Title: Beyond the Music (The Rock Gods #7)
Author Name & Publisher: Ann Lister (SleighFarm Publishing Group)
Publication Date & Length: February 23, 2016 – 454 pgs
Lincoln Stallworth, bass player for Black Ice, has quietly watched each of his band mates fall in love and has accepted the fact he’ll probably never find the same for himself. He doesn’t really believe in true love, couldn’t fully understand the absurdity of it, or the notion there could be just one perfect person for everyone. A debilitating health issue began to shadow Lincoln in the middle of their last tour. As his physical symptoms worsen, Lincoln has to fight the urge to hide from the world and himself inside his estate.
Aaron Baylor enters Lincoln’s life at his lowest point. Lincoln feels broken, damaged beyond repair, and he’s ready to give-up. Aaron’s patience and unwavering support slowly begin to pull Lincoln back to being present in his own life and gives him hope for a future and for love. Will Aaron be the glue that holds the broken pieces of Lincoln’s life together? Can Lincoln fight his way back to good health and take a chance at love? Or will the task be too great for Lincoln to handle?
Beyond The Music is Book 7 in The Rock Gods series. This is the final story in the series, but also the launch of a new M/M spin-off series, Guarding the Gods, which will have many cameo appearances from The Rock Gods characters in each story. If you enjoyed The Rock Gods, I hope you’ll give Guarding the Gods a try!
What a wonderful, moving conclusion to the Rock Gods! Lincoln, the Black Ice bassist, has been pretty invisible in the series to date but when the author gives Lincoln some of her own medical history, she writes him beautifully and passionately.
The build-up to Lincoln’s devastating diagnosis is heartbreaking and his initial response is painfully realistic – if not terribly sensible. In many ways, this last book is less of a romance and more the story of Lincoln’s personal journey towards accepting and managing his diagnosis. There is an intensity and truth to the writing of this story that I appreciated but didn’t understand until the author explained her own medical history in the epilogue. All the Rock Gods books are fantastic, but this one is really special.
Aaron is a more noble character – but as Lincoln points out, it’s easier to be brave when you’re not the patient. If Lincoln is an awful patient at the start, I was ready to hate the smug, healthy, tofu and greens therapist from the moment he’s introduced. But Lincoln and Aaron soften each other’s rough edges, making them both more balanced people.
Unlike other stories in the series, the heat in this book takes a long time to build. Aaron and Lincoln aren’t an obvious couple and I had Lincoln matched with another character at the start of the book. But I loved the slow burn intimacy and the difficult, at times unconventional sexual relationship between Aaron and Lincoln.
Around Lincoln’s personal story, the author weaves in the characters we’ve come to love. I’d forgotten just how much I loved each of the couples/triples in each of these stories! I think readers need to start at the beginning – if only because it would be a shame to miss out on such a wonderful series. This might stand alone, but I really wouldn’t know. I’ve been a fan since Dagger first met Ryan in a free Kindle promotion for a brand new author.
I love this entire series and this book was just as good as all the other ones. Linc has been having health issues for a long time but he hasn’t told anyone. It is getting to the point to where he can’t hide things anymore and even with smoking pot he is still in pain all the time. When Spumoni sees him and that state he is in he jumps in to help even though Linc doesn’t want it. I loved Spumoni and how he just did what he thought was best for Linc and dealt with the tongue lashing he would get later. When Spumoni brings Aaron to Linc’s house it is the best thing ever. I really wish we would have seen more of Spumoni, I loved him. Aaron has the patients of a saint and is the best thing that has ever happened to Linc. While Aaron helps Linc deal with his illness they both develop feelings for each other and they have off the chart chemistry. This series always made my heart melt and this book did thesame. I love Linc and Aaron and their dynamics and how they develop a great relationship and have amazing chemistry and off the chart sex. I am sad that that series is over, we did get to see all the guys in this book which was nice. I am super excited about the spin off series and I can’t wait to read Zac’s story, we learned a little bit about him in this book and I think his book will be just as amazing as this one was.
Boy did I ever miss these guys! It was good to hear Lincoln’s story and get a recap of all the other men’s lives as well. As sad as it is to read the ending of a series, I think the author did a wonderful job wrapping things up for her readers.
One down side to the story was trying to decipher when Lincoln was talking or when Aaron was talking. I felt there was no real definition between the two throughout most of the book. But if that’s the only negative I have then the author did a fantastic job.
I also think the author touched quite a few subjects in this book (as well as all her books) that deserve more attention than they receive. I’m always glad to see the websites and toll free phone numbers at the end of books to help anyone who has questions or needs support.
I received an ARC of this book from Inked Rainbow Reviews in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to many more of Ann’s books in the future.
Lincoln’s story was a straight up 10+ stars. Lincoln completely broke my heart and I was crying at times feeling his empty soul and pain. But, not only did Aaron completely heal my broken heart but he filled Lincoln’s life with joy and love which caused him to mentally heal, as the physical illness will forever be with him. Spumoni, the enigma of the series stepped in and took loyalty to another level and helped Lincoln in his deepest, darkest time of life. He brought Aaron to Lincoln’s life and Aaron ran with is with his heart of gold.
Lincoln had inner and outer strength but had lost his inner strength. Aaron was right there to help him not forget and to learn to overcome the disease that caused that loss. The lines of patient-nurse were becoming blurred. But, when Aaron was giving himself over to Lincoln so Lincoln could use his strength, not only was Lincoln healing, his heart was opening to true love. The compassion, respect and love that they showed each other was heart warming. They never pushed each other and let the pieces fall together naturally, as a true relationship should.
As a series ender story, not so many stars. Yes, we get to see all the other men, although a few were minimally talked about, I just felt like I didn’t have my overall wrap up of these powerful sexy men. I still feel like I’m hanging. I am so sad that this series is over. The next series is definitely about the bodyguards. I am sure we will see these swoon worthy men or at least I am hoping with everything that we will, and that we get a good look into their future. I am extremely curious as to what the future holds for my most favorite and one of my top BFFs of all time, Wheeland! *sigh, Wheeland, my heart and love* I am not ready to give up on these men, which tells me that Ann wrote each of these stories with exceptional and amazing heart felt clarity that we hurt for them and fell in love with them. My only wish is that I could seriously befriend these men and be a devoted friend to all of them.
“I’ve never had a partner before, but I like the idea of taking care of you,” Lincoln said softly. “There’s no guarantee I can offer you that, and it really bothers me that can’t.”
“That doesn’t sound especially fair to put all of that responsibility on yourself, Linc,”Aaron said with a gentle touch of his fingers to Lincoln’s face. “Maybe it’s time for you to let someone else take care of you – I want to be that someone, Linc. If you’ll let me.”