Love in the Spotlight, Zoe Lynne
Publisher: Silver Stream Press
Genre: New Adult, LGBT (G)
Length: 95 pages
“Come on. Get up. We’re going out and I won’t take no for an answer.”
Little did Steven know that these words said to him, by his best friend Becca, would lead him to discovering love in the unlikeliest of places. Steven is essentially a nerd, constantly foregoing ‘life’ to focus on his academics. He reluctantly goes along with Becca on this fateful night; Becca met a drummer on their college campus, and demands Steven go with her to a gig this drummer’s band is playing.
Upon arriving at the club Steven is instantly smitten by the lead singer of the band, who, despite having an appearance he is not usually fond of (piercings and tattoos), appears to Steven as the perfect specimen of man. After the gig Becca and Dillon, the drummer, invite Steven to go and get some food with them. Thorne, the lead singer, also comes along, and whilst he and Steven are alone, confesses that he is gay and attracted to Steven.
Steven and Thorne begin a relationship, but along the way discover the pitfalls that come with being gay, in a world where not everyone is accepting and tolerant.
The Gentle Love Song (A.K.A. What I Liked)
Steven and Thorne are so very different; Steven is a preppy, fashion conscious, academic type, while Thorne is, instead, very creative and more irregular in his lifestyle. Love in the Spotlight is a story of ‘opposites attract’, with Steven and Thorne finding that what they love is each other, and all their other traits – despite being different – actually complement their relationship.
One way in which these two are alike is that they aren’t good at small talk; the initial phases of their relationship thus proves to be very awkward. I found this to be quite fun to read, and it really endeared these two to me as I saw a lot of myself in them.
I appreciate that the author does not push the relationship between this pair too fast. Given the awkward meeting between Steven and Thorne, and the fact Thorne is still in the closet, it was expected that it would take time for it to blossom.
The book also presented a good comparison of how difficult LGBT relationships can be compared to their heterosexual equivalents. Becca and Dillon meet at the same time and are a perfect comparison. They can be open and not have to worry about small things like “Who could see us if we go out?”. Both Steven and Thorne look at the comparative ease the other two experience with envy, Steven especially, and it highlights how, while relationships in general are complicated, LGBT ones are more so.
Homophobic Bandmates (A.K.A. What I Didn’t Like)
Often I am critical of books ending too soon, and usually it’s because I just don’t want them to end, or – if not – it’s because they felt rushed. With Love in the Spotlight,. both the beginning and conclusion were well written and appropriate; however, the lack of substance for the middle portion of the book contributed to the feeling that I was reading a short story, rather than a novella.
I would’ve been interested in more backstory to the characters and a deeper exploration of the motives behind their actions. In particular Thorne was, in my opinion, not fleshed out enough, and would have greatly benefited from a greater focus and exploration into his character.
Despite the short length, which I did not appreciate, Love in the Spotlight was a nice story with a good, interesting and realistic relationship portrayed. The relationship between Steven and Thorne highlights some of the concerns and issues those in same-sex relationships can face, and I truly believe that the author has conveyed an excellent message. As such, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nice, short read, especially if you’re into bands.
“I don’t think I could’ve done this without you.”