Danny Bright was born to entertain. He just needs his big break. So when he hears that Blue Horizon Records is holding auditions looking for the next big thing, Danny jumps at the chance. It doesn't turn out exactly as he imagined, though. Instead of getting solo contracts, Danny and four other guys are put into a boy band.
Innocent, idealistic Elliot Price thinks he's headed for college. An impulsive decision to sing in the local talent search changes all that. A bigwig producer happens to see him, hands him a business card, and turns Elliot's life upside down.
Elliot and Danny are close from the beginning. They love all the guys, but it's different with each other. Soon their friendship turns into feelings more intense than either of them can ignore. The other three boys only want Danny and Elliot to be happy, but when their management team and record label discover two of their biggest tween heartthrobs are in a relationship, they're less than pleased. Danny and Elliot find themselves in the middle of a circle of lies and cover-ups, all with one bottom line-money. They have to stay strong and stick together if they don't want to lose themselves... and each other.
©2013 M.J. O'Shea (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
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"Didn't really work for me."
I'm going to be honest with you - the story is well written, the narration is really well done, and it's got all the parts that make a whole including a bit of angst that to spice things up. However, my review is going to be totally subjective because I have to be honest and say this story bored the ever-loving stuffing out of me. Seriously. It's almost twelve hours long - and it felt. every. single. bit. of. it.
Further, I was blown away by how immature these characters were, and by "immature" I mean that both literally and figuratively. Danny and Elliot are supposed to be eighteen year olds. I swear I have never met two eighteen year olds who act as clueless, giggle-prone, and child-like as these two boys.
I take that back, I know an Amish kid who's like that. But these kids were raised in modern day California.
They act far more like they're fourteen, maybe fifteen? I kept thinking, maybe O'Shea wrote it for them being really young, but she was forced to edit them older later because of the (tame) sexy times? Which, that was another thing - the not quite fade-to-black sex? Grr.
I know so many people who gush over this story. GUSH, I tell you! So I don't know, maybe now that I'm pushing forty I just don't get the YA side anymore?
I normally LOVE YA/NA, including O'Shea's own Unintended (which, BTW the characters are also eighteen, and behave far more maturely than Danny and Elliot do). So I don't know. The characters were just really "young", the whole beard plot really annoyed me, the producer being the ultimate bad guy struck me as cliché, and everyone in their inner circle and friends being okay with them being gay struck me as inauthentic. Maybe I'm just too old for this? It just didn't speak to me at all.
Then again, maybe it just got me on bad day? Because the bones are here. The setup is good, the writing is well done, I really enjoyed Tyler Stevens narration and all of his character voices, and I can see why people are mad for this.
For those who love a lower angst, romantic, young adult story with tame sexy times you should check it out - I'm definitely in the minority.
"Cute story, good narration."
I liked how the narrator read the story for the most part. He did an excellent job specifically with the tweets and Candy Scoop exclusives. I did kind of wish there was more of a difference between the voices he chose for Danny and Elliott because there were times where I couldn't tell who was speaking.
The story/plot will be familiar for those who read boyband fanfic, I suppose. But since I'm not part of any boyband or RPF fandoms, I actually found Catch My Breath enjoyable. Though be warned that this is a love story between two teenaged boys, so if teen angst isn't your thing, I'd suggest finding something else.
If what you want is a sweet romance between two characters in the limelight with a likable cast of characters, and you don't mind a smidgen of teen angst, then you'll probably enjoy this.
A majority of this book concerns the protagonists "covering up" their relationship so that their band is a better product for teenaged girls; sadly, these characters seem to be written precisely for that same demographic. I doubt this author has dealt with any of the issues contained in this work, as the characters are ridiculous stereotypes who seem to speak only in contrived clichés. I'm getting a refund.
"Awesome O'shea book!"
This was so well written. O'Shea is one of my favorite m/m romance authors! The story are just so emotional. I totally loved these two characters... in the lime life, but having to be secret due to thier band's label, not the fans! Great concept... great story.
