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Code Red

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Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of. He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour. Rosco Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of. He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour. Roscoe Hall is Maddox’s personal manager. His job is high-flying, high-demand, high-profile, and he loves it. Maddox has consumed his entire life for the past four years. Roscoe knows him. He sees the real Maddox no one else gets to see. He’s also in love with him. When the tour and stress become too much, when the world begins to close in, Roscoe becomes Maddox’s lifeline. But as Maddox knows already, and as Roscoe is about to learn, the brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow. Word count: 102K


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Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of. He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour. Rosco Maddox Kershaw is the main vocalist of the world’s biggest boy band. He’s at the top of every music chart, every award show, every social media platform, and every sexiest-man-alive list. He’s the bad boy, the enigma, the man everyone on the planet wants a piece of. He’s also burned out and exhausted, isolated and lonely. Not in a good headspace at the start of a tour. Roscoe Hall is Maddox’s personal manager. His job is high-flying, high-demand, high-profile, and he loves it. Maddox has consumed his entire life for the past four years. Roscoe knows him. He sees the real Maddox no one else gets to see. He’s also in love with him. When the tour and stress become too much, when the world begins to close in, Roscoe becomes Maddox’s lifeline. But as Maddox knows already, and as Roscoe is about to learn, the brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow. Word count: 102K

30 review for Code Red

  1. 4 out of 5

    Snjez

    dnf @ 46% I really tried, but after three weeks of putting it down and picking it up again in hopes something would change, I just have to accept that this is not working for me. For several reasons. (view spoiler)[- I generally don't like stories about celebrities, and for someone who is not a fan, I've definitely read too many. So that one is on me. I don't enjoy reading about the music industry and everything that fame entails. I was hoping I'd still like this one because of the author, but it dnf @ 46% I really tried, but after three weeks of putting it down and picking it up again in hopes something would change, I just have to accept that this is not working for me. For several reasons. (view spoiler)[- I generally don't like stories about celebrities, and for someone who is not a fan, I've definitely read too many. So that one is on me. I don't enjoy reading about the music industry and everything that fame entails. I was hoping I'd still like this one because of the author, but it reminds me too much of similar stories about boy band members I've read before. - Talking about fame, every single thing someone does in this story ends up on social media, everything is trending. I can understand when it's the band members, but putting the manager in the spotlight was too much for me. - From the very beginning I felt like there was one part of the story missing. We are thrown into the story at a point where Roscoe and Maddox already have feelings for each other. We don't get to see how their relationship changes from them being just a manager and a singer to something more. - I don't think I got to know the characters well. Half way through the book, the only thing I know about Roscoe is that he loves Maddox and he is hot. The only thing I know about Maddox is that he is a great singer and dancer, he is lonely and he is gorgeous. - The relationship development isn't working for me either, mostly for the reasons mentioned above. There is no build up, Maddox flirts with Roscoe from the start, Roscoe keeps distance at first, but then gives in, and now they meet in secret. That's it. - Another thing I don't like is that there are hints about them, both on social media and from other characters, even before anything happens between them. That kind of kills the romance for me. - Also, I find their relationship too codependent and it feels like there's too much "need" instead of "want". I'm just not feeling them as a couple. - I find the story overall a bit repetitive and it's not holding my interest (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    I like Maddox & Roscoe and was rooting for their HEA (which they very much got). I also appreciate that the author doesn't pull any punches when it comes to showing the dark side of fame: endless talk shows and rehearsals, months on the road, wear and tear on the body, crazy fans, mental exhaustion. Walker also doesn't sugar coat Maddox's panic disorder. Maddox isn't cured by Roscoe's magic dick. He needs therapy and time to heal. But I have some issues with the story that dropped my rating: - We I like Maddox & Roscoe and was rooting for their HEA (which they very much got). I also appreciate that the author doesn't pull any punches when it comes to showing the dark side of fame: endless talk shows and rehearsals, months on the road, wear and tear on the body, crazy fans, mental exhaustion. Walker also doesn't sugar coat Maddox's panic disorder. Maddox isn't cured by Roscoe's magic dick. He needs therapy and time to heal. But I have some issues with the story that dropped my rating: - We are missing Maddox's POV, so we only see him from the outside in. - Maddox and the other members of the band are referred to as "the boys" (they're 23). Their mutual love and support is the stuff of fairytales. They never argue, never have artistic differences. This didn't strike me as believable. - The pacing is inconsistent. The middle of the story drags, then a bunch of stuff happens at the end. - We jump into the story when the MCs already have feelings for each other (but are not together). I felt like I missed the beginning and thus wasn't as invested in the story. - Most of the sex scenes fade to black. I hate, hate, HATE that. It's like offering dessert and then snatching the tray away. Here you are ... ah, no, nope, just kidding. WTH is up with that? I'm cool with lower steam stories, but don't tease if you can't deliver. _________________________________ This book has been out for two weeks and I didn't know. How did I not know? 🤦‍♀️ Nic Walker is an auto buy for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Llakshmi

