Review: Backbeat Rhythm by J.D. Ryan

backbeat rhythmRating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Kit Barlow is raising his son, Ebon, on his own, and working three jobs just to make ends meet. But it’s being the bassist in a heavy metal band that is his biggest passion. Kit puts his his son’s needs first, but he wants to make music. And with his jobs and Ebon taking up all his time, Kit has no time to meet someone to share his life with.

Max Hill is determined not to be a deadbeat like his father, and works hard and long hours. He has no time to meet a man either, but a chance encounter with Kit in the park changes things. Both men find a quick friendship, and in an effort to get their respective families’ off their backs, decide to start fake dating. It isn’t long before their chemistry ignites and things have the possibility of being real. But there’s one major hurdle. Max hates heavy metal music, and Kit hasn’t told Max he’s in a band. Will their fledgling relationship withstand the test when the truth comes out?

As a fan of all types of music, the blurb on this one caught my interest and I was quick to pick it up. While I enjoyed the music references and the way the author wove that into the story, I will admit I found this book a bit lacking.

Both the MCs were fairly well drawn, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say they had a lot of depth. I liked Kit a lot. He’s determined and focused. Ebon is his life, but he’s not going to sacrifice his passion either, so he finds a way to make both work. He’s got a huge heart and he’s a really good dad. So I enjoyed him. I also understood easily where he was coming from.

Max, on the other hand, was a little harder to like. He was especially close minded about the music, and he overreacted to some things that made it harder for me to enjoy him. I liked the friendship he instigated with Kit, but I thought the whole pretend dating thing felt like an unnecessary plot device. I would have like to see more development in their relationship, as everything felt too much like it was on the surface. They went from friends, to more, to in love without much to tie it together. So that part didn’t work as well for me.

I found Ebon enjoyably written, but the rest of the secondary characters were mere gossipy caricatures that didn’t add much to the overall story for me. Again, the families were more plot devices to push the guys together than actually serving a purpose. And the ending resolved much too quickly for my liking. After what happened, I needed more discussion and even more feelings involved to really buy it.

Overall, this was an okay read that had some really nice elements. I found parts of it harder to get through than others, but it has a nice story at it’s core. If opposites attract are your thing, you may want to check this out.

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