Title: Fret (The Rock, #1)
Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 134
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.
Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.
Enter Axel Blaze.
Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.
Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot.
Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out.
Or do they?
A story about a badass ex-Navy SEAL, who happens to also be a mercenary/assassin, who is hired to bodyguard, and subsequently falls for, his rock star charge? Written by Sandrine Gasq-Dion? Pretty please, yes! I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on this story!
So I feel terrible about this, I really do, but this did not work for me. I actually had to stop and confirm it was Sandrine who’s written this story because I could not believe it. It’s just so badly written and a complete mess.
Putting aside the numerous spelling, punctuation and tense errors throughout, the writing felt…young? I’m unable to really explain what I mean…except that the story didn’t have the usual depth I’ve come to expect and enjoy from the author. I didn’t feel like I ever got to really know any of the characters and the story itself just felt rushed to me.
Axel and Gareth’s relationship wasn’t fleshed out well at all. Axel has never once had, or wanted, a relationship with anyone, but a couple of days with Gareth and he’s a new man? And, I’m sorry, but their whole relationship seemed very New Adult (and not in a good way).
The whole side story with Gareth and Ransom’s father was just a mess. The boys supposedly changed their names to hide from their father, yet still saw people around the old neighborhood all the time and didn’t disguise themselves on TV or print or interviews, but were surprised their father knew exactly who they were, what they were doing and where they were? And forgave him within literally a few minutes and a light apology? Huh?
Paul was transparently obvious as the bad guy early on and I totally called the whole Mac and Axel using Stan as bait plotline.