Book Title: Muted Chords (The Road to Rocktoberfest 2022)
Author and Publisher: Samuel York
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: November 4, 2022
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Tropes: Soul mates, work colleagues, insta-love
Themes: Belief in self
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 50 000 words/246 pages
It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Josh Shepard developed an intense connection to music, despite being born deaf. None of his relationships have ever come close to his bond with music. Then Branston ‘Bran’ Vale saunters into his life. Bran is the type of guy Josh always fantasized about. With Bran in their band, traveling with them, Josh’s libido rises to an uncomfortable level.
Bran isn’t prepared for the impact Josh has on him. Bran had trouble with entanglements before, derailing him. His feelings for Josh outshine anything he’s ever had before. Josh could be the answer to everything, or he could be the biggest mistake Bran has ever made.
Ready to commit to more, a ghost from Bran’s past comes back to haunt him, stalling his future. Bran might have to give up everything to save the band and Josh.
Muted Chords is part of the multi-author The Road to Rocktoberfest 2022 series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but why not read them all and see who hits the stage next? Hot rockstars and the men who love them, what more could you ask for? Kick back, load up your kindle and enjoy the men of Rocktoberfest!
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Everyone could hear what they were saying, which added another layer of heat to the embarrassment Josh already felt. He wasn’t used to attention like this, so incredibly focused just on him.
"Like I said, that first riff you all played was magical. I mean, it was a soundcheck, but the magic zipped up my spine and held me. I hadn't planned on staying for the show, but I couldn't leave. I think there were maybe three hundred people in the audience—"
“If that,” Casey snorted.
“We’ve grown a little since then,” Margot said.
Ish came up and put his arm around Josh’s shoulder. “My boy Josh is magical. He’s the reason we sound so good.”
Now Josh’s cheeks hurt from the flames burning through him. Ish seemed to delight in embarrassing him based on the smile spread from ear to ear.
“I really want to play with you all. I know I’m new to you, but I swear I’ll—”
“Wait.” Casey jumped up and rushed over. “Are you serious? Like you want to play with us on stage?”
Bran turned to Casey and nodded. "Yeah, of course. I was going to tell Munoz to fuck off when he called, but then I heard it was Eradicate Apathy, and I jumped at the chance. I haven't played on stage in a while, so I'd like you all to go easy on me for the—"
"Holy shit!" Casey yelled and jumped up and down, clapping his hands. "Sorry, we're total dorks. I can't believe you're going to be on stage with us. This is a dream come true."
Josh stared at the group jumping around and hugging each other as fear wove through him. Bran was too good-looking. Josh would have to watch his reactions. Living on the bus together would be difficult. Branston Vale was definitely not the type of guy who would ever be interested in him. Their new bass player was hot. His sex appeal dripped from every word, every look. Josh would be helpless against that appeal. Shit, he would have to keep control or risk blowing his load at the most embarrassing times.
Ish caught the look on his face and stilled, then everyone turned to stare at him. He sucked in a breath, hating that he was freaking out and now everyone was looking at him.
“Is that okay with you?” Casey asked.
Josh shook himself, trying to push away the weirdness. “Yeah. I—that’s—it’s great.”
His voice didn't sound like he meant it, and he could tell Bran had picked up on his hesitancy. Why was he holding back?
Munoz narrowed his gaze but saved him by changing the subject, asking Bran what he was currently working on. The rest of his band members kept the conversation going as he tried to come to grips with how he’d reacted to this sexy man.
After an hour or so, he excused himself to the restroom and breathed a sigh of relief as he stood alone and stared at the mirror. He shouldn't be freaking out, but his heart sped up every time he looked at Bran.
“Get it together.”
The door opened, and he quickly turned on the water, washing his hands again so the person coming in didn’t think he was a dork talking to himself. He hadn’t paid any attention to who had come in because they were in a private area of the hotel and few people were back here. When Josh glanced up, he found Bran studying him. A gasp escaped his lips.
Bran’s eyes narrowed, then he frowned. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Josh shook his head. “No worries. I was deep in thought.”
Bran’s lips thinned and he crossed his arms over his chest. “Have you got an issue with me playing in the band?”
Horror washed over Josh. “No. I-I…”
Bran moved closer. “What is it then?”
Josh's whole body heated and sweat broke out on his forehead. He couldn't tell this man he thought he was hot. His lungs seemed to stop working, and his gaze accidentally flicked to Bran’s lips, looking all sexy and plump behind his dark beard. He swore Bran's lips ticked up before stepping back a few inches.
“I’m just a normal guy, nothing special. I’ve been listening to you all since I first heard you. It would be an honor if you allowed me to play on stage during Rocktoberfest.”
Josh gulped in air. He had to get past the way this guy made him feel. “I want you.”
Bran’s eyebrows lifted in the silence that followed Josh’s declaration, but he hadn’t meant it to be a declaration. Shit, he’d left off a word.
“There. I want you there to play with me—us. I want you on stage to play with the band.”
4 out of 5 (very good)
MUTED CHORDS is one of the Rocktoberfest 2022 books and we travel with Josh and the rest of his band to the festival itself. Eradicate Apathy has had some problems with their replacement bass player, so much so he is sacked. This is where Bran comes into play. He has wanted to play with them for quite a while but has his own baggage to contend with. When given the chance though, he can't say no. And once he meets Josh, all stops are pulled out.
The pacing of this story is fast and felt a little rushed to me in places, but you will be drawn into the close-knit relationships between the band members. You also get a look at some people who are not so nice, who have let fame (or the lack of it) sour them.
Overall, this was a sweet love story between Josh and Bran and brilliant relationships between the rest of the band members. However, there is some derogatory language, plus some angst near the ending, so consider yourself warned.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Samuel York writes gay fiction. He believes love is love. Celebrate the love of others and love yourself.
Don’t give up on your dreams.
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