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Janis Ratliff has tried everything to find a job. She even tries for a position in the IT department of a record label. But Furmy, the manager of The Hopping Hippos, a world-famous rock band, has different ideas. He makes her the band's personal assistant and Janis delivers, whipping the young men into shape. What Furmy doesn't know is that Janis has two problems. The first is, she is in love with the sexy rockstars. The second is, they hate her. But Janis needs the job, so she keeps going until one day, drummer Wiggs sees colours…


Trigger Warnings: This is a rockstar reverse harem romance which contains adult themes like explicit sexual content, including MM action and is therefore intended for a mature audience. There is mention of drug abuse and talking about overdosing (which doesn't happen in the story but is referred to), mental health issues and (initial) bullying of the new guy, Riot, by the old band members, although the matter is resolved fairly quickly.

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The Book's Creation

A while back, I was talking to a close friend of mine about music and recordings. She told me that her husband had been a member of a rock band for many years. It wasn't long after listening to her tales of band life on the road, that I felt inspired to write a reverse harem rockstar romance. The Hopping Hippos made great progress until I came to a point where I wasn't sure where to take it from there and I let the matter rest for a while. Some time passed, I took part in a friends-to-lovers anthology for which I wrote the short version of Fromance in a day. It just flowed out of me.


Shortly before this anthology was unpublished again, the publishers posted about an upcoming rockstar romance anthology called Rock My World. When I saw the post, I immediately thought of my Hopping Hippos and decided to use it for entry. The word count and progress of what I had written so far were perfectly suited to keep within the maximum word count of 30,000 words. After the anthology was unpublished, I was free to publish the book solo, so here we are the publishing date is the 12th of October 2023.

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Janis stands, and everyone follows, filing out of the room. It’s a bit of an anti-climax. The band has just switched off after watching my performance via video call. They haven’t said a word. No one said congratulations, welcome, or anything like that. If I were a girl, I’d probably pout now. At least, that’s what my younger sisters always do if they feel ignored.

“I think congratulations are in order,” Janis says and walks over to me, extending her hand.

I open my arms for a hug, but she’s not going for it.

“Look, first things first, save yourself the flirting. You’ve got the job. You don’t have to kiss ass anymore.”

Woah, that left hook took me totally by surprise.


“I’m the band’s assistant,” she informs me, her eyes steely as she looks into mine, asserting her authority. “That means your glorified babysitter. I expect a professional attitude from you. You’re new, and you’ll have a difficult start. Everyone will hate you. You’re replacing Rickie. Fans will hate you, the band hates you, and I’m the only one who doesn’t yet. So, behave yourself and keep it that way.”

I feel anger rising inside me now, so I square my shoulders, towering over her short, curvy frame.

“Why is it my fault that the guy OD’ed? I didn’t put the fucking needle in his arm,” I growl.

“No, you didn’t. But he was a well-liked member of the band, and he was their friend since high school. I’m the only one who comes in here with a clean slate, just like you. So don’t cut your own flesh by antagonising me.”

“Fine. No flirting. But just for the record, I love older women, and I happen to think you’re hot as hell. I don’t kiss anyone’s ass. I’m too good for that – and way too sexy. I don’t need to. So when I looked at you like I wanted to eat you up, that was exactly what I meant to do.”

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Reviews for The Hopping Hippos

A certain feel good vibe that manages to be laugh out loud fun, smoking hot sexy and spiritual at the same time.


After reading several books by Tirza Schaefer, it's no big secret that I adore her writing. And I didn't want to miss this novella here.

The Hopping Hippos has all those qualities I love in a good romance, with a little extra special something. A unique and irresistible Tirza Schaefer charm, that has set her on my list of all-time favourite authors. A certain feel good vibe that manages to be laugh out loud fun, smoking hot sexy and spiritual at the same time, and leaves readers with a smile on their face and warmth in their heart after turning the last page. That kind of special something which makes me want to read everything she writes, even if it's on toilet paper.

But back to this novella, because I digress.
It is the story of Janice, a middle aged woman with grown up daughters, who suddenly finds herself the personal assistant aka 'glorified babysitter' of a famous rock band called The Hopping Hippos. Great pay, especially since Janice needed the money, but a big catch. No one else wanted the job.
Of course everyone expects Janice to quit fast, especially the cocky self-assured rockstars. None of the previous PAs lasted anyway. As it turns out however, underestimating the 'hot Mama' is not something the badboys should do. And I swear I burst out laughing seeing 5 bulky, inked, badass guys behave like teenagers in front of a school director when faced with diminutive Janice, and doing what she asked because they couldn't really figure out how to NOT do it.

