Authors: Reno MacLeod & Jaye Valentine
Cover Artist: Jaye Valentine & Dmytro Konstantynov
Buy link: Amazon.com
Publisher: MV Publishing
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Competition takes a back seat to love for two young men who overcome scheming rivals to win–each other.
Blurb: The new road to the American Dream: win a competitive reality show on TV and become a star. After grueling auditions, Nick Vangard has progressed to the televised finals of SING, a nationwide search for the next singing sensation. Music industry experts have a term for what Nick possesses—”the whole package.” Nick has the vocal chops, the edgy looks, and the charisma to become a huge star. As one of ten undiscovered hopefuls, Nick’s life has already changed, but he soon realizes singing won’t be the most difficult part of the journey. Logan Hawke has a sexy voice, a hot body, and a temper lurking under his outward, Southern-gentleman charm. From a small community in the midst of the Bible Belt, Logan’s never been involved with a man before, but once he lays eyes on Nick Vangard, there’s no turning back. A first encounter leaves them on fire for one another, and Nick and Logan soon find their private lives the center of attention—nationally televised attention. Unprepared for the constant presence of the cameras, surrounded by unscrupulous contestants, and overwhelmed by the pressure of competition, they hit an unexpected speed bump and their relationship takes a disastrous swerve. While viewers wait on the edge of their sofas to see who wins the show, Nick and Logan face the greater challenge of trying to win each other’s hearts again.
Review: I need to be frank here–I hate blurbs–they steal my thunder–so I am going to leap into the middle of this story–where the blurb dares not go.
These boys–Logan and Nick–smoking hot–loveable–sweet–talented–wanted to wrap them up and take them home; right after I sit at Reno Macleod and Jaye Valentine’s feet and beg them to tel me where they have been hiding this little gem, SING!. Honestly–these authors/partners really need to write together more often–please?
So as the blurb so adequately covered, Logan and Nick meet and fall instantly head over heels for one another. The old conundrum of one boy being out and proud, Nick, versus the country boy who hasn’t a clue that he is even really gay–much less inform his family, Logan, has admittedly been overworked in other novels. But, dear reader, not this time–oh my no, not this time. Macleod and Valentine recreate a tried and true story line and reinvent it to be witty, fast-paced, believable and oh so very very sweet. Did I mention I wanted to take the two boys home with me?
When the two finally realize what it is they are building–holding so carefully in their hands, the true magic of the author’s word-smithing takes over and you just shake your head at the beauty of the words these characters speak to each other.
“I try to remember where I was and what I was doing before I met you, what had been important to me then–and I can’t. It’s as if I’d been living some other person’s life and now all I know is you.”
Then through the scheming of other contestants these two young men watch as their relationship gets derailed and both despair that there will be no turning back time to recapture their love for each other.
SING! was one of the most beautifully crafted love stories I have read in a long time. The exploration of the “first time” sexual experience for Logan was done so realistically and so tenderly. The idea that the competition itself became a catalyst for both men to reevaluate what was most important to them and the realistic exchange of how one handled the realization that the fame was just not important as opposed to how the other young man coped was just spot on–so believable.
But the heart of this novel was just a really sweet love story–and this is something that these authors do so very well. The exchange of romantic sentiments was never soppy or trite; rather they were so very inline with how two young men would react to one another.
Dear Reader, I highly recommend SING! by Macleod and Valentine to you. I know–normally I tell you it is up to you–and I suppose that is so, but…but…this one should not be missed!