Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Metal Heart by Meredith Shayne

Metal Heart by Meredith Shayne
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 264pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Scott King swore off rock stardom after his band, King Phoenix, crashed and burned. Now in his forties, Scott lives a quiet life as a music producer and session guitarist. But in a box hidden in his wardrobe lie the relics of the past he left behind—a past filled with drugs, booze, and broken hearts. For sixteen years, Scott has had no contact with his former bandmates, so when he’s asked to play at a benefit gig for King Phoenix’s old sound man, his world turns upside down. A King Phoenix reunion means a run-in with Scott’s ex, Ash Walker—and sixteen years ago, believing Ash wanted to leave the band, Scott OD’d and almost died.

Since then, Scott has ruthlessly suppressed his feelings. As a result, he's completely unprepared for the impact of seeing Ash again, or for dealing with his emotions about the band’s demise. He definitely didn’t expect Ash to want to start up where they left off. Now Scott has to decide between his safe existence and the twenty-year-old love song that could cost him his sobriety—and his heart.

Another book I was very surprised by, and man it’s awesome when that happens. Metal Heart brought out all kinds of emotions in me, if you follow me on twitter and Goodreads then you already know this. There is something very charming about the story, and refreshing about the characters that I just fell in love with. Plus, its rockstars and they're always all kinds of kickass.

The book is broken down in two parts: the 1990s and 2011 (the books present time). In 1990, Scott King is looking for a band to make it big with so he can quit his day job and go on to superstardom. When a friend tells him about a band one man short, and gives him their demo, Scott knows he's found his band. With the smooth sultry voice of the singer giving him feels below the belt, and with a name like King Phoenix it’s like a match made in heaven. When Scott finally meets the band they hit it off right away but it’s the singer Ash that has Scott in a twist. Ash is sexiness personified and Scott is close to losing his shit over the sexy singer, but he's got the music to get lost in and keep his crush under control. Working their way to up in the music scene comes with a lot of hard-work and disappointments but they knew the road to fame wouldn't be easy. From the small gigs, and rocking out at every club/pub they get to play at Scott's feelings for Ash intensifies but he knows that nothing will ever come of it. Until he gets a glass to the face at a gig gone wrong, and Ash is jumping in to take care of him and pouring out his feelings while they lie together in bed. Things seem almost perfect, because together they will take over the world with their music and rock on.

A series of ups and down, and finally all their hard work is paying off. Scott and Ash are in love, but the relationship remains a secret, regardless their happy being with each other. King Phoenix is the next big thing, and people are noticing. Boom, comes the record deal, KP is finally touring, and things couldn't be any better. With a few good years under their belt, suddenly performing for larger crowds has Scott suffering from stage fright and it’s taking a toll. When friends introduce him to pick me uppers that will take his fear away, Scott feels like he can fly. Next, he's using things to stay awake, drugs to go the sleep, and he is just one addicted mess. His love for Ash won't save him this time and everything starts to fall in between the cracks. When Scott realizes he might be losing Ash, he goes on the bend and ODs, and a dream for a band goes up in flames.

Now it’s 2011 and Scott has tried to forget a time when he almost died, and lost the man he loved more than anything. So when he gets a call to a reunion show for a friend who is dying to raise money for his family. Scott can’t be an asshole and say no, but it would mean seeing the band for the first time in 16yrs but most off all it would mean seeing Ash. He decides to do it but it doesn't mean he's gonna be nice about it, because while he was fighting for his life his bitch ass band upped and disappeared. It's that Ash up and disappeared is what hurts the most.

So this book was made of awesome, and I am just surprised by how much it I love it. Though I am singing praises, it did piss me the eff off. First, Scott really knows how to hold a grudge and though I can understand him being pissed about them not coming to see how he was doing, he can’t blame them for his drug use. No one held his face to a line of coke, so he has no one to blame but himself. I am also pissed at all the band members because the douche bag faces could have visited him or at least called to see how he was doing, especially Ash. They were in love and together for years, and just like Scott I can't forgive him easily. No matter the excuses I was all "It Doesn't Matter" all your stupid asses could have called in the last 16 bloody years.

Meredith doesn't shy away from writing the drug use, and you get to see how intense it all was for Scott. The relationship between the men was a real sweet case of young love, and it’s heart breaking to watch them crash and burn. But they were so young going after a dream without any form of guidance. I wouldn’t have minded if this story was a bit longer because I feel a lot of things weren't explored to their full potential. There is a lot of blame, without any real solution so I am feeling a bit dissatisfied with how it all ended. I am crossing my fingers that I get another story, because I am so in love with Scott and Ash.

Should You Read It? I am going to give this one a big YES, because I cried while yelling at this book. This was my first time reading Meredith Shayne and it will not be my last, I loved the rockers, loved all the angst, and I loved Scott/Ash. The writing had such a wonderful flow; I could have easily read another hundred pages. Metal Heart was superb!

4.5 Pants Off

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