This series with its inside Hollywood focus has really grown on me. The characters don’t always do the right thing, in factReviewed on Hearts on Fire
This series with its inside Hollywood focus has really grown on me. The characters don’t always do the right thing, in fact you can pretty much guarantee they won’t, but their journey is always at least interesting.
When we previously saw Jeremy and Kit they had worked through some tough issues to get to the point of what looked like the beginning of a good relationship. Kit had seemed to come to terms with his sexuality and was finally out and Jeremy had come into his own as an actor. But in this book which takes place 3 years later, we find that Kit & Jeremy are now on shaky ground. Kit is still reluctant to be truly out in public. What’s worse for him is that his acting career has also hit a few bumps. He still loves Jeremy but he starts to wonder if that’s enough.
Jeremy, on the other hand is now thriving in his role as a film star. He’s no longer the naïve newbie who needed Kit’s help in picking out what clothes to wear. Kit is very perturbed about their role reversal vacillating between feeling proud and supportive and also envious and jealous. His mood turns darker as he sinks into a more depressive state.
Instead of discussing his feelings with Jeremy, Kit withdraws into himself becoming more difficult to deal with and taking to cooking until late into the evening to avoid all discussions. Kit begins to think a career change may solve his problems but isn’t sure how Jeremy will fit into this.
Jeremy is bewildered by the changes in Kit and suspects he might be losing him. When Kit starts to pursue his new interest in cooking, Jeremy fears they’ll no longer have anything else in common and that he’ll lose him completely. Things begin to look far worse when an attractive TV chef enters the picture.
For most of the story we see Kit & Jeremy in a downward spiral. While some may find this story too downbeat, sometimes I enjoy this kind of exploration of a relationship more than the happy sappy stories. I like reading about what happens after the happily ever after. Triumphing through adversity has its own appeal and can end up being a truly uplifting story.
Jeremy & Kit receive some help from their old pals Aaron & Greg (from the prior books) in the form of some good fatherly type advice and some tough love. They remind both Jeremy & Kit that they’ve overcome a lot including difficult childhoods.
What holds your interest in the story is figuring out how Jeremy & kit will find their way back to each other. Things do look pretty bleak for a while but it all eventually works out. I did think the resolution was a little too neat and tidy involving the device of a family emergency. It seemed to rob Jeremy of the chance to hold onto his anger while letting Kit get off way too easy. It also made their getting together feel a little tenuous. Will there be more to their story or is this it?
In either case this is still an engaging story worth a read for the journey they both go through. You could probably get away with reading this as a standalone although it may be helpful to read at least Acting Out which details the beginning of Jeremy & Kit’s relationship. I’d recommend reading the entire series as well. ...more
If you’ve read Chaser you know that was about a man Caden who was a secret chubby chaser who finally met the man of his drReviewed on Hearts on Fire
If you’ve read Chaser you know that was about a man Caden who was a secret chubby chaser who finally met the man of his dreams, a man round in all the right places. But things go awry when his guy decides to diet & exercise his way into becoming a conventional hot guy and turning off Caden in the process. While that’s going on, Caden’s best friend Bobby decides to take advantage of the situation rushing in to cause a whole lot of trouble. This is the story of that guy, that troublemaker, Bobby.
I read Chaser and this one back to back so I had a clear memory of Bobby being a real stinker. After all the villainous things he did to ruin Caden’s love life I wasn’t sure he was even redeemable even though there were hints dropped that Bobby was harboring some deep insecurities. But holy hell what an excellent job on a turn around for a character.
What I liked was how Bobby was still Bobby in this book. He didn’t undergo a personality transplant. Instead we get the other side of the story that was missing and how Bobby’s presentation masked the fact that underneath it all is a fear that he’s really not deserving of love & happiness. And I was so drawn in that by the end, darn it, I was actually rooting for the bastard.
Just consider that you have a character who’s porn star handsome, able to attract any man he wants and one who’s never heard of a sexual dry spell and somehow we end up feeling sorry for him. That’s some skillful writing.
I’m not sure how people will respond to this book because this is not your typical romance story. It’s more of an exploration of Bobby’s life as he struggles to find out why he feels compelled to repeat self-destructive patterns and why he seems to have no limits on self-degradation .
Bobby’s descent into the hell of sexual addiction was both repellant and fascinating. Some of it was somewhat comical. I mean the amount of 10 inch dicks and gay tops that he runs into is to say the least, way outside the norm and I began to wonder if there was a gay man in Chicago left that hadn’t touched Bobby, literally, in some way. But a lot of it made you anxious on his behalf as there were numerous times I wanted to admonish Bobby , “don’t do it” and ‘You don’t want to go there.” But he did, he went there. Reading this though was like rubbernecking at a car crash. I could not look away.
But after numerous set backs, and some heartwarming revisiting of his past in Seattle, there’s light at the end for Bobby. He finally gets that confrontation with Caden that he needs to set things right. In addition, he also finds himself ready to both give and receive love. And in typical Rick Reed style, there’s a little suspense, in this case in Bobby’s love life as there are at least two possibilities presented before the final unveiling.
It was a tough journey to read at times but I was quite sucked into this story. We didn’t get a lot of Caden & Kevin in here so this is not really a sequel for them. But I did feel a sense of satisfaction & closure on the Bobby portion of the story. I’d recommend this story even as a standalone but for the best experience read Chaser first.
