Wow I knew this was considered a favorite of readers in the m m genre and Jenre gave it a stunning review a while ago, but it still managed to surprise and delight me This meaty story is full of angst, drama, pain, hardship, and it packs a heavy emotional punch This is not a light read but it s completely absorbing, engrossing, and interesting This is definitely a story I d read again and the length of the novel 500 pages may seem daunting but it s the perfect length for the story, characterization, and final resolution You really get to know the characters, all of them, and connect to their actions and fears So don t be daunted by the long story but dive in and you ll be happy for it The blurb is actually an excerpt from the story and not a bad one to describe the essence of the book We re immediately introduced to Brandon, a young high school dropout desperately searching to make something of himself in the music world What Brandon never counted on is that once he hears Nicholas sing, his search changes to Nicholas Once they get together Brandon is consumed with protecting Nicholas, making him happy, and ensuring he s taken care of to Brandon s own detriment With two men so in love with each other, they almost destroy each other, their story is emotional, evocative, and fascinating The story is told in two parts, first from Brandon s first person point of view then from Nicholas first person point of view Despite the welcome addition of Nicholas thoughts in the later half of the story, everything revolves around Brandon who revolves around Nicholas From the moment they meet, the two are desperately in love As they struggle to break out in the music world, a threat hangs over Brandon that forces him to endure years of suffering The action is very character dependent and alternates between the present, with Brandon and Nicholas back together and determined to make things works, and the past, flashbacks detailing how Brandon and Nicholas met and eventually broke apart painfully I thought the mixture of styles works incredibly well I know some readers aren t fans of flashbacks but here they are essential to the story Reading about Brandon and Nicholas past is interesting but painful Every highlight in their relationship is quickly followed by a shadow, threat, or misunderstanding Without having the respite of seeing the two happy, together, and committed, the unrelenting pain of their past would have overwhelmed the story and made it depressing I m a fan of angsty stories but there is a lot of angst and drama here It s nicely paced and spread out though so you re never hit with too much at once and the mixture with present times helps keep the intensity level manageable One of the keys aspects to the story is Brandon s suffering, caused by his own personality and actions He spends over a decade giving in emotionally, physically, and finically to a blackmailer due to his own naivety While this normally would have driven me crazy with a character, Brandon s reasons, his suffering, deep isolation, and need for support but never getting it come across so authentically and so honestly that you can t hate him for his actions He s not a weak character but he allows himself to be manipulated by everyone, Nicholas included When his real personality is slowly shown in bits and pieces so that his family and friends can finally see the man they all thought they knew, I wish there had been resolution The friends and family feel badly but they constantly remind each other they couldn t have known Considering everything Brandon went through due to everyone choosing Nicholas over Brandon, it would have been nice if they apologized significantly to Brandon The real star of the story is the characterizations From Brandon s wounded, deeply lonely personality to Nicholas energetic, attention loving contrast, the cast shines in their complexity Brandon of course emerges as my favorite, even with his needless suffering, because he s so complicated and isolated His deep yearning for support, but rarely getting it, went so far that I didn t always appreciate the supporting cast who rallied around Nicholas constantly The worst offender of this is Brandon s brother Jon who clearly adores Nicholas than a straight man should and definitely than his own beloved brother So in this way Jon sometimes would irate me in scenes since he s so biased and unintentionally hurtful This is balanced however by the great female characters used well and the various relationships which are all complicated yet interesting The length of the story lets you really sink into these personalities and their life Nicholas and Brandon love each other so much that they frequently hurt each other deeply It s never intentional and always painful but their opposite needs clash Nicholas needs the adulation of crowds, the constant love and support of those around him, the energy and chaos of traveling, while Brandon simply needs Nicholas It makes for a fascinating push and pull that may be dramatic, but well worth the time invested in reading The great pace, crisp prose, and even intensity deliver a story that s absorbing and easy to read while keeping the angst to a very manageable level I easily recommend this as a must read. 01 18 13 Revised rating after a couple of years of reading m m from 5 to 4.The most incoherent review I ll ever write What is it about this book that grabbed me so much that I couldn t put it down no matter what was happening There are a lot of things here that I usually don t appreciate the main characters and everyone else cry every two pages the main characters go