Dana reviews Fret (The Rock #1) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion (Published August 31, 2015, Skull Blaster Publishing, 232 pages)
Blurb: Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.
Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.
Enter Axel Blaze.
Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.
Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot.
Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out.
Or do they?
Buy link: Amazon
I have heard a lot about this author and her books in various Facebook groups. I just haven’t had a chance to read her writing until now. Too many books and not enough time, as I’m sure many can relate to. But now that I have, I know I will be reading a lot more. In particular, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series started by Fret. Sandrine has created a cast of characters that have become some of my favorites and I need more of them.
Fret combines one of my favorite themes or rock stars with a touch of mystery. When Skull Blaster band member Gareth decides to come out, he receives threats and becomes the victim of vandalism. Axel was a former navy SEAL and works for a private security firm when he is asked to guard Gareth. Neither one is happy about the situation. For Axel, he believes that “babysitting” a rock star means dealing with drinking and partying and bad attitudes. For Gareth, it seems to be a defense mechanism because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s being babysat and Axel expressed his displeasure with the task.
It really doesn’t take long for the two of them to change their minds though. Not only do they both harbor a secret attraction for the other, but they both realize they were snappy in their judgments. Once Axel starts guarding Gareth, though, the attacks seem to escalate in frequency and violence. I thought the mystery was good, there were plenty of suspects to choose from. I have to say I did suspect who the perpetrator was early on. but when they caught him, I couldn’t quite hate him. Perhaps it is Gareth’s attitude rubbing off on me. He is one of the most understanding, and down-to-earth characters I’ve ever read. It is cool to see him pair up with his exact opposite in Axel.
There was something about the story that made it seem like things moved real fast, though, and that’s my only critique. I’m not opposed to books where couples fall for each other quickly, but in this story for some reason, it caused a slight disconnect between me and the characters. However, the story was really great and I loved all the characters. I can’t wait to see which ones might get a book in this series. I also loved the little shout-out that the author gave to another rock star series. It added a fun twist to the story and I definitely recommend it.