Title: A Matter of When
Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 236 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Wealth. Fame. Gold record. Hookers and Cocaine front man Henri Lafontaine has it all…including a control freak manager, band members who smile as they sharpen blades for his back, and last but damn well not least, a fan out to steal his heart. Literally. Trying to write hit songs and plan a comeback in the midst of the hi-fi white noise of LA feels more like watching his world implode, until he’s offered a month in the Colorado Rockies for vocal coaching.
Sebastian Unger’s rich, classically trained tenor inspires wicked thoughts. More than a pretty choir boy, he cracks the whip without hesitation to drive tattooed bad-boy Henri to give his all to his music. Working, fighting, and finally establishing a fragile peace, they find inspiration and perhaps more in each other. But the clock is ticking. Time will pull Henri back to the grit and gold of LA’s mean streets and fame machine, while Sebastian must return to the opera circuit, where a mysterious man known as “the patron” holds far too much sway. Only the trust they’ve built on a handful of notes bridges their two worlds…and shields them from malice.
Review: It really is no secret that I am a sucker for a good rock and roll book. On the flipside of that, though, I am soooooooo not a fan of the classic operatic-type character. It seems Eden Winters made it her mission to change my mind on that second part. Boy, did she ever.
Henri Lafontaine began this book as the typical rock and roll guy, at least on the surface. You see, his manager has made a public persona for him and being his real self is NOT a part of it. By the time we join him, his band has turned against him and are borderline hostile toward him. His manager not only won’t let him come out but tries to set him up with yet another woman. Henri is at the end of his rope. With an ironclad contract keeping him tethered where he doesn’t want to be, he realizes he has to do something drastic to break free. It’s actually kind of hilarious when he finally does take a stand…in his pajamas…with a cop!
Once free to live his own life, Henri heads to rehab and starts plotting his next steps. The first order of business, after getting clean, of course, is to hire a new manager. Once that is achieved, his new manager tasks him with getting his voice in shape, with the help of Sebastian Unger. Sebastian is everything that Henri is not. He has a tenor that he works hard to perfect, and he lives in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. There is none of the glitz that Henri is used to with his life in LA.
It seems that this is exactly what Henri needs, though. The two men butt heads in the beginning, but over time they find a happy medium. Henri finds that Sebastian can teach him more than he ever thought possible, and not just about music. When it comes time for Henri to return to LA, he tries his best to stay in touch, but Sebastian seems to be slipping out of his reach. As much as Henri wants to track Sebastian down and make things work, he has a career of his own to save, and save it he does. With a crazy, eclectic mix of band members, Henri begins his comeback in the world of rock and roll. The only thing missing is Sebastian.
Eventually, Henri decides he has to see the man face to face. Little does he know that his one visit to Sebastian will turn both their worlds upside down. Between Sebastian’s mysterious “patron” and Henri’s crazy stalker, these two never seem to be able to catch a break.
With the holidays approaching, a surprise visitor at Henri’s house just might put them on the right track. When his band also shows up, Henri realizes that while trying to rebuild his career, he also managed to rebuild his family, even if it isn’t a traditional one.
I did like this book immensely. Ms. Winters did a great job with the opposites attract theme. Henri’s growth and maturation was well written and, for the most part, believable. Sebastian’s life really was a hot mess, but he finally grew himself a back bone and learned to stand on his own two feet. Of course, they got their happily ever after, and they totally deserved it. I highly recommend taking this journey with Henri and Sebastian. I don’t think you will regret it for a second.
You can buy A Matter of When here: