The story begins with that all important audition for a slot in a popular band headed on a world tour. Akihiko ‘Blaze’ Shinozuka is an extremely HOT and talented musician – he’s also a virgin! That’s right, this gorgeous hunk of man has always held himself apart. He’s always known that he was interested in both men and women, but has never felt that pull for any one person. That is until he meets Jason Stockton – the shockingly charismatic and GORGEOUS band manager that will determine his future. Jason and Blaze are inextricably drawn to one another. The sexual tension between these two men his so damn hot! The magnetic pull between these two hunks is so palpable that it leaps off the page! The way these two men develop their relationship is HOT! This is Blaze’s first romantic encounter and he doesn’t really know how to go about – well – ANYTHING! That’s ok, because Jason is more experienced and can lead the way. No story is fun without a great antagonist or two, and believe me there are some people and events that will make you squirm, want to reach into your book or e-reader and knock the shit out of someone, and pull at your heartstrings.
I have to admit that at first I was worried I wouldn’t like a M/M romance. I’ve only read one other, so it’s not a genre to which I have much exposure. Holy shit – I had absolutely nothing to worry about! Lori Toland has written one of the hottest, sexiest, romances! These guys are amazing characters and I was fully engaged in the story from the beginning! The Replacement Guitarist is a story of love and acceptance. I was right there with Blaze when he came out to his family! The raw emotions Ms. Toland evoked were amazing and the sex scenes are scorching hot! I cannot wait to see where this story goes and am looking forward to “Home ForThe Holidays”!
Blaze and Jason continue to develop their relationship. It’s difficult when Jason is consumed with managing his performers and Blaze is on tour. Blaze misses his family, but is afraid of how his beloved grandmother will feel about his love for Jason. Jason has his own family issues. His parents and older brother are veritable legends in the entertainment industry. Jason is much happier behind the scenes. He is close to his parents, but he and his brother have MAJOR issues. Both Blaze and Jason must deal with their family issues, but who in their right mind wants to deal with THAT crap during the Christmas season. The men have no choice. Jason’s home is ‘volunteered’ for the Christmas family gathering and he’s not happy. I love that the family dynamics were just as insane as mine usually (it’s why I spend the holiday with friends). They know they love one another, but they don’t really KNOW one another! What’s worse, Blaze’s career is taking off, but it might not be in the direction he – or Jason – expected.
Toland has woven a wonderfully moving tale of love, family, and acceptance. The series has enough twists, turns, and bumps in the road to keep it interesting! I am now emotionally invested in Jason and Blaze’s love for one another and cannot wait to see where the next book takes them!