Punk-In: MM Rockstar Romance (Wayward Lane Book 1)
By Ava Olson
Brodie is the lead singer of the rock band, “Wayward Lane.” He is out and, per his own admission, is a “fuckboy.” His manager Van is straight, and they work and tour together for four years as Brodie’s band becomes more and more popular.
The tension in this book is excellent. It switches between Brodie’s and Van’s POVs. Brodie has a huge crush on Van, but worries that Van will think Brodie is just using him for sex. Van has a mutual crush on Brodie, but is intimidated by Brodie’s charisma and magnetism. He is not willing to risk his job and his heart for someone who has never shown any interest in a serious relationship. Van is also holding back because he has never been with a man, and he is fifteen years older than his rock star crush (29 and 44).
There are plenty of things in this book that were silly, but the tenderness is what hooked me. There are some minor misunderstandings, but nothing really monumental. There is no third-act breakup.
Perhaps the most refreshing thing is that everyone asks them, “Are you sure this is a good idea since you are, you know, co-workers who travel around the country together?” Instead of getting pissy and defensive, Van and Brodie actually talk about it!
I’m a sucker for band romances and when a character confesses their feelings in song. This is silly and sweet and smutty and fun.
Note: This book contains neither “punk” nor “pumpkins.”
Three Souls Who Break (Three Ties Book 1)
By Michelle Dare
Xaiden is a retired underground boxing champion. He became a fighter when his girlfriend Sasha was brutally murdered by a drug addict. After her killer dies in prison, Xaiden becomes a personal trainer/self-defense instructor. Now, he trains other people to defend themselves. Through mutual friends, Xaiden meets Val, a mechanic, and Corbin, an ER doctor who is coping with his recent divorce.
Xaiden has never been able to fully process Sasha’s murder. Corbin wants something meaningful and real after the trauma of his cheating ex-wife. Val is young and is not sure what he wants, but he is drawn to the other two men. Xaiden is straight, Corbin is bi, and Val is gay.
This one was less interesting, but it had the best names. I know people make fun of the -aydens of the early aughts, but Xaiden is a new one for me. The relationship between the three men is actually very sweet. However, there is some third act drama, not a third act breakup, that was completely unnecessary. I skipped over most of it because I don’t really care about sudden orphan adoption plot lines, especially when the kids came out of nowhere at the end of the book.
I got these as part of December’s Stuff your Kindle on Romance Bookworms.