Heartstrings by Sierra Riley
“I just want to make music with you again.”
Country music star Blake Bradley was born for the stage. His band, the Sinsationals, is selling out arenas across the USA. But a toxic cocktail of success, substance abuse, and personal conflicts threaten to tear the band apart. Secretly, Blake longs for the band's early days. Back when things were simpler. He had Cal, his best friend and guitarist, in his corner. Things were good. Things were easy. But when they dared to test the boundaries of their relationship, exploring something deeper, Cal quit the band and left Blake hanging. Coming home to Denver stirs up more pain than nostalgia.
Bar owner Cal Lindsay is married to his job. He works hard and takes care of his staff, trying not to think about what could have been. But when his best friend drags him to a Sinsationals concert, he's face to face with the past he walked away from. When Blake shows up at his bar the next night, Cal isn't sure if he's there to make amends or flaunt his newfound wealth and success. All Cal knows is the aching truth: he never stopped wanting Blake. But it's far too late to fix things, isn't it?
After a tentative reconciliation in the bar, Blake invites Cal to travel with the band. If everything implodes at the end of the tour anyhow, what's the harm? Touring across the Western US, the two men explore one another with the tentative caution of strangers. As they struggle to rebuild their relationship, they discover that second chances are earned, not given. Can Blake and Cal let go of past hurts and learn to forgive? Or will the band's infighting drive an impossible rift between them?
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*** Copy provided to the reviewer in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
Let me start by saying this is the first book by Sierra Riley that I've read, I have them all on my kindle, but I've had so many books to read lately that I hadn't had the chance until now, but hopefully I'll be able to read more of them soon, because I loved this one!
Blake is The Sinsationals frontman, and while he's enjoying some of the success they've earned, he longs for simpler times, when they were just starting out and they didn't have to deal with some of fame's less savory aspects. Above all, he longs for his best friend, Cal, who just left the band five years ago with no explanation. When the tour comes back to Denver, he knows it's his chance to find some closure.
Cal Lindsay left the band he was in when he realized he wanted more than he could rightly ask of Blake at that time and now, as a bar owner in Denver, married to his job, he wonders what could have been. When Blake shows up at his bar the day after a concert Cal attended with his best friend, he realizes he's never stopped wanting Blake, but is it too late for them?
When Blake invites Cal to come with The Sinsationals for the last part of their tour, they'll have to deal with more than just mending their friendship.
I loved Blake and Cal, they were both fantastic characters. Cal was like this calming force for Blake, his haven when everything else in his life and his group seemed to be going wrong. And Blake was the one that made Cal actually live for a while and not just submerge himself in work. Nevermind that they were hot, hot, HOT together! *fans self*
I adored Yanmei, too. She was awesome and definitely my favorite out of all the supporting characters.
If I could've asked for something more, it'd probably be a bit more angst as Cal and Blake found each other again. It felt too easy, although at the same time I have to admit that it didn't feel forced at all.
All in all, an amazing read! Very well written, fast-paced, with a great cast of characters and a compelling storyline that just grabbed me from the start of the book and didn't let go until the last word. Definitely recommendable!
Rating: 4.5 Stars!!!