    4.5 ✨ Where do I even start? I absolutely adored this one. SO MUCH. NR WALKER has always been a hit or miss for me but this hit me so hard. I cried. I sobbed. I laughed. I fucking giggled. @Mariam girlll I love you. Muah So we have Maddox Kershaw, the bad boy rock star, and Roscoe Hall, his personal manager. They’ve been working together for a long time but lately their relationship worked differently and they soon realize their feelings for each other are too strong to hold in. This was honestly 4.5 ✨ Where do I even start? I absolutely adored this one. SO MUCH. NR WALKER has always been a hit or miss for me but this hit me so hard. I cried. I sobbed. I laughed. I fucking giggled. @Mariam girlll I love you. Muah So we have Maddox Kershaw, the bad boy rock star, and Roscoe Hall, his personal manager. They’ve been working together for a long time but lately their relationship worked differently and they soon realize their feelings for each other are too strong to hold in. This was honestly an amazing experience. It was nothing like I expected, I figured with the rock star trope we would have Maddox throwing temper tantrums and Roscoe being the only one to give him a firm hand. But Maddox was a deep character. His personality was so flawlessly written, I can truly understand his thoughts and his pain. I physically felt it. His attempts at hiding his hurt and anxiety behind sarcasm and humour. His need for Roscoe by his side. His love for his band mates. It was all so beautifully incorporated. Oceans of blue In a storm of you May the stars above guide us, Maybe the lighthouse bring us home - guess who has blue eyes Let the current take me I want to drown in the blue Where there is nothing but silence And visions of you We see the events through Roscoe’s POV. Did I wish we had dual POV? Honestly no. I loved that we saw everything through Roscoe’s eyes. He knew Maddox better than anyone else and it was obvious by him noticing the smallest things about Maddy. Their relationship wasn’t slow, they got together at an appropriate time in the book and the pacing was perfect in my opinion. There was just enough tension and angst for it to be satisfying when they finally kiss and more. “We’re just . . . together.” Maddox smiled at me, just briefly. Jeremy watched Maddox; the others all nodded slowly. “How long?” Blake asked. Maddox put his hands about nine inches apart. “About that long.” Christ. The secondary characters were equally amazing! The rest of the band mates were so supportive and loving and hilarious as fuck. They knew exactly what to do and say at times and the loyalty among them really made me think of a pack of wolves. “None of you would ever consider a solo career?” he asked. “When and if the time ever comes?” Maddox’s expression was cool, if not a little offended. “God, no. Who the hell would I be without these guys? When I’m not with them, I feel like I’ve lost my phone or my keys. Five fingers, five senses, I dunno. Pick your analogy.” “I could totally go out on my own,” Wes said, grinning. Jeremy shoved him. “Fuck off. You can’t even decide pizza toppings on your own.” And their moments together were so funny. Like it was those moments that would bring a sudden burst of laughter through you Ambrose made his way down the steps to the stage. He held up three fingers. “What does this symbolize?” “Wes’s IQ,” Blake replied. “How high Blake can count,” Wes snapped back. We also experience scenes of Maddox’s stress and anxiety. With him having problems with his voice and also of him being the face of their band - Maddox faces problems because although they’re a band of 5, he gets most of the attention and light and that puts a lot of pressure on him. I thought it was spectacular how the author wrote those moments. At a point, I do admit that I thought the relationship might be a little unhealthy? . I felt that Maddox was a little too dependent on Roscoe and couldn’t handle things on his own, but that was quickly erased from my mind after the way he dealt with the problems life threw at him and the decisions HE made. the sirens cut the night All the birds take flight All the world stops turning Can you, can you feel me burning

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rosabel

    I'm sorry Walker I've failed you. 🥲🥲 I write this review with a heavy heart *gets dramatic*, I love this author and even though she sometimes creates stories with a lot of fluff, they usually work for me but this one really didn't. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, the longing, the looks, the subtle touches. And then at 30% they got together and my jaw dropped, normally that is not a good sign with books, normally when that happens the story goes to shit. I had hopes so I kept going bu I'm sorry Walker I've failed you. 🥲🥲 I write this review with a heavy heart *gets dramatic*, I love this author and even though she sometimes creates stories with a lot of fluff, they usually work for me but this one really didn't. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, the longing, the looks, the subtle touches. And then at 30% they got together and my jaw dropped, normally that is not a good sign with books, normally when that happens the story goes to shit. I had hopes so I kept going but it was inevitable, it went to shit. It got boring 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️, they did their concerts, they kissed, they spent time together, they had offpage sex (so sad about that) and that was about it until 80% or so, at that point I was bored and disappointed 😔😔. Oh and also everything was so perfect all the fricking time!!! *whines* The boys were always happy with each other, they didn't drink, they didn't do drugs, they didn't go all drama queen, was that even a band? I'm skeptical. And every situation was handled perfectly, so little angst *suffers in spanish*... Give me something to wake up my brain!! For the love of the universe!!! 🥲🥲 Not only that, I had issues with the "anxiety" that Maddox had and how it was handled in the book sometimes. I have said this before and I'll say it again: mental illness Is not cured by a dick, it would be wonderful if that were true but it ain't, and in here Maddox said stuff like... Spoilers ahead btw: He tightened his hold on me. “You make everything better.” Maddox to Roscoe That's not healthy and I'm not gonna rant about it more deeply because it was pointed out later in this gem: "Roscoe helps me,” he said quickly. “If I can’t catch my breath.” “And if Roscoe’s not around?” Hardwick asked gently. DROP THE MIC DOCTOR, DROP.IT!!! That was one problem for me, I felt the relationship was built in that feeling of codependency, of need and that is not love, that is a crutch. So yeah, it didn't work for me BUT I SWEAR I LOVE U N.R. WALKER!! 😭😭😭❤

  5. 4 out of 5

    Layla

    4.5 stars!!! I received an ARC from the author and this is my honest review. This book was the perfect blend of sweet, sexy, intense and intimate for me. I loved it from start to finish and I was bummed it was over. What I loved: The Characters - Roscoe: The long lost Hemsworth brother was larger than life in every way. He was a solid presence for everyone in the band, Maddox especially. He was there for him on every way possible, professionally at first and the romantically. Roscoe was the pil 4.5 stars!!! I received an ARC from the author and this is my honest review. This book was the perfect blend of sweet, sexy, intense and intimate for me. I loved it from start to finish and I was bummed it was over. What I loved: The Characters - Roscoe: The long lost Hemsworth brother was larger than life in every way. He was a solid presence for everyone in the band, Maddox especially. He was there for him on every way possible, professionally at first and the romantically. Roscoe was the pillar of strength and support that Maddox needed to get a hold of himself, take better care of himself and start healing. #AlwaysHereForYou - Maddox: He was probably the biggest superstar in the world, had everything he ever wanted, from fame, money and fans. He was doing something he loved, was beautiful with the voice of an angel. But all of that also came with tremendous responsibility that took a toll on his mental health. Maddox was drowning, but Roscoe was there to keep his head above water. #TheAirThatIBreathe The Plot The book revolves around Maddox's mental health and how Roscoe keeps him in check. Maddox is no ok, has not been for a long time, and Roscoe becomes his lifeline in more ways than one. I loved the message this book gave, the insight into band life and the immense pressure fame has on stars, physically and emotionally. We as fans are always removed from the process of fame, and get the final result. So it was humbling to kind of see what dedicated responsible stars go through to give us these results. #Insight #TheSpiralDown The Romance So we got two men who have been pining for each other for years... from a distance. Each thinking the other was out of his league or too good for him. They didn't know that they were puzzle pieces who fit each other to a T. We don't get to experience this pining first-hand, only through some discussions, but the book starts with them slowly coming together. Maddox is desperate for Roscoe's nearness and strength, and Roscoe craves taking care of Maddox. #ISeeYou #MoscoeForever Steam-o-meter Steamy! The scenes range from full on explicit to fade to black. It was, for me, the perfect balance so as not to flood the book with sex. Roscoe and Maddox being intimate transcended the physical. Them being close, doing little things like Maddox searching Roscoe out in a room, sitting in his lap, snuggling, showering together... all that gave so much more to their relationship. #TouchStraved Angst-o-meter: Medium angst. This book is not heavy on the angst but it is intense. There is no relationship angst between the characters..no breakup and miscommunication. Once they are together, they were all in. The angst comes from Maddox's mental health issues, his anxiety and the pressure from his fame. It was handled beautifully. #FullSpeedAhead The HEA: It was filled with so much hope and love, so much joy and healing. I loved reading it and I wished it had more. #GreedyReaderIAm Niggles: (view spoiler)[ A bit of unnecessary repetition: clothes, appearance.. - I wanted more of a bridge between the last chapter and the epilogue. More of them with the family for example... (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mariam reading Romance

