Restoring the beautiful old 1890s Texas farmhouse Rhys bought for them to live in keeps Rhett Davis occupied, but not too busy to worry her head off about him. After some idiot tried to kill Rhys he went right back out on tour with his band Illicit, putting himself in harm’s way again. Rhett is determined not to let him know how frightened she is for him, and takes steps to assure his safety when he returns home. He may not like her solution, but she’s not asking his permission.
When Illicit decides to take a long break between albums and tours, Rhys James eagerly anticipates spending quality time with Rhett in their new home. But his surprise announcement of all that extra time together falls flat when he finds out Rhett has commitments elsewhere. At loose ends, he heads out to L.A. at the invitation of a former producer and lands himself in one of the biggest messes of his life.
When past trust issues rear their ugly heads, Rhett and Rhys will have to find a way to resolve them. Or maybe their ideas of what constitutes the perfect life differ too much for love to overcome.
No one ever said loving a rock star was easy. But Rhett never imagined it would be this hard. Can they get past these obstacles, or is this the end for Rhys and Rhett?
Good things come to those who wait and that is certainly the case with Juli Page Morgan’s Heart of Gold, the follow-up novella to her 2014 book, Sister Golden Hair. I had the good fortune as a new book reviewer to receive a copy of SGH, one of the best books I read the first year of this blog. I (somewhat) patiently waited for Rhett and Rhys’ sequel and jumped for joy when I found an email with Heart of Gold attached waiting for me in my inbox.
If you haven’t already read SGH I urge you to read it first. Mostly because Heart of Gold isn’t a standalone, but also because SGH is a wonderful book. Actually, I’ve loved everything that Juli’s written, but SGH truly stands out. I read it long before I picked up a Kristen Ashley book, but I can’t help but think Juli laid the groundwork for my love of KA books as she writes about older, more experienced characters that find love. And, just like Kristen Ashley, Juli Page Morgan captures all the emotion: heartache, angst, love of family and friends, and, of course, romantic love.
*spoilers ahead for Sister Golden Hair*
If Sister Golden Hair gave readers Rhett and Rhys’ journey to love, Heart of Gold tells the story of how they survive their Happily Ever After. The book starts a few months after the attempted murder of Rhys that left Rhett shaken, especially as he went right back on tour leaving her to deal with her anxiety over his safety and a sense that their relationship was still tentative, at best. The fact that Rhys still insists on keeping their relationship a secret only adds to Rhett’s insecurity. She takes on the remodeling of the old farmhouse Rhys bought for them and she and the contractor, Gary, work so well together that he suggests they go into business together. Rhett jumps at the opportunity, knowing that she’ll be spending a lot of time on her own as Rhys is either recording or touring. Naturally, just as she decides on this, Illicit, Rhys’ band, decides to take a break, leading the couple to face some hard truths about their relationship.
I love the complexity of both these characters. In SGH, Rhett found a strength she didn’t know she had after her husband died and she learned he’d been cheating on her. She realized that the life she’d been living wasn’t worthy of her and she set out to change that. Even so, she now finds herself making some of the same mistakes she made in the past with Rhys, allowing him to set the rules while he owns the spotlight he so desperately craves. Rhys spent 30 years at center stage before he even met Rhett, with music his first love. His two marriages ended in divorce and his relationship with his daughter is almost non-existent, something he wrongly blames Rhett for (read SGH for that story!). When she goes into business with Gary he’s outwardly supportive but fails to see how important it is to Rhett. More so, he seems to be avoiding their life together, leaving for L.A. before he and Rhett could even live in their house together. When he finally figures out what’s in his heart, his confession to Rhett is beautiful and heartfelt.
I wished Heart of Gold had been longer, but realized that Rhett and Rhys’ story had been completed in the best way possible. With beautiful love scenes, the couples’ easy banter. Rhys’ British sense of humor, and Rhett’s hilarious southern girl one liners, Heart of Gold is just what I’d waited for.
5 stars for Heart of Gold. Heat level: 3
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
Heart of Gold was published in October 2017 by Carey On Publishing.
CHECK OUT ALL OF JULI PAGE MORGAN’S “BOHEMIAN” BOOKS:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Juli Page Morgan was just born in the wrong decade. It wasn’t easy growing up a bohemian flower child in a world full of polyester, but she made it work. And while everyone else followed the prescribed route to success, Juli followed her dream—rock music and the people who created it.
When she found out she could play rock records and get paid for it she got her first job at a radio station when she was a teenager. To her everlasting delight, that job came with All Access backstage passes where Juli got to know those beautiful men who made the music. She stood side-stage as they played, has been on their tour buses, in their hotel rooms, and backstage in their dressing rooms and at the aftershow parties. Radio and rock music left her with so many wonderful stories to tell, so now she shares them with you.
Though the Mississippi Gulf Coast will always be home, Juli and her husband currently live in Arkansas. When she isn’t writing, Juli records voiceovers for television commercials. She’s shamelessly in love with vinyl records, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and French Onion dip, not necessarily in that order.
Juli writes Romance for the Reader Who Wasn’t Born Yesterday, including The Illicit Novels and other rockin’ things. She’d love to have you connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and even Twitter every now and again!