Shay Maloney is living his dream—on tour with his pirate/folk-rock band. But you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’re from, and that’s where moody filmmaker and researcher Ollie Pietruska comes in.
The band’s management persuades Shay to let a television company film a documentary about his roots beyond his adoptive Irish family, and Ollie comes into his life knowing more about Shay than Shay’s ever known about himself.
But while Ollie holds the key to Shay’s past, he’s also hiding deep scars. Even as the hardships of the tour bring them closer, Ollie’s demons threaten the blossoming romance. They might both reach the breaking point before Ollie realises he’s been standing on the edge of the world for too long, and it’s Shay who holds the key to his future.
Anticipation. Yeah, I’ve had it for months. I’ve been longing for this story since the blurb caught my eye nearly a year ago. Building and building and when this beauty pinged my inbox last week I was so excited I thought I might burst. But then I was struck with cold feet. What if I didn’t like it? What if it missed the high notes? What if I couldn’t connect? I was a ball of nerves. I know, I know, it makes no sense. But sometimes, senseless things happen, right? *happy sigh* Of course, I had no reason to get worked up. It was spectacular and I was hooked from the beginning. I was instantly smitten with Shay and Ollie. And most of all, I loved it.
Genealogy intrigues me. I have a partially uncharted family tree myself and have considered following the trail and discovering more about my roots. This story has certainly heightened my curiosity. Perhaps one of these days I’ll fill in the missing pieces to my puzzle, just as Shay, and know the bricks that paved my path. You see Shay was adopted when he was a toddler and was loved and well cared for. However, when his mum was fighting for her final days, she suggested he agree to the documentary and discover where he came from before he was blessed with her love. In his fog of grief, he agreed and then quickly forgot. Until his manager refreshes his memory and presents him with his new travel companion for their tour. Shay leads his band of eclectic members which comprise The Smugglers Beat. They soared from playing in pubs and jammin’ on grassy festival fields to a packed tour across the UK. The break is fresh and he’s feeling the pressure. The lasts thing he needs is a nosy bloke fighting for space with his shadow. Or could Ollie’s resounding presence soothe him in ways he never knew he needed? Hmmmm, let’s see……
As always, Garrett brings vibrant and memorable men to the pages. Exceptional writing pulls you into their lives and I couldn’t wait to discover everything there was to know. It’s clear Ollie is a survivor but of what exactly we don’t know. Until the pieces click together and the road we’re traveling suddenly becomes so much more than musical performances. Shay explores his ancestors with the assistance of Ollie’s sharp skills and is surprised that he truly wishes to know where he came from. Happiness is easily caught in the now but absorbing the details of his past grant him a sense of peace he’s never known. And in truth, some of the particulars may be irrelevant yet others heft a weight that shocks him. Because today is brighter and clearer with the knowledge of yesterday.
On the other hand, Ollie is faced with a different sort of yesterday. He realizes the harsh reality that accepting yesterday will break his chains, allowing him to move freely today and onto the next day. Which is what resonated like a drumbeat within these pages…our past is a crucial part of us but does not completely define us. Soak it up, let it fill you and fuel your future but remember there is always tomorrow. Their relationship began gingerly and friendship solidified before they allowed their attraction to engulf in flames. I enjoyed the family, food, and music. I loved coasting along throughout the UK with them. But most of all, I loved watching them fall so hard, they both strove to be their best self, only so they could give to the other. That is the ultimate gift anyone can give. Thank you, Garrett, for giving us Shay and Ollie…and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing them again. *wink*
Falling in love is the last thing on Ollie’s mind…or Shay’s for that matter. Give them a bit of patience, if you please. Trauma does not have a definite time span and souls my take longer to heal than skin. And knowing and accepting your past can help shine a light on your future.
Just about anyone. Standing at the edge of the world can be scary as shit but also take you on a trip to the clouds…if you’ve imagined a place filled with comfort food and breathtaking tunes you might want to check this out. Actually, there’s no might about it. Go on…and give them all my love.