Social Sinners: Behind the Lights (Jia’s Review)

Title: Social Sinners: Behind the Lights (Social Sinners #1)
Author: T.L. Travis
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Release Date: June 9th 2018
Genre(s): Gay Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Page Count: 172 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Joey Hayes and his best friend Ricky Branson have been together through the good times, as well as the bad. Attending their first concert as teens set the path for their futures in motion. Shortly after, the pair joined band class where they meet Ethan and Mick and the foursome formed the metal band, Social Sinners.

Things were going according to plan until Lucas Shane entered their lives, disrupting the flow and testing the strength of their friendship.

When Joey spirals down a dark path after catching his cheating boyfriend, this tasked the other three band members with making a difficult decision that could end his career as their lead singer.

Book 1 is the only book in the series that can be read as a stand-alone.
Book 1 – Behind the lights (MM)
Book 2 – In the shadows (MM)
Book 3 – A heart divided (MMM)
Book 4 – Beyond the curtain (MM)
Book 5 – After the final curtain (MM/MMM)

Two best friends, Joey and Ricky, grow up discovering their interest in music together and we get to follow their story from when they are 9 years old, until present.

When they are sixteen Lucas comes into the picture and becomes Joey’s first love and first boyfriend. Unfortunately nobody seem to really like Lucas for some reason Joey can’t understand. Lucas drives a wedge in between Joey and Ricky, straining their friendship. Then their band Social Sinners starts to do well and everything takes off from there. I don’t want to write more since I don’t want to spoil anything. I had a difficult time writing a review of this book because even though Behind the Lights captivated, excited me I also had some issues with it.

I liked Lucas’ jealousy, and the band’s relationship toward each other. They were like a family. Still the time Joey spent drinking were a bit glossed over not written out. Joey’s obliviousness and Lucas’ jealousy really amused me. Together with Ricky’s character, those were my favorite parts in the book.

The blurb doesn’t do the story justice I feel, because of it I kept waiting for his boyfriend to cheat on him, which he didn’t do until closer to the ending. I also thought that part would take up a bigger part of the story. To be honest, the part before the ending felt a little rushed. The last time jump also confused me since I felt the time skipped a bit too long into the future considering their activities didn’t seem to take up that much time.

I believe the book would have been even better if it had had more descriptive language and details of what they were doing, for example they got along well with another band called Double D but during the tour with Maiden Voyager I completely forgot they were even there because they weren’t mentioned at all, except for in the final thank you speech by the singer.

The language was easy and the descriptions down to a bare minimum. There weren’t much of inner monologue and this together made me feel as if I hastened through the story too quickly. On the other hand I also wanted to read it fast to see what would happen. It’s written in first person perspective. I reread the ending a couple of times because I liked it so much. Based on how good and excited I felt reading this book I recommend reading this book.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Social Sinners: Behind the Lights (Social Sinners #1) provided by the author 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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