Title: Rustic Melody
Author: Nic Starr
Pages/Word Count: 174 Pages
At a Glance: Honest dialogue, some very sweet and hot sex, and strong female side characters who give sound advice to both men all combined to make Rustic Melody a lush story with a hard earned happy ever after.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Adam Chambers has never seen eye-to-eye with his father and is reluctant to take over the family’s property-development company. To clear his head and work out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, Adam leaves his responsibilities in the city and heads out to see the country.
He isn’t much closer to deciding what to do with his life when he arrives at one of Australia’s largest events, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and meets Joey Callaway.
Since Joey’s father’s tragic death left Joey the family’s debt-ridden pub, Joey has struggled, desperate to turn the business around and give his mum the life she deserves. A break away from the pressures of running the pub is just what he needs, and a hook-up with Adam is the perfect way to forget about his troubles.
The one-night stand might just be an opening act. If Adam and Joey can follow the music in their hearts, perhaps they can heal each other and create a melody that will last a lifetime.
Review: Nic Starr is a new author for me, and given how much I enjoyed Rustic Melody, this will certainly not be my last novel by this delightfully talented writer. This novel is a sweet and slow building love story between two men who both want more than their current life offers them.
Joey is torn between wanting to sell the family business and making sure his poorly sighted Mum is taken care of in a way that gives her the best quality of life. Knowing his Dad worked feverishly to set them both up with some sort of financial security and, unfortunately, failed to do so prior to his death only makes Joey more determined to see their pub business turn a profit prior to selling it. Not only that, but despite living in a Uni town, Joey has few prospects when it comes to finding a guy to fall in love with and hopefully one day share his life. Trying desperately not to feel trapped by both a barely scraping by business and a lonely existence, Joey reluctantly takes a vacation and stumbles into a sexy guitar playing man who makes him want more than just a one-night stand.
Adam has been on leave from the family business for a few months, trying to figure out exactly what he wants to do with the rest of his life. His domineering and critical father drives his business much like his life—sharp, a bit shady and like a dictatorship. Adam can abide many things, but it’s the less than above board tactics his father uses in his business dealings that leave a decided distaste in his mouth. After a few months on the road, he decides to take one last detour before returning home to check out the country music festival. Little does he know that his life is about to get both more complicated and perhaps a bit happier.
The real beauty of this sweet love story is the incredible depth of characterization that takes place over the course of the novel. Both Joey and Adam are revealed to be caring and grounded sons—the kind that cherish family and refuse to see them as a burden. Both refuse to pursue only what they want, and so it is then painfully realistic when Adam finally must leave Joey behind that he does so with such mixed emotions. Each chapter of this carefully crafted love story is filled with real emotion, and we are privy to what makes both Joey and Adam tick. I cannot begin to say how much I appreciated this when so often m/m romance novels are one-sided—with the reader only really getting to know one of the main characters to the detriment of the other. Instead, author Nic Starr takes us inside the heads of both young men and allows us to see their fears, their burdens and their worry over failing both themselves and those they love. Honest dialogue, some very sweet and hot sex, and strong female side characters who give sound advice to both men all combined to make Rustic Melody a lush story with a hard earned happy ever after.
You can buy Rustic Melody here: