Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars
Narrator: Charlie David
Length: 7 hours, 10 minutes
Jeremy is a famous rock star with loyal fans and paparazzi that follow his every move. Born to famous parents, the Hollywood lifestyle is the only one he’s ever known. Jeremy loves performing and creating and playing music, but the traveling, interviews, and promotion is wearing him out. His private life isn’t overly fulfilling either as most of his dates are arranged with wannabe celebrities that want some time in the public eye.
With a few moments of down time in small town Arizona, Jeremy walks into a bar only to find himself in an engaging conversation with laid back Reg, the bartender. Reg invites Jeremy back to his house and Jeremy enjoys the company, the conversation, and being treated as a regular guy by Reg. Reg has been saving for a grand adventure and when Jeremy asks him to join his tour as his pretend boyfriend, Reg can’t think of anything that could possibly be better.
Reg enjoys spending time with Jeremy and is great at managing Jeremy’s anxiety and neediness and realizes that his end of the relationship is not pretend at all. Reg sees the signs that Jeremy has feelings for him as well, but Jeremy has never been with a man. If Reg can be patient, Jeremy may just realize that they are way more than friends and their relationship is completely real.
While Jeremy is a rock star, if you are looking for a book about rock stars and their lifestyle you won’t find that here. What you will find is a well written, warm story of two guys falling in love despite the fact that one of them is a rock star. Or maybe it all happens because he is a rock star.
When Jeremy is first introduced, it appears that he has it all together. But as we get to know him we see that he’s needy, demanding at times, fairly sheltered for a superstar, but mostly he’s incredibly lonely. Reg is the perfect complement to Jeremy’s personality as he’s laid back, adventurous, a natural care taker, and he falls into a rhythm of managing Jeremy and his moods. That can seem one sided, but the way they set up their relationship it is exactly what they both want and need and Reg falls for every part of Jeremy. Sure it was possible that Reg could have been presented as a part of Jeremy’s entourage without him being his boyfriend, but Cardeno C takes a potentially unrealistic situation and completely makes it works for the story.
The first portion of the book the guys are the best of friends spending all of their time together. Reg is so incredibly patient with his attraction to Jeremy and with letting Jeremy figure his feelings out, although he does give him a few nudges in the right (read sensual) direction. The second portion has them developing a relationship and letting Jeremy explore intimate moments with a man and Jeremy has no problem catching on quickly.
Any potential drama comes from external sources and it’s all quickly brushed aside. The one area I had issue with was the drama with a privacy violation issue. These types of incidents always get to me and then especially when it is brushed off without any consequence, but that’s me not the book. Overall, there is almost no angst in the book and it’s definitely a sweet read.
Charlie David narrates this book and his performance is the reason to listen to a book on audio. He provides it all through a quality production with characterizations and inflection. Reg was my favorite here and David provides Reg with a voice that is part rugged outdoorsman, part friend, part concern, and all love. Reg has nicknames for Jeremy and the tone that David delivers them with is perfect for each scene. He provides a believable accent for Jeremy’s manager and all of the secondary characters have distinct voices. For Jeremy, he provides not only a clear voice, but the way in which he describes Jeremy’s mannerisms allowed me to fully visualize him. There was one glitch where a line from an earlier chapter got pulled into a later chapter, but that is scheduled to be resolved. A theme song is offered at the beginning of the book that corresponds to Jeremy being a musician and which tied into the story well. The only area that I could have done without is the music at the beginning and end of each chapter. When listening to a good portion of the book at one time, the music became repetitive having it in both places and it had a tendency to get in the way of the story. Interested in this book? I would strongly recommend it for a feel good romance with a stellar vocal performance.