Moonlight Becomes You by Piper Vaughn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Like others I’m a fan of rock star angst stories so I was happy to see this offering. Unfortunately the premise was hard for me to buy into and the ending just devolves into what was for me, an eye rolling experience. It’s an easy story to read and mostly enjoyable but overall it just didn’t work that well for me. Others may not be as bothered, especially if they can buy into the concept and “twist” presented. The writing is decent and the angst and sex scenes are enough to satisfy fans of those elements so this could be more successful with another reader.
Bands Luck and Midnight are two very successful bands with albums releasing around the same time. They team up on a world tour and right away lead singers Kayden and Shane clash. Shane isn’t sure what’s going on and why Kayden seems to dislike him but that doesn’t stop the electric chemistry between them. Shane is determined to find out why Kayden treats him so differently from other people and while pursuing the other singer Shane discovers some hard truths about himself. But when the full truth about Kayden is revealed, Shane’s not sure how to handle it.
The story involves numerous flash backs to Shane’s first boyfriend/best friend Jesse and how they met, became friends, and eventually formed a band. When that band, Luck, got signed the label wanted to get rid of pudgy Jesse and Shane was the one to tell Jesse. These flashbacks are interspersed with the present/current timeline as Shane pursues Kayden. The twist is not so much of a twist since it’s obvious from the beginning what’s going on. I won’t spell it out but it’s easy enough to deduce. Knowing that tests whether you can suspend disbelief enough to buy into the idea. If you can, then the story will likely appeal more than to those readers that need a bit more reality in their fiction.
I have to say that I couldn’t entirely buy into this plot device, which definitely affected my enjoyment. Part of this is the characterization of both Kayden and Shane. Shane comes across frankly as somewhat of a whiner. He’s unhappy with his life and empty band existence, which feels authentic in many ways. Yet he doesn’t really try to change that because he’s simply too lazy. He stops drinking and sleeping around mostly because he’s bored and apathetic rather than a concerted choice to change his life. Shane continually pushes at Kayden, despite anything Kayden says, because he simply wants what he wants. The fact that Kayden won’t give in feels like the typical case of a someone whose interest is caught only because the other person is the first not to give in. I couldn’t really buy into the descriptions that Shane was finally in love. This just didn’t feel real or true.
Likewise Kayden comes across cold and arrogant. Of course he’s playing a role but he never really has much depth since the story is told from Shane’s perspective. Kayden is alternatively aloof or caring depending on Shane’s view and not so much his characterization. Kayden feels more like an idea than a real person during the course of the story. Kayden only starts to develop depth and a unique presence towards the end but the ending really killed it for me so that didn’t help my particular enjoyment.
The writing is decent with some good angst and descriptions of a rock star life. It’s easy to read and a little light on prose, focusing a lot on sex and the made up tension rather than the surroundings. This isn’t bad per se but didn’t really do much to capture my interest. I really wanted to like this story as it has all the elements that should really work for an angsty rocker story but due to the issues I’ve mentioned it just didn’t work well for me. It’s a decent enough read but not something I’d remember or recommend.