Tag Archives: musicians

Body Rocks (Off Beat #1) by AM Arthur

Body RocksBody Rocks (Off Beat #1) by AM Arthur

Published on June 28, 2016

Published by Swerve

Categories: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Musicians

Blurb:

Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country…too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member XYZ.

Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?

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Our thoughts:

I’m not sure how I feel about this story. The idea of two members from rival bands falling in love has so much potential and appeal. I picture clandestine meetings and choosing between their heart or their music. Instead, the getting together part seemed easy. Even meeting up was easy. Heck they even had a confidant from the band that knew of their relationship!

What I wasn’t expecting was the angst coming from petty standards! When a guy totally lies about who he is and then gets self-righteous when the in the closet lover refuses to acknowledge him, I had issue with that. It wasn’t a deal breaker, it just seemed like a double standard.

I enjoyed the complexity of Dom’s family. He was loved and supported, Trey didn’t have any of that. However, it felt like too many problems were introduced to keep the story going longer when it could have been a shorter story about them getting together, playing music, and overcoming the odds. I could have done without the car accident, attack, and short break up.

This novel felt more new adult and if you go into it with that thought process, the immaturity and angst is totally fitting. It was a very different type of story from AM Arthur so I’m glad to experience something new and look forward to what else the new series has to offer.

RATING: SNEAKERS

SPOTLIGHT and REVIEW: Rock Me Two Times by Dawn Ryder

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Rock Me Two Times by Dawn Ryder
Series: Rock Band, Book 1
Released: November 3, 2015
Categories: Erotic Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Cover Design: Sourcebooks, Inc.

Blurb:

First in Dawn Ryder’s sizzling new Rock Band series.

Rock star Syon Braden writes and plays the most extreme—and profitable—music from the depths of his shredded heart. He’s got a double platinum record, adoring fans, and success for his band Toxsin—but it’s what he can’t have that he craves. Custom leather designer Kate Napier has her sights set on success, and that means keeping irresistible rock stars like Syon out of her bed. The chance to tour with the band and provide them with a fantastic custom wardrobe is too major an opportunity to turn down. But immersion in the dark, wild world of Toxsin on tour means Kate’s about to get rocked…hard…body and soul.

Sexiest Rock Stars (And What Makes Them So Hot!) with Dawn Ryder

Rock Stars…some are just lick-able….

Let’s face it, there is something about a man in leather, who can bring a stadium to its feet. I know there are all sorts of different music out there but heavy metal in all its formats has a certain, gut-wrenching appeal that just gets girls wanting to squeal. So here’s one of my favorites:

Tim McGraw – Fine, he isn’t a heavy metal musician, but he is absolutely lick-able. There are a lot of reasons that I find this man fascinating, one of which is his music writing range. Everything from songs about ‘being a bad boy but a real good man’ to something soul wrenching like ‘Live like you were dying.’ The music moves something inside me and that was exactly what I wanted to come across in this book, Rock Me Two Times. I wanted to take readers to the person behind the fame, the one that struggles with self-esteem like every one of their fans and also has to contend with the fact that because they are at the top, they know everyone is going to judge what they come out with next. Sure, I wanted Syon to be a strong hero type, but I also wanted the reader to see that he had a need for a soul mate too.

There are so many types of passion, and music is one that the world stops and listens to. If I’m lucky, someday, one of my books will captivate a reader just as completely as some of the great songs out there that everyone knows.

Dawn Ryder
DawnRyder.com

Meet the author:

Dawn Ryder photoDawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over eight years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.

Social Networking Links:

Website: http://www.dawnryder.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mary-Wine-133965836120
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawnryder_write
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show853496.Dawn_Ryder

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Rd2svU
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1LcifcM
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1LmFIWE
Apple: http://apple.co/1LmFKh5

Rock Me Two Times cover

Excerpt:

The Staples Center was roaring.

It sounded like a tsunami coming in, or a freight train passing three feet in front of her face. It was more than sound; there was a vibration that traveled through her body, all the way down to her bones. There was a current in the air that practically crackled with excitement.

