After fifteen years on the road, rock singer Saul Wilder doesn’t know if he remembers how to stay in one place. While healing from a vocal cord injury, he decides to restore the cozy but neglected Atlanta home his grandmother left him. When home renovation specialist Perry Abrams arrives to assess the job, Saul’s on board with mixing business with a little pleasure. The sex is scorching hot, but the more they learn about each other, the deeper they fall emotionally as well. Trouble is, Saul’s a traveling man and Perry’s a homebody, so finding common ground to share could put the brakes on their relationship before it has a chance to get started.
Dear Shae, Perry and Saul,
I love you all so.
I needed to read a true love story that focused on the relationship and characters with all the wonderful and wonderfully awful things that go with navigating flirting and first dates. You all gave that to me in spades.
Saul is a rock star on hiatus as his throat is healing and during his recovery he heads to the house his grandmother left to him and decides to give it a well-deserved upgrade and bring it all up to date. He’s got a minor connection to the house but mostly his heart was with his grandma. He has no definite plans to keep the house, he’s on the road much of the year so what’s the point? It needs a onceover/upgrade and the bands manager refers him to Perry. Perry had a relatively new business as a designer and he also seems to push all of Saul’s buttons.
What follows is basically a modern courtship sans stereotypical characters. And THAT is what I loved. Saul may have been the rock star in this story and you would expect that Perry would have been pursuing him, etc. But, nay, twas not that way at all. Saul was the pursuer and Perry the pursuee (which is now a word BTW) and it was exactly what I wanted to read. I sometimes shy away from the rock star romances because they can sometimes read one-sided in the affection department and I really don’t like the imbalance when that happens. Perry was much more cautious than Saul and it worked for their personalities and the story really well. There was no manufactured angst, just one half being more reasonably realistic and it was nice to read some emotionally mature characters.
The bit of real conflict the guys had regarding preconceived notions of masculinity and femininity was woven into the story organically and I found it really interesting. In the realm of the Bigger Picture, it hits on the topic of sharing kinks and likes with a new lover and how important all forms of communication are. What isn’t said can be as important as what is and it takes some reading-between-the-lines to figure out how to share and be shared with without judging. I thought Saul handled it all with a good heart and Perry needed someone like Saul to be able to be himself without feeling marginalized at all by ridiculous notions of what constitutes strength and manliness. And just because something is ridiculous on paper doesn’t make it any less real when it comes to how someone feels and I felt both their frustration as they worked it all out.
As well, not gonna lie, the lingerie was freakin’ hot and I may have had less than altruistic reasons for wanting them to come to some common ground.
I loved the ending so much. Well, I loved the whole thing, but it wrapped up really well with just the right amount of warm fuzzies and reasonable compromise all around. Again, all because the characters were mature and kept true to themselves while still being open to being happy and more importantly, making someone else happy.
For more information on Tongue and Groove, check it out on Goodreads.
**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**