A guest review by Sirius.
Summary: Romance that sprang through times between two likeable characters, which I overall quite enjoyed except their first sex encounter.
Simon Phillips always hated Thomas.
Ever since his black nail polish high school days, Thomas Schultz has seemed like a carefree, uninhibited wild child, in stark contrast to Simon’s shy, cautious nature. Now, from behind the safety of his hotel bar, Simon must watch, distracted, as Thomas becomes a shirtless rock star for every wedding reception they work. But when Thomas slips him the key to his hotel room, Simon enters a world where the fine line between hate and attraction becomes blurred, and finds more than he ever knew he wanted.
In the social upheaval of the 1980s, love is no picnic. The AIDS epidemic has reshaped the way people think about sex, and the discontent of Generation X drowns out any love songs. Despite the uncertain times, Simon finds himself falling in love. But when Thomas’s band makes it big, the simple act of keeping in touch across the silent miles becomes an obstacle all its own.
Well, let’s just say that the blurb to this story was rather misleading in my opinion. “Simon always hated Thomas”. No, not really, or if he did that seemed to be rather short lived, very short lived I should say. Once I got past the fact that I would not see “from enemies to lovers” of any sort after the first sexual scene between the guys which happens very early in the story, I got over it and the story became rather captivating. However can anybody say that my expectations came out of nowhere after reading this blurb?
I also want to mention another issue I kind of had with the first scene where they have sex. I am sure many of you who come to this site regularly may remember Stuart’s article about mm romance and one of his issues was lots of biting. I want to stress – I have nothing against biting in general and I have read books where I found it insanely hot. This scene was not one of them. It just felt off and big time. More importantly I was thinking whether I would learn that they both are really the vampires in disguise. These guys never had sex with each other before and big hearty bites they give each other just did not work for me. I also have an issue with blood and was worried that lots of blood will be spilled the next moment in all gory detail. It was not, do not worry, no blood at all, but that’s how I felt.
Anyway, when I got past that scene, what I got was a beautiful story, really of two young men who finally got the chance to see if their mutual crushes on each other may work out or not.
IMO this book was very low on conflict and tension. Oh, do not get me wrong, the separation between the guys due to Thomas’ tours with his musical group IS the main source of the conflict, in that regard the blurb was actually absolutely correct, but at the same time I still did not feel that the book had a lot of tension. It is really hard to explain, and I am really curious if those of you who read the book or who will read the book will agree with me or not. Probably one of the reasons why I felt that book was so low on conflict despite the toll prolonged separation took on both of them is because I felt that Simon was so forgiving towards Thomas and it did not result in any long actual separation when they were both in one place?
I really liked Simon, do not get me wrong, but at more than one point in the book he felt a bit too perfect, too understanding, too forgiving, too everything. I wavered though and at times I also thought of him just as a realistic good guy who really loves Thomas, especially since during their first separation he was not exactly sitting around waiting for Thomas to come back.
Thomas was not a bad guy either, just a young man who had way too many responsibilities thrown upon him and who was really passionate about his music. I did think these two were good for each other, I liked that they stood a test of time and enjoyed that while initially they may have had a crush on each other, their love grew stronger and stronger and withstood challenges of time and whatever other issues life threw upon them and which I am not telling you about :). I also thought that we at the end get to see subtle and not so subtle changes in both Simon and Thomas and I thought those changes were good for both of them.
Oh and I LOVED those boots 🙂