The bodyguard-slash-security guy showed Kate up to a private box. She followed because she didn’t want to squeal like a little girl and ask to be taken home.

She’d never lost her head like this before.

It was embarrassing on an epic scale. She was pissed at herself for rolling over so easily for a man who wouldn’t recall her name by the end of the night.

The box had plush seats and an open rail overlooking the stage. The lights went down, and the drummer started up. The beat was infectious, taking over her heart until she was sure the muscle was keeping the same rhythm.

The crowd roared again, thrusting their hands up into the air as two guitars joined the drummer. Her nipples puckered again, her memory offering up an image of Syon arching back as he played those final chords. It was like he was pushing the music out of himself, almost as if he were giving birth.

On stage, he was just as raw.

Syon took command of the space completely. The audience ate him up.

And were they screaming. Syon worked them just as skillfully as he did his guitar. He really was lord of all he surveyed. Kate discovered herself leaning forward, being drawn toward the spellbinding energy pulsing on the stage. Sitting still was impossible; her body wanted to move in time with the notes Syon was wringing out of his instrument. She became fixated on his hands; the way he worked his fingers was downright dominant.

Her teeth were clenched by the time the last song finished, she was panting softly and felt wrung out.

But it was fucking wonderful. She was drifting on a high and collapsed back into her padded chair, her composure scattered around her like fall leaves. She felt spent but amped up at the same time.

Fangirls were definitely climbing the respect ladder in her book.

Okay, so she was drooling over a rock star like some high schooler, but at least B.O.B.—her battery-operated boyfriend —was waiting for her at home. All in all, the buzz was worth the slightly stinging blow to her pride, because in some corner of her mind, she believed she should be grown-up enough to realize fantasies weren’t mature. So disappointment wouldn’t stalk her in the wee hours of the night.

A hollow feeling in her gut warned her she was hoping in vain.

As Syon and the rest of the band left the stage, Kate indulged herself in a long moment of reflection. Syon had worked that guitar until it wailed. He had to be hell in bed if he applied even half that effort to pleasing his partner.

“So, what’d you think?”

She jumped, grabbing the armrests of the movie theater-style chair. Her eyes popped open wide, and her belly did a triple flip when she found Syon watching her.

“Ah…” Her tongue suddenly felt like a wad of cotton in her mouth as she scrambled to stand up and turn around to face him. “It was fantastic…”

He grinned at her, a huge, arrogantly pleased expression that showed off his perfect teeth.

God, she wondered if he knew how to bite…

Our Thoughts:

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a m/f erotica ‘rocker’ book. I was anxious to indulge in the whole rock star fantasy and wild lifestyle. The guys of Rock Me Two Times definitely lived up the that elaborate lifestyle. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll…. without the drugs. The four members of Toxsin were pretty egotistical but as we progress through the story, we see it’s a barrier to protect their true selves.

Syon is the lead singer of Toxsin. When he meets Kate, a leather seamstress, he has to have her. He literally turns her life upside down to get her on tour with the band. At first introduction, Kate is strong and pretty bad ass. Once Syon has his way, she seems to stand up just to back off too quickly. Giving in a bit more than first impressions gave hope to in the beginning. Syon came off as a total prick but as the pages turned he wasn’t as bad as he first appeared.

Once they stop angsting and hook up, Kate and Syon waste no time exploring every inch of each other. There’s sex, sex and more sex. That insatiable rock star appetite. :D It would have been pretty hot but their banter and Syon’s preening and demands made hot turn warm for this reader. If you like dirty talk edged with self-assurance you’ll love Syon in the throes of ecstasy.

I did enjoy how the band rallied to include Kate into their little family. Getting to know the other band mates and their troubles was a perk. If each band member gets a book in this series, there’s potential for some interesting stories.

If you like your rock star to be a dominating tough ass and your heroine to be strong yet yielding, this book will not disappoint! :)

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BOOK BLAST: Sexual Frankenstein by TC Blue

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Sexual Frankenstein by TC Blue
Release Date: September 2, 2015
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay
Pages or Words: 13,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

One word, musicians! Never read a book about rockers we didn’t like so we’re happy to shine a spotlight on TC Blue’s release, Sexual Frankenstein. That’s the name of the band, no paranormal here, just sexual tension between friends. Enjoy!

