“I don’t know why I was nervous for the first day of auditions. I was not the one trying to get a gig.” With these words, Daron begins the story of putting together a band for his lover Ziggy, and preparing to go on an international tour with the “Ziggy Moondog” show. Daron is working himself to the bone to make everything click: the music, the show, and their love life.
But his obligations to another band have Daron out on the road just when he wants to be glued to Ziggy. Can they maintain the passion and commitment to each other when they’re thousands of miles apart? Daron has got to find a way.
This is volume ten of the award-winning tale of coming out and coming of age in the rock and roll world of the 1980s and 1990s. Readers call it “entrancing,” “addictive,” and warn “you will get sucked into Daron’s world, you will try to give him advice, and you’ll always care about what happens next.” Young, gay, and talented, Daron lives for his music and the people in his life who have helped him love himself.
Contents of this ebook were serialized online at Daron’s Guitar Chronicles between March 22, 2016 and January 26, 2017.
Susie Bright says, "Cecilia Tan is simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature." Since the publication of Telepaths Don't Need Safewords in 1992, she has been on the cutting edge of the erotic form, often combining elements of fantasy and science fiction in her work. She is also founder and editor of Circlet Press.
RT Book Reviews awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and her novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won the RT Reviewers Choice Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence from GRW in 2013. She has been publishing Daron's Guitar Chronicles as a web serial since 2009 and her Secrets of a Rock Star series (Taking the Lead, Wild Licks, Hard Rhythm) is published by Hachette/Forever. In 2018 Tor Books will launch her urban fantasy/paranormal series, The Vanished Chronicles. In her other life, Cecilia is also the editor of the Baseball Research Journal and publications director for SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research.
This is as far as the publication of the series has gone. And given the release date of 2017 and the small number of ratings, I'm concerned that the author may not be bothering to release more in book form. I'm heading over to her website to check it out online as a serial, (although I much prefer to have my stories in books,) because these characters are now part of my life, and I want to know what happens next, dammit...
I've binge-read through ten installments, and I rated most of them 4 stars, not 5, because these are not books that I fell deeply and passionately in love with. But maybe it should have been 5 because these are books that felt like hanging out with friends. They're my kind of story - I was always the type of reader who would fill in what happened in the bits other authors left out. I'd make up sequels and add the day-to-day into the drama between the high points of tight and exciting narratives. I love the complete, character-centered narrative of a life.
These books are about a young man growing up, growing into his skin and his talent and his identity. Dramatic things do happen, believable ones, involving conflicts, bad parents, minor accidents, the drink and drugs and sex and personal stresses of a life in rock and roll, especially in touring. There are many people in Daron's life, and very few are uncomplicated characters, either positive or negative. There are cracks in everyone's mask. Like in real life, people who seem to have it made on the surface may be paddling like hell underneath and sometimes they get tipped over and it shows.
Daron's emotional center has been about two things from the first book - his music, forever and always the core of who Daron is, and Ziggy, the one lover who circles in and out of his life as the forces of their profession pull them apart or give them moments together. The one person with whom occasionally Daron feels the rest of the world go away, until there's nothing in the universe but two young men in love.
Ziggy is still as complicated, as mercurial, as in-demand, and as sometimes unavailable as ever. But both of them are growing up and setting their own priorities, instead of being jerked around by fate and the demands of contracts and making a living. It's good to see.
This book does hit an HFN ending. It feels like the end of the first part of their story. But the hard work - the building of a relationship once you've set your mind to it - is yet to come. I don't want to let go of these guys (and their friends and relations.) If you as a reader want a romance that comes to a starry-eyed declaration... well, this probably still isn't for you because there's a lot of time apart and even with other people, as Daron's story wends it way to this moment. But at least, this one will wrap that "falling in love" romance for you. If, like me, you want to see how "staying in love" works, then I may meet you over there on her website.
This was a long ride, so far. I don't regret a moment of it.
I need to go back and review all the stories separately, but I just gotta say, Daron, Ziggy, and their entourage has grown on me. This isn't typical mm romance. These guys have to work hard to get to where they are. Yes, there is romance, but it's slow going, and not the entire focus of the story.
The thing that strikes me the most about this series is the details. Everything seems so real and pulled me in, keeping my attention even through something as low-key as tuning a guitar, lighting effects for a show, or idle chit-chat among bandmates. All the characters, no matter how minor, seemed fleshed out and real. There's no way I can let them go without finding out how the story ends.
The relationships also are not sugar coated, happily ever after, but filled with the pitfalls of a non-fictional relationship. Arguing. Misunderstanding. Coping with long distance, and rarely seeing each other.
I cannot believe this series hasn't gotten more attention and ratings! As I said, this isn't typical mm romance, and the uniqueness is refreshing. Did I want to clang some heads together, shake some sense into a fictional person, or hold them while they cried? You betcha. That for me is what makes a good story, when the character becomes that real.
The only niggle for me is that the stories could benefit from an editor, but in a way, the errors lend to the whole "this is a friend telling his story" vibe.
Yes, it's long, reading this series is a long-term commitment, but oh, so worth it. Highly recommended.