Trey Cooper’s band has been accepted into a music festival that could lead to their big break and a recording contract. However, their band just lost their drummer who walked out with no notice to join fellow indie band, XYZ. The two bands will be facing off against one another at the festival, so there is bad blood between them.
One night Trey goes to open mike night at his local bar and he hears an amazing violinist play. Trey is totally captivated by Dom, even more so when Trey ends up accompanying him for some additional songs. They guys are magic together, and the connection between them leads to a hot hookup afterwards. Trey isn’t out, but he and Dom want to try to keep seeing each other. But when Trey realizes that Dom plays for XYZ, it could be over before it starts.
The guys manage to put the conflict in the past and are thrilled to be seeing one another again at the festival. There is still conflict between the bands, so the guys need to keep things a secret between them. On top of that, although Trey hasn’t explicitly lied about his sexuality, he and his female bandmate definitely play up the connection between them and most folks assume they are a couple. So he needs to keep his relationship with Dom a secret from the public as well. But even though they risk getting caught, Dom and Trey can’t stay away from one another. They are falling hard and fast, but with all the secrecy, along with both bands needing desperately to win the festival in order to get their break, the two face an uphill battle to be together.
I was really excited for this story because I love a rock star book (or an up and coming rock star in this case) and I thoroughly enjoyed Body Rocks. Looking back over my summary, it seems like a lot of the book is focused on secrets and hiding, and to an extent it is, but it is also about the bloom of first love and of two guys who fit together really well, but have some major hurdles in their way.
I liked the way Arthur develops the relationship between them. They start off hot and are pretty into each other right away, but there are also small conflicts between them throughout the book (starting with Dom hiding that he is in XYZ once he realizes who Trey is). The conflicts between them were interesting in that it wasn’t a build up to some big issue at the end, but instead small things that happen that the guys work out along the way. It felt very natural and organic, the way a real relationship would be, and so I liked that a lot. Both of these guys make mistakes, but they are also both committed to one another. They are sweet and caring and sexy together, and you can’t help but want them to work it out, even as you see the conflicts looming.
And these guys have two big conflicts they must face. First is Trey not being out. Again, I like how this is handled. Yes, he is closeted, or at least intentionally misleading about his sexuality, but from fairly early on it is clear that he is going to come out and he is not just dragging Dom along. He has to not only deal with the impact on himself of coming out, but also the band. But this leads to lots of sneaking around (and lots of furtive sexy times, which are awesome), especially since for a long time the bands hate each other. So there is a great tension as these guys long to be open about their feelings but can’t. But the bigger issue is the bands are pitted against one another. Both Trey and Dom have reasons why winning the competition is critical and with only one winner, one of their dreams will be shattered for the other to succeed. It is kind of delicious, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way it all ends in a fashion I didn’t see coming.
One of the things I most enjoyed about this story are the side characters. We meet both bands and spend a lot of time with them as they are all together at the festival. Arthur has created a great cast here with some really interesting and well developed back stories for side characters. This is the first of the series and I am really excited to see how things develop with this other folks. Dom’s best friend Lincoln’s story is up next and we get such a fascinating picture of him (plus he is left in quite the spot at the end of the book), that I am really excited to get his story.
So Body Rocks was definitely a hit for me. I loved the story, really enjoyed the characters, and think Arthur has set this up as the start of great series. I am definitely looking forward to more and would certainly recommend this one.
Note: There are some serious issues that are touched on here, including past incidences of cutting, rape, and attempted suicide.