Title: Rustic Melody (Rustic 1)
Author: Nic Starr
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Page Count: 174
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Adam Chambers has never seen eye-to-eye with his father and is reluctant to take over the family’s property-development company. To clear his head and work out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, Adam leaves his responsibilities in the city and heads out to see the country.
He isn’t much closer to deciding what to do with his life when he arrives at one of Australia’s largest events, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and meets Joey Callaway.
Since Joey’s father’s tragic death left Joey the family’s debt-ridden pub, Joey has struggled, desperate to turn the business around and give his mum the life she deserves. A break away from the pressures of running the pub is just what he needs, and a hook-up with Adam is the perfect way to forget about his troubles.
The one-night stand might just be an opening act. If Adam and Joey can follow the music in their hearts, perhaps they can heal each other and create a melody that will last a lifetime.
This is such a smooth, sweet read, easily devoured while curled up in an afternoon sunbeam. Joey’s struggling to keep his father’s pub viable and his mother comfortable. Adam is trying to find what he wants to do in life, but he knows it’s not working for his Father’s company. Joey and Adam find each other during a music fest and realize there might be something more between them than the usual hook-up.
As enjoyable as this is (and really, it’s enjoyable) I have a couple of comments regarding the secondary characters. I found Joey’s Mom too perfect, even with her fighting macular degeneration and not wanting to “take it easy” as Joey wishes her to do. She’s overly supportive, caring and understanding. I would have liked to have seen a bit more feistiness, pushback, irritation of some kind. Ditto for Adam’s sister and Grandma.
I would also like to have seen more conflict between Adam and his father to emphasize the difference in both personalities – a show, don’t tell situation: this could have been easily done with a phone call or two.
Similar thought for Joey, we know he’s struggling to keep the pub afloat, but other than the mention of working long hours and struggling with the books (in-between dating Adam), it didn’t come across as strongly as it could have. Here too, perhaps a phone call to a supply vendor about needing to defer a payment, or a talk with one of his employees about cutting back hours could have highlighted that struggle, or even an employee who doesn’t like the fact Joey’s gay. Some kind of friction to balance all the sweetness.
As for Joey and Adam, I enjoy watching this kind of relationship unfold, where the reader gets to see on page the slow attraction beyond the sex. The reader is there to observe Joey and Adam dating, what attracts one guy to the other, the personalities. I love that. Not to say the sex wasn’t hot, because it was (fanning myself), but I like seeing what happens beyond the sex, I love watching the whole relationship dynamic unfold and blossom.
I look forward to more in this series, and would love to see what happens as Joey and Adam move forward. And a shout out for the cover! Love it!