Former rockstar Kris Starr feels like an old, washed up has been. The music still drives him, but he can’t seem to write anything new. Kris’ name and talent still have some star power, and he’s reluctantly recording a Midwinter album in which he’s repurposing his old songs with new holiday lyrics. But he’s not feeling it, and since he’s a fairly powerful empath, no one else is feeling it either. But Kris’ manager, the sweet, enthusiastic, younger Justin Moore, pushes him to do better.
With a startling realization, Kris figures out he’s in love with Justin. But Justin is too good for him and involved with someone else. When an act of heroism reveals Justin’s secret, Kris is the only one who doesn’t freak out. He continues to be there for Justin, even when Justin’s life spirals downward. Their friendship deepens, and Kris wants more. But he wants Justin to be safe and happy, and that means Justin needs to work through things before they can take their relationship to that level. If Justin is ever ready to do that. Kris won’t push.
It’s exactly what Justin needs. As his life spirals out of control and then comes back together again, Kris is his one constant source of safety and support. And when things finally settle and look good again, Kris is all that he wants. These two men can find their happily ever after as long as they let themselves have it.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for when I picked up this book, but the blurb was intriguing enough to have me interested, so even though I’d never read this author before, I was happy to give it a try. It fit in well with Paranormal Week, considering this is a near realistic world in which all sorts of creatures and psychic abilities are common place. There was a lyrical poeticism to the book that worked really well and the author has created two likeable and believable characters…for all that they are supernatural. The world building is solid and immersive.
I enjoyed both Justin and Kris, though we definitely get to know Kris better as this story his told solely through his third person narration. I loved the journey he went on and watching the way he viewed the world slowly change and evolve. It wasn’t all because of Justin, but more that he wanted to be a person worthy of Justin. I really enjoyed the realness that laced this entire story.
The two MCs had insane chemistry together, and that, more than anything else, made this a good read. Their banter is fun and playful and they balance each other nicely. They support one another, though definitely Justin ends up needing it more as the story goes on. And there was a great slow build toward their relationship, first them becoming solid friends and then so much more. I actually liked the slower pace of this—especially given things that happen to Justin—so on the relationship end, it worked really well..
However, I found the first half of this book slow in general and the pacing took a long while to pick up for me. While I definitely enjoyed watching these two guys interact, I felt like this section could have had a tighter narration to keep things moving and interest piqued. As it was, there were scenes that, while nicely written, didn’t do much to advance the plot and bogged down the narrative. I also found, at times, that Kris and Justin sounded a bit too similar, especially in their tendency not to finish sentences.
But really, these are my only complaints with the book. Overall, I enjoyed the story. The author has a wonderful style, and has created two MCs I really felt for. The action really picked up in the second half, and I couldn’t wait to find out how it all played out. If you’re looking for an AU story that’s believable with great characters, then give this one a try.