Dare gets lost in music only he can hear.
Since childhood, it’s rolled through his mind, drowning out the rest of the world. When he comes back to himself he has the notes and lyrics for the songs his band plays. But he wonders if such talent is worth it, when the rest of his life is such a mess. All Sionn ever wanted was Dare’s attention.
But that won’t happen as long as Dare has his ‘musical dreams’, so he keeps his attraction a secret. Too bad it’s impossible to keep anything secret when you live with your three best friends. When Sionn’s temper reaches breaking point, he sets Dare on a quest to ‘fix’ himself, in the hopes of gaining the love of the man he adores.
But Fate has a funny way of twisting things. And ‘normal’ is just a state of mind, isn’t it? While Dare struggles to change, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested, and the band is offered the chance of a lifetime. Can they pull themselves together fast enough to take advantage of it, or will Dare’s desire to be ‘normal’ unravel all their lives?
Desolation Angel is a mostly enjoyable story about a young man, Dare, who gets lost in his music. It didn't feel like a romance, at all, though. Although Dare has been in love with Sionn and vice versa for ages, neither one got the courage to act upon it. And when they finally do, it was pretty anticlimactic, to be honest. I didn't really feel their relationship at all until really late in the book, and even then, it was secondary. Also, there is no steam, to speak of. With exception to one brief oral scene and an undetailed sex scene, all the sex is off page entirely.
Dare is in his early 20's, I think, but it was hard to get a read on him there. He reads much younger since everyone else in the band pretty much takes care of him and it seemed to me that they often treated him like a child, as well. And he really has the tendency to act quite childish. He can't hold down a job because of his waking music dreams. They make him appear to be spaced out and hard to reach. Sometimes, they put him in danger, like if he is cooking, or driving. Not an awesome combo, for sure. But he mostly managed, until he got it in his head that he wanted to be "normal". Oh, Dare, normal is just a setting on the dryer. Unfortunately, it takes Dare the whole book to figure that out.
But you get Dare on stage and he is magic. Everything that is Dare just shines there.
Two things I really didn't care for: 1) Dare playing the martyr. That kind of thing turns me off way more often than not. 2) The whole revenge subplot was beyond ridiculous.
For what this story was, I enjoyed it, well enough. It wasn't really what I expected, which is fine. That's definitely my problem, not the author's. I did like the bit of uncertainty at the end (and the uncertainty has nothing to do with Sionn). It left certain things up to the reader, and I liked that.
Overall, I'd give Desolation Angel 3 *musical genius* stars.
Review copy of Desolation Angel was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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