Title: Desolation Angel
Author: Layla Dorine
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary, Rocker Romance
Length: Novel
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing


Dare gets lost in music only he can hear.
Since childhood, it’s rolled through his mind, drowning out the rest of the world. When he comes back to himself he has the notes and lyrics for the songs his band plays. But he wonders if such talent is worth it, when the rest of his life is such a mess.
All Sionn ever wanted was Dare’s attention.
But that won’t happen as long as Dare has his ‘musical dreams’, so he keeps his attraction a secret. Too bad it’s impossible to keep anything secret when you live with your three best friends. When Sionn’s temper reaches breaking point, he sets Dare on a quest to ‘fix’ himself, in the hopes of gaining the love of the man he adores.

Desolation Angel Cover

But Fate has a funny way of twisting things.

And ‘normal’ is just a state of mind, isn’t it? While Dare struggles to change, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested, and the band is offered the chance of a lifetime. Can they pull themselves together fast enough to take advantage of it, or will Dare’s desire to be ‘normal’ unravel all their lives?

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It’s difficult to put into words how much I loved this amazing book. I don’t want to give too much away and I don’t usually rehash the storyline however this time I think a little recap wouldn’t hurt.

Dare is front man for the rock band Desolation Angel. He is an extremely gifted musician and an all round sweet guy. He lives in a house with the other members of the band – his brother, Tommy, Tommy’s boyfriends Mark and Paul, and the gruff Scotsman Sionn. Sionn has been attracted to Dare for a long time, and the feeling is mutual. the only problem is that Dare is certain Sionn hates him.
Dare has episodes when he literally gets lost in music. His body switches off as his mind is absorbed with music and it is at these times he writes his amazing music. This has never been a problem for Dare or his band family, but it is a problem for Sionn who gets scared when Dare drifts off while cooking and sets the kitchen alight.
Dare overhears Sionn arguing with the other members of the band about Dare being unable to have a normal life, and gets the idea that Sions hated him because of what he begins to see as a disability, (which he never has before).
Because of this, Dare decides to get rid of the music whatever the cost.
It was heartbreaking to read Dare’s struggle to become ‘normal’ and I loved the psychiatrist’s attitude in trying to persuade Dare to accept himself for what he is and define his own normality. Dare steadfastly refuses to listen and is single minded even after Sionn declares his love and regrets his harsh words.
The characters are well drawn with highly individual ‘voices’ especially Sionn who has a strong Scottish brogue. There were times I wondered whether he was the right person for Dare because they spark off each other at times. However, there were times when they completely click and it was clear they were made for each other.
Music is woven through the story as a haunting refrain; at times a blessing and at others a curse. It is lovely to see how the band members are so protective of Dare and understanding of how important his music is to him, and how much his episodes feed into that. Dare without his music is a sorry creature indeed.
I know that a review should be like a sandwich with criticism cushioned between compliments, but I honestly struggle to find a criticism of this book. There are a few editing slips, but I’ve rarely read a book where there are none. Perhaps there could have been a little more detail about the music. Perhaps Sionn’s accent might be less blatant, but none of it really detracted from the story.
I was enchanted with Dare from the first page to the last. He could have come a cross as a caricature, a little too perfect; a little too stubborn, but he’s definitely not. He’s true to character in everything he does, and his struggle (internal and external) is quite clear, without being overboard.
This is the kind of book that takes you on a journey with characters you can’t help but get invested in. It’s a page turner from beginning to end. I can’t recommend it too highly.
I’ve been reading a lot lately, and I can honestly say this book has really stood out for the quality and smoothness of the writing, the strength of the characters and the haunting nature of the story.

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About the author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at: