Title: The Quest For Perkins Vale
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Series: Legendary Rockstars #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 22, 2015
I’m not sure I know what to think of the girl I’ve searched for since I was thirteen; she isn’t exactly how I remembered her.
I’m twenty-five, a guy and a virgin. Yep, you read that right; I’m still a virgin. Why you ask? Because I met the woman of my dreams when she was still a girl and I’ve been searching for her ever since we met. I’ve saved myself for her, as I believe she saved herself for me. Why again? Because I will love her, like she will love me, when we finally meet, again. I’d like to think it was that simple, but I don’t really know if she will love me. I only hope she will. If she doesn’t, she won’t be the right girl for me, because like I said, I’ve been saving myself for the woman of my dreams. I just don’t know where she is…but I won’t stop searching until I find her. That is my mission. My quest.
L.B. Dunbar has me totally hooked on this series! With each new addition to the Legendary Rock Stars Series, I find myself falling deeper under the spell of this mythical re-telling/fan-fiction and dreading the day this series is complete. The Quest of Perkins Vale has certainly left its mark, distinguishing itself from the first two books with a voice that is uniquely Perkins. L.B. Dunbar manages yet again to keep me dangling, revealing just enough new information to move the story forward, while further securing my emotional investment in the fate of her characters. Perkins and Hollister have a unique history that definitely intrigued me. Watching their story play out and seeing the truth about their lives unfold made them probably my favorite couple of the series so far. This book packed a lot of unexpected emotion and a poignancy that moved me. L.B. Dunbar took the Legendary Rock Stars Series to a whole new level with this one, securing a strong pull to this journey and strengthening my connection to her lovable characters.
“It was wrong. It was horrible, but in some ways he made you. He made you a fighter. He made you strong. He made you compassionate.”
Perkins Vale remained very much a mystery in the first two books of this series, so I was decidedly anxious to get my hands on his story. Aside from the long list of questions I had in regards to the plot, I had an equally long list about his character. L.B. Dunbar unraveled him carefully, revealing a vulnerability and insecurity that made me fall in love with him. Perkins’ huge heart and kind soul left me breathless at times as I enjoyed the great care with which he approached his relationship with Hollister. Hollister quickly became my favorite female in this series, winning me over with her tragic story and undeniable strength. Her quiet courage and unwillingness to be a victim was beautiful and inspiring. Seeing her break free and come into her own was mesmerizing and absolutely perfect. Her tremendous character growth and the development of her relationship with Perkins held my heart hostage as I read The Quest of Perkins Vale. The chemistry between these two sparks off the pages, their inevitable connection deliciously palpable, resulting in a story ripe with heart and just enough heat to keep you begging for more.
“He did say the hunt was like a quest. An adventure. He assured me that love could be an adventure, although not always sweet like legends make it seem.”
One of the things I love about this series is the way in which L.B. Dunbar weaves the past with the present storyline. Seeing how the band members met and developed their sound gives this series a special sense of authenticity, grounding their relationships in an extensive history. This was doubly true with Hollister, her past and Perkins’ having intertwined. In addition to the mystery of Arturo’s disappearance, this couple’s journey had its own clandestine tone, urging me to devour their story until I could untangle the truth of their connection. L.B. Dunbar has expertly designed this series so as to carefully sculpt the overarching tale. Each book overlaps with one another, revealing pieces of the plot from alternative perspectives and filling in gaps with the roles each character played. It’s as if a three dimensional image is being built, each book filling out the story, adding layers of perspective until you can practically see L.B. Dunbar’s world coming to life in front of you. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this awesome series!
“We met before. A long time ago in what I believe was your uncle’s home.”
She only nodded, waiting for me to continue. Her hesitancy told me she might not remember me, and I felt a pinch in my heart. I’d been holding onto the memory for so long. I knew it was dangerous to hope she had held the memory, as well.
“My uncle has many homes. Which one was it?”
I paused. She didn’t remember; it was obvious.
“The one near Lake Avalon.”
She only nodded in an I-see sort of way.
“And you know my uncle, how?”
I began to wonder when this became her question and answer time versus mine.
“Arturo’s father was a friend of his.”
“Arturo? Was he the guy on the other bike?”
I stopped flipping the bacon and pinched my eyebrows at her.
“Yes. Arturo King.”
She continued to look at me without recognition.
“You do know who Arturo King is, right?”
“Isn’t he the lead singer of The Nights?”
“Yeah. The band playing last night at The Round Table.”
I continued to stare at her, hesitant in my words, hopeful that she recognized the band.
“And that makes you….?”
I looked at her suddenly aghast.
“You don’t know who I am?”
“Of course, you’re…” She paused.
I couldn’t believe it. She had no idea who I was.
“You don’t know, do you? How could you get on the bike with me, if you had no idea who I was?”
I began to beat the eggs briskly before dumping them into the ready skillet.
“I…” She stopped.
I returned my surprised face to look at hers.
“Do you make it a habit of going home with strangers? Men you don’t know?”
“I…” She looked hurt suddenly, but her face changed instantly to a hard shield.
“It’s none of your damn business who I go home with or not. You practically kidnapped me. Once I was on the bike, it’s not like I had a choice. Ride or die.”
“Ride or die?” I choked, a side of my lips curling upward, biting back a laugh.
“Yeah. Ride, or jump off and die.”
I returned to flipping the bacon, thoughtful for a moment.
