Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Release Day Review: Body Rocks (Off Beat #1) by A.M. Arthur

body rocksTitle ~ Body Rocks (Off Beat #1)

Author ~ A. M. Arthur

Publisher ~ Swerve

Published ~ 28 June 2016

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country…too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member of XYZ.

Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?


Debra’s Review

This is a good start to a new NA series following the members of two up and coming rival bands, XYZ and Fading Daze. Trey aka Coop and Dominic’s story is a Romeo and Juliet style tale. Unbeknown to either man when they meet, Trey is a member of the band Fading Daze, whose drummer just defected to join Dominic’s band XYZ on the eve of the big Unbound Festival competition they are both competing in.

The attraction between Trey and Dom is one of those that instantly crackles for both when they meet at an open mic night at the bar where Trey works and his band is a regular act. Not only are they physically attracted, but they literally make beautiful music together; Dom a violin prodigy and Trey a singer/songwriter. When the truth about their respective bands comes out, Trey and Dom continue their new relationship in secret, keeping the news from their bandmates and outsiders as Trey is not out to his band’s fans, many of who ship him with singer and his best friend, Danielle, and he is afraid to damage that image right before the Unbound Festival.

While both men share a love of music and rely on the support and friendship of their bandmates, their family lives are completely different. Trey’s lack of family support is a big reason for him doing anything in his power, including hiding his sexuality, to keep the band together as they are the people he considers family. Dominic, on the other hand, not only has his bandmates, but he has amazing family support in just about everything he does. They both also feel they have something to prove to their fathers and that it is all riding on this competition.

This being an A.M. Arthur story, I expected angst and baggage and that is what I got. Both do have extremely serious issues from their past that they fight to overcome, however, both men have so much baggage, that at times it felt like almost too much and I thought that some of the issues didn’t really add to the story, but were just piled on top of the other more prominent issues they were facing.

The story is far from a complete angst fest though. I enjoyed the dynamics both Trey and Dom’s bands had, Fading Daze especially as some find out what is going on and try to continue to keep the romance quiet. I could understand Trey’s fears of coming out as far as the band goes as they are all he has, but Dom is not in the closet (in fact all the members of XYZ are gay and don’t hide it) and while he agrees to give Trey time, he has no intention of hiding anything past Unbound. His only sticking point is that if anyone asks Trey about them, that Trey doesn’t deny him. The two MCs are young (Trey 21 and Dom just a couple years older) and I appreciated that they acted their ages, at times showing maturity and other times not.

Not only do Trey and Dom have amazing sexual chemistry, but they literally make beautiful music together. Some of my favorite parts of the book were when Trey and Dom connected through their music, whether on stage together or through Skype jam sessions as they worked out their long-distance romance. That was really the heart of this book, the romance between Trey and Dom and their shared love of music.

The secondary characters consist of Dom’s family and the members of the two bands, and they all had their different parts to play. I expect Dom’s best friend and bandmate Lincoln to have an interesting and difficult story and I’m looking forward to reading it.


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Meet A.M. Arthur

No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and "bromance" (and "The Young Riders") with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments


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