Title: Soul Storm
Author: Maris Black
Release: 28th October 2016
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
DAVE BALLARD is a tool. A high-level music exec with only one thing on his mind: getting ahead by leveraging the talents of others. When a coworker talks him into going to the middle of nowhere to scout a troubled singer, Dave thinks it will be an exercise in futility. But once he sees the mysterious silver-tongued Luca Wayne on stage, he changes his tune.
With his soulful voice, bad boy vibe, and sad green eyes that can pull you under, Luca is the kind of talent that comes along once in a lifetime. Even before the first song is over, Dave knows he has to sign him. Trouble is, Luca doesn't want to be discovered.
LUCA WAYNE is perfectly content playing to a crowd of twenty in his father's dive bar on Tybee Island. Never mind that he looks like a homeless street performer and eats just enough to survive. Luca doesn't want more. He doesn't want to be a star. Hell, he barely wants to live. And after what happened to him, who can blame him?
The heartbreaking discovery Dave makes about Luca's past awakens something inside him, softening his heart and filling him with a need to wrap Luca in his strong arms and make everything okay. But can Dave reconcile the business shark in him with these new tender feelings? And even if he can, Luca's problems may be more than even he can handle.
When Dave finds himself lost in the eye of the hurricane, he'll find out once and for all if he has the strength to save Luca from his SOUL STORM.
I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining story of a music mogul and his newly discovered talent. Dave Ballard is high up music executive with an ego to match his arrogance and a well deserved reputation as a man eater. When his colleague can’t manage to sign a newly discovered YouTube sensation, he sets Dave the challenge of landing the talent and the contract. Dave sets off to meet young Luca Wayne and hear him play at his dad’s small bar to a handful of people. What he is totally unprepared for is the sight of Luca, looking like a homeless vagabond with tatty clothes, tattoos and stringy hair, coupled with a beautiful, if haunted face and the most melodic voice with an amazing falsetto. Dave even sheds a few tears and as that is something quite alien to the businessman it shakes him a bit and he decides he has to have Luca.
They meet outside of the bar and instantly hook up, now I’m not much of a fan of insta love, but as this was way more insta lust, it was actually quite believable. Dave crosses a professional barrier of never hooking up with artists or potential artists, a motto he has previously lived by. It’s thrown even more out of the water when he discovers the reason for Luca not being more successful than he is and for his fragility. This seems to weaken Dave’s defences and he’s no longer sure if he’s seducing Luca to join his record label or is just totally seduced by the frail young man. It has him twisted up. This is where we see the real Dave, he feels something for Luca and wants to help him but he’s not sure that he wants to risk Luca, worrying he’s too fragile to cope with the relentless schedule and constant intrusion of the music industry. Meanwhile, Luca does a one eighty and decides that after all he would like a record label and sets about persuading Dave he’s worth the risk. This is all set as their relationship is blurred between personal and professional. Something happens with Luca and he heads back home. Then Dave hears something that sends him flying to Luca to see if he can rescue Luca and maybe their relationship at the same time.
I loved the character development of Dave throught this story, his emotions becoming more and more embroiled and also seeing the fragility of Luca and knowing the reasons why he is like he is. As with most Maris Black books the sex is scorching and their chemistry is undeniable. The lyrics in the book are written for us to read and I could totally imagine Luca singing them. Beautiful, haunting and melodic. The ending of the book is practically perfect and I did have a little aawww moment where my heart was so happy for them both. It was sweet and heart warming. A total recommendation from me, I loved it.
Meet Maris Black
When I finally started writing fiction for a living, I surprised myself with my choice of genre. I’d always known I wanted to write romance, but the first story that popped out was about a couple of guys finding love during a threesome with a woman. Then I wrote about more guys, and more guys, and more guys. I was never a reader of gay fiction, and I’d never planned to write it. The only excuse I have for myself is that when I finally got serious and put pen to paper, or hand to keyboard as it were, M/M is what came out.
I now adore the M/M genre with all my heart. It feels sort of like coming home. I can’t quite explain it. I’ve always had openly gay and bisexual friends and relatives, the rights and acceptance of whom are very important to me, so it feels great to celebrate that. But there’s also something so pure and honest about the love between two men that appeals to me on a romantic level and inspires me to write.