Playing the Pauses Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway!


We are excited to celebrate the release of PLAYING THE PAUSES by Michelle Hazen. This is the second installment in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Follow the tour for reviews, excerpts, guest posts, plus enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!  

“Hazen’s use of the frantic energy of a rock band’s tour contrasts perfectly with the slow and seductive dance this couple engages in. Readers are sure to enjoy following The Red Letters on their drama-fueled climb to fame. “ —RT Book Reviews

“To call Playing the Pauses an erotic novel alone would be to belie its equally strong explorations of the boundaries between personal, career, and sexual growth.” —Midwest Book Review

When an ultra-independent tour manager meets the one musician she can’t resist, their kinks fit together perfectly, but their lives don’t. Michelle Hazen is back with PLAYING THE PAUSES, the second, stand-alone installment in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. Fans of Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive Series and YOU REALLY GOT ME by Erika Kelly, will love this bad boy, friends with benefits romance with a dash of BDSM mixed in.

Playing the Pauses (Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll Book 2) by [Hazen, Michelle]

Playing the Pauses

 Michelle Hazen

 March 5, 2018


Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll #2 Series

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 290



Rock Star Dom + his Queen of the Spreadsheet employee = KRYPTONITE

Kate is a globe-trotting tour manager who can’t be tied down.

Danny is a Dominant rock star and tattoo artist who needs her help to explore his true kinks.

Kate just got her big break, running an international tour for a rising band. Her job is everything to her…at least until she meets the band’s enigmatic bass player.

After they collide in one unforgettably erotic night on a hotel balcony, he comes to her with a proposition. As a former BDSM club performer, Danny’s spent so long fulfilling other people’s fantasies that now he wants to reclaim his own—and he says she’s the only one who can help.

Getting caught in bed with her rock star boss could cost her career, and yet there’s something about Danny’s quiet intensity that she can’t resist. He steals her heart, hard. But the end of the tour is approaching, and their jobs are headed two different directions.

To be together one of them will have to stop touring, but the only thing they crave as much as each other is music.

** This book can be read and understood as a standalone, but does contain spoilers for earlier books in the series. **


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Detailed and well-written, Playing the Pauses on the surface has everything I could want in a rock star novel yet half of the way through, my attention waned mainly because of the pacing and the character of Kate who struck me as the epitome of a waffler.

For me, Kate and Danny never really clicked. From the description, I expected Kate to become Danny’s sexual mentor, but that never came about. It was as if the thought had been tossed out there, maybe for titillation, but never came to fruition. There were toys, however. (Take that as you will.)

Playing the Pauses is in the category I affectionately call: your-mileage-may-vary. The novel will work for many, many readers, just, unfortunately, not me.


I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


rating: 3-but

3 butterflies out of 5 butterflies


Copyright © 2018 Michelle Hazen

Somehow, our rhythms just…fit together. In another life, I’d be asking myself if maybe, just possibly, he might be The One.

Except it’s not another life, it’s my life and if I find The One? I can give up the man, give up the job, or spend half my time missing my career and the other half missing my lover.

A fist squeezes inside my throat, and I scowl out the window of the taxi. I’m being stupid, letting the fantasy of this week spill over into the reality of my life. I’ve sacrificed everything for my dreams, and I’m not giving them up for a guy. Besides, I know I’m not built for picket fences and office jobs.

And what I feel when I look at Danny doesn’t change that.

I fight the urge to curl my knees into my chest. I wish I had a few minutes alone instead of heading back to the crew—all their knowing eyes waiting for me to lose myself in lust with a musician like so many girls before me.

Danny’s hand flips over and he catches my fingers. He ducks his head and finds my eyes, the question clear in the air between us. I don’t know why he ever speaks, because he can communicate so well with his silence. But right now, even that small familiarity strangles my chest and sends my gaze fleeing for the window.

When I don’t answer, his thumb strokes over my knuckles, and then he takes his hand away.

My fingers twitch at the loss and I look up and realize he’s taking the ring off his middle finger. He picks up my left hand and slides it onto my thumb.

Something jolts fiercely through me; I tell myself it must be fear of discovery. There’s no way it could be excitement because to a girl like me, a ring is just a cage. “Danny, you know I can’t wear this…”

“You play with it all the time. You like it.” He shrugs. “Keep it.”

I glance up. To Danny, it’s really that simple. “But everybody will know it’s yours,” I say hoarsely.

“We’re still stuck on what other people think? Seriously?” His jaw tightens.

I take off his ring, the silver warm like his body, and squeeze it inside my fist until the edges bite my flesh.

“Danny, I’m not ashamed that I’m sleeping with you.” Up front, the cab driver shifts in his seat. I wonder if he’s a Red Letters fan, if he recognized Danny. Well, screw it. If he did, he’d better hear this part too. “There is nothing about you that embarrasses me, nothing I’m not proud of.”

“Maybe not.” His shoulders are hard. “But you think if people see us together instead of separately, that makes you less.”

I shake my head, because he doesn’t understand. He’s the talent, not the crew. Everyone always falls for the star, and Danny O’Neil has no notion of what it feels like to be a cliché.


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MichelleAuthorPhotoRetouch_Full-Resolution copyAbout Michelle Hazen:

 Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.


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