Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rock and Roll Sexy Time

Cunning, Olivia.  Double Time.  SourceBooks, 2012.

Rock and roll and hot musicians, does it get any better than that?  And Olivia Cunning’s upcoming Double Time, the newest release in a series about a fictional metal band (“Sinners on Tour”) is filled with delicious sexiness.  At the center of the story is Trey Mills, the bisexual rhythm guitarist for Sinners, who is desperately and unfortunately in love with his band’s lead guitarist, who is not only uninterested but completely in love with his wife and newborn son.  Trey’s melancholy is interrupted when he meets Reagan Elliott, the unknown guitarist who is stepping in as the newest member of Exodus End, Trey’s brother’s band.  Exodus End and Sinners are setting out on tour together, and sparks fly as Trey and Reagan’s relationship explodes into passion.  Determined to make the relationship work, Trey vows to give up on men, but can he deny his own desires?  Especially when those desires come to live in the person of Reagan’s roommate/bodyguard/ex-boyfriend Ethan – gorgeous, available, and oh-so-tempting?

Filled with delicious and frequently hilarious dialogue and steamy sex in a bounty of flavors, Double Time is a great erotic read.  Cunning’s world is peopled with interesting characters, freaks and musicians comfortable in their own lack of mainstream normality and the story feels authentic in its depictions of life on the road.  Trey, Reagan, and Ethan own their story and Cunning evolves the three-way relationship with a deft hand, balancing emotional personal evolution and the physical explorations of this unorthodox bonding perfectly.  If there is a flaw here, it is in the idea that a bisexual individual cannot be happy in a monogamous relationship, that Trey can only be happy or fulfilled with a lover of each gender, but Cunning is writing erotica, not a gender or sexuality treatise, and Double Time is clearly not meant to be a commentary on sexual orientation.    

What it is, though, is a great escapist read.  Fun, sexy, with just a touch of a mystery to keep the story rocking, Cunning moves her novel toward a great climactic confrontation and an unexpected happily-ever-after resolution, in which not only our heroes but their bandmates find satisfaction.  I highly recommend  this one to fans of non-hetero-normative romance.  And, personally, I’m eager to find the earlier volumes of this series.  While Double Time works well as a standalone, it might leave you hungry for more glimpses into the world of Sinners on tour :).

ARC received through NetGalley.