Friday, December 14, 2018

A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love by Arden Powell

What he wanted was a music career. What he needed was love.

When Kris Golding leaves his dusty Kansas hometown for a fresh start in New York, he thinks an apartment and a job are waiting for him. But when he finds neither, rather than admit defeat, he takes his chances busking—and meets Rayne Bakshi of international rock band The Chokecherries. Rayne needs a new guitarist, and gives Kris his first break since leaving home.

Rayne wears makeup and glitter and thinks nothing of kissing Kris in front of twenty thousand screaming fans for the attention. Instantly infatuated, Kris begins to question whether he might have a crush on Rayne—could he be bisexual? But since Kris claimed to be straight, Rayne’s wary of getting involved offstage.

As the tour gains momentum, Kris’s sexuality becomes the least of his troubles. Between his conservative brother hell bent on “rescuing” him from his life of debauchery, a peacock that may or may not be the avatar of a cult god, and a publicity stunt that threatens to upend his routine with the band, Kris is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a perfect fantasy rock star romance. When an aspiring musician finds himself homeless in New York and busking for loose change, he doesn’t expect to be spotted and hired by a famous rock band. This is the story of Kris’ summer tour as lead guitarist for the Chokecherries. It’s also a story about self-discovery and falling in love.

I loved Kris. Fresh from small town Kansas, Kris finds himself mesmerised by the genderbending world of glam rock in New York. Kris is open to everything and scared of nothing. Except he is scared about exploring his sexuality and he’s a little bit scared of his parents’ reaction to his new life. Kris is at once completely ordinary and a talented prodigy. He’s the outsider in the band and he is always learning and observing.

Rayne is a little bit harder to know and love. His charisma and sexuality made me wary of him at first. It takes a long time to see beneath his makeup and star power. I love the instant friendship between Rayne and Kris and I love the way Rayne opens up Kris’ world. The connection between these two is sweet and kinda magical. The slow burn romance is almost painful at times and I love the sparks that fly between them. There’s a blip near the end where miscommunication between Rayne and Kris is unnecessarily amplified but for most of the book these two are pretty special together.

The main thing that takes this book from five stars to four stars for me is the bizarre cult storyline that begins at the halfway point. I had several WTF moments and I think the over-the-top storyline detracts from wonderful characters, beautiful relationships, and a coherent plot.

Arden graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with an Honours degree in English literature and the realization that essay writing is just another form of making up stories. They also came away with an overriding and all-abiding love of semicolons, to the general dismay of their editors. Arden lives in Ontario with a dog, a fellow human, and an unnecessary number of houseplants.

Connect with Arden

Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love by Arden Powell to read and review.

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