As a fan of the m/m genre I found myself drawn to this sentimental story involving music about ignoring what's right in front of you. Keep reading to get a sexy and heartwarming taste of Forever Man by A.J. DeWall, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. You'll also hear from the author as to why readers are drawn to books set in the world of music. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 BN GC and an eBook from Interlude Press or an author/book swag pack too!
What a fun question! Readers are drawn to rock star stories for three reasons: rock stars are sexy, we all love the idea of being someone’s muse, and there’s a wannabe rock star in all of us.
Have you ever noticed how even people who may otherwise be considered average looking suddenly seem sexy when they’re commanding a stage? There’s something about musicians—it’s their art, and their presence, and their bravado. It’s a heady combination, in any genre. Even more so with artists who rock, because rock and roll is super sexy. Old torch songs and rock and roll are the sexiest musical genres, in my opinion, which is why I included both in Forever Man.
Most of us have fantasized about meeting rock stars, the men and women in the posters that adorned our walls when we we’re teenagers. Part of that fantasy is being loved by that artist, and to make an impact on that artist and inspire a song… or an entire album! To be someone’s muse is a powerful thing, and I think we’d all like to experience that at least once in our lives. What could be more romantic than having a love song written about you?
I really do believe there is a rock star inside everyone.Whether it’s singing in the car, dancing around the house using a hairbrush for a microphone, showing up to karaoke every Saturday night, or playing in a band with your old college buddies, the desire to make music and perform is in all of us. This is why shows like American Idol and The Voice are so popular. People love those shows because “ordinary” people are getting a chance to do that big, crazy, impossible thing we’d all like at least one chance to try.
In Forever Man, Cole is a reluctant rock-star-in-the-making. Part of his journey with Ren is waking up to his destiny, to his dormant dreams, the dreams he put down when he believed he would never have the man he loved. Love changes people. It inspires them to believe in themselves, and to take chances, and to share their voice with the world.
A bond forged in Catholic school, an unspoken attraction that outlasts years of separation and other relationships.
Ren and Cole never acted on that thing that always bubbled beneath the surface of their friendship, not until a chance encounter in a Santa Fe bar and a song that would tip the scales forced them to confront their feelings. Will the influence of a music superstar, a New York socialite and a mystical property manager finally bring them together, or will a history of missed opportunities, their own fears and an impending wedding keep them apart? Can they just have one night, and then walk away?
Forever Man is a story of the consequences of the choices we make, and how the courage to change can last a lifetime.
Ren turns to see Cole standing not five feet away, a bit out of breath.
"Did you mean it?" Ren asks.
"You're in love with me?"
Ren doubles over again, trying to catch his breath. Cole crosses to him, rubbing his back but saying nothing. After a moment, Ren straightens out and asks, "How long?"
"I want us to be together—”
"No. How long have you been in love with me?"
The answer to this one question is all Ren needs to know. Because this man, this friend, this lover of his has always given in to whims and drama and intensity, and Ren has to be sure that he is not that. He has to be sure that this is not new.
Cole steps into Ren's space, tilts his chin up and kisses him. The kiss is firm, an answer, a promise.
"I can't remember a time when I wasn't in love with you."
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Whoever said you can't combine steamy interludes with deep emotions hasn't yet read Forever Man and its heartwarming tale of missed opportunities. Readers are put through the emotional wringer just as much as the main characters watching their lives devolve into the mundane, settling for others when it's only in each other's arms that they are truly alive.
Ever since Catholic school Cole and Ren have had a connection, been each other's support, but for various reasons never fully committed. Fate constantly threw roadblocks in their way and kept them apart to where only friendship remained, but it's a friendship that's deep-seated and immensely important to both of them and it's something they don't want to jeopardize. Given the opportunity of a lifetime away from their significant others they finally indulge in their life-long fantasies with the clock ticking until they return to their ordinary lives. They indulge in steamy encounters and heartfelt truths that will either bind them together permanently or drive a wedge between them forever.
Cole is a funny and charming guy who knows he's not with the man he should be with. He knows he's settling but scared to ruin what Ren and he already have. Ren too feels as if he's adrift. His partner doesn't excite him and things have grown too comfortable. Being with Cole is exhilarating with chronic sexual tension that makes him feel alive. Only when they decide to give in to their sexual frustration do you sense a weight's been lifted off them. Their scenes together crackle with sensuality and energy and their banter brought a smile to my face. Their time together isn't without guilt though as the men they've left behind are clueless as to the sexual indulgences between Cole and Ren and the author doesn't ignore this issue. It's dealt with in a believable way that fully immerses readers in their journey to acceptance of what they truly want and need. Throw in numerous steamy interludes and readers are left parched and with their stomach in knots hoping for them to finally commit and live the life they were meant to. The secondary characters are equally strong and say what Cole and Ren have always thought, thus forcing them to finally embrace the truth of their connection in this m/m story that is both nostalgically heartwarming and heartbreaking. Readers will be pulled along in their rocky journey to happiness and fulfillment in this richly rewarding story set on the outskirts of the music world. This may have been my first book by this author but it definitely won't be the last!
My rating for this is an A-
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
A professional writer for more than 20 years, A.J. DeWall began her career as a playwright. She is the ghostwriter behind dozens of nonfiction books, including several award-winning bestsellers. As a writer of fan fiction, her online titles have hundreds of thousands of reads. Forever Man is her first novel. She lives in New York with her wife and son.
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