We are thrilled to welcome back Lynn Kelling on the release day of her latest novel, Song of the Lonesome Cowboy. She’s here to take a deeper look at celebrity sex scandals and the price some pay for fame. You can also check out our Macky’s review of this fabulous book and having read it myself, I wholeheartedly concur, this is an excellent and very powerful read from Lynn Kelling.
Want a chance to win a copy? …Enter the giveaway at the end of the post! Lynn Kelling is very generously gifting two copies of Song of a Lonesome Cowboy.
Dark Secrets of the Celebrity Sex Scandal
When you hear a celebrity admit to having sex with someone in the entertainment industry, early on in their career in order to get ahead, what’s your instinctual reaction? Maybe this celebrity even admits to going through with sex against their better judgment, hoping it would pay off, but then realized after the fact that it was a huge mistake. You, the consumer, judging each piece of juicy gossip churned out by the restless media, might be tempted to scorn the celebrity for it. They’re a whore, aren’t they? It’s a basic sex for profit scenario, after all. Maybe they deserve the backlash coming to them for being so greedy. Do they have no morals, using their body instead of their talents and hard work to attain success?
Is that what’s actually happening? They could be using their fame to clear their conscience regarding just another regrettable sex partner, and maybe get a publicity boost from it, too. Or is that small glimpse from their past only the tip of a massive iceberg, submerged below the murky surface?
It has always been my perception that there’s a certain dynamic constantly at work in the world. There are the select few, the blessed 1%, who have wealth, power and influence over everyone else. Would these people of power actually be so naïve that they’d let themselves be taken advantage of by some good-looking nobody? A wannabe singer or young actor? Or do they, instead, have their own motives and hungers to satisfy? Maybe their victims are actually paying a price far beyond our comprehension.
Strangely, I think it was a video of Corey Haim, of all people, that helped inspire my story, Song of the Lonesome Cowboy. Haim finally publicly admitted, after years and years had gone by, that he’d been molested by a man in the industry whom he’d looked up to when he was a child star, and that’s what set him on the path to drugs and ruin. In the video, Haim was a wreck, the foundation of his identity as thin as cheap cardboard. It was like this one truth had been eating him alive, slowly hollowing him out until all that was left was a brittle, crumbling shell. It’s a familiar story, isn’t it? Beautiful star on the rise, in over their head, trusts the wrong person. Just like that, everything goes sideways, fast.
Song of the Lonesome Cowboy takes a look into the private downward spiral of one young man, Tucker Reynolds, Southern singer songwriter hoping to get a record deal from Nathan Briant, a record company executive who’s a devil in disguise. Cocky, condescending Briant shows Tucker right from the start that all of his dreams can come true as long as he always does what he’s told. There’s a hierarchy firmly established; Briant will always be on top, Tucker will always be less than, minding his place and dutifully following orders with a please and thank you. Sure, there are glorious rewards to be had – money, fame, respect, and a prosperous career. But at the end of the day, when Tucker has to look at himself in the mirror, will he like what he sees? Behind the name bought with dirty sex, will the sweet boy he once was survive, or will he discover all his goodness to be used up, drained by a vampiric man with an insatiable lust for making others weak?
There’s a lot of darkness in Tucker’s secret shame. The option to walk away is always there when Tucker is asked to meet with Briant. Each time Tucker finds himself ignoring his better judgment, locking himself in a room with someone to whom he can’t say no, there is a cost. He pays with pieces of himself as the world looks up to him, wanting to be him, or be with him.
It’s easy to stand apart from Tucker’s situation and say what he should have done differently. But, to be down in it, caught in a snare that won’t let go, the way out can be incredibly hard to find.
It’s my hope that this story lets you, the reader, slip into Tucker’s skin just for a little while, to see how much difference fame and fortune makes when there’s a man like Briant looking on, knowing you in ways he never should. Maybe it’ll help you see those shining stars we find ourselves looking up to in a different light, as people who seem to have everything anyone could ever want, yet somehow deserved a better, kinder fate.
Song of the Lonesome Cowboy by Lynn Kelling
Publisher ~ Forbidden Fiction
Published ~ 10th February 2015
Genre ~ M/M Contemporary Romance, BDSM, Non Con, Dark Erotic.
