Review of Melanie Tushmore’s “The Green Eyed Monster”
BLURB: Sky Somers is an ex-traveller; the son of a folk musician and a new age hippy. Sky’s form of rebellion is electric guitars, and he wants his own band. His desire is to set the world to rights through music. Brandon Cruikshank is new to London, recently arrived from Glasgow. Charismatic, charming; a natural born performer. Brandon is openly bisexual, with a penchant for dressing in women’s clothes. His desire is to be adored.
From the moment Sky meets Brandon, he knows he has to have him. Brandon, in turn, wants Sky. But that’s when it becomes clear they both have very different desires in mind. Brandon wants Sky as a lover, yet Sky only wants Brandon as a singer in his band. Misunderstanding set aside—or apparently so—Brandon and Sky become firm friends. To escape equally troubled pasts and families, they change their names. Now, Brandon Fox and Sky St. Clair are ready to take over the world.
As the years roll on, Brandon’s desire for Sky still simmers, waiting. Then a chance night sharing a hotel room sparks the desire between them, and this time, Brandon wants it all. Sky has never explored his desires before. Now, the passion and jealousy Brandon has unleashed in him threatens to shake the whole band apart.
Where do I even start with this book?
It left me with a feeling of deep satisfaction. I’ll try to write about all the different aspects of this book.
The characters: so well-drawn! I’m a sucker for flawed heroes and I really got what I wanted with this book. It is not a set of tropes, rushing to a HEA. It’s a story of a band rising to fame and the romance side is slow, with ups, downs and misunderstandings. It’s first person POV which I usually dislike, yet here I had no problem to ease into it, thanks to the MC’s voice. Sky is a funny narrator, who makes lots of mistakes and the reader gets to understand that themselves, without being spoon-fed about what’s good and what’s bad about his behaviour. I dislike stories where the blurb promises me ‘bad boys’, yet the story fails to deliver and I end up with mushy sweet characters, who have been just thrown into the big bad world. Sky and his bunch of friends are nothing like it. They swear, drink, take drugs, have casual sex and make fun of people who are not in their group. This is all very natural and human, which makes the reading smooth and fun. Yet seeing a person usually so harsh to the people around and short-tempered, in a vulnerable position, makes Sky endearing and you really feel for him and his lack of proper communications skills ;).
Even though you see the world through Sky’s POV, you get to be the onlooker and judge his actions for yourself. I absolutely hate when a book is preaching to me and there was nothing of that sort here. I always assume that an adult reader knows by the time they read a story that taking drugs is bad, homophobia is bad, cheating is bad, etc.
I won’t go into spoiler details about who the MC’s are, the blurb is enough for that, but it’s the way they act and interact that makes this story what it is. Lots of times I would read something outrageous they were doing and think „So true! That’s exactly what guys do!” Talk about poo, make nasty jokes, have hygiene problems, etc ;D
I do have to give a separate paragraph to the bisexuality or m/m/f bits in this book. I read a story to get the full picture of character growth and change, including mistakes or experiments people make, if it’s important for the story. I really don’t see how a bit of pussy, that isn’t even a love interest, but a prop to help the MC’s connect and understand each other, is a problem, but hey, to each their own. I actually enjoyed seeing one of the character’s bisexuality to be a background feature. Just because he’s slept with girls doesn’t make him any less valuable as monogamous relationship material.
Last but not least, the language and setting. I was instantly drawn in by the way the author pictures the very British landscape and language, with all the details. And then the way Brandon’s Scottish accent is written is great because even if I didn’t understand a particular word, it was easy to get what it meant from context. It gives a flavour without being overwhelming.
And then when it comes to setting – I was simply smitten. This is a proper band story! I’ll try not to ramble on for too long, but the way they progressed from zero to hero as a band felt so real. I’ve written a punk rocker story before and reading The Green-Eyed Monster made me realise just how bleak it was ;D The Green-Eyed Monster is not only about how cool looking rockers are, but what is needed at gigs, what makes a band, how it can progress, all those inside workings that you either need to research or you know because you’ve been close to bands. The band aspect is not just a background, it all ties in. It makes the characters real people with passions and ambitions, not just puppets with no other life purpose than romance.
The plot is spread out over a few years, which gives a good realistic time for the romance and attachment to form. There is no ‘I love you!’ after two weeks, so when the story gets there (without overflowing with emotional confessions), it really feels the characters earned it. I love that it’s such a big story and I got to immerse in it. You get to see the character’s emotions through their actions, not get told about them. Anyone can say they ‘love’, but it’s what they do that proves it.
So from me, an absolute 10 freaking stars! Just because I can :).
PS. Melanie Tushmore also achieved the near to impossible – created a hippy character that I couldn’t help but like!
Thank you Melanie for hours and hours of entertainment! <3 (And to Storm Moon Press for taking a chance on a story that isn’t run of the mill romance! ;_; )