Bryan Gallagher has always been in awe of Aubrey King’s musical talent. He followed the path of Aubrey and his band and it definitely influenced his career choice as a music journalist. When he finally got to meet Aubrey, Bryan not only secured his dream assignment of writing Aubrey’s memoir, he also began a personal relationship with the man himself. After spending a night in Aubrey’s bed, Bryan’s life is completely flipped upside down as he promises Aubrey he would give them a chance for a lasting relationship. Bryan is also coming to terms with being in a relationship with another man as he never thought about that at all.
Aubrey is known to fall hard and fast, but he is completely taken with Bryan and willing to do whatever it takes to make their relationship work. But, Aubrey is in the midst of staging a solo comeback and he has never been out in the public eye. Keeping their relationship hidden is one thing, but when Aubrey is keeping secrets and trying to tame a blackmail threat, he loses Bryan’s trust and possibly the man himself forever.
Rockin’ it Forever is the continuation of the short story Rockin’ the Alternative. I read the short story almost two years ago and it made an impression on me and furthered my appreciation for a well written short. The characters, pacing, and plotline all came together on that one for me and I have been looking forward to reading more about Bryan and Aubrey. To fully appreciate how Bryan and Aubrey met and then their continued story, I would suggest reading Rockin’ the Alternative first.
I am not a ragey or ranty reader or reviewer, but this book made me both ragey and ranty. It wasn’t so much the book itself, but specifically the reveal of the secret that Aubrey was keeping and it then colored my view of this entire book. But I will get back to that in a moment.
This book picks up right after the end of the short and Bryan and Aubrey are committed to making a relationship work. The voice of the characters remains the same and I enjoyed being brought back into their world. Knight makes Bryan’s struggle real as he tries to navigate a relationship with a man for the first time. Aubrey, for his part, is really trying to make this work and is willing to accommodate Bryan’s needs. He still falls hard and fast, but he’s trying a new approach that seems to be working for him.
The book is spent between their developing relationship, their insecurities, and Aubrey’s solo comeback. We also learn Aubrey’s backstory with his band and the way he was treated for years and it offers a fresh perspective on him. The story was a bit slow at points, but the guys together fit so well with Aubrey still having some of his rocker attitude and Bryan grounding him to their physical connection coupled with Aubrey’s dirty talk.
We learn early on that Aubrey is being blackmailed by a former band mate who has video footage of Aubrey. Aubrey leads Bryan to believe that it is a sex tape, but clearly we know that it isn’t. The story winds itself around both the blackmail and the content of the video. When the secret is revealed, I seriously could not believe what Aubrey was hiding from Bryan. Sure Aubrey had a certain image that he cultivated and didn’t want the tape to go public, but I could not get behind at all that he would rather have had Bryan believe that it was a sex tape. It was completely ridiculous to me. On a side note, Bryan’s behavior as he verbally came after Aubrey in front of the low life blackmailer was also unbelievable. Not to mention the fact that there were several people Aubrey could have confided in regarding the blackmail who would have offered assistance. At the end, that assistance is indeed offered and all of Aubrey and Bryan’s other fears became non issues.
I did enjoy the short story that led to this book and I enjoyed both Aubrey and Bryan together up until the reveal. However, that part of the story cast a long shadow over these books for me.