Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
Kevin Rene can’t believe his luck when he’s personally “recruited” by Miah Thade, lead singer of Resonator, a rock band on the fast track to fame. He met Miah when his band was set to be the opening act in Resonator’s first tour, Made in Americana, but when his own band members showed up drunk and high, the deal was off, and Kevin and the guys were left to languish in LA. What Kevin didn’t know is that his songwriting talent and his musical abilities did not go unnoticed and Miah wants him as the group’s fourth.
Miah Thade, Finn Reese, and Ritchie Meyer are the three young men who grew up together in Detroit and together formed the band, nicknamed Rez. Also known as the Detroit 3, the friends rely on Miah’s good judgment and welcome Kevin, now renamed Evin by Miah, into their lives.
Not willing to rely on others for promo, Miah, always the leader and most ambitious of the group, spearheads efforts to use social media to move his band to stardom. They stir up their fans in each city they visit by tweeting and using other social networking sites and getting the crazy Rezors worked up to fever pitch. But as their popularity grows, the boys start to see the lack of privacy as one of the major costs of success. At times the close quarters and differences of opinion create havoc among the guys. Miah, an outspoken homophobe, can be the worst offender sometimes, picking on the guys unmercifully.
Ritchie, the peacemaker of the group, and the man who considers Miah his best friend, takes any negativity to heart. Flinching every time he hears a homophobic remark from Miah, Ritchie worries that Miah might some day find out that he’s gay, and if that happens, he’ll lose his best friend and the man he secretly loves.
Finn, a musical genius, has been raised by Irish immigrants who only want the best for their talented son and have given him every opportunity to learn all instruments and all musical genres. Extremely talented, Finn can play anything he hears one time, and coupled with Evin’s songwriting genius and ability to play bass to Finn’s guitar in the group, it makes for a dynamic musical partnership. It also provides the opportunity for the duo to spend extra time together, and considering how hot Evin finds Finn, it eventually leads to an explosive opportunity to satisfy their lust for each other.
As time goes on, and the secret gets harder to hide, the band members realize that if Miah had any idea that Evin and Finn couldn’t keep their hands off each other, he’d flip out. And if he ever found out that Ritchie was not only aware of the attraction between the others, but had also participated in a ménage with them, the friendship between the Miah and Ritchie would be destroyed and the future of the band would be in jeopardy.
So why can’t Evin and Finn and Ritchie just say no? Why take a chance on being together? And why can’t Evin and Finn communicate their true feelings to each other? Ritchie seems to be the only one who can see that Finn and Evin have moved beyond mere sex. And what transpires if someone happens to see them? The pot is stirred with enough ammo to cause a nuclear explosion within the group, and if it blows up, will the band survive?
I appreciated the way the authors engaged the reader with the characters and created the conflict among various members of the band, first with each other, and then with the band vs the outside world. I also appreciated the setup for a sequel (and I’ll be the first in line to buy it!), and I loved the resolution of the conflict, or at least the resolution for some of the band members’ conflicts by the end of the story. Any remaining conflict will make an enticing sequel.
I certainly recommend this book for those who enjoy rocker/musician stories, but even more for those who like a story where readers get engaged in the lives of the characters, unable to predict how they’ll act, but can laugh with them, cry with them, and be happy for them when they finally work their way through the crisis and come out the other side a better person.
The cover design by Paul Richmond shows a photo of downtown Detroit with the title Ruin Porn across the bottom of the cover. Ruin Porn is a term given to photos taken of a downtown area which used to be vital and now lies forsaken in the face of the decline of the auto industry in Detroit. The term was chosen by the Resonators to be the title of their first album because it represents their hope that everyone can learn from what appears to be ruin and destruction and, rather than wallow in it, use it as a catalyst for change.
I very highly recommend this story. These two talented authors have created something special that I won’t soon forget.