Brains and Brawn (Summer of Hush #2)


LGBTQIA:  Paul is so close to retirement he can taste it. But, after twenty plus years in the military taking care of wounded Marines, does he know how to do anything else? Brains is a celebrity drummer and bona fide rock star who happens to play for Paul’s son’s favorite band. A father-son trip to a music festival brings Paul face to face with a sexy, smart, challenging musician who makes him dream of something more for his next stage in life. For Brains, the future is about to come crashing down on him. Can a Captain America-style silvering fox rescue the rock star and offer him the acceptance and stability he never had, or will both their dark pasts poison their future?

Even though the main characters are grown men, “Brains and Brawn” is a blushy, butterflies in the stomach kind of romance. Paul and Brains meet in a fresh and interesting way. Ms. Merrill allows the reader to take a very genuine journey with her characters to a satisfying happily-ever-after. The pacing is sound, and the chapters are a good length, but the story, as a whole, is a bit longer than the plot requires. Fans of the 1990s music scene and earlier, will enjoy the in-depth analysis and band references, but the plethora of information might be a skipped beat for the musically uninformed. A few more typos than usual may cause some stutters, but as a whole, “Brains and Brawn” is a spicy, well-developed, heart-warming read about relatable characters with real-life issues.

Starling Gray