Rating: 4 stars out of 5
If William could find love and escape oppressors, find his own kind of happiness, maybe there was hope for all of us—myself included. I wanted to write a song about that—the struggle to own your dreams, to chase them and hold on no matter who tried to kick you down. Sometimes it was like love and happiness was a big bucking bull, trying to knock you off, to bolt free or throw you into the dirt, and all you could do was hold on and pray.
They say that fame comes with a price. For many people that price means their privacy, the constant, watchful eyes of people just waiting for you to mess up so they can catch it on camera. That’s one payment for fame, but for Tucker, that’s barely a paper cut compared to the way his debts have been paid.
He sold himself to get where he is now, famous and just finishing a tour with his best friend. For six years he’s had a shadow following him, haunting him inside and out. The end of the tour and a champagne delivery bring that shadow into view, looming even greater.
Jess Grayville, a member of the band, seems to be the only one to see through the facade Tucker’s carefully constructed and always thought he held in place so well. But Jess isn’t just going to let him drift along anymore, but in order to move on, Tucker will need to face unimaginable demons, starting with himself.
Everyone had secrets. People wanted to fit you into a neat little box, but life wasn’t like that. We were all more complicated than we appeared to be on the outside. It was a good thing, something to be thankful for. All of those unexpected details were what gave people and circumstances their beauty.
First, I want to put it out there that I’m a fairly heartless person when it comes to books. Yeah, I feel what they write, but I don’t really become captivated easily. When people say dark, I often expect it to be a difficult topic with a lot of angst and pain thrown on top of it. This book I would consider to be truly dark – not just an imitation of the theme.
The author doesn’t simply skim by horrible memories of rape and abuse, Ms. Kelling takes them head on and in graphic detail. The thing is, as horrible as it is, she doesn’t do it just to have these scenes thrown in. They serve a purpose, a point… they are necessary to understanding Tucker and his pain. I truly felt my heartstrings being pulled on during this book, and the sadness ran quite deep. To put it simply, this book is not for the faint of heart. At times, it’s literally like reading someone’s living nightmare.
So why do it? Well, because books like this give me faith in humanity. They show people in their darkest, most vulnerable moments, and then it gives them hope. Is this hope always easy? No. It’s difficult and oftentimes tragic, the road is rocky, but the fact is that there is a road, and these are stories worth telling.
The author did a fantastic job of capturing the thought process of someone with an abusive past. There was conflicted thoughts and Tucker really went through a process with himself, one that continued even after the last page. There was no easy fix, and I appreciated the reality in that.
Now to the relationship, which really was not, in my eyes, the primary focus of this story, but it was a really lovely part. I really enjoyed seeing them come together. I would’ve loved to find out more about Jess though, as I felt his story was half told. But still, I appreciated their love and how they grew together.
The story was hard to get through but it was still a good book. Unfortunately, the cover by Siolnatine is a complete no go for me. I appreciate the symbolism of things such as the chains and the dark background, but beyond that, it’s really not an attractive cover for a good book.
Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Fantastic Fiction Publishing
original titleSong of the Lonesome Cowboy
seriesThe Society of Masters