Book Reviews

A Matter of When by Eden Winters at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 25-September-2014

Book Blurb

Wealth. Fame. Gold record. Hookers and Cocaine front man Henri Lafontaine has it all… including a control freak manager, band members who smile as they sharpen blades for his back, and last but damn well not least, a fan out to steal his heart. Literally. Trying to write hit songs and plan a comeback in the midst of the hi-fi white noise of LA feels more like watching his world implode, until he’s offered a month in the Colorado Rockies for vocal coaching.

Sebastian Unger’s rich, classically trained tenor inspires wicked thoughts. More than a pretty choir boy, he cracks the whip without hesitation to drive tattooed bad-boy Henri to give his all to his music. Working, fighting, and finally establishing a fragile peace, they find inspiration and perhaps more in each other. But the clock is ticking. Time will pull Henri back to the grit and gold of LA’s mean streets and fame machine, while Sebastian must return to the opera circuit, where a mysterious man known as “the patron” holds far too much sway. Only the trust they've built on a handful of notes bridges their two worlds... and shields them from malice.

 

Book Review

“When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change...you will change.” ~ Robert Anthony

Henri is tired of faking it. He's sick to death of everyone telling him what to do. He quits the band; fires his manager, who is also his mother, and leaves, having no idea where he is going. Lucas, his new manager, encourages him to make a new start by working with a voice coach, Sebastian, and getting a quiet place to rest and write music. Skeptical, but desperate, Henri takes the offer which ends up making not only his music sing, but his heart as well.

When Henri is almost kidnapped by a stalker, he knows he can't wait any longer. He wants to get away from all the negativity of his manager and his band. Without them governing his every move, he's finally able to breathe again. What Henri needs is a push in a positive direction which he gets when he hires his new manager, Lucas. Henri needs time to regroup and make a plan for his comeback. When he goes to Colorado, he thinks things are going to be easy and, hopefully, relaxing. That's before he meets his young, handsome teacher, Sebastian, a classically trained opera singer who lives and breathes music and who is dedicated to keeping himself as healthy as possible. Henri is motivated to join Sebastian in his quest to look and feel good. Henri's sexual attraction to Sebastian is very strong, but he tries to stay professional. That doesn't last long and they end up in bed. The closer they become, the more Henri's feelings grow, but he also notices that something is worrying Sebastian. Whenever Sebastian mentions his patron, Henri feels a distinct change in Sebastian's emotions. Henri wants to help, but Sebastian refuses, insisting he has things under control. Henri goes back to his music and touring, but misses Sebastian desperately. When he pays an unexpected visit to Sebastian's home, Sebastian's bruised face makes it abundantly clear that he's not able to handle the abuse he's receiving from his patron.

Sebastian is trapped in an abusive relationship; he has no life of his own. His patron determines everything he does and has since Sebastian's mother died when he was sixteen, leaving him guardianship of Sebastian. He may be beautiful, talented, and successful, but he lives in constant fear of doing something to displease his wealthy and powerful patron. Although Sebastian welcomes Henri to his home, his bad habits leave Sebastian wanting to tear his hair out at times. Music is a universal language and forms a bridge of understanding between Henri and Sebastian. It smoothens their differences and brings them together despite them seeming to be completely opposite. Even with their totally different styles, when making music, Sebastian and Henri are as close to Zen as possible. Sebastian hates being under his patron's thumb, but can't see any way out. Even when Henri proposes one, Sebastian refuses. He wants to be responsible for himself, without having to depend upon someone else ever again; but when Henri finds a legitimate way for him to pull his own weight, he accepts his offer.

There are many things I love about this book. I'm always drawn by anything to do with almost any kind of music, so I automatically loved Sebastian and Henri. I especially enjoyed Eden's song lyrics. They added real depth. The secondary characters are fantastic, particularly Tess; she is simply ethereal, just like the song written for her implies, and a fantastic female role model as well. Portraying the serious subject of abuse was no easy task, but Eden did a great job of showing how easily someone can take over our lives, but how incredibly difficult, physically and emotionally, it is to get out of this crippling position. I recommend this story to everyone who enjoys music, strong character growth, suspense, intrigue, villains, and two handsome men who find each other while finding themselves. Thank you so much, Eden, for making my heart sing.

 

 

 

 

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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 236 pages/76062 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-September-2014
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-matter-of-when-by-eden-winters-1445-b