This is how their story starts, but I won't tell you more about it, since I don't want to spoil. So I'm going to be a tease instead and tell you what to expect.

A nicely layered why choose RH rockstar romance, with a great plot and a lot of depth, especially considering the shorter page count.
The fun moments are guaranteed to make you chuckle, if not even laugh out loud.
The characters are all wonderfully written and beautifully fleshed out, each of them with their individual voice.
The smut... A super hot mix of sweet and wild, hard and gentle, all around respectful yet totally arousing... Hot hot smut. - Somebody call the fire department because those scenes are fire!!
But the best part of it all was the feeling leaping from the page, accompanied by a great insight into human nature and nicely complemented by a light note of spirituality that manages to impart a subtle feel good vibe without being preachy.

I loved Janice. So genuine and sexy and determined. And I loved her effect on the notoriously wild badboys of the rock band. They did come a long way from the 'shitty bastards' we first get to meet. Apart from Riot of course. The new guy who didn't fit in. He was totally awesome. My favourite of them all.
And I must tip my hat for the way different themes were gently entwined within this romance. From racism to prejudice, mental health and drug abuse, to inclusivity, acceptance and love in it's purest form, this tale has it all and more.

Tirza Schaefer's books are soulful romances touching readers' hearts just like a big warm hug. An off the charts hot 'warm hug' that is. :D
And this novella here is just perfect if you'd like to get a feel for her books.

But you don't have to take my word for it.
Just give it a try.

Happy reading everyone

May you 'feel loved, wanted and seen.'

The Magic Book Corner, International Book Blogger

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This review is for "The Hopping Hippos" by Tirza Schaefer.


I absolutely loved this story. It's a reverse harem romance with a mature FMC and a rockband. There is also some MM action in it and the steamy scenes are really hot!

The FMC, Janis (named after Janis Joplin) is taking on the job as PA for the band and is tasked to look after them while the prepare for a world tour and also travels with them. The most part of the story is set in Atlanta, GA, before the tour.

I fell in love with Riot, the new band member at once. Dayum, that's one hot man! And the others are really a bunch of dipshits in the beginning but then things slowly turn around and they all get together. There is drummer Wiggs who has ADHD and sees colours. Tyler, the playboy, is the lead guitarist, Reece, on bass guitar, is a musical genius and thoroughly fed up with partying. And then there is Shane, the singer, who always needs all the attention or he sulks.

But then Janis comes along and shows them that life can be different and that "adulting" can be satisfying, too. She helps them heal their wounds and supports them but she is also really strict and tells them off when she has to. And after they get over themselves, they appreciate her for it.

This story is charming, hot and deep, unusual for a contemporary romance, as it explores a bit of spirituality, just a bite-size, so it's not overwhelming but it lends another very interesting aspect to the story. I'm really in love with Janis and her band and if you ask me, do I have any complaints? Yes!!! I wanted it to go on for longer! The story and its characters had me completely enthralled and I wasn't ready to let them go. But luckily, this amazing author has more books to her list.

Bellamy Montgomery, Reader

The Hopping Hippos by Tirza Schaefer.


I loved this story! One mum whose kids are at college takes on a job as PA to a band of rockstars who take the lifestyle too seriously and she has to clean them up and get them ready for a world tour. No easy job but she is tough as nails and whips them into shape. And things evolve from there. It's a reverse harem story, but it's not just everyone pouncing on her all at once. There's a development to it which is so well done, considering this is only a novella. The characters grow and develop nicely and the pacing is perfectly balanced.


I love the author's sense of humour, too. She made me laugh in places but there are also very steamy scenes that had me mop my brow. The way the characters interact and ultimately care for each other after a time of war and bullying the new guy is also really touching and you come away with a feeling of happiness that leaves a smile on your face.


Such a great, multilayered and also deep story!

Tuari Eagleswing, Reader

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These people felt real, human, sometimes flawed.


This author is one of my favourite writers of lush, whimsical and sometimes spiritual, love stories, each of which comes with lashings of hot reverse harem sex.

