Since the moment he picked up his first guitar, Dez Conway dreamed of being a Rockstar. A multi-talented musician with the ability to play the electric violin, electric cello and even the bass, he’d be an asset to any group of musicians, if only the bands who’d hired him over the years had truly thought that way. Instead, he’s singing for the dishes in an upscale restaurant, bitter, pissed off, and unwilling to entertain the offer to replace the frontman of the world-famous Deviant Angels because why the hell would they be any different than the guys who’d kicked him to the curb in the past?
Only…they’re not the Deviant Angels, their longtime frontman took the name with him when he left, along with their hopes of getting back out on the road again and playing the music they love. Of course, a talented musician like Dez could change all of that for them, if they can convince him that this time, his dreams of rock stardom, and love, can actually come true.
Tattered Angel is the 2nd book in the multi-author Road to Rocktoberfest series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but why not stay and enjoy the whole show? If you like scorching tales of hot rock stars and the men who love them, then you’ll adore the untamed musicians of Rocktoberfest!
Warning: Eating Disorder
“Hey! You can’t be back here!”
Blinking, Riley tore his eyes off the singer to see the other dishwasher glaring at him. Of course, that ended the song as the man Riley had been hoping for a glimpse of turned, revealing intense gray-green eyes set in a face that drew a shuddering gasp from Riley.
“I know you,” Riley remarked, taking several shaky steps inside the room.
“No, you don’t.”
Bullshit! His voice, soft-spoken but firm, unlike the blustering aggression of the other man, held a musical quality to it, as if he could never quite reign in the urge to sing. He hadn’t forgotten that quality either, despite the brevity of their only conversation.READ MORE
“Actually, I do. I saw you play in a little dive bar in South Mississippi back when they were finding all those old bones and the place was practically crawling with feds. Saw you play about five years before that too. In Chicago, on stage at a huge ass arena. You were in the band that opened that night. We talked a little after the show, at some wannabe blues bar across the square. I said you played beautifully, you told me I was tone-deaf.”
“Guess whoever it was should have added delusional too. Time for you to go back to your table, sir. Like my cousin said, you can’t be back here.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Riley could see the smaller man inching between him and the singer he so desperately needed to have a conversation with because holy shit, this guy right here was the answer to his prayers.
“Dez Conway. That’s your name, isn’t it?”
When the man froze with his hand halfway to the sink, Riley knew he hadn’t been mistaken. Not that he’d had any doubt in the slightest. If there were two things that stuck with him, no matter the circumstances, it was an amazing singer and a truly hot man, and Dez was both, and then some. Up on that stage, Dez had played the guitar and the keyboard. Hell, for one song he’d even broken out the goddamned bagpipes and reminded everyone in attendance that in skilled hands, it could be as wild and exhilarating an instrument as an electric guitar.
The bellowing from up the hall continued, punctuated with the declaration of an eggplant parmesan tasting like ass and not even fit to be served to the monkeys at the zoo. Riley visible cringed at the veracity of the words and noted that Dez did too, eyes darting from the doorway back to Riley as the screaming voice up the hall proclaimed someone’s tears to be the last liquid the kitchen needed seconds before the unfortunate victim was told to leave and never return.
“Are you trying to get us fired right alongside that poor bastard?” Dez hissed, ignoring Riley’s question completely. Hell, he turned his god damned back on Riley and went back to washing dishes, but there was no mistaking the ridged set to his shoulders.
“No, what I’m trying to do is find someone with the ability to fill the vacant spot in my band left by a selfish bastard.”
“Well, then it truly sucks to be you, ‘cause I’ve got no interest in being part of a band. Got my fill of that shit over the years and all it did was leave me bitter and pissed off, which is never a good thing.”COLLAPSE
I enjoyed this story of a rock band broken apart and trying to figure out their path forward, after their lead singer left and also claimed the band name as his. To go on, they need a singer, a new identity, and the motivation and inspiration to become strong as a cohesive band. When they hear Dez singing back in the kitchen of a diner, they know he's the person they've been looking for. But he's decided he's done with performing, done with the exploitative nature of pro music and bands who've done wrong by him.
Music is Dez's soul, though, and they persuade him to join them in a tour. As they move across the country, he rediscovers both his love of performing, and a growing attraction to Riley. But he's not sure either the band or the man will be his for the long term.
I appreciated all the characters in this, the backstories that gave them depth, and the slow burn romance. There were a few minor threads (like hints of a power exchange) that didn't lead anywhere, but the ending was satisfying, and I was left cheering for the guys and the band.