Phoenix (Death Rose #1) by Melanie Tushmore

PhoenixPublished 17 September 2014

Published by Less Than Three Press, LLC

Copy obtained from publisher for review.


Young painter Alex Tatton has always loved music. When a tragic accident takes away his parents, he turns to a darker style of music and discovers the rock band, Death Rose. Feeling isolated from his own life, Alex develops a crush on guitarist Danny Death who, despite the name, is vivacious, full of life, and has a reputation for being ‘the nicest guy in rock n’ roll’.

After a gig, Alex finds Danny to give him a signed painting. Danny is everything a star should be: charming, sexy, a beacon of light in Alex’s otherwise dark life, and after meeting him Alex is determined to see him again—and this time he wants more than just an autograph.

Our Thoughts:

Talk about a blast from the past! Reading the obsession with Danny Death and Death Rose brought back fond memories of my teen years. :) Watching Headbangers ball on MTV, reading Medal Edge and collecting posters from my favorite bands. I remember all too well how quickly teens obsess over an idol or rock musician.

For Alex, that’s exactly what happens. After losing his parents, Alex is living with his aunt and uncle. Having missed some of his exams he is repeating his last year of school. To avoid being the center of attention, he goes to a different school and that’s where he meets two girls in art class. They give him a cassette tape of the band Death Rose. It is life changing.

Alex becomes infatuated with everything Death Rose. He is a super fan, painting canvases of his favorite band member, Danny Death. He’s reading every interview, collecting posters and pictures of Danny and the band. When he has the chance to go to a live gig, Danny jumps on the chance. Alex is a bit awkward and in his words/thoughts a bit uncool. The scene is totally one he isn’t used to, but he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone to grab at a chance to meet Danny Death. The first gig he does get that chance and he also gives Danny a portrait he painted. Danny seems genuinely pleased and grateful. Alex leaves on a high and the meeting motivates him to continue his obsession.

The second time Danny goes to see Death Rose, he’s alone and things don’t go as he planned. He has a new work of art he wants to deliver personally to Danny but he’s having no luck even getting into the backstage area. His floppy hair, simple clothes and spotted skin make him pretty unremarkable. When he starts to see himself compared to the other groupies hanging around trying for a chance to meet the band he feels that he really doesn’t measure up to the scene around him. If anything, Alex is lucky, or maybe it’s just destiny because Hollie comes along. Hollie does band interviews and she takes Alex in under her wing. She pulls him backstage and stays with him. Danny and Alex meet once again but it isn’t exactly as Alex hoped it would go. If anything it propels him to make some changes. With Hollie’s help, he is on his way to a new Alex.

To sum it up, Alex is a little socially awkward with average looks. He’s a fabulous artist. He’s very lonely and Death Rose is his outlet.

In walks Danny Death! Danny is not the average rocker. He doesn’t drink or party. He loathes the backstage scene, sitting around watching people get drunk and act stupid. He doesn’t sleep around, he barely sleeps with anyone. He would rather talk about his amps, pedals and guitars than be stuck at a bar making small talk with drunks, interviewers and groupies. When the made-over Alex attends another Death Rose show and finally gets his moment with Danny, everything changes for Danny and Alex.

Danny is confident and pretty inspirational. Alex is anxious and always feeling out of his league in the surroundings wherever Death Rose is performing. Since Danny doesn’t like the bar scene they escape to some one-on-one time together and they really bond. Danny feels he can open up to Alex and connect with him on a more personal level. They both had parents die when they were young and both loathe alcohol. They actually take time to listen to each other and talk rather than party. They also kiss…

Alex is in heaven! He can’t believe Danny is interested in him. Unfortunately, Hollie tells him that she fears Danny will love and leave so she wants Alex prepared. That’s actually pretty sad because it overshadows every encounter they have afterward, Alex is always fearing that this will be the last time they are together. He’s always waiting for the ball to drop…Danny leaving.

Overall, I loved how Danny was so giving and insecure. Totally unexpected for a hard-core rocker! I loved that when Alex was feeling overwhelmed he just wanted to get home and grab his notepad and pens to ground himself. I like that they never made rash assumptions or went all angsty with each other. They always regrouped and talked things out. Alex being all awkward and feeling out-of-place eventually subsided but Danny was the big surprise with his quick declarations and support of Alex’s craft. They sizzle in the bedroom but it is a sensual pleasure with nothing but respect and love. Danny and Alex manage to find a way to be true to themselves and each other. Together they discover real love, one that can last and withstand distance and the rockstar lifestyle.

I loved this book!!


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