Michelin Moses is a country star about to drop a new album. Michelin is gay, but he keeps that part of himself strictly hidden, sure that coming out would ruin his chances at success as a country singer. One night, Michelin goes to a gay club for a friend’s birthday and meets sexy go go dancer Lucky Ramirez. The guys have an instant spark, and it looks like there may be something more, but when the guys are found in a compromising position, scandal threatens both Michelin’s career and Lucky’s job.
Michelin’s label decides to run with it and determines now is the time for him to come out publicly. Michelin never wanted to be the face of a movement or known as the “gay country star,” but he also knows he doesn’t have much choice with his new album on the line. Lucky reluctantly agrees to play the part of Michelin’s boyfriend, as the label hopes showing Michelin settled into a relationship will smooth the coming out process.
Things begin as just pretend, since although the attraction is there between them, Lucky has no interest in being a paid boyfriend. As long as this is all for the record company, the guys intend to keep things professional. But the heat is still growing between them, and slowly Michelin and Lucky come to realize there may be more between them than just pretend. But Michelin is still not comfortable with his new role as the face of gay country music and he is still holding back publicly. And Lucky isn’t willing to hide who he is or what he does for a living. Now both men must decide if they are willing to take some risks and make some compromises so they can turn this growing relationship into something real.
All Note Long is the third book in Annabeth Albert’s Perfect Harmony series. I have been a big fan of this one from the start (in fact, the first book, Treble Maker, was one of my favorites of last year). Michelin has made appearances in the first two books, so I was really happy to see him get his own story (though you don’t have to have read the others for this one to work). We have had hints that there is more to Michelin that meets the eye, and this story definitely gives us another side of him (in addition to confirming that he is, in fact, gay).
I’ll admit, I kind of pictured Michelin as much older, more on the apex of his career rather than a relatively young guy based on the previous books. He serves as a mentor on both reality shows that are the focus of the other stories and plays an active role in helping the up-and-coming bands. Here we see that although he is a big star, there is also a lot of vulnerability there. There is a side of Michelin he never shows anyone but his closest friends and here we get to see him open that part of himself up to Lucky.
I liked the two of these guys together. Lucky is younger, but he is much more confident in himself and what he wants. Lucky helps Michelin open up and learn what he wants from a relationship, and they have a nice dynamic together that is both sexy and sweet. At times I felt like these guys were mired in too much back and forth as they clearly both feel strongly for one another, but neither quite could communicate those feelings enough to the other. Both guys have doubts about the relationship and it’s future, which makes sense considering it starts as a fake dating situation. But I do think the lack of communication about their feelings makes things not move forward as quickly as I would have liked.
I will also say I did find myself confused at points on Michelin’s fame and public role. At times he seems like a mega star, someone with tons of money, fame, and a huge following, something that should give him plenty of pull and a bit more of a solid foundation when all the dust kicks up. But other times he seems like an up-and-coming artist who could lose everything at one wrong move. I guess I just couldn’t quite get a sense of him and how big a star he is supposed to be.
This are minor issues however, and I really enjoyed this story. I loved Lucky particularly, and found these guys kind of sweet and adorable together, not to mention sexy when they really let loose. This isn’t quite “marriage of convenience” story, but if you like that trope, I think you will particularly enjoy this story. But really I think fans of the series and anyone who enjoys a good coming out story can find a lot to like with this one.