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September 24, 2015

Duran Duran, Paper Gods, and Rock Starred with Karen Booth

Rock Starred: Love My Way
Karen Booth
Contemporary Romance | Rockstars
March 12, 2015

When her fiancé destroyed her with a “Dear Katie” letter a week before their wedding, Kate Stillman still took a vow--it would be a cold day in hell before she gave a man anything more than one night. Free from emotional entanglements, her photography career is skyrocketing, there's the occasional hot one-night-stand, and her heart is off-limits. It's the perfect plan until a Miami getaway brings her face-to-face with Peter Barrett.

Smart and sexy guitarist Peter has been pursuing Katie with texts since she photographed his band. Now that they're reunited in the flesh, there's more than mere flirtation. He wants her. Now. Katie gives in to their sizzling chemistry, thinking a rock star will appreciate her one-night rule. Instead, Peter balks and extends an invitation for a second night of pure abandon, an offer too tempting to refuse. When they part, Katie learns how well her rule protected her heart. Time away from Peter only leaves her wanting him more. Every steamy, late-night phone call makes her wonder if she can love again. But when Peter returns and her trust is tested, Katie must overcome her past to see that love her way was never the way at all.

Previously published as 'Love My Way'. The 2015 re-release has an all-new first chapter and expanded scenes.



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If you're a follower and/or fan of Karen Booth, you'll know that she writes amazing music-themed romances, and she's also a HUGE fan of  Duran Duran. And so am I. And it's our mutual love for Simon LeBon and the band's hits that had me begging KBooth to stop by today and review Duran Duran's latest album, Paper Gods.






Duran Duran
Paper Gods 


Full disclosure: I’m a huge Duran Duran fan. I have been since I was fifteen, way back in “the day”, decked out in a fedora and pegged jeans, memorizing every word of “New Religion” while pondering the not-so-subtle sexual overtones of the “Girls on Film” video. 


Whenever there’s a new Duran Duran record and I post about it on Facebook, there’s invariably one person who clearly hasn’t paid attention to anything I’ve posted, well, ever, and says, “They’re still around?” First off, YES. Secondly, they’re more than just around, they continue to innovate and evolve, stay fresh, win new fans, please the die-hards and sometimes test us a little bit, too. Their new record, Paper Gods, is no exception. 

For those fully briefed in the band’s catalog, this record has bits of the distant past, nods to the middle years, but a distinct new direction. I wasn’t sold at first. I was under the influence of having listened to the songs that were leaked early, and they felt disjointed. Now I know why. I needed the context to get where the band was going. When I finally had the CD in my grubby little hands, I took to heart what Simon LeBon had asked for--fifty minutes, uninterrupted. Listen to the entire record, from beginning to end, as intended. I did, and that’s when everything changed. 

In the era of “I’ll just buy the single for 99 cents”, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of a band devoted to the art of making a record. It’s something most artists don’t even bother with anymore. There’s not enough money in it. Make two or three hits, fill in the rest, done. With Paper Gods, there’s a pervasive theme of modern-day culture being disposable, nothing lasting, and the cohesiveness of the record is a push back against it. The band also touches on perseverance, living in the moment, and unrelenting pursuit of your passions (a massive career spanning more than three decades, anybody?)…it all has a feel I can only describe as, “We’ve been up all night.” 

Which makes the opening title track so perfect, both ethereal and looming, exactly like witnessing the sunrise when you’ve been up all night, probably dancing, definitely living to excess. Those early morning moments tend to bring about some sobering reflection. That’s what Paper Gods sounds like to me. That’s the thing about Duran. There are always layers. Lots and lots of layers. 




Other stand-outs are “You Kill Me with Silence”, a heartbreaking and honest ballad that is by no means a love song. I can’t avoid the party-mode pleasure of “Pressure Off” with Nile Rogers’ heavy influence, nor do I want to. It’ll have a spot on my workout playlist for a long time, as will “Butterfly Girl” and “Change the Skyline”. I’m more than a little in love with “Face For Today”, with a decided electronic bent while there are stretches of Simon’s vocals that remind me of the best of AM radio. It’s an odd mix and it’s awesome. 



There are a few mis-steps in my estimation, but my opinion is subject to change. Hell, my entire opinion of the record has changed radically since I first started listening. Have you ever watched a movie for the second time and noticed something you never saw the first time? Then you watch it again and it happens again? THAT. Regardless, I’m not a fan of “Danceophobia” and it’s not because of my general aversion to Lindsay Lohan. I think it’s the lyrics that are making me crazy. I’m also not a big fan of “Sunset Garage”…it’s the keyboards. I think. Lastly, I really wish they hadn’t started off “Last Night in the City” with Kiesza’s vocals. It makes it sound like Simon’s guesting on the track, rather than the other way around. 