through so many painful things that it s just not possible unless God has specifically something against you the story goes back and forth between the past and the present and part of it is written as a sort of diary so you get a book in a book while it s being written and while it s being read Brandon the main narrator seems cold and detached and maybe even whiny for a long time But but but but but I m in love with this book.And I know why I feel so close to Brandon that I hurt throughout the book Not good enough Not loved enough Not useful enough Not nice enough Not funny enough Not outgoing enough The best compliment that he could receive talented and closed off The best way he could be perceived cold, disinterested, distant His blessing and damnation falling in love with someone like Nicholas, who is the natural magnet of people s affection, basking in his spotlight and living with the fear of losing the everything he has become for him Brandon loses himself completely in Nicholas, he is annihilated in his lover, who becomes the center and goal of his life Brandon s perspective of the events is twisted and bent like space time around a black hole and although Nicholas is regarded as a sunny guy who brings joy and happiness in everyone s life, he ends up sucking away all of Brandon s energy and sanity, because Brandon goes through hell to keep him safe and content, up to the point of making Nicholas let him go I think it s very significant that we hear about Brandon writing his music up until he meets Nicholas and then his music, which is his talent, becomes quite incidental in his life.Although I complained about the flashbacks, I think they saved me because the story read in chronological order would have torn me apart From the very first time Brandon and Nicholas meet, there is disdain, hate and violence around them, and in Brandon s flawed view they take center stage almost obnubilating their good times and achievements When the narration switches to Nicholas, we finally see the sunnier side of the story, how Brandon is cherished by his lover And thank you, dear Author, for breaking my heart all over again, because it becomes clear the time and strength Brandon wasted while thinking he was never good enough for Nicholas.In all this ordeal there is a mystery to be unravelled regarding who has been blackmailing Brandon for ten years Brandon and Nicholas are rockstars in the closet and has had Nicholas kidnapped and tortured I think it s pretty obvious, but the author kept her cards close to her chest and unsettled me in the second part of the book with disturbing behaviors by all the secondary characters involved Very good.The book is long, angsty, twisted, warped, confusing, but I think the author made an incredible portrait of Brandon s personality and it deeply resonated with me I d recommend it to patient people. I Ll Never Forget The First Time I Saw Him The Wild Shock Of Black Hair, The Beautiful Blue Eyes, The Full Lips With That Perfected Pout Such A Diva, Even From The Beginning I Was Entranced, Smitten, Mesmerized He Had The Face Of An Angel, And The Voice Of One, Too And Almost From The Start I Began The Pattern Of Losing Nicholas I Was Good At That I Guess I Never Believed I Really Deserved Him, What He Would Bring To Us Both What We Would Experience, Because Of Him What We Could Be, Because Of Him What I Could Be Because Of The Strength And Belief He Had In MeDenial Denial DenialDamn, I Was Good At That But I Was Going To Have To Get Good At Trust And Acceptance, If I Wanted To Keep Him Publisher S Note This Book Is A Homoerotic Love Story It Contains Sexual Acts That May Be Offensive To Some Readers Male Male Sexual Practices I am annoyed and frustrated, what could have been an awesome read didn t happen I did get drowned, in over the top drama and childish characters who whined and cried continuously Jonathon was just creepy with the touchy feely thing going on with Nick He must of secretly lusted after him, or else why would he cut Brandon his brother from his life He goes off to support Nick, yeah that was totally believable.There was repetitive dialogue that made the book drag and the angst OMG, was it necessary to put Brand and Nick through the wringer and torture, overkill to the extreme I am amazed they both came out of this experience alive and sane Its a shame, I wanted to feel a connection for Nick and Brand but I never did Too depressing and I just wanted it all to end ASAP No light at the end of the tunnel only emotionally scarred for life. I found this book way, way over the top There is lots lots of crying, misery, torture, all manners of assault, physical emotional distress etc that are suffered by both Brandon Nicholas, that it s just pretty much unbelievable examples of unbelievable Nicholas was so charismatic that he had tons of friends, so dedicated that he held down a couple jobs went to school, so nice that he performed a major favor for one of his friends Yet he was homeless which caused him all kinds of problems He couldn t get one of his friends to give him a place to stay why not Especially since the person he did this major favor for lived in a nice house with a father who was quite fond of Nick This best friend who loved him so much, allowed him to live in a homeless shelter Not very believable I think I kept reading because I was hoping to see the light at the end of the torture, the pages that didn t have Brandon or Nicholas in tears, crying, in depression etc It s a long book, which I don t mind But after all the long buildup we finally learn who is responsible for all the misery in