Thursday, 23 May 2013
Book Spotlight: Off Stage Right by Jaime Samms
by Jaime Samms
Damian Learner and his grunge band, Firefly, are on a meteoric rise to success. If they get the right break, fame awaits. Seeking more professional management, Damian independently strikes a bargain with the best agent in the business, Stanley Krane. Unable to afford the penalty for breaking old contracts, Damian agrees when Stan’s best friend, country and Western megastar Vance Ashcroft, offers to buy him out of his old contract.
Overwhelmed by a crippling loan, secretive guilt, Stanley’s expectations, and a volatile relationship with Lenny, Firefly’s lead guitarist, Damian disintegrates. Bad habits of too much sex, booze, and drugs create a rift in the band. Finally Vance, with his understanding of Dominant/submissive behavior, sees that submissives Damian and Lenny are falling into chaos, clinging to each other to try to avoid the inevitable crash.
When the pressure to perform becomes too much and the unthinkable happens, Damian and Lenny have to decide: accept that they need something they can’t get from each other, or burn out and take Firefly with them. Vance is ready to claim Lenny, but even Stan’s hesitant agreement to give Damian the direction he needs might not be enough for Damian—or the band—if he loses Lenny.
Lenny was still in his room when Damian emerged from the shower, so he investigated the results of Lenny’s shopping excursion and made them both a supper of salmon and salad. Healthy enough even for a picky, demanding guitar player’s exacting standards.
Lenny emerged from his room as Damian was scooping the fish from the pan. “You cooked?” He made a show of sniffing the meat on Damian’s spatula.
“You want to wear it? Get out of the way.” Damian planted a hand on Lenny’s chest and shoved him from the small kitchen space while Lenny snickered at him.
“You have to admit, it doesn’t happen very often.” He managed to snag a tender pink morsel off the hunk of salmon Damian was sliding onto a plate before being forced away. “Ohmygod.” He licked his lips and reached for more. “And it totally should. This is awesome!”
Damian grinned despite his attempt to be stern and annoyed. “I’m more than this pretty face and a decent set of pipes, you know.” He demonstrated by trilling off a few notes of the song Lenny had been working on.
The guitarist blushed. “So you heard that.”
“Of course.” Damian popped a bite of fish from the pan into his own mouth. “It’s got potential.”
“I know.” Seating himself at the breakfast bar, Lenny accepted the plate Damian handed him and picked up his fork. “All it needs is a set of lyrics.” He glanced up hopefully.
“Already on it.” With a tap to the side of his skull and a wink, he set to his own dinner. “Mmm. Shit. This is good.”
Lenny shouldered him playfully. “I never thought you were all that pretty anyway.”
“Because you’ve never had a proper look.”
“Well.” Lenny made a show of thinking about that. “No, I’m pretty sure that’s not it.” He studied Damian’s bare face and mohawk, still damp and shaggy from the shower. “Good thing you have other qualities, I guess.”
“Thanks.” Lenny grinned. “I live to knock you down.”
Damian speared a broccoli floret and popped it into his mouth without comment.
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