All in all, I’m a happy girl, with a new Duran Duran record working overtime in my car, on my iPod, and in my office. Paper Gods is worth far more than a listen. And the next time somebody tells me they can’t believe Duran Duran is still around, I’ll answer that they’re far more than still around. Duran Duran has been up all night.  




Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. An early preoccupation led her to spend her twenties working her way from intern to executive in the music industry. Now she’s a married mom of two and instead of staying up late in rock clubs, she gets up before dawn and writes sexy, contemporary fiction—big city love stories and rock star romance.


Follow Karen
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35 comments:

  1. Oh wow, I loved Duran Duran back in the day and I knew they'd done some stuff since, but I didn't realised they were still going around! That rocks!
    Rock Starred sounds like a good read too... I love how Peter's been pursuing Kate!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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    1. Thanks for reading, Naomi. I'm glad I could get you up to date on Duran!

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  2. Hmm I think I knew the name of Duran Duran but I didn't really know, so thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is! If you love music themed romances, KBooth won't disappoint you

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  4. Oh yes! Duran Duran! I definitely need to get their new album as well, Braine! And I love it when you can listen to the whole thing and the songs put together make it like a full story in a way.
    Hiding in the Spotlight sounds good, too. I just may have to add it to my bloated TBR ;)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Thanks, Lexxie. I think we all suffer from bloated TBR. Not enough hours in the day!

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    2. I hope you like it. I'm still trying to find the album's groove, it's definitely different from the DD music I grew up with.

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  5. They're still around?!? Just kidding! I knew that. ;) I haven't given their new album a listen yet but I'll check it out. One thing my hubs has taught me about music is that you *have* to listen to the album as a whole. It's put together in a certain way for a reason.

    Karen, thanks for sharing your thoughts on Paper Gods. And for sharing good stories enveloped in rock music. <3 <3

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    1. Hey Brandee! I'm so glad you stopped by--it's been forever since we've talked music and books. We ned to correct that, asap!

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    2. Nobody really makes albums anymore. Sad

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  6. Kinda love Rock Star romance, see even old gals like me can like this kind of sexy read, I never was a huge fan. My to die for duet of the time who still perform together is Hall & Oates :)
    Great post yet again Braine, you girlfriend are on a roll!

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    1. Debbie, I'm a total 80s girl, so I have a soft spot for Hall & Oates, too. :)

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    2. I love Hall & Oates!! *I can't go for that, can't go for that, can't go for that

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  7. I listen to some of their older work when I'm in one of my moods. One of my fav authors has Hungry Like the Wolf playing on her site right now. I just love rockstars, period. This looks like a great read.

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    1. Thanks, Lakeisha. Hungry Like the Wolf FTW!

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  8. Always nice to hear some Duran Duran. Thanks for sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  9. Wow. I didn't know they had anothe album out. I am becoming so out of touch these days as I grow older. I like that they tried not to make this a buy one or two songs and then throw away the rest album. I am so tired of those.

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  10. I admit I am one of those that didn't know they were still writing and coming out with new records, I'm so sorry! I think that is awesome though!!

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  11. My SIL was OBSESSED with Duran Duran. She even met them and had an album signed at a concert.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  12. I was not into Duran Duran when I was a teen, but your review of the album struck me with the fact that I was used to a whole organized album of songs when I was young and I still buy my music that way instead of singles. It was unconsciously done, but yet, I must like to have the whole context and experience.

    I love rocker romances so Karen's new book has appeal.

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  13. Thanks for sharing! I know certain Duran Duran songs, but I'm a bit too young to have been a big fan. that's great they still make excellent music though, and I love listening to an album as a whole.

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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  14. Didn't know about this! Going to check it out ASAP!

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  15. Duran Duran was a bit too early for me, but I like them still

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  16. Ohh I didn't even know Duran Duran has a new album out! Where've I been?!

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  17. <333 Hiiiii Karen! I always love seeing you post Duran Duran stuff on your fb. Didn't know about this album though so yay :D

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  18. Seriously, who doesn't love Durran Durran? Blast from the past!

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  19. LOVE Duran Duran! My cousin introduced me to their songs when we were little. Her room was covered all over with their posters! I need to listen to their new album now. Thanks for the introduction to Karen's books.

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  20. Oh my! Every once in a while we hear Duran Duran on the radio. But not that often anymore. Fun post and thanks for the songs. :D

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  21. Karen, thanks again for writing up this review. I love all the comments and the Twitter convo it generated. This post turned into a Duran Duran awareness thing lol

    Everyone, thanks for stopping by!

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