Rating: 4.75 stars
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Scott King joined the band King Phoenix as their guitarist and was introduced to Ash Walker, the gorgeous, magnetic lead singer. Almost immediately, they fell into a love so strong it consumed them. Scott and Ash’s life became about their band and each other. Their lives were in flux, trying to make it as a successful band, but they agreed that they would always stay together through it all.
As King Phoenix started to become popular, landing recording contracts and playing for bigger and bigger venues, they were under more stress. They all fell into the cliche‘ rock star behavior — drugs, alcohol, and living in a haze of touring and performing. Scott, who suffered from severe stage fright and started taking drugs to help him feel calm, seemed to be the hardest hit by the drug addiction. As the band is hitting the height of its popularity, Ash and Scott start to drift apart. When Scott reads an interview where Ash says he’s thinking about pursuing a solo career, he thinks life as he knows it is over and goes back to his hotel and ODs.
It’s now sixteen years later. Scott never saw Ash after that night. He woke up in the hospital room, alone, and has not seen him since. The band broke up and Ash pursued a successful solo career. Scott started producing and living a sober life of seclusion. He now lives with his twin sister and her daughter and is as far removed from the life of a rock star as possible.
When Scott receives the call that King Phoenix’s sound guy is dying and his last request is to get the band together for a reunion concert, he feels he can’t say no. However, when he’s face to face with the love of his life once again, and those old feelings are mixed up with his mistrust and anger and hurt, he thinks he may have made the wrong decision. Ash never stopped loving Scott and the months and months of rehearsal that is required to get the band ready for the concert means being face to face with him and seeing the hurt in his eyes. Scott knows that he’ll never love anyone as much as he loved and still loves Ash, but he doesn’t know if he can get beyond what happened to try to make it work again.
There is little else hotter than a rock star. A guitarist and a lead singer? Well, I’m kind of a goner from the onset. The fact that the two main characters are so extremely likable and hopelessly devoted to one another was just the icing on the cake. I’ve talked before in reviews about how characters just either have chemistry or they don’t. In this case, it was explosive right from the start. It was easy to become emotionally involved with these two from the very beginning. Their bond was so strong and their connection to each other was seemingly unbreakable. When the band, but especially Scott, starts the downward spiral path of self-destruction, it tears at your heart. When he wakes up in the hospital alone, you feel his pain and despair.
I loved this book. There’s kind of not a better/more annoying feeling than not being able to put down a book, and I read this through in almost one sitting. The lengthy flashback kept me interested to find out how things would resolve themselves in their present life, and then once I made it back to the present, it was not smooth sailing. It was frustrating and maddening, but it kept me reading.
I generally reserve my 5-star reviews for books that I want to read again and again, that stood out as exceptionally original or connected with me on some sort of deep emotional level. While this book didn’t quite fit in that category for me, I really can’t point out many flaws in it. It was extremely well-written, perfectly edited, and contained a great balance of plot and sex. Once again, I’ve come to the opinion that sometimes less is more. There are some sex scenes, and while they are very satisfying and hold the same amount of spark as the rock stars themselves, it didn’t in any way overpower the story.
I’d recommend this book without hesitation to anyone, but especially those that like books involving rock stars. It’s entertaining and addicting and will make you want to turn up your music really loud and swish your hair around. And then it will make you look around the room sheepishly hoping someone didn’t see what you just did. But it will feel really good while you’re doing it.