Treble Maker, by Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp (August 4, 2015)
Page Count: 272 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5
* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
Summary: Cody Rivers is determined to be a rock star, but couch-surfing between bar shows gets old fast. Joining an a cappella group for a new singing competition show could be his last chance at real fame—unless the college boy from the heart of the country messes it up for him. Lucas Norwood is everything gothy, glittery Cody is not—conservative, clean-cut, and virginal. But when a twist in the show forces them together, even the sweetest songs get steamy as the attraction between them lights up the stage. Lucas wants to take it slow, but Cody’s singing a different tune—and this time it may be a love song…
My Thoughts: I was hooked on this novel from the very first sentence! While the plot isn’t normally my type of read (too much like an American Idol meets Pitch Perfect, neither of which I have any desire to watch), the characters and writing were so good that I couldn’t put this book down.
The bass singer was gay. Cody wriggled his hips in an exaggerated move that always got him company on the dance floors, waited a beat, and… there. Right on cue, the curly-haired singer gave him another sidelong glance.
Annabeth Albert takes two characters who, on their own, are not the easiest people to like, and transforms them together into a beautiful couple that are more alike than they ever expected. Cody is the bad boy that you hate to love, and who distances himself from anything that might resemble an emotional bond. He’s only in the music competition for himself, and is prepared to use people, Lucas included, to get himself the spotlight he knows he deserves. Lucas is naive, sheltered, and more than happy to let other people dictate how he thinks and acts. He’s incredibly talented, but lets his faults eat away at him, and forces his needs and wants below the rules of his team, his school, and his family.
If that was it, this novel would have been terrible. Thankfully, Albert had the skill and writing chops to turn two mostly-unlikeable men into a beautiful couple, each of them chipping away at the other’s exterior until they revealed someone they (and we the readers) could love.
Unlike many novels, the background characters here were a huge benefit to the plot. Ashley and the rest of Cody’s team were supportive, funny, and human, while Lucas’ friend Trevor is everything that Lucas used to be, a static point against which we can see how much Lucas has changed.
The romance was a lovely slow-build, and the sex scenes were fantastic, managing to balance the line of hot and still showing Lucas’ reservations and Cody’s frustration.
The characters definitely made this novel. The plot was average, nothing special in my opinion, but the characters were pure brilliance.
(On a personal note, I will say that this novel makes me wonder if it started out as Adam Lambert/Kris Allen American Idol fanfic? It wouldn’t be a bad thing if it had, but there are some pretty noticeable parallels between the characters… and as someone who’s never watched the show, even I could pick up on it!)
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