Tag Archives: Musicians

5 Star Review for Balancing Act (Shooting Stars #4) by K. Vale #MM #Romance @KimberVale

CoverTitle: Balancing Act (Shooting Stars #4)
Author Name & Publisher: K. Vale (Liquid Silver Books)
Publication Date & Length: June 27, 2016 – 117 pgs

Synopsis

Greg Dwyer and Kyrie Li are living the glorious couple life in New York City. Or are they? When struggling actor Kyrie lands a modeling job, he’s ecstatic to have extra cash to spend on his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.

Of course, Greg is suspicious Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie encourages a growing closeness with the guy?

Greg is probably to blame if Kyrie is drawn to the openly gay and seriously beautiful Andy. With Andy, Kyrie can be himself, as loud and proud as he’s always been. But Greg’s sexuality stays firmly locked in the closest except when he’s with Kyrie’s supportive family or alone with the man he loves.

To make matters worse, Greg’s out-of-touch mom meets with financial ruin and moves in with the couple, forcing him into the closet in his own home.

Can Greg find a way to stand up to Mommy Dearest and win back a love he fought so hard to reach? He discovers the road to pride begins at home and with accepting oneself first. Otherwise, it’s just a dead-end street.

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Review

FiveStars

This is book four in this series and it is a run on from book three. Or maybe I should say continuous of book three.

Kyrie and Greg are back together again but only a year and a half after they got together. You would think they had surpassed all of the rough areas in their relationship when they finally admitted their feelings and came out and told Kyrie’s family and ex wife but that is not the case.

Greg cannot get over his fear of coming out to others so he hides his relationship with Kyrie behind closed doors and does not let the outside world in, including his own mother. This is the cause of all the drama that follows these two men.

In this book Kyrie and Greg both have to learn that their is give and take in relationships. Greg needs to learn to that is ok to be himself and love who he loves regardless of what anyone else thinks and Kyrie needs to learn that people come out when they are ready and not on his time table. They both need to learn patience and trust. The question is will they learn it time or will they wait till it is too late, in more ways then one.

I cannot wait for book five too come out and find out what happens with Ander’s. It should be another exciting read. Great job on another amazing book K Vale.

Tosha

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Forever Is Now (Book One)

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Double Takes (Book Two)

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Hard Act to Follow (Book Three)

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Balancing Act (Book Four)

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5 Star Review for Hard Act to Follow (Shooting Stars #3) by K. Vale #MM #Romance @KimberVale

CoverTitle: Hard Act to Follow (Shooting Stars #3)
Author Name & Publisher: K. Vale (Liquid Silver Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 18, 2014 – 249 pgs

Synopsis

Kyrie is an actor with a physical aversion to telling lies, a one-eyed cat, and horrible taste in men. His ex-brother-in-law and best friend, Greg, harbors a secret crush he can’t shake. After denying his feelings for Kyrie for too long, Greg finally gives in to desire one drunken night. Come the morning, the facts get twisted. Kyrie pretends he doesn’t remember a thing—a lie that eats him alive—and Greg can’t stop thinking about how he screwed up the best thing in his life.

Before they can clear the air, Kyrie follows his dreams to New York City, but could he also be running away?

A mistake from Kyrie’s past detonates their silence, and Greg is forced to confront the man he loves. Is their new truth strong enough to support a relationship, or are they doomed to crumble under old fears? Their friendship could evolve into something a million times stronger, but maybe Kyrie’s act is just too hard for Greg to follow.

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Review

FiveStars

This is a book that I would describe as opposites that attract….. In a major way!!!!

Kyrie in my opinion is a free spirit that lets his bubbly personality overtake him even in stressful situations. I think it would be really hard to stay upset around Kyrie because he is always making jokes, never taking anything too seriously, and always upbeat even when his world is falling apart.

Greg is the opposite of Kyrie. He is a hard worker who normally puts forth more effort then anyone. He is a thinker and a worrier in my opinion. He looks at every aspect of a situation and does not jump without making sure it is deal enough.

These two men have so many obstacles standing in the way of them being together the main one being Kyrie’s sister Jazz is Greg’s ex wife but when you are meant to be together no matter how much you fight it fate has a way of righting what is meant to be.

