Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
You know when you pick up a book and you just know it’s going to be great? Well, that’s me every time I pick up an A.J. Rose novel. I’m always astounded by this author’s diversity in subject matter and the attention to the story and characters.
Now I’ll be honest. I was a little afraid of this one because stories with multiple points of view have a hard time holding my attention. But the beauty of this book is that the four points of view carry through two interweaving storylines. Yes, it may sound complicated, but that’s only because I’m trying to describe it. I promise it’s not complicated by any means. It’s pure genius.
Duff McKinley moved to Los Angeles with his best friend to follow his dream and he’s finally arrived. Well, he’s made a huge step forward at least. He interviewed and got a job at Queers, a piano bar with a history of talent who’ve signed record deals. And Duff is hoping to join that line up. As long as he can keep his mind and hands off of his boss. But with a meddling co-owner, Duff finds that harder than he thought it would be.
Brad Moseley lost the love of his life in a horrific accident three years ago and up until now he’s been barely living, going through the motions. Then Duff walked in his club. Duff looks like his former partner and has the same charisma, but there’s also something about him that makes Brad want to break out of his self-imposed prison and live again.
Garrett Slater has been in search of his white knight as long as he’s known what love was. He moved to L.A. with his best friend, Duff, in hopes of finding his dream man. When Garrett meets record exec Landon Kennedy, he’s certain that he’s found true love. Even if the man is a little controlling and demanding of his time, Garrett is sure he can be what Landon wants. That’s what love is about, right?
Jackson Moriarty has been in love with Garrett for over a year, but because of Jackson’s playboy reputation, his attempts to tell Garrett how he feels have been overlooked as goofing off. When he needs a place to stay, Duff and Garrett offer him a room at their loft, but being in close proximity to Garrett while he’s in love with that asshat of a record exec is harder than Jackson thought it would be.
Finding true love is trickier than one would think and keeping it is more difficult. Between following one’s heart and dreams, reality hits—fighting ghosts, record deals, fame, fear, abuse, true friends, and unconditional love— and Brad, Duff, Garrett and Jackson learn what true love and true devotion is.
Okay. I know it’s a long summary, and truthfully it’s a long book, but oh my god! I loved this book. I loved everything about it. Like I said, even the multiple POVs couldn’t deter me. This story enthralled me from the first scene and kept me glued to the pages throughout the entire book. I don’t know if I have the words to express how absolutely awesome this entire book is. It’s fantabulous!
Queers is a play on Cheers. So, of course, the theme song played though my head every time the club was mentioned. And seriously the feel of the book is just that. A bar of close friends with secrets and stories of their own. And really, the book is about much more than Duff, Brad, Garrett, and Jackson. The many characters in this story play very active roles throughout the entire book.
I want to tell you about each character and everything I love about but seriously that will take so much time. So I will simply tell you in one sentence what I loved about the MCs. Duff is the most beautiful of the four, amazingly strong and forgiving. Brad is broken yet hopeful and loves with his whole heart. Garrett’s journey is one of self-discovery and discovering that fairytales don’t always have happy endings. And Jackson is the most patient, forgiving, loving man a broken and confused man could ask for.
So speaking of not-so-secondary characters, let me go ahead and tell you about the love I have for Moonshine—diva extraordinaire and adopter of all things underdog. She is the beauty in this story. And before you begin to think that Moonshine is a softy because I called her a beauty, you’d better think again. She’s a hard ass with sarcasm in spades. But she’s got the biggest heart, even if she’s the nosiest busy body in LA. I’ve nicknamed this book “Moonshine’s Boys” because seriously she’s got her hands in every relationship in the mix, guiding and directing them to their happily ever after.
Okay, moving past my favorite lesbian character of all times. One of the most intriguing aspects of this story is the relationships. This author presents the right way and the wrong way. The good, the bad, and the ugly. In this case, the bad and the ugly represent the same relationship. The healthy relationship, Duff and Brad, is precious with its share of problems. But it’s how Duff and Brad face those obstacles that show the strength of who they are.
But the relationship between Garrett and Landon breaks my heart. If ever there were a bastard, it was Landon Kennedy. The mental, emotional, and physical abuse that exudes from this relationship tore into me each time it happened. The talent that this author has is displayed in the tangible emotions in Garrett’s heartbreaking story—the true battered spouse syndrome and the effects it has on the people around them.
This story is not only about these four men finding true love, but it’s about the friendships. I am thrilled by this part of the story. Too many times we only see a friend or two in the midst of a budding relationship, but in this book, Rose builds non-romantic relationships of the best kind. The friendships are the basis for everything else in this story. It keeps the characters grounded and true.
And finally the story itself. The structure of this story is where the true genius lies. The writing is phenomenal and the story is captivating. There isn’t anything about this story that I didn’t love. The plots are engaging and breathtaking at times. The words are perfect. The pacing is relentless.
Just because I must, I will warn you that there are several violent scenes and one that includes rape. It’s ugly and brutal, but the merit and tension it adds to the story is amazing. So yes, some of the subject matter is difficult, but adds to the storyline, taking it to an entirely different level.
I feel like I’ve rambled on and on about this book, but I love it so much. Everything about it—from the characters to the bar, from the structure of the story to the plots and writing, from true love to true friends, from fear to fame. Queers is a book that will span the test of time. It’s a book that I will read over and over again, and never tire. I highly, highly recommend Queers by A.J. Rose.