“I would never hurt you,” I said softly, still looking at the sizzling meat in the pan.
Silence filled the space next to the crackle of frying bacon.
“Will you please tell me who you are?” she finally asked, her voice no more than a whisper. “We won’t be strangers once you tell me your name.”
Sighing, I responded, “I’m Perkins Vale.”
Although I’d heard it before, I hardly expected it from her.
“Alan Vale’s son?”
Yep. For someone who hardly recognized Arturo King, and didn’t recognize me as Perkins Vale, she knew Alan Vale?
“You know my father, but not me?” I couldn’t hold it in and laughed without humor.
“Alan Vale was one of the greatest singer-guitarists of all times. His band won Grammys when they were young and old. The Valentines are classic.”
Classic, I thought. Greatest, I almost choked.
“I didn’t know him,” I bit out. Silence filled the air again between us.
Plating eggs and bacon for her, I served her before I did the same for myself. I sat on a stool that made me perpendicular to her, so I could almost face her. She took several small bites of the food as if she was afraid it might poison her, but I devoured the meal, which I hoped prove to her it was safe to eat.
“I’m sorry,” she said softly, “about your dad.”
I took a final gulp of coffee to steel my courage and ask her questions.
“Why were you in a women’s shelter?”
“You think I…” She stopped. “How do you know my name again?” she interrupted herself, as she squinted at me.
“I know your uncle. Women’s shelter? Why?”
“We’ve met before?”
I had already concluded she didn’t remember our first meeting.
“This is not how this is going to happen, Hollister.” I needed to change the direction of this inquisition. “I have questions, then you can have yours.”
Delicately, she placed her fork on her plate and crossed her arms under her chest, forcing her breasts to rise. It distracted me and my body reacted again to her. I had to divert my eyes from the temptation of wanting to know what it felt like to cup them, tug them with my mouth, bite her nipples to see how hard they could get, and make her scream without hardly touching her.
Her gaze on me narrowed again.
“Are you done yet? I know your reputation.”
I laughed, this time in earnest.
“You don’t know me, but you know of my reputation?”
“Who hasn’t heard of the Hands-Free Lover?”
“What?” I choked, although I had heard that God-awful nickname amongst many others.
“Hands-Free Lover. Known to make a woman scream in ecstasy without even touching her.”
“Wow. That’s powerful stuff.” I smiled.
She still held those narrowed steel eyes on me.
“Want to find out?” I added.
Her red lips opened wide in shock, and I’d gone too far again. I’d always had trouble with that, which is why I didn’t know how to communicate with women. I knew the ways of women: how to please them and make them scream, but I couldn’t talk to them. I always felt I’d say the wrong thing. I always asked too many questions, except for the right question all those years ago. My mind slipped back to my purpose with her.
“Never mind.” I straightened my back. “I need to ask you about your uncle.”
She hesitated for a moment.
The surprise wasn’t hidden on my face.
“Joseph? I thought your uncle was Roy.”
She had a thoughtful, contemplative look for a moment.
Something was off. I didn’t believe her, but I let it go for now. I felt this was going too far, too fast again. I needed her to trust me. I wanted to prove she could trust me.
“I need a shower,” I said. “Give me ten minutes and then I promise to drive you back to the shelter after we talk.”
She relaxed her shoulders and let her crossed arms slide down her stomach to form resting hands in her lap. Hanging her head slightly, she nodded to agree with me. Feeling triumphant, I jumped off of my stool, leaving the dishes, and heading for my room. Entering the bathroom, I saw her clearing the dishes and starting the sink to wash them. I had a strange flash of her doing that action again, and I smiled to myself as I entered the shower.
The trouble was I also thought of her standing in only the Swamp the Crows t-shirt, minus the leggings, minus anything else, in front of that sink; or better yet, completely naked against my kitchen counter. I envisioned me coming up behind her and covering her hands on the edge of the counter, holding her captive, while I rubbed myself against her bare ass. I imagined what she would sound like: a soft moan and a slight whimper. I imagined sliding my knee between her thighs, forcing her to spread her legs and then rubbing my throbbing length against her warmth.
I grabbed myself in the shower, unable to resist the heaviness in my hands. I had to get release to stop thinking of her that way. I needed answers first. I slipped my palm upward, jerking several times as I began to imagine what it would feel like to enter her. How tight. How warm. How wet.
I had to place a hand on the slick tile to hold my large body steady as I jerked one more time and spilled into the warm cascade of water. I could only imagine what she would feel like, because I didn’t know. I hadn’t known any woman like that. Ever. At twenty-five, I was still a virgin.
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Don’t miss the rest of the series:
The Legend of Arturo King (Legendary Rock Stars #1)
The Story of Lansing Lotte (Legendary Rock Stars #2)
The Truth of Tristan Lyons (Legendary Rock Stars #4)
The Trials of Guinevere DeGrance (Legendary Rock Stars #5)
L.B. Dunbar loves to read to the point it might be classified as an addiction. The past few years especially she has relished the many fabulous YA authors, the new genre of New Adult, traditional romances, and historical romances. A romantic at heart, she’s been accused of having an overactive imagination, as if that was a bad thing. Author of the Sensations Collection, Sound Advice, Taste Test, Fragrance Free, Touch Screen, and the upcoming Sight Words, she is also author of the Legendary Rock Star series, beginning with The Legend of Arturo King. She grew up in Michigan, but has lived in Chicago for longer, calling it home with her husband and four children.