Blurb:

Tony & Darian have been friends and playing together in their band, Sexual Frankenstein, for a few years, and while they really are friends, they’ve never crossed that line — no matter how much they may want to — because of their band and friendship, as well as not thinking the other is interested.

The apparent interest in one of them, from their hot and very glam new singer, brings things to a head as long-buried jealousies push to the fore, leading both Tony and Darian to reevaluate what they already have and what they so desperately want.

This story previously appeared in the Po’boys Anthology, published by Torquere Press.

sexualfrankenstein

Excerpt:

Yeah, the voice was bad enough because it was so good, but even worse was the fact that Andy was too fucking good-looking and not at all shy. Andy would never sit around for two years, yearning for someone who had never once seemed to be interested, just because he was too scared to make a move. No, Tony was pretty sure that Andy, with his make-up and highlights, his dramatic wardrobe and even more dramatic nature, would just stroll up to whoever caught his eye and say something to make that person laugh. Something to make their blue eyes shine and crinkle at the corners. Something to have that person’s slightly wavy, collar-length dark-blond hair moving wildly while that same person’s soft-looking, pink-lipped mouth opened in a grin to reveal almost perfect teeth, aside from the one lateral incisor on the left that was crooked and overlapped that left front tooth just enough to be cute and quirky rather than snaggly.

Add in the stage moves that Andy somehow kept managing to pull off without stumbling or tripping over his own feet — or any of the numerous cables covering the stage — and Tony definitely hated the bastard. More than hated him when the jerk took each and every opportunity to maneuver over to Darian’s side and rub up against him, singing into his eyes, looking wicked and delicious. Eight times so far, because Tony was keeping count, and Darian didn’t seem to mind even a little, damn it.

My own fault. Should have manned up and taken my shot before, and now it’s too late. I’m a fucking idiot. And how appropriate was it that the next song on their playlist was the old Cinderella ballad “Don’t Know What You Got”? Not that Tony had ever broken anyone’s heart, but he totally understood the emotion behind the chorus.

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Buy the book: Torquere Press

Meet TC Blue:

Contrary to popular opinion, TC Blue was not raised by wolves. Nor did she spring, fully formed, from the forehead of a god, instead entering the world in the usual manner.

A true jack-of-all-trades and master of none (otherwise known as flighty and unable to make a decision and stick with it), she currently resides near the east coast where she does her best to avoid politics and religions as a general rule.

TC can usually be found sitting in front of her computer, trying to wrangle rabid and numerous plot bunnies, though her muses insist that she not be too hard on the poor little fluffy things. (Poor little fluffy things with sharp teeth and claws, but whatever. Muses don’t seem to care much about the possible bloodshed if the bunnies think TC’s not writing quickly enough.)

One thing sure to calm the bunnies is hearing from readers, so please feel free to contact TC at tcblue@live.com or stalk her: on Twitter — @tc_blue, on Facebook — T.c. Blue.

Where to find TC Blue:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000896020443
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tc_blue
Website: https://tcblue.wordpress.com

Tour Date and Stops:

Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, The Jena Wade, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, 3 Chicks After Dark, Bayou Book Junkie, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Louise Lyons, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter, Wake Up Your Wild Side, MM Good Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Chris McHart

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of Sexual Frankenstein by TC Blue!

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BLOG TOUR: Ruin Porn by SJD Peterson & SA McAuley

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Ruin Porn by SJD Peterson & S.A. McAuley
Release Date: August 28, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Cover Artist: Photo by Tony Detroit
Cover by Paul Richmond
Pages or Words: 252 pages, approximately 90,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Musicians

SJD Peterson and SA McAuley are here to share with us where the idea for Ruin Porn was born. Also, where they can come together to plot, converse and eat delicious foods. Be sure to check out the excerpt from Ruin Porn, it’s a generous helping you won’t want to miss.

Blurb:

There is underlying beauty in destruction….