Well worth a credit, sale or buy.
Narration was Awesome! I seriously love the smexy voice of Tyler Stevens... He gives me Goosebumps!
"Great coming of age story, rooted in music."
Yes I would, though I'd skim some parts, it's a bit long. But it was such a fun ride along with Elliot and Danny as they got to know each other, as well as themselves.
American Love Songs by Ashlyn Kane. Both are about two young men that are getting to know each other and themselves and share a mutual love of music.
Yes. He's good, he has a youthful tone to his voice.
I tried, it's just so long.
Elliot Price is shy, reserved and a bit naive. All that changes when his friend talks him into singing at a local talent show and Elliot becomes the fifth member of the hottest new boy band on the market, Static. From the first day in the studio, Elliot and Danny form a bond unlike the rest of the guys in the band. They all click and become fast friends, it's part of what makes Static so amazing, but Elliot and Danny are more flirtatious with each other. No one has ever made Elliot feel the way Danny does. Nervous yet comfortable all at the same time.
Danny Bright is confident, secure and enigmatic. But the way Elliot makes him feel strips away his cool guy facade and leaves him vulnerable. Their easy friendship slowly grows into a mutual attraction and then young love takes hold. The other guys in the band could care less that Elliot and Danny become a couple as long as they can all still focus on making Static the best band it can be. But the powers that be at Blue Horizon are less than pleased when they find out, so they add a clause to the guys contract, forcing Elliot and Danny to make a choice. They can be young and in love out in the open, or they can be the next big thing.
I was drawn into this story by the innocence of the characters. Their love story is a shy, flirtatious outing told over stolen glances that become gentle touches, a caress here and there, then finally that first kiss and so much more. Only to be benched just about the time they really become comfortable with their new found status as a couple by their manager. This was very much being true to who you are type of story. Danny and Elliot face most challenges head on, together, until they are forced to pretend they aren't together and that is the strain on the relationship. Tyler Stevens gave the perfect voice to every guy in the band from Wes's southern charm to Elloitt's innocent naivete to Danny's confident charm. He even gave the homophobic manager this evil villain tone that grated my nerves, almost as much as his assanine views on public perception.
My biggest issue with this audio was the length, it was very long. I almost lost interest a couple of times, but kudos to O'Shea for reeling back in every time, and I'm so happy I stuck it out until the end. O'Shea's trademark youthful view on love, sacrifice and what is important was ever present, as usual. The audio version was liken to an exodus even though it's a very well written story with flawless narration, perhaps if you aren't in it for the long haul, grab the e-book or print version.
On a side note, I think O'Shea's chapter titles were genius, it's like a built in play list!
I don't want to say the story was bad. it really wasn't. For me personally it was just...ok. It had the usual...love, heartbreak, and a happy ever after. Something about it Just felt generic. The time lapses had me lost and feeling numb to real emotion at times. It was relevant, but generically so.
"Okay story but it was narrator that blew me away!"
The story was pleasant. Not great but something nice to listen to when you're in the mood for a plain ol' contemporary romance between 18 year-olds; ie, no serial killers, cops or Feds, just first-time, relationship-centered. It's well-written and flows smoothly.
But Tyler Stevens. He was surprisingly excellent! I was expecting him to make the two MCs sound like flaming queens but no, Stevens' voice, while still sounding effeminate (to my ears) was fluid like soft, warm honey. His performance was definitely 5 stars - great pacing and expressiveness (unlike the dreadful Jeff Gelder) and none of that gasping for breath before each sentence that most male narrators are guilty of.
"lots of angst"
Over all a good story but had to skip last few chapters to get to the end cause the hours of listening to the angst was a bit much.
While reading a review there was a recommendation about MJ OShea and I decided to check this author out. This book was everything I could want, a great story, the five guys in the band were wonderful, it was so well written, it has warmed my heart. Reminds me of Amy Lane.
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