their lives, the ending just falls flat I liked Brandon Nicholas but the author broke them and I just didn t believe in her being able to put them back together again Obviously others disagree as this is a well reviewed book I d advise only read if you like major, major angst, hurt, pain, suffering and men who cry constantly. I picked up the second book on the advise of another reviewer I did not realize it was part of a series, so I bought A Red Tainted Silence to make sure I had background on all the characters from the second book, Long Way Home Now I am dreading reading book two because I really did not enjoy this book.While the writing was solid and Ms Gray shows promise as a romance writer the plot completely failed in its execution for me Why Completely unrealistic and melodramatic I felt as if I was watching a Spanish telenova as at the end of every chapter there was a major reveal or cliffhanger which got and unbelievable as the long novel progressed By the time I got to the dead deer in the protagonists bed, this was very nearly a do not finish for me But I held out, hoping that the book would improve it didn t.The characterizations of Brandon and Nick were fine, in fact, I loved that they fell in love at first sight and endured so much together, but the plot ultimately dragged the love story down I knew who the bad guy was 15 pages in, so that big reveal at the end was not a surprise The bad guy s motivations made no sense to me and so I was lost there.Also, for people with triggers, this is not the book for you There are multiple rapes in it MULTIPLE Nick isn t abused once, but many times by many people, as is the other main character, Brandon The rapes were the main focus of the plot and I hate it when sexual assault is used as a plot device That did not work for me and was another unrealistic part of the book.I thought I was getting a book about two rock stars in the closet and their relationship woes What I got was a stalker rapist thriller that did not work on any level First the police procedure was not researched When one of the main characters is kidnapped the FBI are not involved, just local police Second, when crazy stalker sets off a bomb, the ATF are not called in to investigate And lastly when does protective custody mean Rolling Stone reporters can come in interview and take pictures of where the persons in protective custody are hiding Wouldn t that make it easy for the bad guys to find you Hello.I just needed a little realism for this, just a little What could have been a great love story between two bandmates turned into a angst fest of rape, violence and a convoluted plot that had so many unbelievable twists and turns I gave up 35% of the way in Not recommended I hope book two is better and has less drama, stalkers and rapes because hot rock stars in love is a favorite plot of mine. OK I apologise in advance as this is going to be longwinded lol But for me there were just too many things that anoyed or failed to make sence or were just totally unbelievable in this book for me to enjoy it view spoiler We meet Nick and Brandon briefly when they are roughly 17 and again when they are 19 By the end of the book they are about 31 yet I saw no maturity in the things they said or did It was still like reading about 2 horny highschool kids, and believe me they were horny a lot.Yvonne reveiwer made the point about Nick living in a shelter dispite everyone adorring him and I agree He has friends that love him a wife and her,I assume well off Grandad, that adores him, yet he lives in a homeless shelter with nothing than a box of belongings The Hospital, which appears to be a regular hospital, no private one for our Mega rich heroes , removes their stitches staples seems they had both , after a week Now I m no medical expert but Brandon had about 27 stitches in his back although we learn that his wound was not as serious as Nicks, and Nick had a very deep life threatening stab wound to his stomach that went right up to his arm pit Doesnt a week seem a bit soon to have them removed Then theres good old nurse Goodall, so nice and insightfull She knows there is something deep and dark and going on in Brandons head of course she does she a female they always know , but she can also command the staff at other hospitals too My favorite though I think is Katie Shy little Katie that one week is a fan they bump into and the next she is the most awesome PA She can get things done super fast, the dog run built within hours , and she can make Marisa do her bidding This is Marisa the baracuda that comands all of Nicks time The same one thats been in charge for a lot longer than 2 weeks Then we have all these straight guys that love to nuzzle Nicks neck while cuddling him in and out of bed, especially Jonathon who acts gay than the gay guys The holes in the big stalker mystery are far to numerous to mention, although I still find it ironic that a house in a gated comunity with a guard can so easily be got into trashed, and a large dead animal can be left behind but no one saw anything so our guys move to a remote isolated house with no security at all to feel safe I could go on but I think I ve rambled enough My final point would be the writing style The writing is all over the place It skips and jumps and not just between past and present At times it was a chore just to keep track of who was talking As for all this edge of the seat angst that others found I totally missed out on it No sooner was I starting to get involved than the writing switched and I was left pushed out It was like getting dumped off a round about and trying to