    First Reread: August 28-29, 2021 Yes I loved this book every damn second of it, yes I quoted right back at Maddox and Roscoe because the amount of times I memorized their sayings is my kind of prayer and yes I only reached up to 88% of this book before panicking and realizing this can't end, this is so going to end, I CANT DO THIS and so help me god but I'm not going to finish this today. My memory of this book's ending is enough to keep me satisfied and NO ONE can stop me because yes I'm a dra First Reread: August 28-29, 2021 Yes I loved this book every damn second of it, yes I quoted right back at Maddox and Roscoe because the amount of times I memorized their sayings is my kind of prayer and yes I only reached up to 88% of this book before panicking and realizing this can't end, this is so going to end, I CANT DO THIS and so help me god but I'm not going to finish this today. My memory of this book's ending is enough to keep me satisfied and NO ONE can stop me because yes I'm a dramatic bitch who needs to get her shit together, but you guys don't understand the pain I went through for the ending of this. And no, this isn't a sad ending. But it felt like someone forced themselves inside my heart and altered it's entire chemistry AND UNTIL this day, I'm not functioning any better after this book. Ps, I know everyone hates Ambrose but I really feel for that man. I wish people just look at the situation through his hands and through his eyes, and just see that, he's not that different, whether he liked it or not, decisions needed to be made and he was the person who had to make them, and whether satisfying or not, the bigger picture was always there for him and for that, I have respect for him. * * * * Original Review One of my Favorite Books of 2021 Have you ever cried for something so beautiful and so incredibly heartwarming? Have you ever cried at the ending of a book not because it was sad or if it was magical, maybe simply because it ended and you didn't want it to? Because I cried my eyes out when I Finished this book, not because it was sad but because I just didn't want it to end. May the stars above guide us, may your lighthouse bring me home. First of all, I just wanna say. Fuck reality. Fuck this world and everything that comes with it, except books. Because honestly, who needs reality when you have this magnificent piece of art, 400 too short pages of glorious fiction. I'm just going to continue to ramble and waste your time, so before I get to that, I have to speak that this book is Music Industry DETAILED. He waited until the van slowed, then he shrugged. “Not really. I don’t think I could.” He gave me a smile that was all stage and performative. His public smile. “I don’t know who I am without any of this.” And by that I mean, this book focuses on what happens Behind the Scenes in concerts, stadiums, interviews etc. The staff, the stress, the amount of effort, management, organization and overall, it is very detailed oriented (at the beginning anyway) And I fucking loved it. And I very humbly will say that my adoration is very bias. I already have past experience with boybands and knowing what happens Behind the Scenes and the charade itself so this book hit a bitttttt too close to home, and that's why I lived for every detail because honestly, I wanted to clap at the accuracy. So if you have no interest in the music industry, the business side and management side of this, this book at the start will be a bit rough for you as one of our protagonist is the manager of a five member hit boyband. So I can see why for some people, it is slow. But like I said, my middle name is BIASED so I lived for every second of the detail and watching how things worked behind the scene. “Yeah. Of course.” I didn’t believe him, and it was devastating how he could look right at me with those dark, dark eyes and speak so sincerely while he lied. On the topic on how this book hit too close to home, I'm a fan of boybands myself. I love bands more than solo artists and I'm not ignorant to the ridiculous system and vigorous lifestyle they're put under and honestly, it felt like someone kept on tramping on my heart as I watched how my nightmares became true in this book. But I'll be damned if this book, with these characters weren't the most resilient, flawed and honest, most beautiful, hilarious and HUMAN characters I've every read. Maddox was the face of Atrous. Unwilling, but the face, nonetheless. He carried the weight of their reputation, their brand. He was the one they hounded, the one they chased, the one they followed, the one that made headlines every other day. He wore black, he had a full sleeve of tattoos, perfect skin, and he had attitude to spare. His motto was to burn down the institutions, to stand tall for those who had to kneel, and to speak for those who had been silenced. He resonated with the youth around the world. Watching Maddox throughout this book was the most beautiful and heartbreaking sight to read and to learn and see his perspective. Although he is from a different league above and from all of us, there can and is so much to learn from him and I seriously am in awe of him. In every fiber of him, the real him, the precious being that he is. And how can I forget? That man is sin himself. He sang like an angel and danced like the devil i think the only thing I wished in this book was to see at least one chapter in his point of view. Even though his perspective was always detailed in between the lines of the book, I wanted the privilege of just knowing what went through his mind even though I already knew. Regardless. Amber shrugged. “It’s how he is. How he’s always been.” I conceded a nod. “True. But it’s more now. It’s different. Before he thrived on it. The harder it all was, the better he did. Now he’s . . . tired.” My precious, precious, MY DARLING ROSCOE. He deserves to have the ground beneath his feet fucking WORSHIPPED. Man, I wish I can express how gold he is. He is fucking treasure, a warmth of comfort and love and sincerity and genuine. He is everything and more and I BLODDY love him so damn much. All Hail Roscoe Hale. Everyone deserves a manager like this man, one who cares for you until the end of this world, a friend one as loyal as him, a lover who will go to the moon and back for you, would walk face first through hell and would go through it again and again. It was dark outside, and inside the van the only lights were passing streetlights and traffic. His gorgeous face flashed into neon view in time with my thundering heart. He lifted his hand, palm up, an offering for me to hold it. Oh man . . . I skimmed my fingertips up his palm before I wove his fingers with mine. His lips parted; his eyes burned into me. This was . . . this was a bad idea, diving headfirst into dangerous waters. It had trouble written all over it. But it was exhilarating and wonderful, and it felt so, so right. And so help me fucking god, he smiled. I love this book with these characters so much, how genuine, how heartfelt and gut wrenching it was, how accurate and how beautiful it was. This book stole a piece of my heart and capture a part of my soul and I would never forget this story. I hope this book isn't just a standalone and the author decides to continue this series because this band, Atrous, this is not the end. The interviewer asked, “A pentagon for the five of you, obviously. Does it signify anything else?” “No,” Maddox answered. “A five-sided shape of equal parts. That’s what we are. If one of us was gone, we could never be whole.” He shrugged, somewhat nervously. “Like the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. On our own, we’re just five ordinary guys. Together we conquered the world.” + I just wanted to insert, I loved this book so much, and Maddox just captured a piece of my heart and I wanted to be honest, he inspired me to open a notebook and write down words, maybe poetry, maybe lyrics, maybe rubbish, but he inspired me to write down words, and I'll forever be grateful. Immediate Reactions: I'm not okay. This book was TOO good

