The One Thing I Know by Keelan Ellis
I’ve never read anything by Keelan Ellis before but following this book I shall certainly be clicking some of her others.
I was intrigued from the start to read an MM book set in the early 1970’s. Gay men did not enjoy the freedom to be out that they have today and it was a very interesting and original aspect of the story.
Henry is a studio musician. While he certainly not blatant about being gay, he does not try to cover it up by dating women or making excuses for being single. He lives with his friend and mentor who is an older bisexual man, and is very comfortable with his current position in life. He cruises the gay bars when he needs ‘companionship’ and enjoys his musical career. That all changes when he is offered the opportunity to work with the highly successful and popular band, the Vulgar Details. Henry is suddenly thrust into the limelight and finds himself the subject of lead singer Terry Blackwood’s attentions.
What starts of as a hate filled antagonistic relationship develops into a friendship of sorts. Terry is severely crushed by the death of fellow front man Dell and his grieving takes the form of extreme partying to the point of self-destruction. When a stint in Rehab makes Terry see clearly for the first itme what he wants from life, he relentlessly pursues Henry for more than just friendship. Henry is not convinced that Terry is authentic and the story focuses on the angsty plight of their precarious love affair.
I found the story to be compelling. The characters of Henry and Terry are very well developed and I was drawn into their lives and utterly absorbed by their respective plights. I felt invested in their story and was eager to read to the end to discover if they ended up together or not. This was not a predictable tale which I found quite refreshing especially as the dynamic between them did not reveal either of them to be stuck in particular roles of alpha or twink or any of the popular stereotypes.
The author managed to keep to the ‘feel’ of the era it took place in and I found that most appealing. The sex scenes were handled well and were entirely relevant to the story.
This wasn’t a thrilling read per se although there was a solid plot that kept me engaged until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed this well written and interesting book and felt immensely satisfied at the end.