Reviews for Already Published Books

REVIEW: Summer of Hush by RL Merrill


47562714._SY475_Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Received From: A Novel Take PR

Hush is back… and it’s about to get loud.

After two years grieving the death of his best friend, Silas Franklin is back on the road with his metalcore band, Hush. With a new member, a brilliant new album, and a headlining spot on the last cross-country Warped Tour, life couldn’t be better—unless Silas could meet the intriguing music blogger known only as the Guru. Silas has followed his blog for years and feels the Guru might be the only person who “gets” him.

For years Krishnan Guruvayoor has reported on the metal scene as an anonymous blogger, and he’s just landed an internship on the Warped Tour as well as a potential position with a well-respected music magazine. His best friend arranges for him to meet singer Silas Franklin—but only as Krish the Intern. Their chemistry is instant, and Krish is thrilled to get to know the man behind the music.

The rock star and blogger quickly go from meet-cute to cuddle session, but secrets, overprotective bandmates, meddling media, and a terrible accident all conspire against them. Can their romance survive the summer of Hush?

gender sexuality romantic pairings

GENDER: cisgender
SEXUALITY: homosexual

tropes tags warnings

TROPES: forced proximity, height difference, summer romance, insta love
TAGS: adult, contemporary, romance, queer romance, queer characters, Indian characters, interracial romance
WARNINGS: grief, cultural appropriation, anti-native language, ableism, suicide, self-harm, alcohol, anti-ace language, vomiting, anti-queer, rape, outing, anti-fat, slurs, gendered slurs, physical injury, hospitalization, anti-trans language


SUMMER OF HUSH promises to be a fun, slightly angsty, summer romance between a rock star and a music blogger, and it does deliver on this promise! 

The plot is interesting and moves quickly without stagnating, introducing many characters, developed well enough to keep you intrigued and wanting to know more, and incorporating several aspects of the famous Warped Tour. Both the main characters, Krish and Silas, were enjoyable to read about as they continued to work through their grief and find their way in the world, both together and individually. It was easy to get invested in them and the supporting cast, and to want to know what would happen next with them.

The big thing that didn’t quite work was the timeline. Most of the book takes place over the course of a few days, which makes a large part of the plot rather implausible. Krish is a music blogger who posts anonymously on his website–no one knows his secret except for his best friend and his family, and yet the fact that he doesn’t immediately share his secret with Silas and the other members of Hush is somehow a huge issue. Sorry, but knowing each other for two days, at most, doesn’t mean that Krish needs to expose his secrets just to placate Silas. The narrative tries to play it off as being an issue because the band has been burned by journalists and other hookups in the past, but that…doesn’t really ring true as the reasoning Silas gets upset. Because he wasn’t upset that Krish might write about them and what he’d seen and learned about the members of Hush–in fact, only one member of the band was concerned by that–but was instead more concerned with the fact that Krish didn’t immediately share his secret. It was a bit ridiculous, honestly, and Silas really proves that Krish had reason not to say anything right away, because almost immediately, Silas shares the secret with someone else without Krish’s consent.

Also, there’s a brief and, frankly, unnecessary scene in which Silas is harassed by a couple of guys when the band is doing a meet and greet. It’s necessary only for the fact that it pushes forward the drama of the plot, but the unecessary part was the fact that these two guys were only referred to as “fat fucks.” Little to nothing else was mentioned about them–only their fatness. Their fatness was used as a way to depict them as gross, when that would’ve been established anyway by the fact that they were anti-queer and harassing Silas simply because he’s gay. Their fatness didn’t need to be brought into it at all.

Despite the issues, I did enjoy the novel and romance overall.

rating3 STARS

about the author

DSC_0690Once upon a time… a teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ’n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real life and happily ever after, and she’ll keep writing love stories until she does. Both self-published and traditionally published with Dreamspinner Press, Ro writes romance in contemporary, paranormal, and horror settings inspired by love, hope, and rock ’n’ roll. Ro also loves connecting with other authors online, at conventions, and chapter meetings for the Romance Writers of America, of which she’s been a member since 2014.

A sucker for underdogs, Ro has adopted a wide variety of pets including cats, dogs, rats, snakes, a chameleon, and some fish. Her love of horror is evident the moment you walk in her door and find yourself surrounded by decorative skulls and quirky artwork from around the world. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, or else find her educating America’s youth, being a mom taxi to two busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or head-banging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

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buy links

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Book Depository

review by nicky tyler

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