I enjoyed reading the struggles these two men faced in order to have the relationship they where meant to have. These two have so much chemistry that I cannot believe it took them this long to get together. K Vale did another amazing job on this book in this series. Cannot wait to read the next.

Tosha

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Forever Is Now (Book One)

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Double Takes (Book Two)

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Hard Act to Follow (Book Three)

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5 Star Review for Double Takes (Shooting Stars #2) by K. Vale #MM #Romance @KimberVale

CoverTitle: Double Takes (Shooting Stars #2)
Author Name & Publisher: K. Vale (Liquid Silver Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 20, 2014 – 174 pgs

Synopsis

Sex, drugs, rock and roll … and now reality TV! As the lead singer in a nineties-era band, Giovanni Savale is used to seeing his name in the headlines, but now, as the star of a new reality TV show, his life is on display for all to see. From the custody battle for his son to a “made for TV” romance to the possibility of a future with the sexy owner of the local antique store, Giovanni’s life has just gotten complicated in ways he had never imagined. You’ll love Double Takes, the hot new romance from author K. Vale.

Ah, the life of a rock star. Everyone thinks it’s nothing but sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Not for Giovanni Savale.

For the lead singer of Three Deaf Mice, a band that reached its pinnacle in the late nineties, it’s nothing but an ugly divorce with a custody battle, money trouble, and now the nightmare exposure of starring in a reality television show. When his producer decides to cash in on an infamous interview Gio did years ago, and give the self-confessed bisexual rocker an onscreen boyfriend, things really hit the fan. Gio is certain his sexual experimentation back in his drug-abusing days meant nothing — after all he’s been married for nine years, clean and sober for nearly as long, and he has a son. And Gio is not remotely attracted to Kyrie, the funny, flamboyant actor they choose for his love interest. Of course, Lance Garrett, the mysterious and sexy owner of the local antique shop, Double Takes, is a whole different story. The guy has Gio planning out a future he never imagined. With the threat of losing all custody of his ten-year-old son, ghosts from the past returning for revenge, and the cameras rolling, can Gio keep his head above water and his heart from getting broken?

Content Notes: Hot, Anal Play, Anal Intercourse, GLBT, Music, Musicians, Contemporary

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Review

FiveStars

Book one in this series was amazing but this blew it off the charts. I can only imagine what book three will be like.

This in my opinion is a book about starting your life over again after feeling like you have lost it all. Gio is going through a nasty divorce and has been a recovering addict for many years. His fear is losing his son to his ex wife and is doing what it takes to not let her win full custody of him even going so far as being on a reality show.

In many ways this reality show is what opened up Gio’s eyes and brought Lance into his life.

Lance has his own demons from his past that catches up with him. If Gio does not find Lance quickly, it may be to late.

These two men could not be more perfect for one another. They made such an amazing couple and had such chemistry from the first meeting. They help each other overcome their fears and stand beside one another through the thick of things.

K. Vale definitely had another amazing book on their hands. Loved every minute of this book. Can’t wait to read book three.

Tosha

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5 Star Review for Forever Is Now (Shooting Stars #1) by K. Vale #MM #Romance @KimberVale

CoverTitle: Forever Is Now (Shooting Stars #1)
Author Name & Publisher: K. Vale (Liquid Silver Books)
Publication Date & Length: September 8, 2013 – 154 pgs

Synopsis

When Alex confronts ex-lover Chance, the sparks fly. But nine years has done nothing to lessen the intensity of the chemistry between them.

If you love someone, set him free. If he steals something of yours, hunt him down and make him sorry.

Alex Bremen is over Chance Ralan. Ever since his high school boyfriend ditched him nine years ago, Alex has barely thought of Chance at all. Sure, Alex attended a concert or two when his ex’s band, Armageddon Showdown, was in the area, but that was more curiosity than anything else. Who wouldn’t want to see firsthand how his once clean-cut boyfriend transformed into a pierced and tattooed heavy metal god?

But when Chance has the nerve to record a love song Alex wrote for him years ago, Alex crosses the country to confront him. Revenge becomes a dish best served sizzling hot. The two men lock horns, but find the chemistry between them has only intensified with time, and occasionally love needs to do some growing up before it can be done right.