In this story, Janis is a mum of two, divorced, an ordinary woman in her early forties. She’s normal, like a lot of us reading now, yet she manages to secure a job as PA to the Hopping Hippos, a daftly named rock band who are incredibly famous and out of control. They need a firm hand, and the band manager thinks Janis can provide just that.

When I say, ‘firm hand,’ I don’t mean in a disciplinarian, Mistress sense, but a loving, motherly sense, until she and Riot meet and he sees stars. A thirty-something man into older women, he is drawn to Janis as a cat is lured towards cream, and it isn’t long before the other Hippos, (all hot, all delicious) see Janis as more than an annoying inconvenience, spoiling their drug-taking, boozing, bonking fun, but as a sensual woman.

There is a lot to enjoy here. The Hippos seem like man-babies at first, but they at least are willing to learn and listen when Janis tells them some home truths. There are lessons on bullying and, as one of the band, Wiggs, has ADHD, an interesting take on how Janis is able to help him too. One of the author’s signature themes is Reiki and auras, and those subjects are covered too, as the band gradually find their inner peace and, in doing so, their love for Janis.

Yes, this is wish-fulfilment. Yes, it’s a beautiful tale that is more fantasy than real life. People in her stories are more understanding and accepting than in real life, but who cares? You’ll either love the author’s work after this story, or pass on it. I love the fact she is willing to go there with different subjects that are near to her heart, and weaves characters that learn from each other and achieve that golden Happy Ever After. And the sex is hot too, both between Janis and her harem of rock stars and the men discovering some of them are just as into each other. It’s a sexy brew.

Oh, and worth mentioning that the world Tirza Schaefer has drawn feels authentic. Too often, rock star romances can feel like they’ve been written with dress-up dollies for characters, but these people felt real, human, sometimes flawed.

I really enjoyed this story. Rock on!

Jayne Lockwood, a.k.a. Lady Jaguar, Author

Review for The Hopping Hippos by Tirza Schaefer


I loved this story! One mum whose kids are at college takes on a job as PA to a band of rockstars who take the lifestyle too seriously and she has to clean them up and get them ready for a world tour. No easy job but she is tough as nails and whips them into shape. And things evolve from there. It's a reverse harem story, but it's not just everyone pouncing on her all at once. There's a development to it which is so well done, considering this is only a novella. The characters grow and develop nicely and the pacing is perfectly balanced.


I love the author's sense of humour, too. She made me laugh in places but there are also very steamy scenes that had me mop my brow. The way the characters interact and ultimately care for each other after a time of war and bullying the new guy is also really touching and you come away with a feeling of happiness that leaves a smile on your face.


Such a great, multilayered and also deep story!

Sally Sawyer, Reader

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This story has it all!


I read The Hopping Hippos, and I absolutely loved it! What a brilliant RH romance, packed with everything that makes Schaefer unique in the romance genre. Her mix of adult (and actually mature) characters, swoon-worthy romance, hilarious banter, spirituality, wholesome relationships, and absolutely smoking hot steam is mind-blowingly good. And the story about The Hopping Hippos only strengthens my opinion.

The Hopping Hippos is about Janis, a mother whose kids have flown the nest, and who is now looking for a new job. But it's proving harder than expected since she's been out of a job for so long... until she suddenly lands a dream position as a PA for a famous rock band - The Hopping Hippos.

One of the first things she partakes in is sitting in on auditions for a new band member. Unfortunately, The Hopping Hippos' keyboard player is in a recovery centre due to his drug addiction, and a new one is needed to replace him. So in comes Riot. And boy, does he cause a Riot in Janis! The two practically have sparks flying across the room at first sight, and you cannot help but drool a little on the e-reader as this goes on.

(Sorry you have to wait while I pick my jaw off the floor.)

Anyway... So onwards they go, boarding a plane to Atlanta, where the rest of the band is located. Once there, Janis wastes no time enforcing her rules, perhaps breaking some balls in the process, but she really does show she's not one to be underestimated. The other band members (Reece, Tyler, Wiggs, and Shane) all have different reactions to her methods and work ethics, and it's such an entertaining ride to see the chapters play out. Because you get insight into each of these characters' minds, even though this is written in first person view. Yes, you read that right - they all have their own chapters. And they are wonderfully written, their voices are clear, and their personalities shine throughout.

But problems are bound to arise, of course. Not only due to Janis' arrival but also because of Riot. He is an outsider, a replacement, and not all of the other band members are particularly open to him being accepted into the group. What happens next, I'll leave for the reader to experience, as I don't want to spoil it, but it's a ride from start to finish; trust me on this.

