This rock star romance breaks away from the usual trope and brings a rollercoaster of feels

code red coverCode Red by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely one of Nic’s best books for me, this is a rollercoaster of feels that runs through the pressures of being in a globally successful boy band.

The way the plot slowly develops along two distinct strands is exceptionally well paced.

As Maddox and Roscoe’s friendship deepens into love, after they’ve both been mutually pining for years, we see the rest of their lives begin to unravel.

The romance between them is lovely, it’s soft and soothing, supportive and caring. There’s a seven year gap between the 23-year-old frontman and his manager but it doesn’t feel like it.

Maddox definitely reads more mature than your typical young adult, but him and his four bandmates have been famous since they were 16, so it’s no surprise he’s more self aware.

What I liked best about this story is that it never runs into overly dramatic interactions.

Roscoe is a really lovely guy, he’s just genuinely trying to do his best for all the band’s members.

Maddox is a sweetheart, he’s falling in love while his band goes on another sell out stadium tour and it’s not an easy ride.

There are moments of humour, the friendships between the five young men, and all three of their managers, are also richly woven in to the feeling of them living lives isolated from the wider world.

As pressures mount up, Maddox and Roscoe get even more involved, the commitment they have for meeting each other’s needs is sweetly represented.

Sex isn’t just a passing thing, they take time to explore each other’s desires, although the steam level is medium.

Not that it detracts, the narrative doesn’t need to have loads of smexy times for you to get a sense of how they feel.

There isn’t a real villain here, either than the expectation of paparazzi and fans to have 24/7 access to someone just because they have a talent which brings them fame.

It’s a salutary warning about treating people as commodities as well as a delightful romance.

The pressures of fame are laid out with an ever-increasing awareness that something has to break, and it might just be Maddox.

There’ll be no spoilers here, but I felt everything which happened was justified and definitely possible.

The conclusion and Epilogue are seriously cute too, and made me smile.

I’m not sure if this is a standalone or whether there’ll be more in the series, but I’d be happy to venture into their world again.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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