Author: Hank Fielding
Genre: Contemporary/Historical (Present, 1982, 1984, 1990)
Length: Novel Plus (340pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13th August 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2 ½ – 3Hearts
Blurb: Once upon a time in the eighties, Nick Davanger’s soulful green eyes and successful record-producer partner turned him into the pop sensation known as the Emerald Idol. But Rusty has been dead for a year now, and though Nick is slowly putting his life back together, it isn’t easy—especially since someone is trying to derail his comeback by blackmailing him about his decadent past.
Enter LA detective Anson Bay, who’s been assigned to keep Nick safe. Anson is the total package, handsome as well as competent. He strives to keep business and pleasure separate, no matter how strong his feelings grow, but his attraction to Nick strains the limits of his professionalism.
To aid the search for a suspect, Nick finds himself reliving his time with Rusty, from London’s steamy all-male strip clubs to fame in the Hollywood Hills. Even if he can’t deny that Anson excites him, Nick’s not sure he can love again. Of course, if the villain who’s blackmailing him succeeds, Nick may never have the chance to find out.
Review: Nick lost the love of his life a year ago and he is starting to get back on his feet again. On the brink of his one man show, Memoirs, someone decides to try to derail it by blackmailing him and it leads to Nick remembering how he started out and his actions since then. With the help of police detective Anson Bay they try to discover who is blackmailing him and Nick discovers that he just might have more room in his heart to love.
Do you know that feeling when you read a blurb and you get that ‘I must read this book’ feeling? Well, I got it from this blurb and I have to say I was heartily disappointed. Nick spends most of the book remembering his past, from his experiences in school to his first brushes with homosexuality, from his first meetings with Rusty to his shock hit single, from his dabbling in drugs to his short fling with someone he could have loved, all the while dealing with his own confusion about his race and how he sees himself. It is all laid bare, with flashes to the present time as he deals with a new blackmailer and a new hope for love.
If you are expecting a racing thriller or suspense or romance because of the blurb then tear your expectations up, this is more of a reminiscing story that goes back over Nick’s life and gives us the bare bones of his past. A lot of what he remembers doesn’t directly go towards the plot, it just shows us what molded Nick to be the way he is, and we see his growth and change as he lives his life. Rusty and Nick’s relationship during the early years was an open one so there are mentions of sex with others, there isn’t much in the way of sex scenes on page and although we are told that Nick loves Rusty we don’t feel the connection of romantic love.
When we finally get brought back to the present we are again left disappointed by the interaction that we see between Anson and Nick, we only really see them briefly together and I didn’t feel a connection to them because we just don’t get to see them together in a romantic way. The blackmail plot was quickly wound up towards the end, but left me with the question of how the hell did they get that set of photos?
What kept me reading this book? Because at times I did wonder when the past was dragging on, and I have got to say it was Nick, he was a fascinating character and I ended up wanting to know what happened to him, how he reconciled having a black father and a white mother when he had been brought up by his grandparents as white and not one of those. Of seeing him struggle and love and endure with a relationship that spanned 20 years and of him finding new love.
I will recommend this to those who want a story of a struggle to find yourself, of making mistakes but carrying on with the love of those around you and of finding love when you least expect it.