The qualities of this story are too many to mention, but one is definitely the characters. Every character is their own person, with their own backstories, personalities, beliefs, and morals. And they are all so believable, so palpable, you would think they are real. Not like many other RH men that can come across as cardboard copies of each other. No, you won't find any of that in Schaefer's books. The same comes for the female leads. Even though they are often mature women, they are all different, and Janis is one helluva firecracker. But she's also down to earth, spiritual, and believes in the good of people. And I loved that about her.

The pace is on point, the humour is laugh-out-loud on the greatness scale, and the steam is so hot, you'd best have a cold shower once you're done. Watch it, so your Kindle doesn't catch on fire!

And if you haven't read anything from Schaefer, you're sorely missing out! I highly recommend her, and this anthology, if only for you to enjoy the magic that is The Hopping Hippos.

Catrin Russell, Author

I fell in love with Wiggs.


This book was AMAZING! I really loved this book so much. The characters are well fleshed out, the story is engaging and it was great that everyone was so unique. I particularly fell in love with Wiggs, the drummer of the Hopping Hippos, the world famous rock band. All their members fall in love with Janis, an older woman, who takes on the job as their personal assistant.

The start is quite a bumpy ride for them all because there is a new member, Riot, and the old ones try to bully both Janis and him. But then things turn around and it gets really hot with Janis and Riot and Wiggs have a thing going, too. There are some funny scenes that made me laugh out loud, others are really deep and touching and the spice is off the charts. I loved all of it.

I received an ARC copy by the author and am so happy I got to read this. When the book is published, I will definitely get a print copy for my shelf!

Zoe McAllistair, Reader

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The Hopping Hippos


I must admit, the title alone made me smile. And the story definitely left me with that, too. A big smile. It's a wonderfully written reverse harem between a mature woman and an entire rock band. But it's not only sizzling and steamy but it also goes deep. It shows the worst and the best in human nature, and has time for an excursion into Kirlian photography, which I personally hadn't heard of before, so I researched and found out it's real.

The characters are well-crafted and have great detail and development for a story this short and the plot is well-paced and engaging. All in all, a little jewel in the ocean of romance books. I'm looking forward to reading more of this author.

Morrison Wilderman, Reader

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Delightfully fresh and honest and holds humour, spice and depth!

I read the story "The Hopping Hippos" by Tirza Schaefer. I was not familiar with the reverse harem trope previously and saw it as quite the experiment. The story definitely has some very hot scenes and there is some man-on-man sex in there but the focus is overall on the female main character, Janis.


I'm not sure what I expected going in but I came out pleasantly surprised at the diversity of characters, all with unique strengths and weaknesses and the very tender way the author brings them to life. You cannot help but be charmed and I had moments of laughing out loud, as well as being deeply touched. I will definitely look into reading more books by this author. Her style of writing is delightfully fresh and honest and holds humour, spice and depth.

Rudolph Granmoddle, Reader

Janis was awesome.


What happens when you get hired to babysit a famous rock band? You fall for them. 5 guys all messed up from fame and trying to figure out their lives. Janis comes in and helps them figure things out in a unique way. This was a great read.

Kellie Waldron, Reader

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I loved the story.

Janis had just become the personal assistant to the Hopping Hippos. This rock band is in desperate need of someone to help keep then in line. They all ended up getting more than they bargained for. This is a good, quick read. I loved their story.

Lisa Rodriguez, Reader

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The book was amazing!


The book was amazing, I loved every minute of it. It’s an RH novel and one of my favorites by far. The dynamic between the characters is perfect.

Sydney Reid, Reader

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This is a sexy hot read!


This book is about a women in her 40s. She gets a job as an assistant for a rock band, The Hopping Hippos. They're in there late 20s, 5 of them. She goes in like a bull in a chain shop to sort all their mess out.

This is a sexy hot read very spicy fantastic read!

Lisa, Reader

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I loved this book!


OMG! I loved this book! It was so awesome. It's an RH & fell in love with the guys & loved the dynamic!! I can't recommend this book, or this author enough!

Liz Ranne, Reader

The Hopping Hippos

Janis is a stay at home mom that is just trying to get back into the work world. When she has an interview for an IT position, but mistakenly gets sent to the wrong office, she suddenly becomes the assistant for the band, Hopping Hippos.

