Today, author A.N. Waugh is guesting. She’s here to talk about her latest release Jamison, book one in the Men of Maxim series, a contemporary romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Thanks so much to Maggie for having me as a guest on the blog. I’m A.N. Waugh and my book, Jamison—book one of the Men of Maxim—is now available. Today I’m going to answer the question: Why write about rockstars?
First let me tell a bit about the series. Men of Maxim is set to be a five book rockstar series with Jamison being book one. Each book will feature a band member and their personal story, but also follow a overall arc that’s a bit twisted and only just beginning in book one.
So, why rockstars? My simplest answer is why not. I know that’s not a very satisfactory answer so let me dive a little deeper. On the base level, my characters come to me and tell me who they are. I don’t choose them to be something or someone, they tell me “this is who I am” and I write them that way. Writing about rockstars wasn’t a conscious choice I made. I didn’t sit down and and say “today I’m writing rockstars.” That’s not my process, though I know there are some authors who do work in such a manner.
The story these characters came from was originally in an anthology, and while the theme was based on and inspired by love songs, there wasn’t anything that stated the characters needed to be musicians. But when I chose my song to reference, Jamison and Vance showed up and told me who they were. And that was that. Only that story was too short to contain their whole story, only the very bittersweet beginning of it.
From there I set out to write their story. I knew Jamison was a rockstar and when I started, I thought this would be a stand-alone to give Jamison and Vance the rest of their story. I had no plans to write a series of rockstar romances, but as I got further into everything, the other band members were like “hey, I have a love story and you should tell it too” and from there the series slowly developed.
I’ll be the first to say I don’t know much about music, other than listening to a playlist on Spotify. I don’t know about instruments and technical terms. But I did spend my teens with my sister and her boyfriend, who was in a band. So I had experience on the life of musicians on the rise, even if from a semi-outside perspective. And as I wrote Jamison and Vance’s story it became clear that these rockstar romances were not going to be about the rockstar life, just about rockstars as humans and all the ups and downs and in-betweens that comes with. So while the series centers around rockstars, it’s more about the romances between each band member and their love interests, along with a twisted arc that begins in Jamison and will continue to gain importance throughout all five books.
So why write about rockstars? Because they too have stories to tell about life and love. Or in simpler terms: Why not?
Series: Men of Maxim, Book #1
Author: A.N. Waugh
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Tropes: Friends to lovers, second chance romance, rockstar
Release Date: June 7, 2022
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Jamison Black. Lead singer for the band Maxim, and my first love. He broke my heart to follow his dream. Now, six years after the heartbreak, he is my job. I’ve worked hard for this internship and to get close to him again, but it doesn’t take long to realize we can’t be anything more than friends. Not when Maxim is so close to the success they’ve been chasing all this time.
I never knew how much I missed Vance Martin until I saw him in the last place I expected. He is my heart. Always has been, always will be. I’m his client, and he’s determined to keep me in the friend zone. A place I refuse to stay. I might have left my heart behind six years ago, but I won’t let him go again.
Jamison is the first book in the Maxim series. A MM Rockstar, best friends to lovers, second chance romance with two stubborn main characters, a too observant, witty and flamboyant interfering coworker, entertaining bandmates and friends, and a fake girlfriend who has forgotten her love isn’t real.
It is book one in a new series. It does not end on a cliffhanger for the couple, but there are some unresolved conflicts that will reappear later in the series.
“Hey, you should come out with me tonight. I know this great club.” Klaus interrupts my thoughts about working with one of the biggest and most well-known record labels.
“Sure, why not?” I agree. I need to make friends and Klaus, with his big personality and flashy attire, seems to be the most welcoming. Besides, I should get to know the man if we are going to be working together for the next few months. What can it hurt? He’s harmless, right?
A few hours later, I’ve resigned myself to the knowledge that Klaus is anything but harmless as he drags me inside a crowded club. Every head turns in our direction, and while I’m not ashamed to be seen with him, it means I garner just as much attention for being at his side. The tight leather pants and black see-through top he’s wearing leave nothing to the imagination. Every man and woman we pass can clearly see the size of his package and the piercings in his nipples. I look and feel out of place in comparison with my jeans and an old Nirvana t-shirt.
When we reach the bar, Klaus orders a couple of shots and some fruity concoction for the two of us. I look around, taking in all the people. My eyes drift across the club, over the dance floor, and up to the second floor.
A glass wall surrounds a balcony sitting area where the VIPs avoid the crowd of commoners literally beneath them. Sitting at a table in the corner is a face I would recognize anywhere, even at a distance. I blink and he’s gone. Did I imagine it?
