Saturday, 13 June 2015

Book Review: Baby's on Fire by AF Henley


Baby's on Fire
by AF Henley
M/M Historical & Contemporary/1990s/1970s/Glam Rock
Less Than Three Press
4 Stars
Buy Links: Amazon | LT3 Press

In 1974 Gerry Faun gets the break of his life—an opportunity to meet gorgeous, openly bisexual, glam-rock idol Mark Devon. Mark's world is new, exciting, and Gerry finally gets to explore the side of his sexuality that he's kept hidden. But the press is everywhere, and when Gerry's father gets wind of what's going on behind his back, Gerry ends up on the street. Mark offers to let Gerry come along with the tour and Gerry jumps at the chance. The tour is a never-ending party—and the start of what seems to be a perfect relationship for him and Mark. Until Mark's manager decides Gerry isn't worth the trouble he's stirring up.

In 1994 Gerry is finally coming out of some tough times—he has a job that pays the bills, a car that hasn't quite broken down, and a small rental in Jersey City. After a decade of barely getting by, if life was as good as it was going to get, Gerry figures he'll manage just fine. It would be easier if he wasn't still haunted by the man the media won't let him forget, the man who stole his heart and then broke it… the man that's shown up pleading for a second chance.

***

Review:

The mid-1970s. Glam rock, glitter, make-up on men, flares, platform shoes and music that takes the world by storm. Twenty year old Gerry Faun is enamoured of glam rock star, Mark Devon, aka Maxx Starlight. When offered the chance to go backstage after a concert, he jumps at the chance, feeling he is more likely to meet his idol back there, than out at the front.

Gerry does indeed get to meet his idol, and more than that. Their one night of passion leaves him hungering for more and Gerry gets careless. When the papers show a kiss between Mark and Gerry splashed across the front pages, Gerry's father throws him out and he has nowhere else to turn but to Mark. At first, Mark's manager, Phil, is keen to have Gerry around, as is a handsome young man and he can put a great spin on their relationship for the papers. But gradually as the two young men become closer, Phil wants to break them up.

Gerry soon finds himself on tour with the band, and everything that entails. Nights of partying, drugs, drinking and orgies. It's not what Gerry wanted: he only wants to be with Mark and could care less about the rest of it.

Mark has been generous to a fault, buying Gerry a whole new wardrobe of clothes and even given him a diamond earring for his twenty-first birthday. But all Gerry wanted was to have a romantic dinner with Mark, just the two of them. But Mark's manipulative manager, Phil, has other plans and keeps pulling the rug out from under them.

And one day, Gerry just has had enough and leaves. He hopes Mark will follow him, plead with him to go back. But he never does, not until twenty years later. But is he twenty years too late?

I'm a bit young to quite remember the Glam Rock scene, but I think the author has painted a fairly accurate picture, from what I can gather. My husband adores the music and yes, he had flares and platform shoes back in the day - he's a bit older than me. Gerry is a sympathetic character, which helps a lot as the book is told only from his point of view. I would have liked to have been able to see inside Mark's head as well to see what he was feeling too.

The book alternates chapters in the 1970s and Gerry's present day of the 1990s and while not a favourite tactic of mine, it works quite well here. The contrast between Gerry's two lives is stark: from the glitz and glamour of the rock world to his small house that he can't even afford to heat properly.

There are a couple of explicit scenes, but they were very tastefully done and flowed with the story, they didn't feel tacked on just for the sake of having a sex scene or two.

Some scenes I just couldn't relate to at all, because I hate parties and so they wouldn't have felt fun for me in real life either. But some people do like parties, I just didn't find reading about them that interesting.

But all in all I enjoyed the book and watching all the ups and downs of Gerry's and Mark's relationship was fascinating. They were such intriguing characters and for some people meeting their idol would be something like a dream come true.

I won't spoil the ending, you'll just have to read it to find out more.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for the review! I'm thrilled and honoured that you enjoyed the story. :D

    ReplyDelete