Title: Moonlight Becomes You
Author: Piper Vaughn & M.J. O’Shea
Cover Artist: Justin James
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link: N/A
Genre: M/M contemporary romance
Length: Short Novel
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
A story which managed to skilfully combine the excitement of the rock star lifestyle with an engrossing romance.
Eleven years ago Shane Ventura made the biggest mistake of his life when he caved in to pressure from his record label to kick his best friend Jesse Seider out of their band, Luck. Though he had a gorgeous voice, Jesse wasn’t beautiful and didn’t fit the label’s ideal look. But Shane’s never wanted anyone else more, and all the sex and alcohol in the world can’t fill the void Jesse left behind.
As his thirty-second birthday approaches, Shane’s more miserable than ever. Even the prospect of teaming up with Britain’s hottest band, Moonlight, for an epic world tour can’t get him out of his depressive funk. Until he meets lead singer, Kayden Berlin, and falls into instant lust.
Though Kayden acts like he’s not interested, Shane knows he feels the spark between them. The harder Shane pushes, the more Kayden pulls away. Then one explosive night things finally come to a head and Shane is left nursing a broken heart. That seems to be Shane’s lot — lucky at everything but love. But there’s a lesson in store for Shane: when it comes to love, you can’t always leave things to chance.
I’ve said before how much I like rock star heroes, so I was pleased to see this release at Loose Id. It follows Shane who’s the singer/songwriter in a successful band, Luck. Despite his success he’s starting to feel a little jaded with the rock star lifestyle, especially when he looks in the mirror and sees the toll that the drink and drugs are taking on his good looks. As the story starts Shane is thrilled that his band have been approached by another band, Moonlight, who Shane admires a great deal. Moonlight want to tour with Luck, and Shane couldn’t be happier about this, or the fact that he’ll get to meet Kayden Berlin, the British singer whose good looks are just as attractive as his talent. However, Shane is mystified when Kayden treats him with utter contempt and resolves to find out why Kayden hates him so much.
There was much to like about this book especially in the characterisation of Shane and Kayden. I felt that the authors had done a good job in showing Shane as an ex-bad-boy turned rock star. He’s got a talent but wastes a lot of his potential on sex, alcohol and drugs to the extent that he’s feeling the strain. It takes Kayden’s harsh but fair assessment of Shane’s wastrel lifestyle to give him a kick up the backside and I liked seeing that development in Shane as he tries to prove that he’s more than just a slacker. The scenes between Kayden and Shane fairly crackle with tension and sexual undercurrents which continually build the more that Kayden pushes Shane away. It’s this tension which held my interest through the book as the plot propelled me along and I eagerly read on wanting to see how they would resolve their differences.
Another part that worked well was in the portrayal of the rock star lifestyle. The scenes where the two bands are playing on stage were electric in their intensity and I also liked the realistic peeks behind the scenes as the band wait to go on stage, or take part in promotional work. The interweaving of the life of a rock star with the growing romance worked well within the narrative, grounding it firmly within the setting.
Shane’s an interesting narrator as he’s a little bit unreliable. He lies to himself, especially about his feelings for his ex-boyfriend Jesse. I found it particularly effective to see these lies laid bare by the end of the book, although this did lead to my one big niggle with the story. There’s a revelation at the end of the book which causes a misunderstanding between Shane and Kayden. It doesn’t last for long but when they are reconciled there’s a lot of apologising which takes place. In my opinion there wasn’t enough grovelling from Shane over his past actions. Both men have been deeply hurt by each other and I wanted to see some atonement on both sides. Instead Kayden is the one who apologises whereas Shane almost shrugs off his past misbehaviour when he really had a lot to apologise for. However, this wasn’t enough to spoil the story for me completely and maybe some readers will feel that Kayden’s actions were enough to cancel out the hurt inflicted by Shane.
Apart from that niggle, this was a very enjoyable book. The writing flowed well and I was pulled completely into the story, so much so that I read this in one sitting. I can recommend Moonlight Becomes You to those readers who are looking for an engrossing contemporary with sympathetic characterisation and I’m looking forward to the sequel which I think is going to feature Shane’s brother, Nick.