Author: Louise Lyons
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/31/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Can romance and rock ‘n’ roll dreams survive with a storm raging around them?
Alex Randall has always wanted to be a rock singer. When he answers an ad from a local band, his dream finally comes true. He loves the stage, and the group’s fans love him. Things couldn’t be better, except for the attraction he develops for the band’s guitarist, Lindsey. Alex is surprised and initially worried, since he only had one brief flirtation with a boy in his teens. But even though he and Lindsey become close and start seeing each other, Alex fears commitment, and Lindsey worries that Alex might only be experimenting.
When Lindsey’s ex contacts him following a health scare, fear and anger drives a wedge between Alex and Lindsey, which causes rifts within the band. Alex and Lindsey’s relationship is still new and fragile, and with Alex unwittingly blaming Lindsey for their problems, it becomes a true challenge for them to weather the storm.
Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons is a thoroughly refreshing and enjoyable story. It was my first book by Ms. Lyons and it certainly won’t be my last.
Set in the UK in early nineties we follow Alex Randall and Richard Lindstrum, aka Lindsey, on the rocky road towards stardom, or at least a band with potential. This is the time of heavy metal and pretty boys who wear as much make up as the girls, of long hair and tight trousers, and where it’s still not safe or even really acceptable to be gay. Alex had always wanted to be a singer, the front man for a band. He and his sister lost their parents when he was a teenager so he has money, in fact he’s got enough behind him not to have to work he just needs something to ground him, something to give his life a purpose.
Alex answers an ad for a singer for the River Rats, a garage band made up of Mark, Ricky and Lindsey. Lindsey is the guitarist, quiet and shy, he’s also a talented songwriter in his spare time. Alex is attracted to Lindsey from the first meeting but initially but he can’t work out why, he’s not gay or Bi after all, or is he? Eventually Alex realizes that it is sexual attraction he feels but he’s loath to make the first move as he just isn’t sure how to proceed, this is all new to him. As Alex and Lindsey become close friends, curtesy of Lindsey’s controlling and possessive ex-boyfriend, Alex becomes more confident and soon the two men start a tentative relationship, but do they have what it takes for the long term. Lindsey needs a proper partner, he wants commitment. Lindsey has no family of his own, they kicked him out for being gay, and so he needs a steady relationship. Can Alex be that for him or is the prospect of being gay scaring him back into the shadows?
I’m a big fan of rock band stories so I’ll admit was hooked by the cover and blurb alone (I’m not sure but I’d like to think that’s Lindsey on the cover) but Beautiful Thunder is a little different to the usual rock band story, for a start the River Rats aren’t a success, they are just four guys who love creating music trying to make a start in the business. Hoping against hope that they will be ‘discovered’. If anything its Alex that pushes them to try and record a demo tape to be sent around the record labels. The story of Alex and Lindsey is interwoven among this backdrop.
At first I didn’t like Alex, I found him cocky and too sure of himself, he did grow on me though as the story progressed. I liked how loyal he was, and how he was happy just to be a friend to Lindsey, as well as Mark and Ricky, he didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the band. Lindsey won my heart though, he was poor and he had nothing except his talent. He needed to make the best of every opportunity he got. I know nothing about the music business but I got a sense of the frustration of not being noticed and how long it takes to build up enough of a following to get any attention. Life goes on, jobs, bills, girlfriends and families, they all take their toll and sometimes things just don’t work out.
I really enjoyed Beautiful Thunder. It’s a long novel at around 80,000 words but it just flowed seamlessly, and I finished it within one day, almost a record for me. It has its hot steamy moments as well as its deep emotional ones, and it has a stellar supporting cast.
Told from Alex’s POV I found myself captivated and I laughed and cried along with him. Anyone who loves musicians will love Beautiful Thunder.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
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