Miah Thade, Finn Reese, and Ritchie Meyer are Resonator, an indie rock band with an edge—best friends turned rock stars, known as the Detroit 3. When Evin Rene appears in their life, none of them can deny he belongs with Rez.

They may have named their first album Ruin Porn because people get off on seeing how Detroit went from deeply loved to thoroughly forsaken, but they’re determined to prove that blight isn’t the entire story and blight isn’t always ugly.

Ritchie, Miah, Finn, and Evin take Resonator to a level no one anticipates. But no prosperity comes without sacrifice, and no secret stays hidden without a trail of lies. As Rez’s fame grows, so does the intensity between two of its members… as well as their potential for destruction.

Evin and Finn are about to discover the underlying beauty in their ruin porn.

RuinPornFS

Guest Post:

Food & Drink of Detroit

Sam and I live about an hour from each other, and although we tend to speak nearly every day, we try to get together every couple of weeks. Most of our time is spent in different restaurants around Detroit and the surrounding areas. It’s a great way to hang out, enjoy the food and local fare, and talk plot. It’s amazing how easily we feed ideas off each other while eating (okay mainly drinking, but you get the point.)

One of the first places we discussed Ruin Porn was Lily’s Seafood in downtown Royal Oak, Michigan when we were on our way to our second Bastille concert.

Lily's: Ruin Porn Post

Quality food, perfectly crafted micro-brews and a cozy, relaxed, family friendly atmosphere.

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You can check them out here. Better yet, if you’re in the area be sure to stop by, you won’t be disappointed.

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One of the greatest places Sam has ever taken me to eat is Honest John’s. I know from the outside it doesn’t look like much but *OMFG* it has the best breakfast in the city of Detroit!

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In addition to having great food that’s cheap, they also serve it up right with an obligatory morning cocktail!

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Be sure to stop by this little gem, you won’t be disappointed, I promise. (And make sure to stop by the bathroom while you’re there. Oh, and bring a Sharpie. Just trust me.) You can check them out here.

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We’ve visited many more, but the last one I’m going to share with you is our usual hangout in the wonderful town of Holly, Michigan. Many, many, many (have I said MANY) hours were spent in Blackthorn Pub while writing Ruin Porn. The food, the drinks, and the staff are superb!

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If you get a chance to check out this awesome place, be sure to tell Rory that Sam & Jo sent you! (He’s the one in the ball cap below. Love that rocking beard.)

Blackthorn Pic: Ruin Porn Post

You can check out more on Blackthorn Pub here.

Ruin Porn Cover

Available now for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press HERE. Releases August 28, 2015

S.A. McAuley
I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.
FACEBOOKTWITTER- BLOG – EMAIL her @ authorsamcauley@gmail.com

SJD Peterson
SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.
FACEBOOKTWITTERBLOG – EMAIL her @sjdpeterson@gmail.com

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Los Angeles

EVIN LAID his forehead against the grimy front door, closed his eyes, and tried to remember how to breathe.

Maybe this was irony—two doorstep vigils in this shitty LA apartment in one year—but Evin had no idea. He might have been one of the primary songwriters for Resonator, but putting poetic weight behind his words wasn’t the same as making sure they were neatly confined by proper grammar.

Whether or not his current pathetic situation was ironic by the strict definition was something Miah—as much as he wanted to act the dumb, egotistical lead singer—would have known. Evin smiled at the thought, then grimaced just as rapidly. The realization of just how far removed he was from the three men who had meant the most in his life for such a short but memorable time was like a physical punch to the throat and gut at the same time.

He and the founding members of Resonator had worked their asses off and fucking killed the music industry giants that told them alternative rock with a hard edge would never be massively popular again. It didn’t matter how many minds they’d changed, though, Rez was over. Disbanded. Defunct and fucked-up. It had all fallen apart so fast. Ironically (maybe), for reasons much more controversial and tabloid-worthy than everyone believed.

So much had changed in the last year that he couldn’t decide whether it was easier to start over with a new band or try to fix what had been damaged. Standing in front of this damn door yet again, he was terrified because he didn’t know what came next. The knock he was waiting for now could either bring Rez back together or put a definitive end date on all their careers. Only adding to his stratospheric stress level was the realization that he couldn’t be sure which outcome he was hoping for.