Content Notes: Hot, GLBT, Anal Play, Anal Intercourse

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Review

FiveStars

A book that involves a sexy rock star is always awesome but you throw in the fact that he is hiding his true self from everyone and has drama all around him because of it and you definitely have a hit on your hands.

If I had to describe this book I would say it is a book about the one that ran away because he was scared that he could not have the one that he loved and a career as a rock star. Chance is so scared that coming out will lose him the only other Think that meant as much to him as Alex did…. His career as a rock star. So he chooses to run away from Alex as fast as he can in order to reach the levels in his career that he has always craved. In doing so he has denied who he truely is and now knows years later that even though he has reached fame status he is not truly happy and has given up the one person he could have been happy with.

Will love get a second chance when Alex seeks out Chance to confront him for using and recording a song that Alex wrote for Chance when they were teenagers or is their too much water under the bridge to overcome the past hurt and heartache?

I really enjoyed this book. It is full of drama and was put together beautifully. Cannot wait to read the next book in the series and hope to see these two men in it. K. Vale did an amazing job on this book and I hope others will enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Tosha

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TWO 4 stars for Hiatus by L.A. Witt #MMM #MM #Menage #Romance

CoverTitle: Hiatus
Author Name & Publisher: L.A. Witt (Samhain Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 19, 2016 – 244 pgs

Synopsis

Three’s a disaster when things come unraveled.

Rock star Nate Keller is on top of the world, but his headlining tour has one drawback. It keeps him away from his boyfriends, Theo and Cameron, for weeks at a time. Yet after four-and-a-half years—and a lot of hard work—the trio is still going strong.

But then Cam comes to visit with devastating news. After seventeen years together, he and Theo have agreed to a trial separation. Nate tries desperately to fix his lovers’ broken relationship, but there’s only so much he can do from the road.

At home, Cam tries to carry on, but feels like his whole life is spiraling out of control. Theo struggles to cope with the split as his depression worsens. They’re both spinning their wheels, quickly losing hope they can keep it together—and keep the man they both still love.

Desperate, Nate drops everything in a last-ditch attempt to pull their trio back together before they hit rock bottom. Except their love could already be shattered beyond repair.

Warning: Contains two men who must face how broken they are before they can fix their failing marriage, and the man who loves them both—but doesn’t know how to save them.

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Review

 FourStarsThis story was a brutal emotional ride.  The emotional angst at the end of this long-term relationship is terribly raw, messy and ugly.  And while some of the miscommunication between Theo and Cameron was a little over the top, other parts of this story will feel uncomfortably realistic to anyone who has ever committed to a long-term relationship.  
I chose this book because of the blurb: “rock star”, “m/m/m” and “LA Witt” – this was always going to be an instant download for me.  A word of caution for readers with similar reading predilections – this is darker than anything I’ve read by LA Witt. Even the rock star’s life is made miserable by his warring lovers.  And as two of the three in the m/m/m are at each other’s throats, there isn’t much m/m/m to enjoy either.  It is difficult to connect with characters engaged in the nasty sniping and mudslinging at the end of a relationship, so I struggled to warm to either Cameron and Theo until the very end.  Nate’s brooding misery wasn’t terribly endearing either, making this a very difficult read at times.  
As always, LA Witt’s writing has emotional depth and the connections between her characters are compelling.  I found the ending to this story slightly implausible and the resolution too quick and far too simple for such a brutal tale of break-up woe.  But I didn’t – couldn’t – put this down and I appreciate the skill with which LA Witt makes her characters come alive, even when I don’t like some of her characters very much.

~Sarah

FourStarsThis book was very realistic and the problems that were dealt with felt very realistic. First let me say that this is not the first book I’ve read by this author and I felt it was honest and upfront about the problems faced not only in a triad but depression. This whole story was very unique and I loved how the author projected the characters. I had an immediate connection with Nate but found that Theo and Cameron it took a while to develop that connection. They was definitely drama in this story so be prepared if you choose to read it. This is the type of story; I feel that you need to be in a certain frame of mind to read. Luckily I was in that frame when I read this book.

