Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review: Body Rocks by A.M. Arthur

Body Rocks by A.M. Arthur
Series: Off Beat, Book 1
Publisher: Swerve
Genre: New Adult Erotic Contemporary Male/Male Romance Body Rocks Cover
ISBN: 9781250105851
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

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?

Body Rocks is a great mix of sweetness, eroticism, and angst. What starts out as a sexy story about two young men from rival bands develops into something much more. Trey and Dom are endearing heroes who both possess an innate goodness and optimism that made me smile more than once over the course of the story. It’s easy to root for them because they’re likeable, and I became invested in the story because there’s so much joy to be found in their burgeoning romance. When they meet onstage at an open mic night – not knowing they’re each from rival bands – things heat up fast. Yet even though Body Rocks is a hot and heavy story, there’s an innocence about Trey and Dom, and the lack of cynicism keeps the story buoyant even through its darker moments.

Trey and Dom fall fast and hard for one another, but the rivalry between their bands isn’t all that threatens to keep them apart. This is where (strangely enough) the story’s strongest point is also its weakest. A.M. Arthur makes this book stand apart with her diverse cast and how they cope with heavy issues. However, though I loved this about the book, the sheer abundance of issues Dom and Trey face also took the story down a notch for me. Body Rocks tackles abuse, sexual assault, attempted suicide, blackmail, self-harm, special needs, coming out, and more. Don’t get me wrong: I loved that Ms. Arthur isn’t afraid to approach serious topics and she treated each one with honesty, emotion, and respect. However, with so many serious issues packed into the story, I didn’t feel like any of them were given the depth they deserved; there were simply too many topics and not enough time to delve into them properly.

Body Rocks is a compelling read that’s packed with action and emotion. Even with all the hard topics woven into the story, Body Rocks never feels weighed down by angst. This is a story of love (romantic, familial, and between friends) and healing. Trey and Dom are such vibrant characters that the book moves at a fast pace and the families they have made for themselves are simply wonderful. I can’t wait to read the next Off Beat book, Steady Stroke!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.