A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: An intimate look inside two rock stars on-again/off-again relationship takes the reader on an angtsy ride.
For Robbie Russo, only one man has ever owned his heart, Kyler Christenson. The years at each other’s sides never diminished his love for him, but with the rise to fame in their rock band, Black Heart Down, more than a few challenges hindered their relationship. Now, he’s reached a crossroads, either he’ll have all of Kyler, or he’ll walk away from everything they’ve built together.
Kyler may be fearless on stage, but if there’s one thing to send his heart crashing down, it’s losing Robbie. When Robbie delivers his ultimatum, Kyler’s willing to do what it takes for things work. But change doesn’t happen quickly, and when he makes a terrible mistake, all their history together might not be enough to save their future.
Black Heart Down is the fifth in the Conquest series. The initial books introduced Evan and Jesse and their band. This spin-off tells the story of rival band, Black Heart Down and its two founding members, Robbie and Kyler who have been on and off again lovers since high school. Lack of communication and trust issues have complicated their relationship and caused problems within their band over the years and in this book, it has reached a breaking point.
The novel starts out strong, as Robbie and Kyler finally decide to concentrate on their relationship, be exclusive and move in together. Things go well for a short time, then the Big Misunderstanding comes, and Robbie leaves Kyler and the band, running off to join Conquest on tour, determined to cut Kyler out of his life completely. Finally, pulling his head out of his ass after all these years and realizing he’s going to lose Robbie forever, Kyler sets out to win back Robbie at all costs…and with the help of past characters from the other books, Kyler might just stand a chance.
What I Liked
-Robbie and Kyler’s relationship. It is built on years of friendship and trust. They ‘get’ each other. Plus I don’t think anyone else but Robbie would put up with Kyler’s BS. And the sex? Wow. Just. Wow.
-SJ Frost tightened up her POVs. There was not a lot of head-hopping in this one and I thought it made for a better, more focused novel. Also, there was not a lot of purpley prose in this book and less descriptions about cars, houses, clothes, etc. which made for a much more cohesive plot. And showed, in my estimation, the author had responded to prior reader feedback about these concerns.
-Cameos by past characters in the series. I liked that we got to see what everyone was up to. And while they made appearances, they did not take over the book, Robbie and Kyler remained the central part of the novel.
What Needed Some Work
-The Big Misunderstanding seemed silly. I just did not think it was a reason for Robbie to break-up with Kyler. Plus, have these two ever heard of couples counseling or talking to your partner? I get that the author had to separate them to add some dramatic tension, but the reason for the break-up did not jive for me.
Overall, I liked Black Heart Down. Robbie and Kyler are up there as my favorite couple in this series, next to Jesse and Evan. This book was an angsty, engaging read about a couple in flux, and showed the ups and downs of a real relationship in the dog-eat-dog world of the music industry. Recommended.