Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Review: Beside the Music (BJ Knapp)

Beside the Music
by: BJ Knapp

Genres: Women's Fiction

Can mailing a fan letter change a life? Brenda Dunkirk didn’t think so. She also didn’t think 80s metal star Keith Kutter would have actually read her letter. Watching him stand in the rain on her patio and compose a new song is something she never imagined. Brenda thinks she’s the luckiest woman in the world when Keith’s band, Hydra, and entourage declare her home their base camp while recording their comeback album. She fantasizes about late night lyric writing sessions at her kitchen table and being the first one to hear all the new songs. She is confident that with her help the band will get back on top where they belong. 

Swept up in the glamour of being the rock and roll muse, Brenda risks her already faltering marriage. Tim, her husband, walks out on her and Hydra’s chaos, and to make matters worse her boss is threatening to fire her if she doesn’t her act together at work. The band will not leave until the album is done--it could be another month or it could be another year. Ultimately Brenda must choose between the secure contentment of her marriage or the allure of rock and roll. She must decide: is it possible to be one man’s wife and another man’s muse?

As I sit here pondering what I just read I'm not exactly sure how I feel. That's a lie....I guess the word I can use to best describe Behind the Music would be 'lacking'. Ughhhhhh, I really hate that I had to say that, because there are parts of the book that were amazing, but I can't get over the feeling that something was missing. Let me see if I can describe what I'm talking about....without giving too much away.

Brenda and Tim have a troubled relationship. He's a business owner, running for office and she's a publicist, longing to have children. Tim's mother, Portia, isn't a huge fan of Brenda...and Tim allows her to pretty much dictate his life, regardless of how that makes his wife feel. Oh, and Tim has a gorgeous campaign manager, Aria, who just so happened to find her way into his life via his controlling mother.

Okay, so Brenda and Tim meet Keith Kutter, entitled 80's superstar, as a result of Brenda reaching out to him, after reading his memoir. The initial meeting was at an upscale restaurant, where Keith lived up to every stereotypical label possible....the paparazzi showed up, Keith blamed Brenda for setting him up, and with the help of his bodyguard (Mike), he easily escaped. Through some strange twist of fate Keith and Brenda cross paths again, and thus Behind the Music is born.

So, now you're wondering what the problem is, right? The content that was provided was excellent. The characters were well developed and the story line flowed quite nicely, but it needed more. For example, Mike (the bodyguard) started out as a pretty important, and strong character.....then he vanished. Then, you have Tim & Aria's relationship. It's obvious that Brenda is jealous over the amount of time that her husband spends with his manager (there is even some very questionable situations), but she never, NOT ONCE, voices her concerns. Why?!?!?!?

In the end, although some questions remain unanswered, everything comes together beautifully. You don't often hear me express my feelings on how a book ends (mostly because I loathe endings), but this one came together better than I expected and I loved it.

As always, the related links are below.

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