~Lynn

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TWO 4 Stars for Encore (Blue Notes #5) by Shira Anthony #MM #Romance @WriterShira @dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Encore (Blue Notes #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Shira Anthony (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 11, 2013 – 296 pgs

Synopsis

Cool kid violinist Roger Nelson doesn’t give a damn about anything. Wannabe conductor John Fuchs is awkward, effeminate, and just figuring out he’s gay. Despite their differences, they become friends—then lovers—and after college, they try to make it work. But it’s the 1970s, and Roger can’t bring himself to admit he’s gay. Worse, after his brother is killed in Vietnam, Roger tries to live up to his memory and be the perfect son. Then after suffering one tragedy too many, he makes the biggest mistake of his life: Roger pushes John away.

Through the years, they dance around the truth and in and out of each other’s lives, never quite able to let go. Twenty years later, Roger still carries the pain of losing his dream of a brilliant career with him, while John is a superstar conductor with a wild reputation. John’s off-stage antics get him plenty of attention, good and bad, though deep down, he wants only Roger. Finally determined to hold on to what really matters, Roger asks John for another chance, and when John panics and runs, Roger has to convince him to listen to his heart.

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Review

FourStars

Hmmm, where to start.  This was both good and horrible… I had a very strong love/hate relationship with these main characters.  I loved how this book led us through their lives.  But, I REALLY REALLY hated the mixed signals.
Roger and John are sweet, confused, clueless, in love, lost and all the different emotions that young boys go through.
There were so many different emotions that I felt while reading this book.  While I am younger than when this book began, I could appreciate the different decades – the nuances of the story, the events that these characters went through.
There was a feeling of meanness that Roger gave off – and, while I can understand his pain, he handled it terribly.  Then you have John, who just tries to get on with his life – but through it all, they remain friends, which is something that I can truly appreciate.
Overall, I really enjoy this series and Anthony’s ability to draw the reader in.  So, while I have a love hate relationship with this story, I think many would appreciate it.
AvidReader
FourStarsSo I will start of this review by saying I thought parts of this book were amazing and beautiful, while some parts of this book I have to be honest and say I really was not a huge fan of….

Roger and John meet at school. They start of as friends which slowly turns to more over time..

Now I thought this two men were honestly so beautiful together. They way they cared for each other and how you could really feel how much they love each other.
Which brings me to the part I was really not a huge fan of.. Which I cant really go into without spoiling this book. So it makes it hard for me to explain, all I can really say is I was not a fan of what Roger did and how it felt like he was throwing it into John’s face. At least to me personally that was what it felt like.
Let’s just say I went from loving this book to why!!! No why did he do that and ugh!! Lol
It did take me awhile to start liking Rogers character after that and I will leave it at that..

So I will leave this review with… I loved parts of this story and these characters this author created even though I was not a fan of Roger for awhile there. All together I really liked this book!

~Kara

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TWO 5 Stars for Prelude (Blue Notes #4) by Shira Anthony and Venona Keyes #MM #Musicians @WriterShira @dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Prelude (Blue Notes #4)
Author Name & Publisher: Shira Anthony & Venona Keyes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 6, 2013 – 250 pgs

Synopsis

World-renowned conductor David Somers never wanted the investment firm he inherited from his domineering grandfather. He only wanted to be a composer. But no matter how he struggles, David can’t translate the music in his head into notes on paper.

When a guest violinist at the Chicago Symphony falls ill, David meets Alex Bishop, a last-minute substitute. Alex’s fame and outrageous tattoos fail to move David. Then Alex puts bow to string, and David hears the brilliance of Alex’s soul.

David has sworn off relationships, believing he will eventually drive away those he loves, or that he’ll lose them as he lost his wife and parents. But Alex is outgoing, relaxed, and congenial—everything David is not—and soon makes dents in the armor around David’s heart. David begins to dream of Alex, wonderful dreams full of music. Becoming a composer suddenly feels attainable.

David’s fragile ego, worn away by years of his grandfather’s disdain, makes losing control difficult. When David’s structured world comes crashing down, his fledgling relationship with Alex is the first casualty. Still, David hears Alex’s music, haunting and beautiful. David wants to love Alex, but first he must find the strength to acknowledge himself.