Tucker Reynolds is a humble singer/songwriter both blessed and burdened by his success in the country music industry. Stalked by a predator from his past and struggling with guilt over his secret lust for his childhood best friend and guitarist, Magnusson ‘Mags’ Palmer, Tucker’s carefully crafted lies are his main means of self-defense, but they slowly begin to unravel. Kinky sex with prostitutes hastens a downward spiral that he searches to escape from. At the end of a successful tour, before heading home to Nashville, Tucker seeks solitude in order to come to terms with the guilt over things he has done to which he has never confessed. Only Tucker’s devoted, less-assuming band mate, Jess Grayville, suspects the truth about the nightmare Tucker is privately battling. Jess attempts to protect Tucker from those who would do him harm, even when the pers on putting him in the most danger isn’t reckless Mags, but Tucker, himself. Realizing that the best way out of the dark of his past and into the light of forgiveness is by finally admitting to the truth, Tucker strives to listen to his heart and write a song that he knows could save him.
This is not an easy review to write because Lynn Kelling has definitely put her country superstar, Tucker Reynolds, through some extremely hard times, so it was a challenging read. There are triggers in this that may be difficult for some readers...rape, non con, suicidal thoughts, sadistic torture, humiliation, co-dependency issues, brainwashing, depression...the warnings are there, but if you can push through those barriers, what you also get is a beautifully written, extraordinary story that will wring your emotions dry.
Dark, melancholic and desolate, this is the story of a man teetering on the edge of a major mental breakdown, so to use the word 'enjoyment' just seems wrong. How do you 'enjoy' watching some one else's torment? You don't; but what you can do is appreciate the hell out of how an author can bring the feel of mental suffering to life within minutes of introducing you to a character, and immediately portray their anguish and pain, by giving them a distinctive voice that draws you in and totally immerses you in their narration.
Tucker Reynolds is a tortured soul. Under the influence of a sadistic, twisted bastard who took a young, fairly innocent, starry eyed musician, and manipulated his dreams for his own sick pleasures; Tucker is caught in a nightmare situation that's not just about trying to free himself from this heinous excuse for a man, who sucks the very soul out of him, but is also entwined with another man who holds Tucker's heart in a vice...his straight, co-dependent, obtuse best friend Mags: a guy who started out as his protector but is now just an emotional anchor around Tuck's neck, stopping him from moving on from their unhealthy friendship because Mag's only sees what he wants to see. Never looking past his own needs and wants, he can't give gay Tucker the love he so desperately wants but at the same time he won't let him go either. Oblivious to the horrors his best friend is going through, Mag's is unaware that their relationship has turned and it's now Tuck who has become the protector, shielding him so he can continue to give Mags the fame he revels in and all the trappings that come with it. But the price Tucker is paying is immense!
"I never told Mag's he'd failed, but it was true. Letting my best friend believe in his success at protecting me was a gift I gave him. The truth would have driven him mad."
The one beacon of light in all this mess is lovely, kind hearted Jess Grayville. A member of the band but on the periphery of what's happening, he sees his lead singer spiralling out of control and intuitively reaches out, gently coaxing Tucker to open up to him. The beauty of Jess is that he isn't doing any of it for personal gain. He puts no expectations into his relationship with Tucker, as his feelings are genuinely heartfelt, but it's hard for Tuck to open up to anyone close to him. The only release he ever really gets, is time spent with the prostitutes he secretly hires from 'The Company' to satisfy the cravings he has to keep hidden from the music world, so he and his band mates can stay successful in the business. But he's also constantly looking over his shoulder, waiting for Mr Briant (the monster who has total control over him) to surface. Always in the background, leaving chilling reminders that he's around to exact his particular form of depravity on him whenever he wants, Tucker is trapped. OMG! I hate that man with a passion!
Poor, poor Tucker! All the way through I honestly couldn't comprehend how he was ever going to survive and not come out the other side totally unhinged. It's a relentless emotional onslaught with some hard limits but thankfully after all the intensity, it does end with love, hope and healing for him, making the conclusion hard won but satisfying. Tucks plaintive voice and Lynn Kelling's excellent writing made this a compelling read, and a story that I'm still thinking about after finishing. There's a couple of m/f/m sex scenes towards the beginning which aren't my cup of tea...unfortunately I admit, being a m/m snob, I don't enjoy lady bits in my books...but in this case they're crucial to the story so I went with the flow. Overall, an exhausting read but a bloody good one!
Meet Lynn Kelling
Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it's body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over seventy works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.
Lynn Kelling is gifting two lucky readers e-copies of Song of a Lonesome Cowboy. For your chance to win, all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below.