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Released: November 17th 2015
“This is such an angsty, heart wrenching, emotional charged book that I really needed to read it alone and in the quiet to avoid distractions.”
~ Under the Covers
The 69 Bottles series has been a wild ride and I’ve enjoyed each of the installments immensely. Zoey Derrick turns the angst up a notch in Defining Us, the story of Eric and Calvin. This is the first male-male book, though we’ve got some delicious ménage scenes in the first few installments. Eric is the only openly gay member of the band, though everyone seems to know where Calvin’s true attractions lie. They’ve been into each other from almost first meeting, but Calvin, for reasons that will become clear, has never allowed himself to pursue any type of real relationship with Eric. If Calvin can overcome the unthinkable to make things work remains to be seen, but Eric won’t give up easily.
Anyone who starts Defining Us should be aware that you’re going to have to deal with some very ugly subject matter regarding Calvin’s past. The abuse and torture he had to endure as a teenager is unthinkable and even more disturbing to think it occurs in the real world today. I wasn’t prepared for the impact of Calvin and Eric’s struggle because as hot and sweet as the previous books are, none of them dealt with such a heavy and emotional issue. I really applaud Ms. Derrick for the ways she handled the subject matter. It made a huge impact on me as a reader, yet didn’t detract from the typical smoking sex scenes we normally get in her books. She writes male-male it very authentically and it shows in how easy her dialog and scenes are to read. This is much more a couple-centered book than the others, with little extraneous action going on. We’re in the characters’ heads in first person, which I happen to love in this series. This is such an angsty, heart wrenching, emotional charged book that I really needed to read it alone and in the quiet to avoid distractions. I don’t cry often, but I shed some tears for Calvin’s struggle and cheered for both of their bravery in overcoming such a huge obstacle. Overall, a truly great read from an author who has come to define rocker romance for me.
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