As a high level music executive, Dave Ballard is not known for being nice. His best friend and co-worker, Miles, finds the talent and Dave is known for closing the deal. When Miles shows Dave a new video of an unknown singer named Luca, Dave is captivated by the man’s voice and then by the man himself, even though Luca’s face is in the shadows. When Luca refuses to meet with Miles, Dave sets off to small town Georgia to seal the deal.
Luca is the real deal. His voice is legendary and his bad boy persona makes him a star waiting to happen. From the first note, Dave wants nothing more than to sign the man and he also wants the man himself. But Dave never mixes business and pleasure and Luca has no interest in recording. He had his shot and after that was tragically taken from him, Luca barely wants to be alive, let alone pursue a music career.
Dave knows Luca’s fragile emotional state is a bad risk professionally, but his baser instincts of wanting to give Luca shelter kick in strong, much to Dave’s astonishment. Dave is used to being all business, but while his attraction and need for Luca touch him down to his soul, he first has to try and save Luca from drowning within his own storm.
I have read most of Maris Black’s work and have liked her style throughout most of her books. After the first chapter of Soul Storm, however, there wasn’t much momentum to keep things going for me for an entire novel.
At first, we have Dave being instantly captivated by a video of Luca singing. Initially it’s dollar signs he sees, but almost in the same instant he is drawn to Luca. But since Luca will not take calls from Miles, Dave sets out to close the deal.
Luca was a singer on the rise and after tragedy struck, he barely exists. He sings in a small local bar and has no interest in seeking a larger limelight. Dave sticks out immediately in his slick suit and executive persona, but that doesn’t stop Luca from being attracted to him. Luca has no intention of having a professional relationship with Dave, so a personal one is all he offers. And while the men get to it almost immediately, I couldn’t latch onto their desire or their sudden need to consume each other.
The book was slow. When I finally looked at the numbers, I was at 60% and I didn’t feel that much had happened. I often take notes to capture the feelings and thoughts I have while reading the book to incorporate into a review and by 75%, I had no notes because nothing was standing out. Even Luca’s back story, which was indeed tragic, lacked that emotional punch I was looking for and everything just had a neutral slant to it.
The book centers on Dave wanting to sign Luca, Luca not wanting anything to do with it, then Dave thinking Luca’s a bad risk professionally due to his emotional state, and then Luca wanting to change Dave’s mind. It all came down to all the emotion staying on the page with not much happening and then the ending tried to have everything happen. The ending was abrupt and then the epilogue jumped forward in time and pivotal moments of their relationship were completely left out.
A tortured musician and the business man that will save him had potential on paper, but this book as well as the characters will be largely forgettable, which was a large departure from this author for me.