Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 3.75 stars

Narrator: Brennan Landry
Length: 6 hours, 22 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

For Nolan Metcalf and Ellis Bloom, being bandmates, best friends, and tenants in the same building is as natural as breathing. When Ellis’ apartment is broken into and he is held at gunpoint, it’s just as natural for Nolan to feel protective of Ellis and let him stay with him. For both their comfort, they share a bed, but the emotional situation and their proximity quickly fosters unexpected desire neither is equipped to handle. When their burgeoning sexual attraction becomes too intense, Nolan and Ellis give each other space. However, the intimacy and connection they find is too strong, and they begin exploring a physical relationship, despite worries this exploration could hurt their friendship.

This worry is amplified because their relationship goals don’t align. Though his marriage didn’t work, Ellis longs to be in a loving relationship like his parents and is keen on remarrying. Nolan is the opposite. His parents’ tumultuous marriage and its cantankerous resolution left him wary and content with hookups, but his romantic relationship with Ellis makes him question his resolve. Before the men figure out what they want, reality intrudes. Now, they have to decide if being a couple is going to be an added verse to their song or simply a wrong note.

Love Song is a low key and sweet friends-to-lovers story. It’s very comfy and has a lived in feel. The MCs’ journey from friends, to questioning, to lovers is believable and features adult men having adult conversations. Nolan and Ellis are warm, empathetic, and caring guys, and this is excellently conveyed. Their external lives are very well-rounded, with many scenes showcasing the closeness with their families and students and their band dynamics. I appreciated how Ellis’ difficulty coming to terms with being held at gunpoint is handled. He’s a big guy and feeling that he should have defended himself makes it even harder. For all that, there is something missing in their personalities to me. Besides being very cool guys who are good friends with opposite desires for partnership, I don’t know them. They are very likable, close to their families, and emotionally compatible, but have no real depth beyond the traits that strengthen their bond.

Love Song’s tone is very mellow, like it’s infused with the marijuana they enjoy, but is a bit too chill for me. The story has a sweet warmth, but some of that sweetness melts into saccharine goo. The men’s poetic natures and musical inclinations makes this believable, but in a story with no real momentum, I eventually felt a bit stuck in it. One of the conundrums of creating a realistic, but relatively angst-free, story is creating some energy—either the conflict or characters need vigor. Love Song doesn’t have either. The men falling in love and Ellis’ journey back to health are so quiet and gentle that pairing these aspects with two equally gentle and laid-back MCs makes the emotions feel muted. The story drags in places and even weightier topics ,such as the home invasion and Ellis’ abusive biological father, feel lighter than they should.

Brennan Landry does a great job capturing the story’s vibes in the narration. His character voices for Ellis and Nolan are fitting, and his emotional delivery very good. His voices, or rather, voice for female characters is so-so, but he makes up for it with hitting the right tones for their dialogue. There are also some awkward pauses and phrasing, but overall, I think it’s a solid performance.

Love Song is like a song you’ve heard many times—predictable, comfortable, and easy listening. The vibes may have been a little too laidback for me, but I enjoyed it. If you give it listen, I hope you enjoy it too.