Note: The Blue Notes Series can be read in any order. Each is a stand-alone story from the same classical music universe.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow.  I think Shira Anthony has become a new favourite author.  This is the first of the Bluenotes stories I’ve read and I absolutely loved it.  

If opposites attract, David and Alex are a perfect match.  The homeless prodigy and the unloved heir to a Wall Street fortune have instant chemistry.  Music gave Alex an identity and a future while at the same time it alienated David from his family.  It is a shared passion that bridges the gap between very different men.  

I loved the characters and I loved the music.  I don’t think classical music has been presented to romance readers this well since Jilly Cooper penned Appassionata in 1996.  But where Shira Anthony lacks Jilly Cooper’s humour, she adds warmth and depth to her characters.  

This is truly a beautiful story.  Both main characters are complex with wonderfully detailed backstories and nuanced personalities.  The supporting characters add depth to the story and Alex and David’s music is so well written I could hear it in my head as I read.  What a wonderful story!

Sarah

 FiveStarsWorld renowned conductor David meets Alex when a quest violinist falls sick. There is a instant attraction between these two men but David fights it afraid of losing Alex like he has lost other people he has loved before in his life.

This book was definitely a slow but sweet burn between these two men. Then these was the steamy scenes that were just so hot!

Loved the way this author wrote this story and these characters. You could really feel what they felt in this book with David being afraid of losing Alex so having the need to push him away before that happens. Then there was Alex who loves David and is willing to show him how much he does care about him even when David pushes him away. I do not want to give away any spoilers. So I will leave this review with…

All together I really loved this story and would definitely recommend this book!

~Kara

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New Release: The Other Half Of Me (The Emotio Series Willow’s Branch) by Lor Rose #MM #Musicians

The Other Half Of Me Cover

Title: The Other Half Of Me (The Emotio Series Willow’s Branch)
Author Name & Publisher: Lor Rose (Thirteen Below Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 15, 2015 – 201 pgs

Synopsis

As a homicide detective for the greater Houston area, Detective Barrack Invar’s job was stressful enough without his Lieutenant breathing down his neck to do more, not to mention his girlfriend, Isabella. His partner, Calhoun, was a joke. It didn’t help that over the years Barrack earned a reputation as being a bit of an asshole at work. Things for Barrack didn’t look any brighter in the wake of a murder case with absolutely no leads at all. Until he came home to a wonderful surprise. His best friend since the age of three had finally come home.

Willow only survived. His best friend since childhood, Barrack, was all that mattered to him. Willow craved any small scraps of affection Barrack was willing to give. Every look, every praise, every touch, tore Willow’s soul because he was constantly reminded of what he couldn’t have. Barrack. When Willow unexpectedly returned home his insides burned with the need for the man he loved. The need to give control…

Barrack found his feelings towards Willow slowly twisted and changed. He loved his best friend. A man. For Barrack it was a very simple thing. Willow on the other hand could not accept what Barrack was freely willing to give. Willow did the only thing he knew. He ran.

Returning home, Willow’s fears were confirmed when Barrack refused to come with him. Barrack’s promises to follow seemed long in coming. Willow was left devastated feeling abandoned and alone.

Can Barrack convince Willow of his love? Will Willow allow Barrack to love him?

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Excerpt

The energy of the crowd and passion from the band was infectious. Barrack stood as close to the stage as he could. His body ached and his eyes itched with need for sleep after a long day at work then the concert, but it was worth it. Seeing him made it worth it.

He headed for the VIP line forming next to where NRG Stadium kept their performance stage when not in use. Other bodies ran into him, one group nearly running him over with their purple VIP passes swinging from their necks. Barrack shook his head. Purple badges like theirs only allowed them into VIP after-show signings, nothing special. Black was the next level up, with after-show backstage access and a gift signed from all the band members for Christmas. White, like his, allowed backstage access before and after shows, as well as the yearly gifts at Christmas and the holder’s birthday, plus special one-on-one time with the band at a scheduled party near Halloween.

The organizers broke up the white badges into groups of seven per party to allow more one-on-one time. Hence, only twenty-one people had a white VIP badge. If a white badge didn’t come to a white party more than twice in a row, they automatically lost their white VIP status since other people would use it to its full advantage, like him.

“Hey Barrack!”