All he could be sure of was that there was change coming, and there was nothing he could do to stop it now.

He banged his forehead on the door a couple more times for good measure and muttered under his breath as he walked away, “Get it fucking together, Kevin—”

Wait.

Kevin… Evin… Fuck!

He didn’t know what to call himself anymore now that he wasn’t the bassist and songwriter for Rez.

The fans camped outside his building kept up an almost constant chant of Rezors love you and Bring back Rez. There were other more demanding and linguistically colorful phrases thrown in every now and then, but every one of them called out for Evin without fail, not Kevin.

He’d only been Evin for a year, but it wasn’t as if there was a chance for him to go back and change it—any of it—now. He might as well embrace the twenty-two-year-old man he’d become, even if he wasn’t particularly proud of who that was.

There was a tap against the door, a forlorn knock he’d been both waiting for and dreading. Then Shonda’s voice, low and soothing, reverberated through the plywood. “Security let me up. Thanks for allowing them to….”

They have no choice but to listen to everything I say. He was the one paying the four guards who verified the identities of everyone coming into this ramshackle building so that no one could sneak up and harass him. It was probably the safest the down-on-life residents of this slum had ever been.

There was the sound of crinkling plastic and the corner of a magazine appeared in the gap between the door and the tarnished, dented carpet strip. Shonda continued, “I’m just going to leave this copy here, Ev. It goes public everywhere today. I hope to hear from you. I hope it’s what you expected…. I hope maybe it changes things for Rez.” She was quiet for a moment, but Evin knew she was still there. He leaned his shoulder against the doorjamb but didn’t answer her. She sighed. “Call me.”

She knocked softly two more times, a gesture of familiarity and support, and then he could hear her shuffling away, back to the stairs, as if she was making noise so he knew she was gone and he was alone.

He waited until the silence in the hallway had dragged on for minutes before unlocking the series of deadbolts and opening his door. The magazine lying at his feet was an inanimate object. It was neither sentient nor harmful in and of itself. But Evin stared at it as if it were an exposed live wire submerged in a tank of water.

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” he grumbled, swiped the magazine up, and slammed the door shut. He made sure to click the locks home before he settled himself onto the worn futon to see what Shonda had written.

He’d made the front cover, which Shonda hadn’t prepared him for. It was ludicrous and surreal to see his ordinary bearded face—his conservatively styled sweat-soaked brown hair whipped back from his forehead by fingertips—staring back at him in the blinding black and white of a live concert shot. He immediately knew why Shonda had chosen this pic to set up her exposé. The Evin in the photograph was looking across that stage at an unseen entity, his expression equal parts rock god, lovesick fool, and insecure madman.

Evin swallowed the bile building in his throat, cracked his neck, attempting to break some of the tension, and flipped through the pages until he saw the headline—The Rezor’s Edge: Resonator’s Bassist Tells All and Yet Nothing. He skimmed the pages, getting a feel for Shonda’s writing style. She’d taken their meeting and reported it in a first-person narrative, interspersed with photos she took on her phone that day, all to give the illusion the reader was sitting at the table with her and Evin. It had been painful enough to withstand the first time around, he wasn’t sure if reliving that day in such vivid detail was a good idea. But if there was anything he had down to a science lately, it was making epically bad choices.

So he read:

We meet at a coffee shop in some alley in downtown LA. The location is suspect at best, just on the edges of Skid Row, but I try not to worry because this is Kevin “Evin” Rene’s old stomping grounds, and his clean reputation more than precedes him. For once, he’s not surrounded by bodyguards or fans, and I know why as soon as I spot him at a back table. While the Evin of Resonator fame became a fan favorite by not disguising himself when he stepped out and was always willing to stop, talk, and take pictures with fans—the hardcore and aptly named Rezors—this post-Rez iteration of Evin is wearing a baseball cap and mirrored Ray-Ban aviators to go with his usual T-shirt, jeans, and battered Converse. He looks like every other LA celebrity trying to disguise their identity, which makes him conspicuously incognito. I hardly recognize him, especially when I realize his trademark beard is gone.

