Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Seth Clayton
Music is drummer Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for him to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when a handsome stranger in a dive bar turns out to be someone he might know, everything changes.
Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to tattooed rock star Tim, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.
This book was an emotional rollercoaster for me. Not the story, but the writing. I was really aggravated for the first third of the book. I just couldn’t get emotionally invested, and didn’t particularly like either of the guys. It was frustrating.
But then things started turning around. The turning point was after the baseball game, it was hot as hell and it finally felt genuine! There was minimal to moderate dirty talk, role play, and power exchange but it felt organic. Prior to this all their interactions had been awkward cheesy half a**ed role playing, falling neither here nor there.
So now I’m on board! Things are hot and sweet and hopeful… cueeeee the cliche miscommunication. I was soon miffed when the newly formed butterflies in my stomach started churning. I knew things would work out fine, but after a rough start I wasn’t happy to have my happiness abruptly taken away. And it was such a trope.
But it didn’t drag on too long, or beat a dead horse. Things resolved relatively easily, and I thought the author did a good job of having a happy ending in all aspects (family etc) without being overly/fakily perfect. In the end, I was happy again. It was a slightly rocky road for me, but I could see other people having a better experience.
I’m not sure if the audio negatively affected my rating, I didn’t love it. I’ve only listened to Bowl Full of Cherries by Seth Clayton, and his narration made me round UP my rating in that case. He also narrated the PsyCop series, and I’m inclined to think Jordan Castillo Price would pick a good narrator for that masterpiece. But I digress. The narration may have contributed to my dislike of the characters initially, but that’s not entirely fair. And I did end up thinking he did a good job as I liked the characters more. He pulled off the dirty talk well with passion without being porny. He pulled off emotion without being theatrical. So I ended up liking him as well.
Overall I would recommend this book, and will look into reading the rest of the series. I liked Lane Hayes’s Better Than series, and those had a similar feel to this. I think their a good writer, and write well developed characters and deep believable romances. And the bumpy beginning may have just been me. Either way, it’s worth a read.