Sep 25 2013 5:30pm

First Look: Nico Rosso’s Heavy Metal Heart (September 30, 2013)

Heavy Metal Heart by Nico RossoNico Rosso
Heavy Metal Heart (Demon Rock #1)
Carina Press / September 30, 2013 / $2.99 digital

Rock Star. Front man. Demon. A descendant of satyrs and the lead singer in a band that feeds on the energy of its audience, Trevor Sand is growing weary of the constant need to perform. He needs the legend of the Muse—a woman destined to be a demon’s eternal companion and only source of sustenance—to be true.

Misty Grant has never been bold, but when Trevor singles her out among hundreds at a concert, she takes him up on his explicit offer. During an erotic night in his hotel room, she learns that his touch is as electric as his lyrics. But when Trevor’s demon is aroused, her desire turns to horror and she runs.

Knowing that he’ll die if he loses her, Trevor must find Misty before his enemies do. But even if he can save her, he knows that regaining the trust of his fated Muse will be his greatest challenge.

Heavy Metal Heart is first in the new Demon Rock series by Nico Rosso, a paranormal erotica series dense with heavy metal attitude. Hero Trevor Sand is a demon musician, centuries old, who must feed on the energy of audiences. He and his bandmates have reinvented themselves over time, both physically and in their music, and currently present themselves as a popular metal band. The idea of immortal musicians, and symbiotic relationships with audiences, is hardly new, but Rosso nicely sets up Trevor’s hard rocking persona, one that will be recognizable to anyone who’s ever watched “Behind the Music” or a rock documentary.

My favorite part of the story is how music is not only subject, but setting. Even the paranormal elements are secondary to the musical culture which sustains Trevor and his bandmates. The familiarity of that culture makes the magical parts of the story feel more grounded and real, which is helpful in such a short novel.

The TV man, Roger Toms, still smirked, waiting for an answer. The other uptight guest scowled in an ageless look of mocking disapproval. Morning talk shows. Little bumpers of relief for news channels that normally spread fear and images of lurid death. So maybe Trevor could give the viewers of this local LA station some relief. A little rock and roll to spike their coffee. And promoting the latest tour wouldn’t hurt either. Bigger audiences brought more power. Toasting Roger with his glass, Trevor gave him a wink. “I’ll sleep when I’m facedown in a shallow grave.”

Trevor’s ironic distance from humans and his weary anger contrasts with his longing for his destined Muse, whom legend says will become supernaturally bonded to him.  While his bandmates are skeptical, Trevor still has hope, which makes him more appealing than he might seem on the surface.

If the legends of the Muse were true, finding a soul mate wasn’t just a matter of sex and love and heartbreak and marriage. It was literally life and death. High stakes for one who’d lived for thousands of years. And if the myth was somehow true, his Muse would no doubt have the same green eyes that haunted him whenever he wrote a love song.

… Smoke. That was all he was filled with. For how long? Two hundred years. Two thousand. More. Singing about women was easy, but he couldn’t remember their faces. They weren’t the answer to this hunger. The green eyes of a woman he’d never met shook him like a distant storm that never arrived.

Meanwhile, heroine Misty works in movies, but unfortunately for her, not dealing with red carpets and awards shows; her special effects job is currently trapping her in endless compositing and reworking of a nauseatingly cute digital puppy. She’s a huge fan of Trevor’s music not only because she feels a connection to his lyrics, but also sees rock as a freedom she longs for.

How rock-and-roll was it when Trevor stormed off the set of that TV show? She’d had enough of everyone else’s projects. Everyone else’s opinions. Could she kick open doors the way he could?  “I’m going to that show.” Saying it again made it more real. If only the day would fast-forward so she could start living that night. … ”…And—” she spoke it out loud to convince herself, “—I might sneak backstage…I’m going to make this night happen.”

At the concert, Misty and Trevor connect across the room, and she becomes immersed in the world created by the band almost as if it is a separate, magical universe in which her erotic bonding with Trevor seems inevitable. But Rosso doesn’t leave it there; like a hangover, reality returns the morning after, giving them a few more obstacles to overcome before they can truly be together. 

Though the supernatural bonding element and the short time period of the story don’t allow a lot of space for Misty and Trevor’s romantic relationship to grow, there’s enough musical atmosphere between and around them to keep their erotic encounters entertaining and to set the stage for their future together.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Heavy Metal Heart by Nico Rosso before its release (September 30, 2013):

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Victoria Janssen is the author of three novels and numerous short stories. She also reads a lot. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriajanssen or find out more at

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