Jul 19 2014 11:07am

First Look: Mina Vaughn’s How to Reprimand Your Rock Star (July 21, 2014)

How to Reprimand Your Rock Star by Mina VaughnMina Vaughn
 How to Reprimand Your Rock Star
Pocket Star / July 21, 2014 / $4.99 digital

Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…

Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?

As the follow up to How to Discipline Your Vampire, Mina Vaughn takes a foray into the world of New Adult and adds a bit of female domination to the mix. Thea, short for Athena, is a star basketball player at the University of Connecticut; she’s also a freshman who comes across the sexy rock star, Keaton Lowe. After a sexy interlude in the locker room sparks fly.

Mina Vaughn’s New Adult work is one of the truest portrayals of a college freshman I’ve read. Here we have a girl who has everything going for her, but she’s still never fully complete or satisfied. This is a very real portrayal of the typical college freshman. There’s a sense of having a whole new world open to you and wanting everything yet gaining nothing. In addition, I loved that Thea needed guidance both in terms of dealing with her newfound sexuality and balancing a relationship with Keaton with her commitment to her basketball team. Vaughn solves this problem in the portrayal of Thea’s house mother, Scarlett, a young woman who introduces Thea to the BDSM scene.

I loved the fact that Thea had a mentor for both her life on the court and between the sheets. In addition, the age gap between the mentor and mentee wasn’t too great as to be unbelievable. There were a few improbabilities such as Thea perfecting Shibari (a really cool way of tying people up) really quickly, but overall Thea has growing pains which I loved. In addition, another one of Thea’s classmates is also entering the lifestyle so BDSM isn’t just her “dirty little secret.” Instead, it’s a chance for her to grow emotionally and physically. Rather, the dirty little secret is her relationship with Keaton. She does makes some juvenile decisions in order to pursue the relationship but given that she’s still a teenager/early twenties, these probably aren’t the worst decisions in the world.

Keaton is almost an absentee hero, he pops up here and there but Thea is really the heart of the story. People might wonder why at some points in the story she refuses this or that request of Keaton or has trouble making up her mind. The point remains the Thea is not a typical New Adult heroine. She isn’t super troubled with some earth shattering emotional trauma nor is she a Mary-Sue heroine who gets along with everyone. Instead she’s a typical freshman focused on basketball, her newfound romance and how to juggle all the commitments in her life.

Thea also doesn’t live a life of glamor, even as a star basketball player. She lives in a typical dorm with her good friend and her ranking as a freshman shows. She’s not team captain, nor does she hold an improbable status at school. Many New Adult heroines have something that makes them extra “special,” some tie to their identity that they can classify themselves by such as “the good girl on campus” or “the cool girl with dark issues.” Thea fits more of the mold of  “a really good freshman basketball player who happens to be into BDSM.” For all intents and purposes, she’s not really a standout on campus. Keaton’s more of the famous one in the relationship.

It’s nice to see BDSM in a New Adult setting, given that college and the period of the early twenties are a time for exploration. A time for sexploration is also a given. Whether or not it’s considered full or traditional BDSM is up to the discretion of the reader, but given the content you’re in for a sexy time.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of How to Reprimand Your Rock Star by Mina Vaughn, out July 24, 2014.

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Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.

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