Title: Feeling the Rhythm (Conquest #7)
Author: SJ Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 91k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Series, Rockers/Musicians, Coming Out
Rating: So So
Brad Delfini once had the world in his hands, but misfortune and bad decisions showed him just how quickly the spotlight can go dark. For years, he was struggling to get by, when a fateful phone call brought him to famed rock band, Conquest. Since becoming their drummer, he’s hit the top of fame again and he has all he could ever want. Except for one thing. As Conquest’s world tour draws to the close, that missed chance leaves him filled with regrets. Remmy Laurent has been a roadie since he graduated high school, but years of being on the move have worn him down. He decides it’s time to quit and bring some stability into his life. He just wanted to finish out this one last tour with his favorite band; Conquest. It hasn’t been an easy tour, for many reasons, but most of all because no matter how hard he tried to deny it, he lost his heart to a man who he thinks barely knows he exists. When the last concert is played, Brad and Remmy both believe they’ll never see each other again, but a little friendly intervention brings them together once more. As they begin to know each other in a whole new way, Brad must somehow make peace with his past if he and Remmy are going to have a future.
I’ve been waiting for Brad’s book in the Conquest series for a long time now. I even talked to SJ Frost about it, asking please would she write Brad’s story too? And while I really like Brad and Remmy is cute, something about this book just didn’t click for me…
Brad Delphini, the drummer for the band Conquest, is straight… or so everyone thinks. The reality is that a combination of his family beliefs, a broken heart in the worst way possible and some bad decisions that plague him with guilt made him turn his back on his true feelings. When he was forced to declare his feelings to Evan before he ever started playing with Conquest, he started the lie that has carried through all his years as their drummer, and kept his whole real family — the band — from ever knowing the real Brad.
Those decisions weigh heavily on him, but never more than when he finally allows himself to get to know Remmy, Conquest’s Stage Manager. But Brad doesn’t find it easy to shed the past, which makes for a rocky start to their relationship. And when Brad finally starts to straighten out his feelings, the past comes slamming back into his life, only to cause more confusion.
I really like Brad, and Remmy is adorable, but… I think this story was a little underwhelming for me. Though I didn’t ever get to the point where I wanted to put this down and not pick it back up, the first 2/3 of the story seemed pretty ho-hum to me. There wasn’t very much plot other than a rather vanilla relationship progression. It isn’t that romance itself doesn’t excite me anymore, but the story was so insular for so long, it would have been nice to have the love talk and sex that took up the middle 50% broken up by more of the outside world. When that finally did happen, I was glad, but found that most of the book was over.
I think it must be very difficult to keep a series like this afloat. Partly, I think this was the problem for me. Even though I haven’t ever read this series over back to back and didn’t refresh myself with prior books before this one, I still remember them all quite well, especially the first three which directly relate to the other members of this band. This is probably the least angsty book of the series. I usually don’t like angst, but I think I would have preferred a bit more of it to breathe a little more life into the story.
So I think that the fact that I enjoyed the story as much as I did, even though I’m rating it right in the middle, directly relates to the fact that I love the characters in this series and always will. As far as this book goes, standing on it’s own, I found it one of my least favorite and somewhat disappointing.
Fans of the Conquest boys will definitely want to read this one, but hopefully they’ll find it more satisfying than I did.