Black Gold (Black Gold #1)


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.

THE BLURB

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.

THE REVIEW

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.

What didn’t:

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.

OVERALL

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.

15 comments

  • (Trying to do my bit about de-lurking)

    While the cover for this book is rather pretty, I’m going to have to pass on buying it.

    In truth, just based on your write-up, I’d have given this book about a 2.5 rating.

    From what I’ve read in your review, Lynn, the plot + characters seem a little too blah.

    Just imagine if their personalities had been reversed or if Goldie had been a bad boy too. Now THAT would have been a meaty story.

    Reply
  • I didn’t like this one either for the things mentioned by others. Way too much talking and much too sweet for my taste

    There are other much better stories about the music industry (not counting the Heaven sent series)

    Reply
  • Lynn
    Like everyone else I love the cover – you know what I’m like about covers. However all that talk during oral sex?? What were the authors thinking? Don’t they know you never speak with your mouth full? lol.

    I like stories about the music industry because I love music, but I’m not sure this one is for me given some of your concerns with align themselves with mine. However a great review Lynn, as always.

    Reply
  • Hi Tam. Look at Tis’ comment about her thoughts of Goldie’s enabling for a different viewpoint. As for the dialog issues, after I posted this review last night, I went out and found some other reviews. Some were rave, but quite a few pointed to the talk talk talk as a major downer for them as well. When I forget that the protags are in the middle of a hawt smexxin session because of the what they’re saying, there is something wrong.

    Reply
  • “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.”

    Eeek. I have this one and I do adore the cover, but I think it will be sitting for awhile. I had heard someone else say the talk talk talk during sex was a bit annoying. Seems like there may be some other issues that will bother me. Nice review.

    Reply
  • Great review, Lynn!

    I just wanted to say that I had already decided not to get this one, based on the blurb alone it seemed like it wasn’t for me — even though I usually LOVE books with these different settings and themes. Something about it just seemed to turn me off.

    But the cover is HOT! I love it!

    Reply
  • Very appropriate review. I felt exactly the same way about the book, but I am still glad that I read it. I am sure the review wasn’t meant to make potential readers/buyers shy away from it, so Jenre and Larissa should give it a try. 😉

    Reply
    • Hi Anja. Thanks for commenting as someone who read it. Our reviews are generally not to steer folks clear of books and are always one opinion of a sea of them, and this story had some things going for it.

      Reply
  • I nearly bought this book based on the cover alone :). I’m glad I held on for reviews though because yours is the second review I’ve read which points out some things that I find a turn off in a book – insta-love and excessive and unnecessary dialogue.

    It’s a shame because I like ‘famous people’ characters and this sounds like it deals quite effectively with the music industry.

    Thanks for a great review, Lynn. You’ve certainly been helpful in allowing me to make up my mind about this book :).

    Reply
    • Hi Jen. The Insta-Love here is almost (but not quite) bearable as they knew who each other were before hand and claim to have had boy-crushes. Being so completely and utterly opposite in just about every way — except that they both are in the music industry — didn’t make it believable for me here.

      The dialog probably would have been okay if they weren’t having the conversations while in the throes of other things. It seemed very odd to me.

      Reply
  • I rather enjoyed this book, though I can see where some of the dialogue might have seemed a bit excessive.

    As for the whole thing with enabling Jett’s drug use, I sort of took that as Goldie’s way of trying to prove that he wasn’t trying to change Jett. (That said, I can’t quite grasp being willing to do that, but that’s just me. Maybe Godie was just that desperate to have someone in his life who cared for him as a person rather than as an iconic personage? Dunno.)

    I would probably have rated this one around 3.75. (You know, if I were a reviewer and stuff, which thank deity-of-choice, I’m not!)

    Very clear and well thought out review, Aunt Lynn. If I hadn’t already read the book, I probably would buy it based on what you’ve said. Your review made it clear that the story would definitely push a fair number of my buttons – the good ones. *hee*

    ~Tis

    Reply
    • Hiya Tis. I’m glad you liked it, and your comment about Goldie’s enabling is probably right. But like you, it is definitely not a choice I would make.

      Reply

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