He turned to see Bridge, the band’s head of security, waving him over, then shouldered his way through the crowd, slowly making his way to the front of the line.

“Annoying, isn’t it?” Bridge’s voice had a slight rasp to it. He was a tall broad man with a stern-looking face and jaw. His hair looked swept back by the wind.

The two clasped hands and Bridge pulled him into a one-armed hug, each patting the other heavily on the back. “If I had to deal with this all the time, then shit yeah. Doesn’t it get annoying?” Barrack asked and gave Bridge one more hearty pat on the arm before releasing him.

Bridge shrugged. “Not really, no. How you’ve been?”

Barrack smiled at his old friend. They had gotten close once a long time ago when they’d been undercover. When everything was all said and done with that case, the men had lost contact, only to be reacquainted a few years later when Emotio hit the scene.

He shrugged. “Same old, same old.”

Bridge shook his head. “Come on.” He opened the door to allow them inside. Barrack stepped into a much quieter but still busy space. Stage personnel hustled about doing whatever it was that they did. One was carrying a large stuffed rhinoceros—he didn’t want to know.

“Barrack.” Rex Louis Clark, the drummer waved and Barrack waved back. The man stood shirtless with raven black hair that shined blue in the light. A white stripe accented the side of his head. The tabloids had nicknamed him ‘Skunk’, and for good reason. He’d been known to have a bad temper. He was talking to Luxe,

the band’s stylist. Why, he didn’t know since the man seemed to be allergic to shirts.

“Everyone else is in back,” Bridge said. “The public signing will start in half an hour.” Bridge patted him on the back and walked off, leading the way.

“That’s it?” Half an hour seemed like a short break after such a performance.

Bridge shrugged. “Aksel and Patryk wanted to be done early.”

“Wonder why,” he mused aloud while they turned a corner.

Bridge sighed, but it sounded more like a disbelieving tsk. He opened another door and walked inside with Barrack following behind.

“You know you’re the only fan we actually like enough to hang out with,” Bishop, the lead guitarist, said from the wet bar. His silk black pirate shirt caught the light, highlighting his exposed chest. His shoulder-length bleached hair sported pink highlights at the tips, which faded up the length.

“That one isn’t so bad,” Aksel, the bass player, said as he plopped on the couch. His purple Mohawk didn’t even move.

Titus, the piano or keyboard player, threw wadded paper at Aksel, which he caught. “Do ya mean Greg?” Titus’s slight Irish accent came through. His all white hair almost glowed in the fluorescent lighting.

“I hate him,” Bishop said as he took a long drink.

“That’s because—” Patryk Sama’el, the lead singer, walked in from another door on the opposite side of the room. “—he drinks just as much alcohol as you.” His hair was black, the sides of his head shaved into a military buzz, and the center was long, thick, and styled effortlessly to the side. A chunk of white highlighted his bangs. Diamond stud earrings decorated his ears. He had changed from his earlier outfit into skinny jeans and a loose rock and roll T-shirt. “And even we cannot afford that.” His comment won a round of chuckles and the finger from Bishop.

The singer shook his head and plopped on the couch next to Aksel. Heavy black makeup framed his eyes, as did an elegant gray and black masquerade mask. This air of secrecy heightened Emotio’s fame. No one had seen Patryk’s face, not even Emotio’s other members. Rumors soared over Patryk’s looks, but the man in the center of it all, Patryk, neither confirmed nor denied anything. Patryk Sama’el symbolized mystery, and mysteries were intriguing.

“Hey Barrack,” Patryk said with a tiny wave, looking relaxed but tired.

“Hey, guys.” Barrack entered the room while Bridge said his goodbyes. “You want a water?” Barrack asked Patryk who nodded. Barrack had to practically shove Bishop out of the way to get to the wet bar.

He retrieved two waters, then handed one to Patryk while he sat between Aksel and Patryk. “Where’s Dominik?” Another scan of the room confirmed the electric violinist wasn’t there.

Titus tossed him the wad of paper, and he tossed it back. “Good question.”

“Bathroom,” Patryk supplied with a sigh.

Barrack looked him over. Patryk seemed to have melted farther into the couch since he sat down, “Okay?”

Patryk nodded. “Just tired.”

