Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3 stars
Type: Standalone Novel
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Wealth. Fame. Gold record. Hookers and Cocaine front man Henri Lafontaine has it all…including a control freak manager, band members who smile as they sharpen blades for his back, and last but damn well not least, a fan out to steal his heart. Literally. Trying to write hit songs and plan a comeback in the midst of the hi-fi white noise of LA feels more like watching his world implode, until he’s offered a month in the Colorado Rockies for vocal coaching.
Sebastian Unger’s rich, classically trained tenor inspires wicked thoughts. More than a pretty choir boy, he cracks the whip without hesitation to drive tattooed bad-boy Henri to give his all to his music. Working, fighting, and finally establishing a fragile peace, they find inspiration and perhaps more in each other. But the clock is ticking. Time will pull Henri back to the grit and gold of LA’s mean streets and fame machine, while Sebastian must return to the opera circuit, where a mysterious man known as “the patron” holds far too much sway. Only the trust they’ve built on a handful of notes bridges their two worlds…and shields them from malice.
Review: I’m sure I’ll be in the minority in not loving this one. I think it had all the elements of a good book. Maybe too many elements and yet the pacing of the book seemed slow. Sadly I was intrigued by the secondary characters more than the MCs. The baddies were vile and OTT. There was verbal and physical abuse. Then of course Henry makes a miraculous comeback with a band of misfits who come together to make beautiful music while falling in love. Oh and he’s always been forced into the closet. Until now.
One MC took his music VERY seriously. Almost to the point I found him pretentious. You get some back story on that later but it didn’t help while reading it. That may have been character development but early on I wasn’t a fan of one of the MCs, Sabastian. Henri wasn’t always so likable either. He starts out the book very low. Almost vacant from reality. Then he’s drugged by a stalker and kicked out of his band. His world basically falls apart giving him the wake up call he needs to start living again. On his terms. His new manager suggests he visit a vocal coach at his home in the Rockies. Henry feels instantly turned on by his pretentious hunky host. It’s not so easy to change your ways though. Henry has gotten by on rock star glory and a decent singing voice. Sabastian is quick to point out he needs work. I did like this. The guys butting heads was nice. They become friendly and get into a routine. Eventually Sabastian gives into Henry’s advances. They both know it can’t last. Henry has to go back to reality and start his career over. Sabastian is unwilling to leave his home. Henry and Sabastian promise to keep in touch but it’s not the same as being together.
I think this is where the book loses me. Sabastian was an abuse victim from a very young age and you get why he is the way he is but with him popping in beaten to hell and refusing help didn’t endear me to him. Then Henry just lets him go. I know they didn’t know each other for long and made no real commitment to each other but I became annoyed by this story line. A little better communication would have done wonders. Even with all the sappy singing and making love I never really warmed or connected to the couple. Henry suddenly knowing everything about music and treating people crappy wasn’t pleasant either. Yet somehow he was the Mary Sue savant of putting a band together and making them rise to the top in record time! The crazy stalker may have pushed me over the 4 star ledge.