  7. 4 out of 5

    Papie

    DNF at 69% Ugh. I wanted to love this. I usually like celebrity romances. But there is so much work talk. Shows. Practices. Management meetings. Meetings with security. Travelling. And I don’t feel like there is much else going on. Not enough to hold my interest anyway. Full disclosure, I’m also running a fever tonight (please don’t be Covid) and my brain feels like jello, but the idea of going through the last few chapters is too much. What is left to happen anyway? They are in love. Everybody k DNF at 69% Ugh. I wanted to love this. I usually like celebrity romances. But there is so much work talk. Shows. Practices. Management meetings. Meetings with security. Travelling. And I don’t feel like there is much else going on. Not enough to hold my interest anyway. Full disclosure, I’m also running a fever tonight (please don’t be Covid) and my brain feels like jello, but the idea of going through the last few chapters is too much. What is left to happen anyway? They are in love. Everybody knows. They are touring. Yawn. I liked Roscoe and Maddox okay, but I didn’t love them. And everybody in this band is so wholesome and perfect. It’s almost like a Christian band touring instead of the biggest boy band in the world. Where are the parties? Drugs? Groupies? Evil managers? Fuckfests? Give me something!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cadiva

    Absolutely one of Nic's best books for me, this is a rollercoaster of feels that runs through the pressures of being in a globally successful boy band. The way the plot slowly develops along two distinct strands is exceptionally well paced. As Maddox and Roscoe's friendship deepens into love, after they've both been mutually pining for years, we see the rest of their lives begin to unravel. The romance between them is lovely, it's soft and soothing, supportive and caring. There's a seven year gap Absolutely one of Nic's best books for me, this is a rollercoaster of feels that runs through the pressures of being in a globally successful boy band. The way the plot slowly develops along two distinct strands is exceptionally well paced. As Maddox and Roscoe's friendship deepens into love, after they've both been mutually pining for years, we see the rest of their lives begin to unravel. The romance between them is lovely, it's soft and soothing, supportive and caring. There's a seven year gap between the 23-year-old frontman and his manager but it doesn't feel like it. Maddox definitely reads more mature than your typical young adult, but him and his four bandmates have been famous since they were 16, so it's no surprise he's more self aware. What I liked best about this story is that it never runs into overly dramatic interactions. Roscoe is a really lovely guy, he's just genuinely trying to do his best for all the band's members. Maddox is a sweetheart, he's falling in love while his band goes on another sell out stadium tour and it's not an easy ride. There are moments of humour, the friendships between the five young men, and all three of their managers, are also richly woven in to the feeling of them living lives isolated from the wider world. As pressures mount up, Maddox and Roscoe get even more involved, the commitment they have for meeting each other's needs is sweetly represented. Sex isn't just a passing thing, they take time to explore each other's desires, although the steam level is medium. Not that it detracts, the narrative doesn't need to have loads of smexy times for you to get a sense of how they feel. There isn't a real villain here, either than the expectation of paparazzi and fans to have 24/7 access to someone just because they have a talent which brings them fame. It's a salutary warning about treating people as commodities as well as a delightful romance. The pressures of fame are laid out with an ever increasing awareness that something has to break, and it might just be Maddox. There'll be no spoilers here, but I felt everything which happened was justified and definitely possible. The conclusion and Epilogue are seriously cute too, and made me smile. I'm not sure if this is a standalone or whether there'll be more in the series, but I'd be happy to venture into their world again. #ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Oshiiy

