Title: A Little Bit of Country
Author: Christiane France
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher Buy Link: A Little Bit of Country
misfortune ended Max Mayler’s career as a singer, he bought The
Showtime Bar, an establishment with a long history of giving aspiring
artists an opportunity to showcase their talents. It’s where Max got his
chance, and he wants to continue the tradition.
Jay Ferman has
the exceptional voice and the sexy good looks to make it big, and
although he’s been performing every Saturday night for weeks, no one
pays him any attention. It could be canned music for all they seem to
know or care.
Max quickly realizes the problem is Jay’s failure to
truly connect with his audience. But, as Max tells one of his servers,
he operates a bar and not a school for wannabees. He likes Jay, but his
performance deficit is none of Max’s business.
But will Max make it his business and give Jay some much-needed advice, especially after the men connect in a very personal way?
uses his bar as a talent launch, since he got his start here and gives
other performers the opportunity. So it’s a little contradictory that
he’s so standoffish about actually giving critique to someone who’s got
most of what it would take to make it. It’s not explicitly an open mike
night, or an open mike place in general, so Max’s refusal to say even
“You might want to make some eye contact,” is a little weird. If he’s
trying to give folks a start, they wouldn’t be surprised he’s
supportive, and since he was fairly successful, he might even know what
he’s talking about. Most aspiring musicians would treat this like gold.
seems to be trying to blend into the woodwork, and his explanation of
why doesn’t ring true. Getting punched in the mouth for an opinion
suggests he was pretty overbearing when he gave it, and now he’s willing
to let a promising singer fall flat without a word. Big change, and one
I wasn’t convinced of.
So I found Max contradictory and hard to
warm up to, and since a lot of things were stated two and three times
over, in his first person dialog and in the surrounding text, it kept me
at a distance.
Jay was easier to connect to. Clueless but willing
to learn, he was a warmer character, and was the one to reach out to
Max, who’s still pulling away. Jay can take instruction, up to a point,
and that point was where it fell apart for me. He misconstrues a helpful
comment in a bizarre way, and Max’s rationalizations for it made me
grit my teeth. The whole segment was forced, and even though Jay later
admits he was wrong, he then proceeds to go overboard in the opposite
And Max goes for it. Instant happy ever after,
completely unsupported. This was so out of the blue that I couldn’t buy
into it at all, as if the story was missing several thousand words of
getting from point A to point B.
The sections of this story I was
happiest with were the sex scenes, which didn’t go for too much too
fast. Their first time was sweet, for a quicky in the office, and their
second was hot and a little fumbly, which made me smile.
wasn’t enough to rescue the story, unfortunately. Between the
repetitions in the text and hard to believe plot points, this story
didn’t work very well for me. 2 marbles