Forever is Now by Kimber Vale or K. Vale
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Although I do enjoy a good rock star elicit love story, I struggled with this one. The plot is fine, if extremely familiar and predictable, and the characters are decent, though bland. There’s a lot of sex and I was done with these scenes halfway through the book. Although the story isn’t unique or different in any way, that’s not what bothered me. The biggest problem is that I felt there was no real tension and I got bored very early on. I powered through to the end, forcing myself to read it and taking much longer than the length would have dictated, only to get a ridiculous ending. I was thinking this book would land in the “ok” region until I got to the end, which annoyed me greatly. For that and my general boredom with it, I can’t recommend this novel.
Alex and Chase were high school lovers that were discovered by Alex’s abusive father one night. Chase ran away, afraid what being outed as gay would do to his budding rock star dreams. Nine years later both Alex and Chase have been well known in their respective fields. Chase has a wildly successful rock band and Alex is an award winning documentary producer. When Alex hears the song he wrote for Chase playing on the radio, he decides that fitting revenge will be to shot a movie featuring Chase’s band. Once the two are around each other again, they can’t help the sparks that fly.
To start with the plot, it’s not particularly special or different. Jilted lover wanting revenge on the huge star is pretty common, but usually well liked by readers. I didn’t mind the familiarity of the characters or plot used, but it was all too bland and nonsensical. To start with I didn’t understand how shooting a documentary about Chase and his band was going to get revenge for Alex. Why not simply make it known you wrote the song? It made no sense to suddenly be touring with the guy who broke your heart and stole your intellectual property. But, it’s a romance and there has to be a reason to throw the two guys together again.
Moving past that, Alex and Chase resolve their issues and any lingering problems almost instantly. They can’t stay away from either other so Chase admits he wants Alex and everything that goes along with being gay so the two are good, happy, and having sex like bunnies all over the pages. I found this reconciliation too easy and unbelievable. It offers no tension or interest to the story. Why keep reading if the two are happy in love and lust immediately and no real problems exist. There’s the predictable and formulaic ex-boyfriend of Alex’s who you just know is going to out Chase in anger. Even this didn’t keep my attention.
It was hard to power through page after page of sex scene and little relationship building when I didn’t even believe or especially care about the main couple. I managed ok until I got to the ending. Without giving away too many spoilers, the ending is simply absurd. Alex is over the top melodramatic and frankly I would have dumped him in a heartbeat for his response to the crisis. After he showed little support to Chase throughout the process of knowing he’d have to come out, Alex just made matters worse and acted like an ass. Then the way they made up just made me want to roll my eyes out of my head, down the road, and off a cliff. It’s cheesy, unbelievable, and I need a new word for ridiculous.
The formatting of the book didn’t help with single spacing, which made the material feel a lot denser to me. It took a lot longer to get through the mere 100 pages then it should have, which lent weight to my feelings of boredom and struggle. If the book had been formatted differently, it would have felt like I was reading faster than realizing I only got through 5 pages in what felt like 30 minutes. The writing is proficient but lacks a real sense of depth. I didn’t feel a connection between the main characters and sex, sex, and more sex doesn’t create a lasting relationship. I kept waiting to feel a purpose to the meandering of the characters and a reason the story moved forward.
Overall I struggled on the rating because I feel like 1 star reviews are for books that you loathe to the depths of your soul and this certainly isn’t that. I didn’t like it and the ending comes close to hatred for me, but overall I was mostly bored with the story. Although I don’t recommend this book I don’t feel strongly about my negative feelings so I’m going to give it 2 stars. Perhaps this is more a reader who wants a mild, predictable, extremely familiar formula that doesn’t stray.