    3.5 stars ⭐️ Oh boy, I know I'm the worst person for giving a less rating for a book everyone loves so far. But what can I say!? In my defense, this is not what I expected. This book proved to me again that I should stay far away from Celebrity romances. This is a typical celebrity romance where the MCs doing public displays, declarations, public affection dramas, social media kinds of things. On a positive note, I enjoyed the first half of the book, and I really liked Maddox and Roscoe as a cou 3.5 stars ⭐️ Oh boy, I know I'm the worst person for giving a less rating for a book everyone loves so far. But what can I say!? In my defense, this is not what I expected. This book proved to me again that I should stay far away from Celebrity romances. This is a typical celebrity romance where the MCs doing public displays, declarations, public affection dramas, social media kinds of things. On a positive note, I enjoyed the first half of the book, and I really liked Maddox and Roscoe as a couple. They were cute and sweet. Maddox was too good to be true. Roscoe was the personal manager of Maddox for four years. Maddox was the main vocalist of the Atrous band. (like One Direction) Maddox was a sexy, hot man who has the biggest fan base. The band was scheduled to perform several concerts that would be happening in America for seven weeks, and the book started off with it. Roscoe always loved Maddox. But he didn't want to say it loud. However, with time, everything became too personal between Maddox and Roscoe. They didn't know who took the first step to break the boundary of professionalism. They slowly became a ‘thing’, but they couldn't hide their ‘heart in eyes’ behavior from others. “I’ve never had anyone,” he whispered. “Anyone that meant anything to me, anyway. Not like you. It’s my first taste of real life, Roscoe. You’re the only real thing in my life. And I know, rationally, if I try to keep too tight a hold on you, it will push you away, but at the same time, I’m too scared to let go.” Maddox was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. But he didn't want to tell anyone about it, except Roscoe. Roscoe was always with him helping to get through all of his issues. He was a good manager and boyfriend to Maddox. “I love you, Maddox. ‘For every day I have lived, for every beat of my heart.’” “‘I want to dream of you,’” he whispered. “‘Where the world can’t touch us, where time can’t betray me. Where your smile lives on forever. That’s where I’ll be.’” There are some dramas in the story. I'm fed up with hearing celebrity lives and how much does it hard to cope with the industry, and the paparazzi and their lack of freedom. Some part of the book was unbelievable like one of the band players and the best friend of Maddox (Jeremy), uploaded a video, without knowing Maddox and Roscoe were hugging in the background of the video. Afterward, the fans erupted with happiness from seeing it, and the headlines of every social media were Maddox and Roscoe. Don't you think it's too cheesy? I mean before they upload something like that, don't they think about it twice!? This is zero angst and too cheesy story. You can read it without getting bored. My heart was getting warm when I read the last few pages of the book, and it was Maddox’s notebook. I always like to read the lyrics in songs. Aaaaaaand, there were a few songs in Maddox’s notebook. They are beautiful and the best thing in the book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    cal

    DNF I just don't like this. I'm passing the torch to its next readers. I don't like how this book is not killing me. When these mcs attraction/romance started to get hot and cutesy and the fact that I didn't feel anything, I had to wave the white flag. DNF I just don't like this. I'm passing the torch to its next readers. I don't like how this book is not killing me. When these mcs attraction/romance started to get hot and cutesy and the fact that I didn't feel anything, I had to wave the white flag.

  11. 5 out of 5

    *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

    4.25 Stars! I definitely enjoyed this one. Probably would've rated it a bit higher if it weren't for a few things: --alluded to sex scenes, yes there was still some on-page but more than I prefer was alluded to. --it was a bit too lovey-dovey at times (but I did really like possessive Maddox) Liked all of the bandmates. Maybe some of them will get books? 4.25 Stars! I definitely enjoyed this one. Probably would've rated it a bit higher if it weren't for a few things: --alluded to sex scenes, yes there was still some on-page but more than I prefer was alluded to. --it was a bit too lovey-dovey at times (but I did really like possessive Maddox) Liked all of the bandmates. Maybe some of them will get books?

  12. 5 out of 5

    alyssa

    [4.5] As the TV host at the end succinctly puts it: "That's sweet, but Maddox, that's also kind of sad." THE ENTIRE BOOK IN A NUTSHELL MY FRIENDS Straight off the bat, let me confess that celebrity/band books aren't my favorite. Too much infighting, too many meddling outsiders, too many stupid decisions, too many eyes on the MCs. Just too much of everything. But this was a welcome change from what I've come to expect from the trope, and I can honestly say I didn't anticipate for this story [4.5] As the TV host at the end succinctly puts it: "That's sweet, but Maddox, that's also kind of sad." THE ENTIRE BOOK IN A NUTSHELL MY FRIENDS Straight off the bat, let me confess that celebrity/band books aren't my favorite. Too much infighting, too many meddling outsiders, too many stupid decisions, too many eyes on the MCs. Just too much of everything. But this was a welcome change from what I've come to expect from the trope, and I can honestly say I didn't anticipate for this story about a global sensation boy band to make me feel so much. Code Red paints an incredibly realistic picture of the physical and emotional toil of fame and touring on the lives and wellbeing of stars (and the crew behind-the-scenes). MADDOX As the face of the band, Maddox has the world’s expectations on his shoulders. It’s easy to dismiss his troubles as insignificant when he supposedly has it all, but through Maddox’s struggles, we see that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We meet him when he’s already a shell of the young kid who played around with music in a garage with his friends. Everyone puts him on a pedestal, and as a diehard perfectionist, he completely internalizes those expectations. He must perform every dance move on point, sing perfectly—failure is not an option. There is no excuse for disappointing fans. Roscoe is the only one Maddox allows to see the real him. At times, he can almost feel too dependent on Roscoe but I saw it more as a cry for help than anything. Especially as his frustration builds when events reveal what little control he actually has over his life. It's lonely at the top. And being part of a band since a young age, his whole identity is built around this persona. It's too easy to lose sight of himself when this is all he knows and it's as if the entire world has something to say. There were times when I’d just put down my tablet, stare into the distance, and think about how sad and empty he must feel inside. *insert woman protecting Kevin Hart meme here* I think these lyrics from Suga's Interlude: Shadow represent where Maddox’s head is at perfectly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV1gC... People say, there's splendor in that bright light But my growing shadow swallows me and becomes a monster Up high, high, and higher, higher I only go higher and vertigo overtakes me I rise, rise, I hate it I pray, I pray, hoping to be okay But despite this, Maddox has a backbone of steel and will not take disrespect lying down. When he has something to fight for, he turns full-on alpha male, and respect to him for taking absolutely no bullshirt when the safety of those he cares for is threatened 🙌 Points I loved : - N.R. Walker doesn’t have our beloved band members make the same harmful decisions that characters in other stories with the same trope often make. The five members of Atrous pledge at the very start to stay away from drugs, to never drink alone. All of them are genuinely good boys that you will want to protect from the dark side of society. (THE BROMANCE IS STRONG) - Love doesn't miraculously heal all wounds. Roscoe's presence by Maddox's side doesn't resolve his issues, not by a long-shot. Of course, having love and support nearby does make the pain more bearable, but we still see Maddox's mental state progressively worsen as the tour goes on. You know he's going to snap, it's just a matter of when. - No silly breakup scene, no OTT miscommunication. The worst we get is omission of the truth, but it's handled well imo. - The UST at the beginning had me sweating 😳 When Maddox flirts, he's relentless . (Poor Roscoe trying to remain professional at all times 😂) But you'd also find me aww-ing just as much over a simple gesture like handholding 🥺 A few notes: - This didn’t bug me personally, but the smexy scenes are glossed over for the most part, focusing more on the emotional connection than giving readers a play-by-play. So if you’re looking to buy a ticket to Smutfest 2021, you might want to check the next booth over 😆 - The story's told entirely from Roscoe's POV. - Taken from N.R. Walker's newsletter: "Roscoe looks a bit like Chris Hemsworth. He's tall, blond, well-built, and is often mistaken for Maddox's security. He grew up in a small town in Vermont playing ice hockey and moved to LA to experience the gay scene, sunshine, and city life. Maddox looks like Jeon Jungkook. Maddox is American born with grandparents from Japan and Europe. He has one sleeve of tattoos, he wears long black earrings. He sings like an angel, dances like the devil, and is utterly gorgeous. It's kinda easy to see why Maddox is head over heels in love with him." ☝️ For this last point alone, giving this a go is a no-brainer. ------- I did feel like a little something was missing from the narrative, but for what the characters managed to make me feel and for the author tackling such an important issue, my heart's telling me to bump the rating up. Our biggest takeaways: Paparazzi are garbage, y'all crazy folk on the interwebs need to take a chill pill, and famous people are human beings who aren't obligated to do anything for you 💅

