Release Date: October 8, 2013
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Two years ago everything changed for the remaining members of the Seattle rock band Tempest.
Two years is a long time.
Too long to keep on remembering.
Not nearly long enough to forget.
In trouble with nowhere else to go songstress Lace Lowell seeks refuge with the band during their stop in New York City. It's a risky move for her because they are both there, two impossibly good looking men whose lives are inseparably entwined with hers. One who bruised her heart and one who smashed it into pieces.
Warren “War” Jinkins, the mercurial lead singer of Tempest, has always had a thing for Lace. But then again so does his best friend and band mate.
Bryan “Bullet” Jackson, the sinfully handsome tat-sleeved lead guitarist, has a bad boy reputation befitting his nickname. For the past two years Bullet’s had a rule with the groupies: one time, never twice, leave ‘em satisfied, but always leave ‘em.
Two guys, one woman, and a host of dark secrets all together within the tight confines of a tour bus as the group travels cross country.
Can the past be forgotten and buried?
Will friendships prevail?
Or will the three of them succumb to seductive impulses too addictive to resist?
** Irresistible Refrain is a gritty rock and roll tale intended for mature readers seventeen and up. Contains sexual situations, strong language, and drug use. **
Rock stars. We've more or less figured them out and fit them in a "box". They're a bunch of pierced, tattooed, temperamental, entitled, druggies, promiscuous, musical geniuses. I got that and so much more from Michelle Mankin's IRRESISTIBLE REFRAIN but what I failed to take into consideration is the human factor. Because I was so caught up with the stereotypes I forgot that these rock gods bleed like us and if any, they're even more messed up than the average joe.
IRRESISTIBLE REFRAIN touched on a lot of subjects ranging from fame, friendship to drug abuse and disloyalty. I also love how the story was told, Lace and Bryan would take turns narrating the story and would constantly provide backstories through flashbacks and explain a lot of the Why's woven in the story. So it was quite easy for any reader to get invested in the drama which has been ongoing for years. The main conflict of IRRESISTIBLE REFRAIN circles around love, friendship and loyalty. A frickin' love triangle to be exact and I guess I'm not the only one wary of this trope. However, MMankin did a good job in adding a lot of emotional dilemma, fleshing it out and made IRRESISTIBLE REFRAIN compelling.
Lace Lowell, War Jenkins and Bullet Jackson have been friends for a long time. Lace and Bullet has something going on way before War came into the picture but because Bullet is such a great friend, he let War call dibs. Fast forward to the present and this love triangle has created a lot of tension not just for the three of them but for their band, Tempest. It took a lot of pushing and pulling between the three, things were eventually resolved but not without major damage to their little family.
The characters broke a few molds. The secondary characters aren't the enablers we expect. Just because War is the lead vocalist, the rest of the band aren't his YES MEN and they're not bad seeds either. They know their worth and they're not doormats which I liked. Bullet is the martyr, he's been carrying the pain of unrequited love for the longest time and it was a little frustrating to see that. He's so loyal to his friendship with War that he basically chose bros before hoes even if the situation is calling he breaks it. Admirable but in this case I wish he asserted himself more for Lace.
You had a crappy childhood, but I've never once heard you use it as an excuse. That's unusual. There's an inner strength in you. A resolve. You're gonna make it, Lace Lowell. You're a winner.
War and Lace. These two have had rough backgrounds but what I liked was they didn't use it to make excuses for their current behaviors. They're just selfish and self-absorbed period and I love how straightforward that is. War is a piece of work and I'm hoping he'll get his shot at redemption soon. Lace Lowell was an endearing heroine despite her flaws. The thing is she knows she has a problem but she's so addled with both emotions and drugs that she can't pull herself out of the rut she's in. She's in a constant spin cycle and the only way to get her out of it is for something to forcibly push her out of the wheel.
If you were mine, I'd love you better. I'd love you enough to tell you when you're wrong. - Bullet to Lace
IRRESISTIBLE REFRAIN had an optimistic ending. Friendships have been damaged and maybe broken but it's one of those necessary hurts so that the characters can finally learn the hard lessons life is trying to teach them. As a series, I like that each novel features a different couple which makes each one an ok-stand alone read (although I still recommend you follow the reading order). But there's an underlying series plot surrounding the band, Tempest, and I love to see the band shoot to fame! My only regret is that we can't "hear" their music because the lyrics/poetry MMankin inserted in the novel are really good.