“I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend.” — Freddie Mercury
Desi and Charlie were inseparable as kids. Desi got teased often for his “girlish” looks and Charlie was always there to protect him. Desi’s cousin, Trinity, was a famous rock star. Charlie and Desi dreamed of being just as famous. While in high school, they started a band called Desire. Charlie had realized by this time that he was gay, and he also knew without a doubt that he was in love with his best friend Desi. He decided to tell Desi. What followed was borderline nonconsensual sex.
Desi couldn’t handle the change in his and Charlie’s relationship, and the manner in which it manifested, and had a nervous breakdown. He spent two years in a mental facility working to accept his own sexuality and how it affected his feelings for Charlie and their plans for the future, both their own future and that of Desire. Desire had been unable to find a suitable lead singer in the two years Desi was away.
When Desi is released, he spends a lot of time with his cousin Trinity. He slowly adjusts to being out in the real world again. Desi even re-joins Charlie and Desire as their lead singer. If it weren’t for that sexual encounter two years previously, I might have been able to go with the story at this point. It was hard for me to accept, or even believe, that Desi had forgiven Charlie for taking advantage of him. They were best friends for years, and Desi had counted on Charlie for protection many times. That trust was violated.
Ms. Bailey writes of their reunion, reconciliation and the realization of their dreams. She doesn’t write about what I believe would be the realism of the situation: the resentment Desi would have for Charlie, the mistrust of any attempt on Charlie’s part to rekindle even a friendship with him, it all seemed to happen too easily. Everything fell into place for Charlie and Desi as if the sexual encounter and ensuing two year stay in a mental hospital (for goodness sake!) hadn’t happened. It was as if they had had a minor falling out and now were recovering from it.
I realize in a novella things have to be tied up in a bow neatly, in short order. Thankfully, Ms. Bailey did write some loveable characters and some very witty dialogue. I really wanted Charlie and Desi to reconcile and be superstars. It just happened too fast to be believable, in my humble opinion. I also really think that the book would have benefited from another round of edits or a beta reader to pick up on the many mistakes that could easily have been fixed. If you feel you’d be able to suspend disbelief, this is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.