pop lifeRating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Andrew Brennan is half of a highly praised song writing team with his best friend Michael. When they get the call from Paeder Brogan requesting their services for his upcoming solo album, they agree to write for the lead singer of the boy band. Andrew doesn’t really want to, but Michael pushes him to do it. And when he learns that they were recommended by Jamie Webster, Andrew agrees. Jamie is the man that Andrew can’t quite forget, the man who kissed Andrew at the Grammys before passing out.

Once Andrew gets to New York, he immediately sees that the tensions are high between the Paeder and the other members of his band, Keelin and Russel. He also finds himself face to face with Jamie, who is staying at the same hotel. Andrew is convinced that Jamie won’t remember him, even if he and Michael did write some of Jamie’s biggest hits. He’s surprised that not only does Jamie remember, but he turns to Andrew for help when nightmares threaten. The two begin to connect, but before they can really solidify things, Jamie has to head back to London. Andrew doesn’t want him to go, but he can’t hold onto the man.

Back home, Andrew can’t stop thinking about Jamie and is broken heart. Michael pushes him out of his funk and into work, writing songs with Keelin and Russel for a fifth album for their band. Jamie begins to make sporadic calls to Andrew, needing him and missing him. But Andrew can only do so much over the phone. When Andrew gets the call that Jamie needs him, he hops on a plan and heads for London. The Jamie he finds is a mess, lost in his own head and hurting. Andrew’s presence helps, but new problems send Jamie spiraling again. Finally Andrew has to take control, and only then can he and Jamie begin to find their way.

This is a really hard book for me to review. It had such promise at the start, and I was easily drawn into the story with the first few pages. But rather quickly, things started to fall apart of me. I spent most of the book feeling like the story was disjointed and wishing I had more details as to what was going on. While the characters had their moments, there wasn’t enough story here for me to be really invested in them, despite there being so many words in the book.

Andrew was the narrator, and he was the character I liked the most. He was a bit reserved, naïve, and clueless. But he also had layers underneath that, layers that most people didn’t see. He was more than what was on the surface. I liked that he had quirks and flaws, but that he could, when it came down to it, hold his own. But he was an unreliable narrator and that, for the most part, didn’t work here. I felt like I was missing so much. And that, ultimately, kept me from feeling any connection whatsoever to the characters and to the story.

Jamie is a mess. He an addict that has had more than his share of trouble, and he’s been to rehab several times. He’s mostly sober throughout this book, but his nightmares haunt him both day and night. I think. Really, I didn’t get to know him well enough because it always felt like he was at a distance. The only things I got to learn were the things he shared with Andrew, and they did not have the impact they should have because there was so much we just weren’t told.

And these things combined bring me to the lack of chemistry between the MCs. I’ll put it bluntly, the characters don’t have sex until 90% of the way through the book. This wouldn’t have been a problem for me if I’d felt the connection between them, if there was a buildup of sexual tension throughout the book. But I didn’t feel it at all. These guys interacted with each other, Andrew was there for Jamie in some dark moments, but while I felt their caring, I didn’t feel anything more. So basically? I didn’t buy their romantic relationship. I needed a lot more. But as it was, I just couldn’t understand why they were pining for each other, what drew them to one another. I just didn’t. And then by the time they finally got together, physically as well as having that conversation about commitment, the book was over. Literally. There was a spark, I started to see exactly what they could be, the barest hint, and then there was an epilogue. I admit I found it dissatisfying.

I’m going to take a quick second to mention that Jamie is with…several different people throughout the book. It’s all fade to black and it makes absolute and complete sense with the kind of character Jamie is. In fact, if the author had chosen not to include this, I would have felt it very unrealistic. But for those who find this a deal breaker, you’re probably going to want to give this story a pass.

So I definitely had some issues with this story. Its disjointed narrative coupled with lack of details left me wanting. There were moments where I had hope it would turn around, but ultimately, it missed the mark for me. There was too much that didn’t work for me to really enjoy it.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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