  13. 4 out of 5

    ~✿ Maria ✿~

    I can totally see why this book received so many 4/5 star reviews but it just didn't click for me. Following the life of A-list mega-famous lead singer of the boy band Atrous ( think one direction type vibe ✨), Maddox and his personal manager Roscoe as they navigate a world tour and secretly following in love. Positives: First off, I wanna say how impressed I was by how realistic this portrayal of a celebrity life was. I will admit that pop culture and celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure so I lo I can totally see why this book received so many 4/5 star reviews but it just didn't click for me. Following the life of A-list mega-famous lead singer of the boy band Atrous ( think one direction type vibe ✨), Maddox and his personal manager Roscoe as they navigate a world tour and secretly following in love. Positives: First off, I wanna say how impressed I was by how realistic this portrayal of a celebrity life was. I will admit that pop culture and celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure so I love reading a good famous MC romance. Normally I have to use extended belief because authors will often write the famous MCs life to benefit the storyline (like not having people around so the romance can progress) but this book was the opposite. The boy band had people constantly around, personal managers, hairstylists, bodyguards, readers really get to see how even though life can be glamourous... it's also really shitty, isolating and controlled. N.R Walker did a fantastic job of really portraying the struggles and downfalls of fame. I really felt for Maddox who had so much pressure and eyes on him at all times. Niggles: While it was impressive in its portrayal...I think the realism was also this story's downfall ☹️ Since the story was only in Roscoe's POV, we spent SO much of the story thinking about scheduling, and safety protocols....like boring manager stuff and it felt so mechanical? There were so many work-related thoughts and scenes, it was a bit boring and took away from the romance. I also really wish we had gotten Maddox's POV since his struggles and life was the main focus of the plot, only understanding the situation from Roscoe's outside POV didn't feel like enough in my opinion. The epilogue was sweet, and I did love them together but overall the story left me wanting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ele

    *3.5 stars* I haven't liked a Walker book in ages but I enjoyed this one. I would have liked a bit more angst relationship wise. The tension was so GOOD in the beginning, I wish it had lasted more and the MC had gotten together later in the story. But it happened sooner than I expected and by the end things got dangerously close to becoming a big pile of goo. The off page sex scenes threw me off too. I think these niggles of mine won't be an issue for the fans of the author, though. But I tend to *3.5 stars* I haven't liked a Walker book in ages but I enjoyed this one. I would have liked a bit more angst relationship wise. The tension was so GOOD in the beginning, I wish it had lasted more and the MC had gotten together later in the story. But it happened sooner than I expected and by the end things got dangerously close to becoming a big pile of goo. The off page sex scenes threw me off too. I think these niggles of mine won't be an issue for the fans of the author, though. But I tend to like more grit in my stories so...

