Title: A Kind of Truth (A Kind of Stories #1)
Author: Lane Hayes and Seth Clayton (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, for example that he should keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.
Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.
There’s lots to relish about this story. I particularly like single POV narrative, so that was a plus. Rand comes across as a strong character who knows his mind and can stand up for himself and what he wants for his band. For much of the time he oozes confidence and takes control of situations. I like that he is bi and that after he falls for Will he is not seduced or tempted by the viperous Leah.
Will’s character is interesting. He’s an adorably shy geek and a highly talented musician. He’s also a sexy cross-dressing virgin who becomes the bold Billie. When he wears the make-up, wig, fishnet stockings, and high heels he’s transformed, becoming more outgoing and confident. I love how Rand and Will embrace and celebrate this cross-dressing side of his character. In fact, I would have liked this aspect of the story to have been explored more fully. Did Will decide to use the clothes and make-up as a prop to become someone else or was it a reflection of his true self?
‘Love is like a bagel’
“It’s a never ending circle. No two are exactly alike, and best of all they come in many flavors.”
Although both guys are sort of in the closet at the start, their friends and band members soon realize something is going on between them. But for most of the story they have to keep their relationship a secret. I enjoyed the chemistry between Rand and Will, how they spoke to each other, and their explorations into a relationship neither of them had experienced before. There’s lots of banter and fun times for them. I loved how Rand cares and looks out for Will, as well as the sizzling sex scenes.
I was happy with the resolution and ending of the story, although I would have liked more book time spent on the events that were raced through in the epilogue when everything was hunky dory.
There are several aspects of the story I didn’t particularly care for. I couldn’t get my head around the massive student loan Will had racked up and this was a major point of the book. It was all tied into the idea of being ‘bribed’ into going back in the closet and returning home after he’d finished his schooling. I wanted him to stand up to his cliched wicked parents and I grew more frustrated with this ongoing issue. Why not tell them ‘no’ and make his own way in the world with his caring and loving new boyfriend? I didn’t want him to give up his happiness with Rand in New York. Will’s parents and the so-called family friend were hypocrites and their main role in the story was to add conflict and angst.
And Leah and Terry’s only purpose seemed to be to add conflict and ramp up the angst for both Rand and Will. I found Leah especially infuriating. But then she was meant to be. Rand should have told her to take a hike sooner rather than later. All the time I kept telling myself she’d get her comeuppance. I’m still not entirely clear on her motives. What did she want— a famous rock star husband, the money he could potentially earn in the future, or just a route to PR stardom?
Seth Clayton is a relatively new narrator on Audible. He did an excellent job and he has a fine singing voice too. I enjoyed his narration and the pace he set throughout the story. He made each character’s voice distinctive, which seemed to suit their personality. The ‘break up’ scene was superbly narrated by him. I had to go back and listen to it several times, and each time it brought tears to my eyes. This scene in particular shows how much these guys love each other and should be together. I sincerely hope Seth narrates the next story in the series.