He stands when he sees me coming, removes his sunglasses, and just as much the nice guy as his rep suggests, pulls out the chair across from himself. He’d texted me this morning asking what my favorite tea is, and sure enough there’s already a cup waiting for me.

“So, Evin—” I begin.

“Please, call me Kevin. It’s my real name. Well, the name on my birth certificate. You know, the name I had before all this madness—” He clears his throat and his eyes dart around uncomfortably. “—occurred.”

“So, Kevin—”

He puts up his palm and shakes his head, interrupting me again. “I’m sorry. Evin. Call me Evin. I can’t—” He stops talking abruptly and looks away.

Now my curiosity is really piqued.

“You were the one who reached out to me after the breakup. Why did you call me?” I ask.

“I’m getting a lot of requests for interviews and without the overpaid PR reps to guide me, I had to decide when and if to speak on my own. You and I know each other, sort of, from the Made in Americana tour. I couldn’t think of anyone else I could trust. Hell, I don’t know if trust is the right word. I don’t really want to be talking to you.”

“If we’re being honest, right?”

Evin shrugs.

“Let’s talk. It’s been two months since the breakup of Resonator. You were at the top of the charts when the announcement came. Why then?”

He scratches at the smooth skin of his jawline, then stops, as if he expects to be able to pull at the hair there like he did in every other interview where things got more personal. It’s a tell I don’t think he knows he has. But he seems frustrated that his beard is no longer there to pick at, and he gives that recognizable scowl that’s more precious than menacing.

I try not to laugh. “You want something easier? Less personal?”

“I don’t suppose that’s how you want this to go?”

“It’s pointless and you know it.”

He nods, sips his coffee. “But safer.”

“I won’t argue that. Okay, we’ll start slow. Tell me about Rez. About your success.”

He visibly relaxes. “I couldn’t have done it myself. Without the Detroit 3. Wouldn’t have wanted to.”

It’s the first time he’s mentioned the other three members of the now-defunct Resonator since we started negotiating this interview weeks ago: Miah Thade, lead singer, Ritchie Myer, drummer, and Finn Reese, guitarist, known as the Detroit 3 because of their shared hometown and the lifelong friendship of their fathers.

Evin doesn’t say anything else. But his intro leads us straight to the question everyone really wants to hear the answer to, so I take the opportunity and ask it. “What happened then?”

He fidgets, grips the coffee cup in his hands tighter.

I prompt him. “It would be easy to write off the breakup of Rez on the usual suspects—stress, drugs, creative differences, burnout…. But that’s not what happened, is it?”

Evin laughs, his boy-next-door smile cranking up in response, but still far from the genuine smile Rezors remember from the stage. “It’s complicated.”

“Sounds like a relationship status on Facebook and not a contractual issue as Miah Thade stated.”

The first mention of Miah’s name out loud sends Evin’s smile into an abrupt frown. “You’ll have to talk to Miah about his statement.”

“You’re not talking to him?”

“No.”

“What about any of the other members? Ritchie? Finn?”

“No.”

“So you haven’t heard where Finn is?”

“If I’m not talking to him….” Evin’s head snaps up. “Wait. Where is he?”

“No one knows. He dropped out of sight even more than you, Miah, or Ritchie when Rez disbanded. None of the guys know where he is. His family either.”

The corner of Evin’s lip tips up into a half smile, but there’s a tinge of anger to the gesture. “He’s fine. I’m sure.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.”

With the classic avoidance technique of the nonanswer hanging between us, Evin goes quiet.

It doesn’t seem to matter to Evin that he’s the one who called me. Or maybe he doesn’t realize he’s not answering anything I’m asking him. At least not with a straight answer. It doesn’t make sense. It’s been months since the breakup, and Evin was the one who sought me out.

I lean in. “Why did you agree to speak to me today if you don’t want to answer my questions?”

“I think I’m still trying to figure it all out. I don’t know when we went from this passionate connection because of our mutual love of music to a marriage that stayed together for the kids, for the fans.”

