I am not a victim.
At least that’s what I wanted to believe. What I wanted the world to see. Five years of trying to find the girl I hid from the world.
I wouldn’t let the bullies win. I couldn’t.
What was I supposed to do when he walked into the building? He’d made my high school years a living hell.
But, he doesn’t recognize me.
How do I prove he didn’t break me? Simple, take him home for a one-night stand.
At least it sounded like a good idea at the time.
Genre: Romance – rockstar, second-chance, redemption
Part of a Series: Yes – Book 1 of the Jaded Ivory series
POV: Mari, Cole
Steam Level: Warm
Rock Me is a layered, emotional and intense romance about love, redemption, and friendship. The topic of bullying was dealt with well on so many levels – from in person to sexual to cyber. The main starting off point of this story is that Cole participated in bullying Mari in high school. She recognizes him but he doesn’t recognize her so prove to him (although he doesn’t know this) and to herself that he no longer controls her, she sleeps with him and then ignores him. But revenge sex isn’t that satisfying if the other person doesn’t know it’s revenge sex. I was pleasantly surprised with this story. The emotions of past and present are intense and the guys in Mari’s band are supportive and protective of her. Mari was portrayed as sensitive but not fragile, independent and strong but also learning to open up to her friends and let others in. Rebecca Brooke made Mari human, not a victim.
Cole, now a teacher who stops bullying, realizes the errors of his ways and wants to make amends with Mari. Cole was persistent, sincerely sorry for his actions and is smart enough to realize that this may not be enough for Mari’s forgiveness.
What I love about this book:
1. It depicts real consequences from bullying – both for the bullies (lost opportunities/law involvement) and the bullied (thoughts/actions)
2. It took time for Cole to earn Mari’s trust – it wasn’t all sunshine and roses once he apologized for his prior actions.
What bugged me about this book:
1. The jock vs geek bullying stereotype is a bit cliche. Yes it happens cliches are cliches for a reason but it feels like this one is overdone.
2. The big reveal about Sawyer and Mari’s friendship. Although I didn’t have an issue with it, others may. It just made me want to read Sawyer’s book (which is hopefully the next Jaded Ivory.
Overall, this is definitely a book that should be read by anyone dealing with adolescents. It has a strong message about rising above your past and not letting it define you or get in your way. And it has an equally strong message about knowing the consequences of you actions and being able to recognize and admit your mistakes. It also reminds the reader the power of friends – both as a negative and a positive influence. This is definitely a must read.
I received an advanced copy of this book for free from the author. This is my honest and voluntary review.
She was like a magnet; an unseen force, connecting two people. There was no one I’d rather be connected with.
Click Here to buy Rock Me by Rebecca Brooke from Amazon.