“If I danced like you in them damn high heels, I’d be tired too.” Bishop twirled and went back to the bar for another drink.

Before anyone could answer, Dominik walked in from the same door Patryk had. He stopped short when he saw Barrack. “Hey.” On stage, Dominik was a force worthy of the band’s fame, but in that moment, he seemed tiny and timid, as if he were two different people.

His emerald-green hair had white accents. Dominik’s style was the most formal. A well-tailored suit showed off his form. The jacket was opened, exposing a white button-up shirt and loosened black silk necktie.

“You okay?” Barrack asked while getting up. “Here, sit. You look tired.”

Dominik smiled, but it seemed sad to Barrack. “I’m fine.”

“Please, sit.” He motioned to the spot he’d given up. Dominik meekly nodded and slowly made his way to the sofa. To Barrack, he seemed to move a little too gingerly. “Thanks,” Dominik said as he passed. Barrack’s gaze zeroed in on him pressing his arm to his side. A small bruise visible on Dominik’s knuckles made Barrack “Son of a bitch.” Rex burst into the room and chucked something against the wall, but Barrack didn’t see what it was. Barrack was too focused on Dominik’s barely there flinch and subsequent wince.

He covered it up well. “Lose a bet?” Dominik’s response was more subdued than usual as he sat.

Rex growled as he strode across the room to the other door. “Shut up,” he snapped. “I’m taking a shower.” The poor door almost groaned under Rex’s grip as he wrenched it open, and the reverberating slam when he left sent a crack throughout the room.

“Well he’s a ray of sunshine, isn’t he?” Bishop listed to the side with a giggle.

Patryk sighed, but Barrack could tell he was watching Dominik, too. “Stop drinking. We still have the signing to do.”

Bishop flipped him off again. “You gonna stop me?”

“And mess up this manicure?” Patryk waved black fingernails at him. “I don’t think so. Barrack can subdue your drunk ass.”

Bishop looked at him with bleary eyes. He must’ve been drinking on stage. “Wouldn’t mind ‘hat at all.”

“Barrack is off limits. He’s got that Willow fellow,” Titus said while still tossing the wad of paper around.

Barrack shook his head. “We’re not together.”

Patryk chuckled. “The way you talk about him sure makes it seem you are.”

Barrack moved and sat on the arm of the couch closest to Patryk. “Well, he does have a nice ass.”

Bishop spit out his drink. “You’re gay!”

“No.” Barrack took Patryk’s water and opened it, then gave it back. “Drink that,” he said under his breath, then turned his attention back to Bishop. “But I can appreciate a nice ass when I see one.”

“We have got to meet this Willow,” Titus said. “He’s all ya talk about.”

Barrack shrugged. “He’s busy.”

Aksel heaved himself up. “The fucker is always busy,” he said while retrieving his own water.

“Be nice,” Patryk said.

Aksel made a jacking off motion. “Suck me.”

Barrack laughed, but Patryk punched his thigh. “What?” He asked then took a drink of water.

“Don’t encourage him,” Patryk quipped, then took a swig of water.

A knock on the door stole everyone’s attention. Bridge stuck his head in. “Signing starts in 5. Where’s Skunk?”

Bishop giggled. “Ima tell you said ‘hat.”

“That’s great, where is he?”

Barrack nodded to the other door. “Showering, should be about done.”

Bridge walked into the room and to the other door. “You guys get out there and I’ll get him.”

“Better you than me,” Patryk said as he got up.

The rest of the band followed with their own brand of sarcasm except for Dominik. He sat on the sofa and looked a little pale. “You okay?” Barrack asked again.

“Yeah. Help me up.” Dominik offered his hand, and Barrack pulled him up. The man seemed too light even for his smaller physique.

Barrack watched Dominik walk. He had a slight hitch to his step. “If you ever need anything, I can help Dominik stopped and turned. The gaze that met Barrack’s could only be described as broken. “You’re a really good friend.” With that, Dominik strode off with Barrack following. They arrived at the signing and Dominik took his place between Aksel and Rex.

Bridge came up behind him. “Everything all right?”

He stepped back so he and Bridge were behind the band but out of earshot. “You know what I think.”

“Yeah” was all Bridge said, and the two lapsed into silence.

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