Opening Act (Jia’s Review)

Title: Opening Act (Upstaged #1)
Author: S.L. Danielson, Cheryl Headford
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Release Date: April 16th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 259
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Wannabe singer and band front man Erik Von Nordgren hates snarky brit Asher Berkley with a passion. From the moment he turns up at practice with his twin sister Daisy, who is one of the band the two have hated each other.

Through a series of ‘tit for tat’ incidents they annoy, frustrate and exasperated each other. The die hard goth with purple eyes and the hard core rocker with dreams of the big time have nothing in common and no need to cross paths. Except to wind each other up.

Until the day that Erik throws Asher in the school pool, when everything begins to change. Erik is so far in closet he’s in Narnia and Asher has a dark past and trust issues that stand in the way of any relationship, let alone one with the brash American who hurts him every time they try to get together.

A relationship doomed from the start, or so you’d think.

Erik is prideful and hot-headed while Asher is distrustful and hurt because of a painful background but wants nothing else than love and attention even though his actions push others away. Those two are a recipe for disaster from the start and it almost goes beyond repair. The event at the pool is a turning point but Erik finds it difficult to get past his fear and be true to Asher, to give him what he wants the most – a loving relationship out in the open. Erik keeps hurting Asher and Asher strikes back, hurting people around them as well.

The characters are well-rounded and portrayed so well I can understand where both Erik and Asher’s coming from even when I disagree with their actions. Their animosity towards each other is no joke and the authors have done exceptionally well in getting the character to be true to themselves and their age. I can’t help face-palm at Erik’s unstoppable mouth which gets him into even more trouble when all he wants to do is the opposite.
Opening Act is an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish and I feel so sorry for Erik’s best friend. Erik and Asher aren’t without flaws and at times I get really annoyed with them, but I also feel sad, happy for them. There are a lot of things going on with them and it isn’t easy to be gay and I fully get how scary it must be just the thought of coming out in high school and everything it entails. Like high school isn’t difficult enough already.
The only thing I feel is a bit fast-paced, is how quick some of them are in claiming what they feel is love when they hardly even know the person.

If you feel curious about Opening Act, I really recommend you read this book. Even if you aren’t, I still recommend reading this one. There isn’t all that much of band related issues in this first book but if you read this I suspect you will want to read the next in the series. To be honest, this was such a roller coaster I’m not sure I’m up for reading the second book, but I will still recommend this one. It was that well written and the plot takes on quite the twists and turns.

Upstaged series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Opening Act (Upstaged #1) provided by the authors in exchange of an honest review.


Reading, to me, is as close to an addiction as one can come without crossing the line... completely. I read a lot, and many different genres. I'd love to hear if my reviews helped you, so feel free to comment :)
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