Author: Thursday Euclid
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 3.5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: With a sold-out tour looming and intense media attention on their every move, the Artificial Hearts are the hottest rock act in the world. It’s just a matter of time until newfound fame illuminates a past Asher Beauregard would rather leave in the shadows. When he meets Leo Harpstedt, the irresistible frontman for the opening act, undeniable chemistry draws them together, but Asher’s secrecy and emotional scars keep Leo at a safe distance.
Posh and well-adjusted despite the blue hair, Englishman Leo comes from a world that Asher, a Louisiana-born high school dropout, can’t imagine, never mind inhabit, but as first the Artificial Hearts’ manager and then the tour throw them together, the tension between them grows uncontrollable. Leo’s seeming confusion about his sexuality and Asher’s refusal to let go of the persona and be vulnerable threaten to destroy the tender friendship they’ve built living and working together.
With help from his drag queen stylist, lesbian sound tech, and a lead guitarist with secrets of his own, can Asher overcome the public revelation of his deepest secrets and seize this chance at love?
I adore rocker books about broken men so this one practically had a beacon calling me to it. Something I do not love is too much angst. I can only take so much. Which this book was very heavy on. So when reading this review please keep this in mind. Many people will love it.
This book also features a very broken character who seems to have mush brain most of the time. Ash is just willing to do what he’s told as long as he doesn’t have to feel or think too much about it through his drugged out haze. He speaks with a broken Cajun English that might make some of my friends batty. I usually really enjoy it. Here I feel like I lost something in the dialect because I just didn’t get Ash. I know he was in constant pain and thought he wasn’t worth anybody’s love. He’s this brilliant musician who is damaged but in the best way to market to the masses as a tortured soul rock star. Behind the scenes he’s just a disaster.
Ash is the lead man for a band just on the cusp of stardom. His band is going on tour and a new opening band is joining them. This is where Leo comes in. Leo is a pretty blue haired rich British guy who Ash learns broke up with a girlfriend to join the tour. So Ash thinks he’s straight but the guy is giving off some mixed signals. Ash can barely keep his shit straight on a normal day, much less when this guy shows up. Leo claims to be there because he’s drawn to Ash. That he put a band together and made it to the big time just to meet Ash. Ash assumes Leo is like most men who notice him and just wants to screw the pretty rock star. Leo wants to save Ash but Ash doesn’t care enough about himself to want saving. Ash is drawn to Leo. He’s no stranger to giving his body to others but Leo is the first guy in a long time he wants back. Problem is Leo keeps pushing him away.
So much of this book is about Ash being broken and not understanding what Leo wants from him. Leo wants Ash to respect himself. He’s trying not to treat their budding friendship turned more into as a sexual thing since he thinks Ash deserves and needs someone to care for him. Not just desire his body. Ash just sees it as another rejection. Why would somebody like Leo want a piece of trash like him? I think it was 160 pages of this before Ash had any kind of realization about the way he’s been living his life. Yet he keeps on with his self destruction and lashing out even after this. Ash’s mom was a religious nut that treated him like an abomination. His first love was a psycho closet case that broke him. Leading him into the darkest point of his life. Somehow he became a lead man in a successful band. There’s a lot of blurry area in there. His manager is eeeeevil. I hated him! It infuriated me that he kept letting that scumbag use and abuse him when HE was the talent and actually had all the power. That was part of Ash though. He somehow found that more tolerable than crawling out of the pit of despair he lives in.
Honestly this book was emotionally exhausting. Some people might love this level of broken man angst but I do not. Also this book had a huge squick factor with the “ man pussy” and “boy cunt” rough sex scene. I waited so damn long for these two to give in and that was what I got when they finally hooked up. Leo goes from prude to that? Personally that’s such a turn off but to each their own I guess. Basically this book was just too damn angsty for me personally. Not well balanced in terms of time spent wallowing in self hate vs. taking his life back for me. The romance not going anywhere for the majority of the book was based on mis-communication. This was just very frustrating and felt overly long. Too much heaviness and not enough happiness for my tastes. I liked parts of it enough that I’ll be checking out more of this author’s story but can’t recommend this one personally.