This could ruin everything.
I was born broken, with a past full of ugly secrets and a brother doing life in prison.
Not that you’d know it if you read the tabloids. According to them I’m the rock-solid guitarist for the biggest band in the world. I’m the dependable one. The steady one. The anchor.
They don’t know the truth. No one knows who I am underneath, once the music is over and the lights are off.
No one but Darcy.
She’s my best friend. She’s my f*cking savior, my light in the dark, beautiful as hell and talented as f*ck and every bit as broken as me.
And I f*cking yearn for her. I have for years. I see the way she looks at me, what’s behind her eyes.
I know what she thinks about alone, in the dark, because how could I not know.
It’s getting worse. Every second, every heartbeat, every moment we spend together and every secret we share makes me want her more. Even though I know that one kiss could ruin everything we have, I need her.
But to get her? I’ll risk everything I’ve got.
As a fan of rockstar romances I was immediately drawn to this tale of friends-to-lovers. From its immensely appealing main characters to its premise of overcoming past pains, it was a story that kept me turning the pages furiously to see if rockers Dirtshine could overcome their rocky past to climb back to the top of the charts.
After two of their bandmates got caught up in the world of drugs with the death of a roadie the result, the rock band Dirtshine was left reeling. Their drummer Liam walked away, but Gavin got clean with the support of a good woman, which left Trent and Darcy trying to hold everything together. Things get off to a rocky start this tour though when their new drummer leaves amidst harsh words and after pointing out what’s obvious...that Trent loves Darcy. It’s a truth that changes a friendship and could alter their band too if they let it. Both Darcy and Trent had rough childhoods which have left their mark. For Darcy it was being left to the whims of the foster care system which has left her fearing the loss of the family she’s found with her bandmates along with a hardened heart. Trent’s past was filled with violence from an alcoholic father which drove his brother towards a life of crime while leaving him fearing his own anger as he never wants to hurt those he cares about the most. It was their mutually painful pasts that brought them together as friends and it’s an on-stage accident that has their feelings taking a more romantic turn. It’s a battle that Darcy wages against the truth of her feelings for Trent while the only battle he’s waging is against years of abuse he fears will emerge. It’s a sensual journey that nicely balanced their still important friendship with scorching encounters. It was a romance weighed down by her inability to know how to be in a romantic relationship and his past coming back to haunt him in a tearful look into the fall-out from his childhood. Toether they were a formidable pair who withstood everything life threw at them to reach a HEA that left me cheering.
Though this is the second installment in the Dirtshine series it stands strongly on its own with its likable characters and sweet and sexy romance. The ups and downs of the rockstar world are on vivid display here in scenes on and off stage that had my pulse pounding with the beat. Darcy was a strong-willed young woman unafraid to tell it like it is. She’s protective of her bandmates as they’ve become a family to her and felt defensive when their new drummer didn’t work out. She doesn’t do well with change and it’s why she’s fought her true feelings for Trent for so long. Trent’s a delicious hero who’s always been drawn to Darcy and through each word and deed shows how much he cares for her. Their friendship was sweet with interactions that were heartwarming. Their evolution into lovers felt natural because of this close-knit friendship and it was Trent who finally took the initiative in a scene that was worth the wait. He too sees Dirtshine as his family as his own was very dysfunctional in flashbacks that broke my heart and had me admiring him all the more for all he had to deal with as a youth. He and Darcy are delightful together and I enjoyed their journey to HEA despite the odds keeping them apart and a story that went on a bit too long. Along with watching the flourishing romance of this appealing main couple I also enjoyed seeing Gavin’s continuing recovery and his evolution from drug-addicted screw-up to a true leader of their band. He’s grown older and wiser and with his bombshell reveal of Liam’s upcoming return I have no doubt lots of hurt feelings will result in a story I’m heartily looking forward to.
My rating for this is an A-