Riot is the newest band member and she gets tasked with doing his orientation. Right off, they both admit that they have feelings for each other and know that they can’t act on them.

When Wiggs also develops feelings from her, everyone’s feelings can’t be ignored any longer and it is epic! 😜

This is super spicy RH novella, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lindsey Acree, Reader

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This book brought out all of my emotions.

The author did an incredible job of writing this story. Janis is an amazingly well written character! The bandmates started off on a rocky slope, doing all the wrong things but seeing them redeem themselves as well as good into who they really are is amazing! This book brought out all of my emotions as I was reading this. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

Heather Arbuckle, Reader

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This story has it all!


I loved The Hopping Hippos by Tirza Schaefer! This story has it all! A reverse harem with an older leading lady, a band of hot AF rockstars, a great story and interesting characters! The steam is off-the-charts, the main characters are wonderful and and their dynamic, how it starts and how everything slowly changes between them all is really deep and interesting. I had no idea about that aura stuff, either. I am going to have a look if I can find someone near me to take a picture of mine. I'm really curious now. I loved the whole story!!!

Terry Lake, Reader

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Delightfully fresh and honest and holds humour, spice and depth!

I've read The Hopping Hippos and absolutely loved it! It's got everything, a great story, spice galore and amazing characters that practically leap off the page. Can't wait to read the other stories, too!

Rae Landon, Reader

The Hopping Hippos


This is a first for me reading this author, and I can honestly say I enjoyed this Reverse Harem novella based on an older personal assistant and her younger rockstars. I loved Janis and Riot, Wiggs, Shane, Tyler and Reece.


What started as the guys disliking Riot for taking their ex-keyboardist's place, after nearly dying Ricky entered rehab and decided he didn't want to go back to the band, and Janis for spoiling their badboy ways, ends totally different.

Ann L, Reader

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Keeps you wanting more!

Great little love story that gives you a bit of everything! It's a short, steamy read!

Isira Soliz, Reader

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This book had darker themes hidden under the surface!

This book is literally every groupie’s dream!


‘The Hopping Hippos’ was such a fun read for me! It’s definitely not what i was expecting, but I like a bit of unpredictability.


This book tells the tale of an older woman finding love again after devoting the last 20 years of her life to her children and nothing else. Except, she was not expecting to find it with the most famous rock band in the world.


Janis was not at ALL what I was expecting, for some reason I expected her to be like this total pushover that would shy away to any sort of conflict. instead, she was the exact opposite. She was a literal girl boss, who wasn’t long with getting this rowdy band into shape! She was an absolute no-nonsense gal who was just very cool to read about.


I feel like this book had darker themes hidden under the surface, especially considering it talks briefly about drug abuse and general/extreme poverty. All of which was dealt with very delicately and in a way that was completely respectful and just generally well written.


I really enjoyed reading about the band, their history and friendship warmed my heart. I loved that they were close enough to not judge each other, especially Wiggs, and that they just have this eternal friendship that seems unbreakable.


CAN WE TALK ABOUT SHANE FOR A SEC? I SWEAR, TIRZA SCHAEFER MADE HIM SOUND SO SLEAZY IN THE BEGINNING BUT HE HAD SUCH A COOL CHARACTER ARC. HE DID A FULL 180. He was so sweet and loving by the end, and I just need more Shane content (Tirza, please write a book about just Shane. I will love you forever).


Any Motley Crue fans out there will relish in the fact that I pictured Vince when I read about Shane!!


Anyway, this is a genuinely fabulous book that is perfect for any rock lovers out there and any romance readers. I hope you like this one as much as I do!!!

Anna, Book Blogger

This is a must read!


Older woman, younger man or men, you bet. Janis did not think when going for an IT interview after years of being a stay at home mom that she would ever become the PA of 5 very talented, yet party hearty rockstars but she did. Now to fight her very inappropriate feelings for said younger men. Especially when 1 keeps pushing those boundaries. This is a must read.

Dusty Shirley, Reader

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Very good book!

Was a very good book. I enjoy reading it and will be checking out more books by this author.

Midnight, Reader

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This book had darker themes hidden under the surface!

I love a good reverse harem/why choose romance and this fits the bill perfectly. Janis is the assistant to the rock band, The Hopping Hippos, and after an adjustment period, they start to get along… well.

The chemistry is out of this world hot and this beautiful fast read is full of heart and healing as well. Definitely a perfect rhythm for me.

Holly Rife, Reader

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