“A marriage?” I ask him, curious about his use of the metaphor since this formation of Rez is only a year old. Evin gives a shy smile, that same one that disarmed twentysomething women worldwide since he changed the face of Rez by becoming their fourth member.

“Strange choice of words, I know. But being in a band isn’t much different. Legal contracts, name changes, compromises…. Maybe we were never as invested, never as honest with each other as we should have been.”

“Maybe?”

“Definitely.”

“You obviously have something in mind that you want to say to me. Maybe that you need to say through me and this interview? To the other members of Rez? To the fans?”

Evin nods and settles against the chair. “I have to say thank you to the fans for supporting us and evangelizing for Rez. Without them, we never could have made it as big in such a short time as we did. I love all of them and will never be able to repay them for the hours of their lives they put into lining up for our gigs and showing their adoration. To Miah…. He saw something in me I wasn’t sure was there. He had faith. I’m sorry I didn’t have the same faith in him. To Ritchie for teaching me to smile again. That fucker is uncluttered in a way everyone wishes they could be. And to Finn—”

His voice cracks, and he’s rushing the sunglasses back over his eyes before I can really see, but I swear he’s crying….

Evin slammed the magazine shut and threw it across the room, unable to finish the article. He had been at that table that day. These were his words and actions. He knew what happened next. Filtered through Shonda’s perception and journalistic dramatics, their conversation in that coffee shop took on a level of melodrama he’d expected but wasn’t quite prepared for. It didn’t change the fact that he’d said things to Shonda he never thought he would admit out loud. Things he never thought he would confess to anyone else, let alone in an international music magazine with his face on the cover. Now he had no choice but to wait and see what the fallout would be.

He stared at the glossy jumble of pages where they lay on the floor next to the kitchen. They hadn’t even made a satisfying thump when he’d pitched them against the wall. He stood, bent to pick up the mag, walked it to the recycling bin, and tossed it inside with a huff of frustration. This attention to being clean and tidy had been drummed into him during the tour—it wasn’t part of who he’d been before Rez—but he couldn’t seem to break free from the compulsion. Some habits died harder than others. Especially the ones he’d never wanted to give up.

He slid down the wall and planted his ass on the cold, cracked tiles of the kitchen floor, his head in his hands, his knees curling into his chest. He couldn’t stop his mind from whirling around the what-ifs. The unending screams of the fans outside just made it worse. He was taunted by the memories of his time with Rez and how badly it all had ended.

Evin clutched at his chest, felt his heart stuttering under his fingertips in a way that made him understand that the heartbreak he’d written about in more songs than he could count was pretty damn close to being a real physical thing.

And while he missed them all, that bottomless emptiness he carried with him was in direct proportion to how much his hands ached to touch one of them. How desperate he was to hear that one voice. How loudly he wanted to scream at one man for taking everything they’d worked for and destroying it with his lies.

He was haunted by the memories of Finn, more than the rest of them. He had to learn how to say that name without choking. To remember his face without sadness, sickness, or pure anger.

But not today.

Today he would put some of the millions he’d earned into actually finding a decent place to live. One where security was included in the exorbitant price and he was either far enough behind a gate or high enough that he would never have to hear the fans again.

Today he would find a way to move on from this dump of a life. He had to be standing in front of a cleaner door the next time a major shift in his life came knocking.

Of course, that’s when the pounding of a fist shook the pressboard on its cheap-ass rusted hinges.

Evin thumped his head against the wall and swore under his breath.

There was only one person who would be able to make it seem as if he was reading Evin’s thoughts, only one person who would be able to charm his way past security guards who were paid to keep him out. So if he was showing up now, then another life-changing decision had been made.

And yet, Evin was staring at the same damn chintzy door.

Now that had to be irony.

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Tour Dates & Stops:

21-Aug  Amanda C. Stone
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25-Aug  MM Good Book Reviews
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27-Aug  Hearts on Fire
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Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
29-Aug  
Joyfully Jay
31-Aug  
3 Chicks After Dark
1-Sep  
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Molly Lolly
4-Sep  
Love Bytes

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