get back on again I just couldnt In fact over all this reminded me of the on line stories I used to read They were added to each week with so many plots appearing to keep it going, and thats exactly what this felt like Things seemed to be added just to keep it going hide spoiler This is an intense story of two men who met as teenagers and were immediately drawn together by infatuation and then love for each other and for the music they wrote and performed However there are secrets between them, and each is haunted by past traumatic events and current demands that threaten to force them apart The story swings back and forth between flashbacks of their first years, and a current time in which they are both recovering from serious injuries due to a kidnapping and rescue.This was an involving read, with some moments that I really liked How rare is it to have a sexual first time that takes place between the two MC s and yet isn t perfect I liked that The plot line had elements that I needed to just accept, for the flow of the book This was especially true after the villain is revealed because his identity makes some details seem incongruous The degree to which all the straight guys are physically comfortable with Nicholas was surprising too But overall it was a smoothly absorbing read with a lot of angst and there are times when that really appeals to me as a reader. This is a love story of Brandon and Nicholas Not a simple love story It starts in present day, when Brandon decides that he will write about his relationship with Nicholas as his lover recurperating in hospital after being kidnapped and tormented for 6 weeks Part one of the story is from Brandon s point of view, as he explains how and why he falls in love with Nicholas Brandon, from the very first time, decides that he will be Nicholas s white knight, his protector even if he is a year younger He positions himself as the shadow to Nicholas s sun Brandon is quiet, reserved, and does not feel comfortable in the spotlight, unlike Nicholas who is outgoing and the center of his friends affection.The story unfolds approaching the present time, that there is something to the story of Brandon, a secret that he keeps, one that results in him pulling away from Nicholas A reason why he never feels that he deserved Nicholas A reason why he accepts the falling apart of his relationship Before the kidnapping happens When Brandon collapses, the story turns to Nicholas s point of view The present time He is fighting for his lover, trying to understand what Brandon has been secretly guarded in his mind Because for Nicholas, Brandon is the child of the sun His sun His source of strengths He can t ever let Brandon go Even prior to the kidnapping, Nicholas is trying to get Brandon back into his life And there is no way, Nicholas will not let Brandon give up to the darkness now This book has turned me into an emotional wreck I cried buckets and felt mellow If I can sum up to one word, this one will be EPIC Logan and Veronica s epic reference to the show Veronica Mars here It is definitely the best tear jerker gay fiction I read so far I am so in love with the characters, deeply attached to what Brandon and Nicholas have been through, in course of 10 years of their life When I finish the book, it feels like triumph for both of them I know that they will be all right, stronger than before But OH GOD, it doesn t stop making my heart aches for them while reading An amazing accomplished story even if there are a LOT of tears between the two men But I think I will continue to cry a bit here sniff I enjoyed reading this book just as much as I did the first time Original reviewThis book tells the story of Brandon Ashwood and Nicholas Kilmain and their ten year relationship Nicholas is an outgoing and vivacious singer and Brandon is a shy quite musician As the story starts Nicholas is in a hospital recuperating from injuries sustained during his time as a kidnap victim Brandon, who was the one to rescue him, is watching over him and thinking back on their life together and how they can work out the problems that had led to their separation.Brandon decides the best way to work their problems out is to write down his feelings to share with Nicholas Thus the reader is treated to glimpses of their relationship, from the beginning and through their ten years together.This book is populated with a great cast of characters, from Brandon s family to band mates and friends Each in their own way plays an important part in Brandon and Nicholas life and throughout the book we see how each person contributed, knowingly or unknowingly, to their relationship There is a mystery running through the book as they try to figure out who was behind Nicholas kidnapping and the answer to that question comes as a surprise to not only Brandon and Nicholas but to the reader as well, or at least it caught me by surprise.I ve got to say I totally loved this book I loved the flow of the story, the drama and the mystery and also the look into a long term relationship from its beginning and through the years to the present time I loved the emotional connection that resonates throughout the book between Brandon and Nicholas and that it s shown in both points of view but most of all I just plain love these guys Even at 500 plus pages I wasn t ready to let them go And that to me is a sign of a great book.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A Red-Tainted Silence book, this is one of the most wanted Carolyn Gray author readers around the world.
- 515 pages
- A Red-Tainted Silence
- Carolyn Gray
- 24 March 2017 Carolyn Gray