Like many others I’m a huge Jet Mykles fan and anything she writes is an auto-buy for me. Add in about musicians and a Gay For You theme and I’m pretty excited to read. Reverb doesn’t quite live up to the greatness of the Heaven Sent series but it’s an absorbing, gritty read about the reality of fame and drugs. The main couple is well crafted and the story itself flies by, almost too fast, with a lot of great secondary characters that catch your interest. The only real compliant I have is that once the couple gets together the last 100 pages or so is filled with sex scene after sex scene, perhaps making up for the lack in the previous 200 pages, but it also feels a bit repetitive without a lot of tension. This is a small compliant though and I highly doubt many fans will mind.
The story starts with singer Marlowe and guitarist Nick on a successful tour. Surrounded by alcohol, drugs, fame, and willing groupies the men in the band are flying high. Perhaps too high as the night Nick and Marlowe finally get together is a disastrous one. High on drugs Marlowe spins out of control, taking Nick with him. The resulting crash, literal and metaphorical, has long reaching affects and takes years for the two men to come together again. Once they do, their chemistry picks up where it left off but with both men changed, nothing is as easy as it seems.
Reverb feels like a classic Jet Mykles story with great writing, good characters, sizzling chemistry, and very enticing tension. The situations feel authentic and believable, easily sucking you into the rock and roll world. The pace is consistent and lets the story fly by, in fact I read this one much quicker than I expected. The writing feels familiar to Mykles in the best ways and comes with all the great tension and Gay For You themes that I come to expect and want from this author. The story is a bit grittier than previous rock star offerings and thus perhaps offers more of an impact for readers.
The drugs, fame, and easy sex of the lifestyle are very well depicted with a human edge. It doesn’t feel over the top or ridiculous but instead edgy and very real. Both main men show a lot of depth and emotion that makes their connection easy to understand and believe. It’s not easy but then again the story wouldn’t be half as good if it were, instead these two work better with that tension and strife between them for so long. When they finally get together, their reunion is satisfying and worth waiting for. Unfortunately that also leads to one of the slight issues I had with the story. When the two men get together it’s a lot of sex and studio recording so the story feels slight repetitive. There is some additional tension before their happy ending but to me it felt kind of obvious.
That’s not to say I was bored or didn’t enjoy the last third of the story; merely it didn’t hold the same grip on my attention and emotion. It was a nice prolonged ending with a lot of hot sex so I’m not really complaining. I think most readers and fans of the author will actually appreciate a lengthy happy ending rather than a quick wrap up. The other slight issue I had with the story is that there are a lot of great secondary characters that are used too briefly. Given the current length, they couldn’t really get any more page time but I definitely would like to read more about Kip and hope he gets his own book.
Overall the qualms I have are really quite minor in the face of a solid rock star offering from Mykles. It’s not my favorite of her backlist, I don’t think anything could top Heaven Sent, but it’s easily a story I’d read again.