Klaus hands me a shot and I toss it back, letting the burn that slides down my throat bring me back to reality and the here and now.
“Here.” He hands me one of the fruity drinks. “Let’s dance.”
Maxim’s latest hit plays over the sound system and the buzz of alcohol and the steady beat of the music flow through me. The sexy, gravelly voice of Maxim’s lead singer lulls me into a sexually charged state. I close my eyes and let the rhythm take over, my body swaying in a dance learned years ago.
Jamison Black’s voice has seduced me, consoled me, and left me wanting since I was a teen. His rockstar looks: long dark hair and ice-blue eyes lined with kohl stirred my libido before I fully understood my attraction to men. Late night fantasies of his talented mouth on my skin, fantasies that still claim me when I’ve gone too long without release, flash through my mind.
The DJ switches songs, and my Jamison-induced spell is broken. I open my eyes and take in the club. Klaus, in all his flamboyant splendor, is dancing between two well-dressed men, probably corporate businessmen here to unwind. Too bad Klaus has set his sights on them.
I laugh and move from the dance floor to the bar for another drink. My inhibitions slowly drift away as the warm and sensual caress of alcohol unfurls in my veins. I glimpse myself in the mirror behind the bar. My cheeks are pink with the heat that permeates my body, and my hair is a ruffled mess from dancing.
The bartender hands me another of the fruity drinks Klaus had ordered earlier.
“Damn. That’s too bad. I’d hoped to make it over in time to buy you a drink.” A man that screams sleazy Hollywood moves to stand next to me. “I’m Chad. I hope I’m not being too forward, but are you here alone?”
“Uh,” I stall, searching the crowd for Klaus. “I’m here with—”
“There you are. I thought I’d lost you out there.”
The rich, melodic voice comes from behind and I close my eyes as an arm wraps around my waist, fingers gripping my hip.
“My apologies.” Chad sounds more annoyed than apologetic about the newcomer’s intrusion.
“No problem.” I can practically hear the forced politeness in his voice and open my eyes to tell Chad that I am not here with anyone but a friend. But he has since moved on to another target farther down the line of people at the bar.
Breathing deeply, I step away until the man’s arm at my back falls away, then turn to face a blast from my past. A sexy as fuck blast from the past.
I love music, and I also love a good second chance romance, so when Jamison came up for review, I was all for it.
Jamison Black is on his way to becoming a bonafide rock star. Now, I’m not sure if it’s pop rock, hard rock, heavy metal, or another genre, since that was never specified, but his band Maxim is gearing up to tour with big-timers Twisted. Maxim is also having problems with the guitarist, and to further groom Maxim for the big-time, poor ol’ Jamison has to engage in a fake relationship with a Hollywood starlet for better brand exposure and publicity.
Vance Martin is an intern for a major publicity firm, and he’s hand-picked to go on tour with Maxim to ensure the band receives major exposure and keep the guys in line since a few aren’t following the rules. He’s aware he’ll be meeting face-to-face the man who dumped him in his youth with a Dear John letter. Still, devoted Vance wants only what’s best for Jamison.
This is a great set-up for a tense story and romance. First, the main characters, Jamison and Vance, are very likeable. They’re both great guys who think of others first. But they can’t deny the sexual tension erupting between them when they first meet. Vance doesn’t want to fall in love or get into bed with Jamison for round number two, but he’s having a hard time resisting because Jamison wants another shot at love.
I liked the plot device of Vance wanting to see Jamison succeed. Music is Jamison’s life and he only wants to write songs and sing for a living. He has a natural likeableness about him. I’m not sure about his charisma as a rock star because the author glossed over the mechanics and shenanigans of what being on tour is like. I was told they went here and went there, so I was disappointed. If I’m reading a rock star romance, I want to be backstage, onstage, and right in the midst of the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, but that never happened.
I did enjoy how the author strongly focussed on Jamison and Vance, though. The relationship unfolded naturally between them, what a reader would expect after two lovestruck teenagers meet again after one gets dumped via a letter. I do wish Vance would have had a bit more backbone to him, though, because his whole life was all about Jamison. I wanted to know what Vance’s goal was, but he didn’t seem to have one.
As for the secondary characters, they were great. I got to meet Maxim, Twisted, the publicists, and the managers. Some really stood out that I could see being a part of another novel, but they didn’t overshadow the main couple. Great job, author.
All in all, this is a nice start to the series. I enjoyed Jamison and Vance’s struggles to obtain a HEA since the author kept throwing hurdle after hurdle their way. I recommend you give this new series a try. It’s a short read but has enough meat to it to give the novel depth.
A.N. Waugh is an author of MM/MMM+ romances, a pansexual mess, and a firm believer that love is love.
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