in Albany, NY. She is the baby of nine children and slaves away taking care of her two entitled pugs and four spoiled guinea pigs. Her only escapes in life are reading, writing, and Star Trek reruns.
Why Rockstar Romance?
The first rock star romance I read was on Wattpad two years ago. I loved it. It was the ultimate fantasy. The romance between the characters wasn’t exceptionally different from other subgenres, but it was the world that drew me in. Subgenres are like different world spheres; the rock star world sphere is its own phenom involving groupies, drugs, alcohol, talent. That lifestyle is larger than life and comes with its own emotional turmoil.
When I was in college, I worked a menial part-time job that allowed me to listen to my Walkman (totally just aged myself). I’d listen to albums or the radio and rock out as I swept and dusted, pretending I was the one on stage singing to the crowds, feeling the wild energy flowing through me. It was a fantasy that took me through long days.
The day I decided I needed to write my own rock star romance, I was driving down the highway, listening to ‘Wishing Well’ by Juice WRLD. The lyrics pulsed through me; I felt the emotional upheaval in the song. I imagined singing it on a stage at an outdoor amphitheater during the summer, feeling the hot breeze wash over my face. The crowd was screaming, wearing their summer clothes, the sun setting in the background just like at the concerts I went to as a teenager. I knew I needed to capture that feeling in words and share it with other people. If it helped me feel alive and cope with the trials of living, it would help others as well.
I wanted to express the same sense fantasy and emotional connection I felt with music on the page.
What’s the appeal for the reader?
It’s the ultimate rich, bad boy, tortured artist romance.
Indie romance has more subgenres than the traditionally published because there’s more room to expand. But we see common themes. The rich businessman who falls in love with his secretary. The hometown bad boy who falls in love with the preacher’s daughter. The tortured soul who doesn’t feel like they deserve love, so they push it away.
I’ve read so many versions of the rock star hero. The tortured child who discovers music, gets caught up in the lifestyle and must recover and choose life. The older rock star who’s tired of the lifestyle and finally finds the love they’d dreamed about. The washed-up failure who needs help to find his way again. These characters are similar as you’d find in other subgenres, but in a rock star romance we can see the dynamics of these characters expressed through their relationship with music.
There are the common heroine archetypes as well. The Cinderella rags to riches mixed with A Star is Born—young artist is discovered by another musician, and they fall in love. There’s the worker heroine—a manager, publicist, or reporter who goes to work for the dashing rock star and falls in love. One of my favorites is the fish-out-of-water trope where a ‘normal’ woman must find balance with loving a larger-than-life rock star. There’s always that additional fight, is she in love with the man or the music icon?
Romance genre communicates feelings and relationships. Music is the artistic expression of feelings.
So far, I’ve described a subgenre that works like any other—paranormal, MC, or even sports romances—with the added emotional aspect of the music. What makes a rock star romance so unique is the emotional rawness of the world its set in. I think of music as an artistic expression of feelings through sound. A performance is emotional. What the artists are feeling as they sing or play comes through to the crowd, giving them the avenue to feel as well. Few other careers do that. We don’t see it in the world of the billionaire CEO or football star.
As a reader, I’m looking for that extra shot of emotional involvement with the story that comes with the music. As a writer, I’m using that aspect to bring my readers’ emotions to a crescendo. The music is almost its own character in this sense because it affects the reader as much as the main characters.
Rockstar romance is the same, but different. Clear as mud? I hope I’ve given you a brief insight into what I feel makes it so exceptional.
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