Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Banded Together
AUTHOR: KC Burn
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 29, 2017
Punk’s not dead, but it’s time to redefine life.
Devlin Waters thought he’d have music forever. But the tragic death of his best friend ended the twenty-year run of his punk band, Negative Impression. Unable to process the loss, Devlin distances himself from everyone and everything that reminds him of the band. But forty-one is too young to curl up and wait for the end. In a search for a second career, he finds himself at university with a bunch of kids young enough to be… his kids. His sexy archeology professor, however, makes Devlin think about life beyond his grief….
Dr. Jack Johnson does not appreciate Devlin’s lack of respect, his inability to be serious, or his chronic lateness. Worse, he hates that he’s attracted to a student. When he realizes Devlin is the rock star he crushed on in his youth, he drops his guard—against his better judgment.
Before they can move forward together, Jack must admit to Devlin that he’s not only an admirer, but he also sings in a cover band. How will Devlin react to his ultimate fanboy when his own music has died?
I’ve always been drawn to books that feature characters who are looking to turn their lives in a completely different direction. Obviously this blurb – rock star to student – was destined to catch my eye.
Six months ago Devlin’s best friend and band mate died. Since then he’s been existing in a kind of daze, sleeping on his mother’s couch and avoiding anything to do with his old band. He decides to go back to university, but doesn’t really have much direction career wise. So he takes a few random classes hoping to find inspiration. Archeology is one of those classes, and his sexy-nerd professor, Jack Johnson is just the distraction he needs to avoid dealing with his grief. Trouble is, Jack is such a fan of Devlin’s band that he sings in a cover band. Jack finds himself falling for the ex-rocker who likes to needle him in class, but Devlin has been clear that he wants nothing to do with any mention of his old life. And so the foundation for our “misunderstanding” is created.
I absolutely loved the character of Professor Jack Johnson. He was such an unexpected mash of personalities that I’m impressed the author made it work. He was the hot nerd, the asshole professor, the punkrock singer and the mad fanboy. And every one of those personas somehow melded seamlessly. Unfortunately, Devlin didn’t really work for me, and I think that that’s probably a personal thing. His grief felt overdone, or over the top. I’ve never lost anyone close enough to me that I’d grieve to that extent so I just couldn’t understand his reactions. Which, you know, that’s a good thing for me obviously, but while other readers might really feel for him and sympathize, I struggled not to see him as a drama queen. That’s not to say that I disliked Devlin, I just found it difficult to understand him. His mother, however, was a kickass secondary character that I loved instantly.
I enjoyed this story, but it lacked something to make me say I loved it. I think in the end it was all just too predicable. Which, let’s face it, the majority of romance books are, but this one lacked any deviation from the predictable route at all. It was good, I’m sure I’ll read it again, but it needed something more to make it memorable.