Body Rocks (Off Beat #1) by A. M. Arthur
Series: Off Beat #1
Publisher: Macmillan, Swerve
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country...too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member of XYZ.
Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?
Trey and Dominic meet under unusual circumstances. Dominic is at an open mic night in Trey’s hometown and he blows Trey away with his violin playing rock songs. The crowd loves it too and asks for more but Dominic’s not prepared. Trey, who is a band called Fading Daze is called up to play keyboards with him and the two make magical music together. It helps that they’re incredibly attracted to each other as well and end up together in a car in the boondocks where it proves to be Trey’s first time. The two – who each normally only do hookups – decide that they really like the other and exchange phone numbers.
The next night Trey hears from his roommates and band members that the band XYZ is in town. They were the band that stole Fading Daze’s drummer away and left them in a lurch for a huge music competition that they were part of. The trio decides to check out XYZ and Trey’s shocked when he sees Dominic in the band on keyboard! Luckily Trey and Dominic like each other enough to work it out between them but they keep the secret from all of their band mates except for Trey’s friend Danielle who just happens to find out about them.
Life isn’t easy trying to keep their relationship on the down low when their bands are rivals but they manage. Dominic is out and proud but Trey, while he doesn’t exactly hide the fact he’s gay he doesn’t shout it from the mountain tops either. He has a great rapport with Danielle on stage and while they’ve never said that they were a couple they never dissuaded anyone from believing that. Trey’s not sure he’s ready to come out and lose fans right before the big competition, Unbound. When XYZ gets a spot at Unbound as well Trey and Dom are happy that they’ll get to be together but they’re torn about winning. They each want to win for their own reasons but they want the other to win as well.
When someone at the competition decides that Trey and Dom’s sex life would look good on camera and Trey denies any involvement with Dom things get rocky. When a secret from Dom’s past comes out and Dom gets emotionally distraught, things get rocky, when a tragic accident stops one of the bands from performing in the national Unbound competition, things get rocky. Fortunately for these two men their love is strong enough to see things through.
This was a sweet story that was pretty angst-filled. Dom had some serious issues because of something in his past, Trey had a horrible family he didn’t talk to, Dom’s friend Lincoln had been kicked out of his house for being gay, the drummer from Fading Daze was stolen away, there was an accident. I mean, really, while it was a good m/m story, it was pretty dark as well. I liked how the two men worked things out eventually but I wish they could have not been so quick with the anger and worked it out easier. I guess that showed their age as they were just around 21 years old.
I have to say that I really loved the family love when it came to Dominic’s family. They were the best. They were kind, loving, understanding, supportive – just all around good people. I loved that the boys had a safe place where they could be themselves and not worry about the outside world.
The issue I had with the relationship was that since it all happened so quickly there just wasn’t a lot of tension between the two and not a lot of buildup. I liked them together but quite frankly the sexual tension wasn’t there for me.
Overall I thought it was a decent start to the series. I am curious to see what happens next in the lives of these band members so I’ll be reading the next book when it comes out.
Rating: 3.25 out of 5