Monday, December 20, 2010

REVIEW: Chick Band by Rakelle Valencia

Chick Band is a lesbian romance, dosed liberally with erotica, wrapped up in a rock-star soap opera - and that is so totally not a bad thing!  

The book opens up with an unusual scene of lesbian bondage that doesn’t really play to any of the reader’s expectations. With one participant who begins the scene asleep, and another who is wavering between emotional disinterest and sexual urgency, it’s an awkward scenario all around. Although the significance of that awkwardness isn’t immediately apparent, it’s the first sign that Juleen has had her fill of emotionless, kinky, one-night stands.
Enter Darci. She is the exact opposite of Darci - folk where she’s rock, shy where she’s bold, timid where she’s adventurous, safe where she’s dangerous, and pretty where she’s sultry. Fortunately for both of them, opposites attract, and what begins as a friendship and musical partnership ultimately becomes a relationship.
When you’re dealing with wannabe rock-stars, however, no relationship ever progresses easily (or logically).
Both women are dealing with emotional commitments to their music, as well as other less tangible commitments to the friends and lovers in their respective lives. Juleen isn’t above a quick heterosexual fling, if it helps her to accomplish what she needs, and Darci is only just coming to terms with the fact that she’s a lesbian, so heterosexual sex still offers a sense of security and complacency.
Over the course of the novel our two lovers come together, drift apart, renew their affections, fight, make up enough times that you just want to handcuff them together and make them talk - even if Juleen would enjoy that a bit too much. It’s frustrating, but it’s also realistic. Making matters worse, as their respective careers begin to take off, and their collaborations become more and more a source of tension, it becomes harder and harder for the girls to separate their personal and professional lives.

Fortunately, the novel is also filled with just enough supporting characters to relieve the tension, although Ms. Valencia is careful to hold them back from dominating any of the scenes. This is really a tale of two rock-stars in love, and at the end of the day, the stage is theirs.

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