Erryn reviews Starting from the Top (Starting from Series Book 5) by Lane Hayes (Self-published March 5, 2021, 299 pages. Released on audio March 12, 2021, 8 hours 43 minutes and narrated by Michael Dean) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I enjoyed a previous book from the series and so was happy to pick up this one.
The guitarist, the dad, and a band on the rise….
A quiet place to live and some time to recharge before my band heads out on the road again sounds amazing. I wouldn’t mind a distraction, too, but my new neighbor is off-limits. There are rules about not getting involved with your bandmate’s ex, right? And Sean isn’t my type anyway. He’s too bossy, too commanding, and he has way too much baggage. I’ve learned that it’s best to let go of the heavy stuff. So why am I so drawn to him?
Coming out later in life has taught me to protect my privacy at all costs. And while juggling a handful of businesses and two kids isn’t easy, I excel at the art of multitasking and keeping everything separate. But Johnny blurs those lines. He’s easy-going, sweet-natured, and cool. In short, he’s everything I’m not. I want to know all about him…starting from the top.
Starting from the Top is a MM, bisexual romance with some rock and roll, an age gap, and a little family fun! Each book in the Starting From series can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.
I’ve really enjoyed the Starting From series and this book is no exception. Sean is a high-powered executive who loves his kids and respects his ex-wife. He’s out now and even dated a rock star, although that was like for 30 seconds, and that rock star is now happily married. But Sean doesn’t share with his kids that he’s gay. In fact, he keeps his love life well away from them. His time with them is precious, and he doesn’t want anything – or anybody – getting in the way of that.
Johnny had a rough start in life. He’s come from less than nothing and built a name for himself in the rock world. He loves his bandmates and is pretty happy with his new digs. He’s laying low, but his publicist wants the band to break through with their next tour and although Johnny appreciates what he has, he’s not sure superstardom is for him.
So what do a business man and a guitarist have in common? Well, more than you might think. Sean asks Johnny to give his son Parker guitar lessons in the hopes of drawing the young man out of his shell. And his precocious daughter quickly latches on to Johnny. Whether she sees the loneliness, or just wants Dad’s new friend around, she insists Johnny join them on occasion and, not in a bad way, what Penny wants, Penny gets.
I liked the romance in this book. Yes it starts out as on the down low, but as Johnny gets drawn into Sean’s world, he begins to see that there’s something to be said for family. One he never had. One that’s now within his reach. The question is whether both men are willing to risk everything – including their hearts – for a chance of real happiness. A chance of happily ever after.
Michael Dean narrates this series and I’m a huge fan of his. Another great job. Another great series. Another great book.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.