Jake Brenner has too many wild oats to sow to fall in love - or so he claims. Besides, he's much too busy with his band, the Wayward Sons, to go looking for romance. His reticence has nothing to do with his embarrassing crush on Chris, the band's lead singer and Jake's erstwhile best friend. But that was before enigmatic wanderer Parker McAvoy signed on as the band's new lead guitarist. He can only deny his attraction to sweet, dorky Parker for so long before the urge to do something about it becomes impossible to ignore. The trouble is, Parker knows all about Jake's philandering ways - and oh, yeah, he's not gay. Or so Jake thinks until a string of related events provides encouraging new insight.
Can he convince Parker to overlook his colorful past and give him a chance? Or will this love song fade out before it even begins?
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Somewhere in the Middle
I would certainly recommend this book to a friend but must admit that this would be a title I would rec only if I've run out of more interesting titles. It's definitely worth the recommendation and is by far better than most other books out there in this genre. Still, it's not the kind of book you'll find yourself listening to over and over. So, it's not going to be one of those titles that immediately spring to mind when a friend asks for a recommendation.
The most interesting aspect was the romance between the two male leads. I liked the development of the romance between the two men, as well as the friendship within the band between the bandmates. I was however a little irritated because one of the men already had an established best friend and suddenly the two lead men were being referred to as 'best friends' just to perhaps give the upcoming relationship a firmer foothold. I don't mind the two men being best friends. I just got a little miffed because I saw no point in establishing a bff just to 'replace' him, since the bandmates are all pretty tight with each other throughout the story anyway.
The least interesting aspect I found was the climb from obscurity to fame. I am admittedly divided on this opinion because on one hand it was very interesting to live the 'journey'. However, on the other hand this is a romance novel. Brace yourself, I warn, because 3/4 of this book has no romance whatsoever. It's all about the climb. For the 1/4 that is all about the romance however, this was admittedly well written and well-read. So while I was seriously bored during some parts, if those parts were edited out, the story would have fallen flat because so much of it was about the rags-to-riches. To take even the tiniest bit of that away would have destroyed the story. The UST however was nicely handled, and the fact that the main characters were best friends helped to distract from the lack of romance. Also, the second half of the book does its best to make up for the prudeness of the first half. So, much of this is forgiven.
I loved Sean Crisden's performance. As usual, it's not his best performance, but neither is it close to being his worst. He does a very good job with establishing each character and bringing his own unique brand of youthful enthusiasm to the read. He kept my interest in the story even at its most boring points.
I realize though that my like for Crisden as a narrator helps me to appreciate this and some other novels he's narrated, more than if I'd read them myself in print form. I imagine that if you dislike Crisden as a narrator then this may not be the book for you to buy. In my opinion he carries the book further than I would have appreciated it on its own. In the same way, I imagine that in this particular book, disliking him as a reader can just as much take away from the experience, especially because so much of this book is about the band, the bandmates' friendship, and their journey from obscurity to fame, more than about the two men who eventually - admittedly convincingly and very gorgeously, and slowly - fall in love with each other.
Great after the story gets going....
- Candateshia Pafford