Author: Jess Whitecroft
Publisher: Self Published
Summary: When Daniel Macallan’s rock star brother Matt needs an intervention for his drinking problem, one of the first people to show up is Matt’s best friend and Daniel’s very first crush, tattooed rock god Rocco Ponti. Six months sober following a brush with death, Rocco knows a thing or two about the painful process of giving up drugs and alcohol, including one of the biggest rules – no relationships in the first year of recovery.
Thrown together again in their attempt to help Matt stay sober, Daniel and Rocco find themselves drawn closer and closer to one another, despite knowing that Rocco is damaged, dangerous, and that falling in love with him is like playing with fire.
Can they compromise and find their way, or will Rocco’s vulnerability send everything they’ve fought for up in smoke?
This book contains dark themes (addiction, depression, suicide) that some readers may find distressing.
Review: This is definitely darker than what I usually read. There is a strong theme of addiction running through it, with Rocco a recovering drug addict and Matt an alcoholic that needs recovery. They are rocks stars who were thrust into serious fame and fortune young, really too young to be able to handle it. Daniel is Matt’s little brother and he desperately wants his brother to not just stay alive, but be healthy and happy. Coming together with Rocco, they try to get Matt to heal.
The aspects of depression and suicidal ideation and attempts were realistic, as was the guilt felt by those who aren’t able to do anything. Those with addictions often need to hit rock bottom before they can start climbing back up and the fear is that when they crash at the bottom that is where they will stay. It’s a frightening feeling for those who love an addict.
When you factor in that Daniel has crushed on Rocco since he was a teen and now they are growing close – with Rocco always one hit away from being a recurring drug abuser – and it’s a slippery slope. They are now navigating a new relationship (maybe) while keeping Matt as safe as they can. Sometimes there isn’t anything you can do but they try. The author doesn’t sanitize things when it comes to addiction and depression and I appreciated that. No magic wand, no “just my love will cure you” because that’s not real. You can only heal yourself. Matt and Rocco both definitely have support but the down and dirty, make it better and live part is done by just Matt for Matt and Rocco for Rocco. So tough.
I have to say – the conversation between Matt and Rocco outside the center was so heart tugging. Realizing what you’ve had may not be what’s good for you – or even what you want – is a hard realization. “It damages you, doesn’t it….Seeing yourself reflected in other people’s eyes all the time.” That is so true. Just look at all the child stars who end up addicted or dead. I am pulling for all these guys to make it to the other side, safe, loved and happy.