Ren Murphy lives a nice life. He has a job he loves working as a stagehand with the Oilton Philharmonic Orchestra, has a home of his own, good friends, and he even plays drums in a popular local band. He also has a crush on the orchestra’s timpanist, Christoph Theoharis. However, Ren feels a little inferior to all of the sophisticated men who try their hardest to catch Christoph’s eye. Ren also has some family issues. He came out to his parents at the age of 18, and they were very unhappy. He spent six months in a friend’s family’s basement, and he now holds a grudge against his parents and siblings.
Christoph seems a little standoffish, but it’s because he’s had troubles with relationships in the past. In fact, he’s hiding that past until he starts to become closer to Ren. Christoph’s not had the best of luck with men, however, he feels such a strong pull to Ren, he’s willing to give love a shot.
I really enjoyed this sweet and sexy novella. It was just what the doctor ordered after a long and stressful day. It’s only 93 pages, so it was a quickie, but it still managed to touch my heart and left me feeling happy and satisfied when it was over. I loved Ren and Christoph. They’re so alike, even though they don’t realize it right away. Ren sees men tripping over each other to get Christoph’s attention, and he feels, since he’s a merely a stagehand, he wouldn’t have a chance in the world. Christoph is tired of all the attention. He knows these other men are looking for a trophy, rather than a man to share their lives with. When Christoph manages to catch one of Ren’s bands shows (the band’s name is Ruby Red, and the explanation of how they wound up with it is pretty funny), they were able to get a chance to talk outside of the concert hall. The connection is instant, and the story takes off.
As I mentioned, this is a short read, so everything happens rather quickly. However, I didn’t really feel like I was being rushed. Ren and Christoph made me smile. Their conversations were sweet, and their first kiss was electric…and the sex? WOW! Very hot! They developed genuine feelings for each other soon after. There is a tiny amount of angst near the end, but that was fine. I usually have issues with angst, but it was obvious they’d be happy together in the long run.
The background characters and underlying story were great. Ren has some great friends. Christoph’s unresolved issues come to a head (thus the bit of angst), and he finally accepts who he is. Everything tied up very neatly at the end, but it didn’t feel contrived. Quite frankly, it was perfect. I highly recommend this book for lovers of the sweet, the sexy, the adorable, and the romantic.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.