Title: Black Gold (Black Gold #1)
Author: Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Publisher: Loose ID
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (149 PDF pages/81k+ words)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
One Sentence Review: Several problems, including dialog overload, drag this GFY, music industry romance down for me.
Billy “Goldie” Goldean is the biggest pop star in the world and he’s harboring a terrible, career-killing secret: he’s gay. Even with song titles such as “Astral Glider” and “Winking Brown Eye,” few question Goldie’s squeaky-clean teen heartthrob status. That is, until Jethro “Jett” Black, an infamous womanizer and underground punk icon, names him in the pages of Rolling Stone magazine as the celebrity he’d most like to fuck.
After Goldie and Jett hook up at an industry party, Goldie’s management dumps him, Jett’s exes come back to haunt them, and even Goldie’s mother makes a public plea for him to come to his senses. Goldie wants to trust his untamed new lover but the pressures of fame may tear them apart.
Black Gold is the first book by these authors that I’ve read. While graced with a lovely cover by PL Nunne (that gets a star just in and of itself) and I found the writing to be technically good with a flowing plot, I had some pretty big issues with this densely-packed tale that brought the overall rating down. I think that some of the problems I had others may as well, and I feel this is a book that you’re either going to love or dislike, with little in between.
The story opens with underground punk star, addict and notorious womanizer Jett having a flirtatious interview with a newbie Rolling Stone reporter. His response to her question of which celebrity he would smexx it up with if he could have anyone he wanted? Pop megastar and glam god Goldie, a solo artist who made it big after he left his successful boy band, 2Gud. Upon hearing about the short interview, closeted Goldie gets upset, but is also a little thrilled as he actually likes Jett’s music and even has maybe a not-so-little crush on the other man. Fast forward a month or so and Jett is getting ready for a show in a Berlin club. Goldie sneaks backstage incognito and unbeknown to Jett, proceeds to have a fanboy/idol interaction with the rocker that they both cannot forget. Several weeks later, Goldie reluctantly goes to a meeting/party for backers and promoters, and Jett happens to show up with the intent to give the business’s biggest promoter the business and the finger. Finding Goldie in an uncomfortable position, Jett comes to the rescue, and they take the opportunity to get it on in a big way. After, when it all goes to hell, and their respective professional and personal associates have kittens, they find out who their real friends are and make some new ones along the way. But they say that when one door closes another opens, so maybe these two can make it after all.
What worked for me:
I thought the look at the changing music industry and its move away from commercial radio as a traditional outlet was very interesting. At one point, Goldie says “Radio is dead,” and I am guessing that statement is true (or becoming more so every day). I, myself, have always hated commercial radio — and TV for that matter — and longed for the time when I would have an alternative. Now both cars and the TVs have satellite, I have a multitude of Pandora channels, and my favorite radio station is commercial-free and member supported, which I stream over the web. I never have to listen to radio ever again — yippee!
I bought the GFY aspect. Jett, while never having been with a man before and has probably not spent a night alone in his adult life, is (a bit crudely) open about his feelings about it:
“I’m not gay or straight, as much as I’d never fucked a man or wanted to. ‘S not really a thing, if you don’t make it one. I don’t care about those fucking retarded distinctions. I like skinny-ass blonds with big limpid eyes and silky skin who look like I could break them with a mean look. Didn’t seem to matter to my cock that you lacked tits or a cunt, and if it doesn’t matter to my cock, I don’t give a shit myself.”
He does talk more about this as the story progresses, and he is able to further define his feelings about it.
There were aspects of the story that I found very sweet and romantical. Part of this is that, to me, there a sense of Yaoi here. Billy/Goldie is somewhat small (or at least referred to by Jett as such), beautiful to the point of being almost feminine, quite emotional, quick-to-tears, bashful, needy, vulnerable and insecure, and Jethro/Jett all protective and manly and scarred and tough. There are many times that Jett treats Goldie like a woman — or even a child — and Goldie lets himself be treated that way. Goldie hides his face in Jett’s neck when he is scared. He turns to Jett for protection. He allows Jett to stand up to people for him. And Jett is happy to do it.
I think my biggest problem was the dialog, and that comes in three areas:
I found the story to be quite dialog-heavy and at the oddest times, such as in the middle of a down and dirty smexxin, and especially during an early-on rimming/bj 69 session. I kept saying to these characters, “Dudes, aren’t your mouths supposed to be doing something besides yacking right now?” I don’t have issues at all with talking while doing it — especially if it is teasing or dirty talking or even serious stuff — but they have these long conversations about their feelings and background that seemed unrealistic, and there were times when I forgot they were even in the middle of a horizontal tango! And there were other times as well, such as when they should be high-tailing it into a building from a car so the paparazzi don’t catch up to them. It reminded me of monologues on stage and screen, where all of the action around the actor stops while they tell us whatever they have to say.
Additionally, there are times when both characters — and especially Jett — speak unlike themselves (out of character). Jett isn’t stupid, but he spends much of the story mouthing off in a stream of cuss words and rough grammar, yet at times comes out with language that is opposite. This happens more in the second half of the book, and I questioned the realistic possibility of him saying something like:
“If they want to believe that, I feel sorry for them. Maybe that’s easier for them than the idea that maybe love at first sight happens, that you could be seduced down to your very soul through someone’s song, by the way they look right through you from a beat-up old TV set in a cheap motel room halfway around the world. ”
From something like this:
“Listen to me, pussystench. I’m going to say this once to you, and you try to remember. Self-destruction isn’t my shtick; it’s my disease. My shtick is goddamn integrity. That is what puts me in magazines and asses in the seats. Not stadiums, because there aren’t enough people left in the world who give a shit about integrity, but the ones who do…they come, and they listen.”
Lastly for the dialog issues, there were times that I found the lovey-dovey nature of what they said to each other to be a bit much and saccharin. There is lots of “you’re mine” and “I’m yours” and “I love you”s going on toward the end. Along with the sweet talk is that they can’t keep their hands off one another, seemingly constantly kissing, hugging, Goldie sitting in Jett’s lap, and wandering hands — alone, with other people in the room.
Next, I honestly am not sure I really liked either protag, or the majority of the other characters. I found Jett to be an alcoholic and drug-addled selfish (except for Goldie) ass, and Goldie to be a girly, emo doormat who enables Jett’s addictions. Nothing says “I love you” like providing your boyfriend with all the booze and drugs he can handle, then checking him while he slumbers to make sure he’s still alive.
Finally, Insta-Love. Nuff said.
Though generally well-written with an interesting premise, the unrealistic amount of dialog at often odd times and enabling boyfriends caused this to be a less-than-satisfactory read. I would be open, however, to reading more from these authors.