  15. 4 out of 5

    haletostilinski

    This was a new premise and venture for this author, and I was excited to dive into it. Overall, this worked for me. It had that wonderful Walker romance aspect to it that I just loved, so much so that the light steam, as Walker usually has in her books, I found more acceptable. I do wish we had gotten just a few more detailed sex scenes than we got, because after their first time a lot of it was either fade to black or described in a paragraph or two but not full on detail. Again, I wasn't too b This was a new premise and venture for this author, and I was excited to dive into it. Overall, this worked for me. It had that wonderful Walker romance aspect to it that I just loved, so much so that the light steam, as Walker usually has in her books, I found more acceptable. I do wish we had gotten just a few more detailed sex scenes than we got, because after their first time a lot of it was either fade to black or described in a paragraph or two but not full on detail. Again, I wasn't too bothered, because the romance was good enough that I didn't feel the story was lacking too much from the light steam, but I do wish Walker would sometimes do more with the sex scenes she does put in there, or put in a few more than what she does. Despite the light steam, I enjoyed Maddox and Roscoe together a lot. They had that chemistry, and once they got together, they were both all in, and despite not getting Maddox's POV, unfortunately, I felt his love for Roscoe really well. I was really happy that his feelings for Roscoe came across so well. Because in a romance if you're only gonna do one POV, the other's love for the POV character has to come across or else it'll just feel like something is missing and their feelings are hard to believe without their POV. But in this one it worked. I would have liked Maddox's POV, yes, but to me if a one POV romance book is able to pull off showing the non-POV MC's feelings well, then I'm ultimately okay with not getting it. Even without getting Maddox's POV, I felt his feelings for Roscoe, I totally believed that he was in love with him, and that he couldn't get enough of him. Actually, I honestly felt like at times Roscoe's inner thoughts were restrained more than Maddox's, that we heard him talk about and felt with how he reacted to things. Roscoe, I felt, tried to hold back because he wanted to be professional and follow the rules, so it actually ended up being Roscoe, at times, that I felt held back and we didn't get enough of that overwhelming love from. Interesting to see from the POV character, but that was who Roscoe is. I know he loved Maddox and wanted everything with him, but he was his manager, had been for 4 years, and he wanted things to work for Maddox and was very "we have to follow the rules, even if we are together behind closed doors." So with that attitude came a certain distance, I think. He had the thoughts of how much he loved and wanted to be with Maddox, but he held himself back so much, and he was the more level-headed of the two as well, so at times he felt like the one we didn't get enough from. That's how I feel, anyway. Now, I did have some niggles that made me rate this down to 4 stars instead fo giving it 5 stars: - I felt like this got to be too long. Not too much, but at times it was very "they went to this city, that city, this city on the tour and did this, this, and that" and at times it didn't feel necessary, and dragged out this story and made it even a little slow at times when it didn't need to be. I think, at least, that Walker was trying to go for showing Maddox's slow breakdown - it wasn't too bad, but the (view spoiler)[pressure and expectations, coupled with his anxiety (hide spoiler)] eventually got to him, around 80-ish, 85-ish percent. I think that's what she was going for, anyway. The harder it got for Maddox and the more determined he was to pull through it regardless, eventually it had its effects and such, so I get that. It just...I think it could have been shorter still. Written in a more succinct way. Trim this down at least 50 pages. Some things in this book were just...not that exciting or too intricate to the plot or to Maddox and Roscoe's relationship, so I personally didn't see why some things needed to be there, and in the end they dragged this story down at times, made it too slow. Most of the story was good with pace, and I enjoyed the majority of it. But there was just times when it slowed down, which made it take longer for me to read this. - I felt like things went too easy with their label. Maybe not all big labels are money sucking, greedy assholes who don't care about the well being of their artists (trying to give the benefit of the doubt here), but their label was presented as one that at times just cared more about the money than them. Actually that the majority of the time they did. And that they put too much pressure on the band and didn't give a fuck. But Maddox (view spoiler)[has his breakdown (hide spoiler)] and all the sudden it's just that easy for things to change? I didn't buy it. I feel like if a label was that bad, and let things get that far without a care for their artists, that they would try to save face for themselves and behind the scenes try to continue their bullshit. And I think Walker also just didn't go as into detail when things came to a head, and it made it seem like their label were the good guys. But I think when things came to a head, they conceded on things for their image and the money, but the book made it seem like they did it all out of the kindness of their hearts for the well being of their artists. Eh...I didn't buy it. - I actually wish the whole book hadn't taken place over the 7 week tour. I would have liked to have seen stuff outside of that tour, how the band and Maddox and Roscoe lived outside of when they were on tour. And also focusing on just the tour led to a lot of the same, which contributed to it being slow at times. I would have liked to have seen these two settling into their life together, how they got to the place where Maddox (view spoiler)[proposed to Roscoe. (hide spoiler)] and things like that. Seeing only their relationship primarily while in the confines of the tour, and only getting to be together behind closed doors and cameras off didn't leave enough time to just see them being a couple in love doing couply things. I wanted more of that. So, just a few niggles, but they were enough for me to give a full star off. I enjoyed this a lot, but I just didn't quite love it as I had hoped to. Another thing I did like though, was Walker showing the exhaustion, physically and mentally, this can give artists. In other singer/band romances I've read, it never really touches on what a long tour can do an artist, especially if they go all out on stage to entertain their audience. I've never even really thought about what it could do to someone physically, and I liked how Walker included that in this. It made it feel more realistic and like when Maddox (view spoiler)[reaches his breaking point, why this one aspect of it is part of the whole that brings him to that breaking point. (hide spoiler)] So overall, this was a good and enjoyable book from Walker, there were just areas in which it could have been improved, I think. Romance was still solid - although even that, I think we could have gotten even more of ;) - and the story was overall good and enjoyable. It just could have been better, in my opinion. Definitely still recommend it, two thumbs up from me!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    Am I a bit biased when it comes to books by my favourite authors? Hell, no. When a book is good, it is good. When a book makes you heart the characters with all your heart, it is good. When a 404 long book gets read in a matter of 24 hours because the writing feels like a blessing, it is good. When the character development and the plot of the story are so well done, it is good. When the chemistry burns you, it is good. When the story gives you the trending biggest K-pop boyband vibes and it gets so re Am I a bit biased when it comes to books by my favourite authors? Hell, no. When a book is good, it is good. When a book makes you heart the characters with all your heart, it is good. When a 404 long book gets read in a matter of 24 hours because the writing feels like a blessing, it is good. When the character development and the plot of the story are so well done, it is good. When the chemistry burns you, it is good. When the story gives you the trending biggest K-pop boyband vibes and it gets so real, it is good. That's it. *Content warnings for anxiety, panic attacks. I had a difficult time reading the book whenever one of the main character was struggling through the panic attacks. I had to close the book few times for a few hours each time as I was struggling reading these parts. I need the next book by the author. Please.

  17. 5 out of 5

    .Lili.

    I was pretty excited about Code Red; I love employer/employer romance. Maddox is the face of the biggest boy band globally, and Roscoe is the manager that is assigned to oversee him. Things I liked: -UST and longing. Walker was able to get those feelings across; there was no doubt that Maddox and Roscoe had feelings for each other. -We also got an insight into the world of boy groups. Everything she wrote is things that have been reported- how ruthless it can be. -I liked the secondary cast of ch I was pretty excited about Code Red; I love employer/employer romance. Maddox is the face of the biggest boy band globally, and Roscoe is the manager that is assigned to oversee him. Things I liked: -UST and longing. Walker was able to get those feelings across; there was no doubt that Maddox and Roscoe had feelings for each other. -We also got an insight into the world of boy groups. Everything she wrote is things that have been reported- how ruthless it can be. -I liked the secondary cast of characters, the camaraderie between them. -Loved how devoted Roscoe and Maddox were to each other. Niggles: -I wanted Maddox's POV. It felt like the story was centered around him and everything he was going through. To not get his POV felt to me like I was missing part of the story. -Sometimes, Maddox came across as younger than 23. Some of his actions came across as petulant. -The pacing was off between the last chapter and the epilogue. It came across as abrupt. Steam... you know, I'm not going to lie, I could've used more. There is a little but mainly fade to black. Hear me out, these guys have been longing for each other and finally get to act on their attraction- more passion was warranted. I am filing this under just me. 🤷🏽‍♀️ I've struggled with what to rate this book. The things I loved, I really loved. The lack of Maddox's POV really bothered me. I didn't skim and didn't think about DNFing. I'll go with 3.75-4 Stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    BWT

    Sweet and lovely. I liked the characters and though it took me a little while to get into the story, once it clicked I was hooked. Single POV, contemporary romance, with heat, a bit of laughter, and a lovely HEA ending.

