Friday, June 17, 2011

Black Heart Down

Title: Black Heart Down
Author: S.J. Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60820-328-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Rock band Black Heart Down’s lead guitarist Robbie Russo is tired of being singer Kyler Christenson’s dirty little secret.  Robbie and Kyler have been together as band mates and lovers for eleven years.  However, Kyler refuses to openly admit that he is gay.  When Robbie leaves the band, Kyler realizes things must change, starting with himself.

Black Heart Down is a spin-off of the Conquest series.  The superb plot illustrates Robbie and Kyler’s attempts at balancing a public, as well as a private, life. The emotionally intense storyline is heart wrenching, interwoven with a dash of humor.  The intimate scenes are exceptionally impressive.    The characters are believable.  Robbie and Kyler love each other, but like any relationship, they both have made mistakes over the years.  Robbie is, to some extent, immature; his first tendency is to run away when he is upset, only to return once he has achieved control over his anger.  Robbie gives the impression of having a touch of low self esteem, as well as a small portion of jealousy for Kyler’s public charisma.   Friends, along with feelings of regret for his impulsive actions, help Robbie to step off his emotional rollercoaster. 

Kyler is haunted by his abusive past.  Judged as damaged goods by his hypocritical family, Kyler was cast out when his sexuality became known.  Kyler has struggled for years with his shame for being gay.  Fears of losing Robbie permanently motivate Kyler to triumph over his anxiety of openly expressing his love for Robbie.  Kyler and Robbie finally realize that sustaining love and happiness together is a continuous work in progress.  S.J. Frost has created a marvelous love story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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