Review for Subtle Innuendos
Author: Z. Allora
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Summary: When a song sticks in your head, do you ignore or hit replay? At eighteen, Matt and Chad fell in love. At twenty, they scored a number one hit with their band Euphoria. By twenty-five, the pressure of a rock star lifestyle proved too much and Chad escaped into a haze of drugs and alcohol. Fame twisted love until only pain remained. Seeing no other choice, Matt closed the door on his heart. Twenty years later a mix tape offers Matt a second chance. Does he dare risk another heartbreak to perform one last time with the lover he’s never forgotten? Will the New Year’s Eve reunion concert provide the closure he needs to finally move on with his life, or will the new year allow him to rewrite the ending of their song? Subtle innuendos–impossible to ignore.
Review: First of all, that song has been cycling through my brain since I read this. I finally got rid of it and when I started to write this review, here it is again! Adam Ant in all his glory. But I digress.
This story is told in back and forth flashbacks between the present and various points in the past of Matt and Chad. While I am not usually a fan of this type of storytelling, I felt it worked very well here. The author’s way of weaving the thoughts of the past into a flashback of the past made for a smooth transition.
Matt and Chad fell in love in New York in 1986. They were best friends before that, but this was the time Chad shows Matt the goodness that is Adam Ant and also the time they were both brave enough to admit what they felt for each other. Their first time is awkward, funny, sweet and “totally bitching”. Made me smile, that did.
The two are in a band together called Euphoria and it is both the best and the worst for them. They get to do what they love – music – together yet the pressures of making it big definitely take their toll, especially with Chad. It all adds up to their break up and it was so sad. I did wonder what kind of rehab counselor suggests to an alcoholic that he can have one glass of wine.
Now, more than twenty years later Matt thinks there is a gesture by Chad when he receives a mix tape. He’s never fallen out of love with the man who hurt him. Now there is a possible reunion tour of Euphoria and what will happen?
Matt has an amazing friend in Paul because that man is a saint for putting up with Matt! I’m glad there is Giovanni.
There are a few edit issues through the book, such as “specular” (spectacular) and “goanna” (gonna) but nothing that ripped me out of the story. I would have liked a bit more fill in on the years between then and now – we really don’t get to see what has been going on (especially with Chad). It is heartbreaking when these two can’t make it work that time. This is a second chance story that worked for me.
Oh and Chatt – SO very pop culture.
I am happy with the four flaming hearts. The reviewer bought up so good points which I will endeavor to internalize.
Here's the link to go visit and comment: