Title: Strike Up the Band (Wilde Love #3)
Author: Sam Burns
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 27th 2017
Genre(s): M/M New Adult Contemporary
Page Count: 210 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 0 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jake McKenna doesn’t want to be here. He doesn’t want to be on tour, he doesn’t want to be playing guitar, and he definitely doesn’t want anything to do with Brian Mulholland. He’s biding his time until the tour is over so that he can walk away from his music career for good.
Brian didn’t ask to be here. Okay, maybe he did. Fine, you know what? He wanted this. He may not like the circumstances that have landed him in his dream job, but he’s not going to let anyone ruin it for him, even if it’s the insanely hot guitarist he’s had a crush on since the first time he saw the band play. He will win over Jake McKenna if it’s the last thing he ever does.
**This book has a heat rating of ZERO**
This is the third book in the Wilde Love series. I haven’t read the first two books in the series, but I had no trouble following along and so can absolutely recommend this as a standalone.
Okay, I really don’t want to give out spoilers, so this will be very carefully worded.
Freddie Mercury Isn’t Dead, better known as FRED, is an up-and-coming band that is being forced (because the band is contracted to finish the final two months of their tour) to take on a new member. Mainly because record labels are cruel and heartless money-grubbing bastards. And Sam Burns tore my heart into little pieces within the first two chapters of this book.
The book mainly focuses on the band members, the way they interact and their hopes for an uncertain future, and is told through the dual POV of Jake McKenna, one of the founders of the band, and the replacement guy, Brian Mulholland.
Brian is an ex-boy band member looking for a new start after his mother, who is now his ex-manager, has a meltdown after she discovers him kissing a man. Brian is really happy he’s getting a second chance at a music career (though sad about the circumstances) and believes he can really grow with FRED.
Jake and Brian are the focus of the romance side to the story. Yes, Jake is a homoromantic asexual with no desire to have sex with his partner and Brian is bisexual and while there is no steam or sexy times – there is romance in the story. It’s quiet, and lovely, and real and proves love can happen without sex.
There is a lot of asexuality and bisexuality positivity in the story, the characters mesh well and are well-fleshed out, and the story pacing is steady, with a sprinkling of Hurt/Comfort, and low-level angst and conflict that is resolved well.
I enjoyed it and have already picked up the first two books in the series to see what I’ve been missing.