I’m not expecting great literature from a Stephani Hecht book but what you normally get are fun stories with a lot of hot, adrenaline rush action. UnfI’m not expecting great literature from a Stephani Hecht book but what you normally get are fun stories with a lot of hot, adrenaline rush action. Unfortunately, for this book what we get is an underdeveloped romance & a plot that involved a lot of macho posturing by both the good & bad guys but one that had you questioning by the end if anything of real significance happened.
Caley is a dove shifter who’s now living with the Wayne County wolves. He’s depicted as both thankful for the sanctuary they’ve offered him but also fearful of them as his entire family was killed by wolf shifters. He has been isolating himself from them by staying in his sewing workroom even while willingly making their clothes. His friends, in an attempt to get him out of his shell, convince him to come out to view the new hired assassins.
We get all this build up of a scared traumatized Caley, but when he spots the large wolf shifter assassin named Grey, he does a complete turnaround. He shoves his way through the crowd of wolf shifters, boldly approaches Grey and flirts with him and practically throws himself at him. He’s not angry like the title suggests unless that’s a euphemism for crazy with lust. Seeing Grey also seems to instantly cure him of shyness or doubts as he shows no fear whatsoever.
The inconsistencies between the way Caley is described and his actions almost makes you wonder if the author got the notes about her characters all mixed up. It’s not good for the story as Caley & Grey get together way too easily and they have a paint by numbers type of romance. It was all very anticlimactic and the lack of tension made it even boring.
Because the romance is anemic, the book relies on the assassins and the pack war as the main driver of the story. The assassins hired by the wolf pack are different species of shifters raised together by an abusive master and they include besides Grey, a female fox shifter Tabitha, a tiger shifter Simon and a cold & unfeeling leopard shifter named Toby. Toby & Simon seem to be more interesting characters than Grey but even they are defeated by the meandering plot. I kept waiting for the great confrontation between the ultimate bad guy Rand and the assassins but it never happened. Instead it ends on stalemate with things no better nor worse than they were before.
Instead of a complete story this novella felt more like a filler and a way to introduce some new characters but not much more than that. There’s nothing terribly wrong with it, but there’s also nothing here that grabs you. If you decide to skip it I doubt you’d really miss anything. I think this one needed the romance to pull you in as there’s not enough in the plot to sustain interest. I’d say this story is one mainly for the fans of the series.
3.5 Stars As a book about rock stars this was often fresh & fun. I liked Sky & Brandon together even if they’re a liReviewed on Hearts On Fire
3.5 Stars As a book about rock stars this was often fresh & fun. I liked Sky & Brandon together even if they’re a little frustrating. First, a bit of housekeeping. This book does contain a couple of on page mmf ménage scenes involving one or both of our main characters and one of which is several pages long. Prior to this we’d already had a scene with Brandon & Sky pulling girls or ‘birds’ into their rooms so I was thinking not again when this one turned up. I don’t read m/m books to read about hetero sex. But the story does shift away from these random hookups after this and turn towards the two main characters getting together. So if you’re not bothered by a couple of het scenes on the road to the two guys achieving their HEA then this book has something to offer.
The story is told through Sky’s eyes. He’s the lead guitarist who, besides being short, funny, feisty and temperamental, is the one who supplies the drive & ambition for the band. He spots the star potential of Brandon who’s tall, handsome and a touch flamboyant and quickly installs him as the lead singer. Brandon is also funny, although maybe everything just seems funnier when said with a Scottish brogue.
Besides these two guys, there’s an entire cast of characters including other band members. A lot of the focus is more on the band interactions as there are several chapters devoted to little incidents that happen to them when they’re traveling and performing. I sometimes felt like this was the main story and the romance between Brandon and Sky was off on the periphery somewhere.
I did like reading about the 80’s London music scene. It seemed authentic with its emphasis on sex, drugs and parties. Plus we get to see some of the grungy behind the scenes stuff that goes into making a band. There’s almost a frat house atmosphere sometimes with lots of out of control behavior, band member spats, band feuds and potty humor. This book doesn’t shy away from talking about farts and stopped up toilets. There were quite a few vividly told scenes that made me wonder not when will these guys get together but when will they take a shower.
Sky and Brandon experience quite a few bumps on the road to having a relationship. This is because they never talk so they have lots of misunderstandings. There was a stop and go quality to their story that was quite frustrating. They were either having sex, fighting, having jealousy fits or separating. It doesn’t help that we’re only getting Sky’s point of view so we’re not sure what’s motivating Brandon. I don’t know if we’re meant to see them this way, but they often came across as pretty juvenile and immature. The best communication between the two of them doesn’t come until the very end after one very crazy, out of left field incident.
Obviously I have some mixed feelings about this one. I could have done without the het scenes and I wanted more of a resolution for the relationship. This is going to be a series so the second book will probably flesh things out more. Still, the book is fairly long & it’s a lot of investment of time to get to a very abrupt ending. However, I did enjoy reading about all the on the road band experience and some of the scenes were quite hilarious. The net effect is while this may not have been my ideal m/m story I still found a lot of it quite entertaining.
I read this one months ago but never got around to rating it. I remember it being a very nice sequel and being interested at the end in reading a follI read this one months ago but never got around to rating it. I remember it being a very nice sequel and being interested at the end in reading a follow up story starring the kid. If you liked the first book you're sure to enjoy this one as well. ...more
I don't think I have a review in me but I do love this series, Mac & Tony & the two kids. It's a nice solid mystery & we also spend a signI don't think I have a review in me but I do love this series, Mac & Tony & the two kids. It's a nice solid mystery & we also spend a significant amount of time with Mac trying to figure out all his relationships. It left me feeling sentimental by the end. I hear there's another book In this universe which I will be looking forward to reading....more