  19. 4 out of 5

    NicoleR.M.M.

    This book is a romance. That means a guaranteed HEA or at least a HFN. While reading the book, you wonder how Maddox and Roscoe will be able to find that. Will Maddox be able to handle his anxiety and his loneliness, his exhaustion and depressive feelings in a way that will allow him happiness while he continues to be the most popular member of a world wide famous boyband? Even though Roscoe appears to be everything Maddox needed, grounding him and give him the stability he needs, you wonder how This book is a romance. That means a guaranteed HEA or at least a HFN. While reading the book, you wonder how Maddox and Roscoe will be able to find that. Will Maddox be able to handle his anxiety and his loneliness, his exhaustion and depressive feelings in a way that will allow him happiness while he continues to be the most popular member of a world wide famous boyband? Even though Roscoe appears to be everything Maddox needed, grounding him and give him the stability he needs, you wonder how he can overcome the terrible feeling he is owned by the record company, owned by the management, unable to be true to himself, unable to voice his own choices and make his own decisions. Nobody is willing to listen to whatever he wants, what he thinks. He feels like a caged animal in a circus and that feeling won't magically disappear because of love. N.R. Walker wrote a romance and at the same time she's giving us readers an insight look in how the music industry handles popular boybands. Making as much money as possible as long as it lasts, exploiting the boys, taking all decisions without giving the boys a voice in what they want... In addition to all that the boys are expected to be working their asses off, even to the point that their health is threatened. They are making lots and lots of money (and so does their record company), but there's obviously a price to be paid. Fans break every rule when there's a chance they can take a picture of their hero, magazines, tv-shows, social media exploits every rumor to gain viewers. It isn't all the glitter and glamour we are used to see. And when you read this book, even though it's fiction, you can't help but feel for Maddox, despite everything he seems to have going for him. Yes, he wanted to be a famous singer when he was sixteen. But he never could foresee what would come of it and when you have lived a life like him for the past years, you can almost feel his exhaustion. The only reason he is able to go on are the other boys in the band, who feel like brothers to him, and the fact that he still enjoys being on stage and giving his best. But his body has been giving signals for a long time, warning him that he is heading towards a burn out if he doesn't put a stop to the madness. It all comes out when Atrous (the band) is on a concert tour. We watch Maddox try and hold himself together, but the only way he manages to do so is with help of Roscoe, his personal manager, and one he has come to like more than a lot for the past four years. Without realizing how Maddox feels about him, Roscoe has been having the same feelings towards Maddox, but he should be off limits. They are having a working relationship and it wouldn't be acceptable if it would turn into something else. I loved how both Roscoe and Maddox fought for their relationship. How they were honest with each other and wanted to be honest about them with the people surrounding them. Their life together was one rollercoaster of emotions. I loved how they took care of each other, looked after one another, even when it was almost impossible to do that due to the overall management and the record company. They were so good together, you can't image them with someone else and finding the same love and trust. This book reminded me strongly of the book Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich wrote, which will be released in December If This Gets Out. I read an ARC of that book and it covers about the same allegations towards the exploitation of boybands. I find it a very interesting topic. The story is told only from Roscoe's pov and though there is some heat in the book, quite some scenes are fade to black. It didn't bother me, somehow it suited the story perfectly. I know I can be picky about some little details, and I had some in this book: - the use of the word 'meters' to indicate how far a person stood from another one. I'm not American, but I don't think Americans use the word 'meters'? - if Maddox's father was from Dutch descend, his surname should be Dutch, which isn't. But maybe Kershaw is his alias? - Robbie Williams is not a very well known guitarist, nor is he popular in the States. So his signature in the guitar shop seemed a bit out of place. But that's all me with my little detail picking ;) I would surely recommend this book. It's written in N.R. Walker style, which means feelings and emotions and serious health issues, which she does very well. Both mc's are very likable and you care for them more and more, with every page you turn. Specially if you are interested in Boybands, maybe even are a fan of one, you really should read this book. It's eye opening for sure. I kindly received an ARC from the author and this is my honest review

  20. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    DNF ~33% This book was fighting an uphill battle from the start. While I've read/enjoyed romances focusing on musicians, it's not generally my favorite trope, and based on the reviews I saw, I wasn't feeling super hopeful. It also doesn't help that the last... five? books of Walker's that have come out have been misses for me, and I've not truly enjoyed one of her new releases in well over a year... she might be joining the (sadly ever growing) ranks of authors who no longer seem to be doing it f DNF ~33% This book was fighting an uphill battle from the start. While I've read/enjoyed romances focusing on musicians, it's not generally my favorite trope, and based on the reviews I saw, I wasn't feeling super hopeful. It also doesn't help that the last... five? books of Walker's that have come out have been misses for me, and I've not truly enjoyed one of her new releases in well over a year... she might be joining the (sadly ever growing) ranks of authors who no longer seem to be doing it for me. So, I was already nervous, but the concept did seem up my alley, so I gave it the old college try, but I couldn't proceed. It didn't start off great--the writing her felt quite choppy and repetitive. We were immediately treated to quite a lot of exposition detailing every single thing the characters did. I was unimpressed, but soldiered on. I wasn't wild about only getting one POV--I suspect if I'd read on this would have become more of an issue, which isn't always the case, but here it seemed a detriment to not have Maddox's POV--nor being thrust into the story well after feelings had developed, as the build is sort of my favorite part of a romance; I think it detracted from my sense of investment, but again, not a dealbreaker. I thought I might be able to at least get through the book, but ultimately I found the dynamic was a little troubling. It's made clear that Roscoe could very well lose his job if he gets involved with Maddox, and then he basically disregards this entirely in a way that strained credulity. I love power dynamics, but here they felt super uncomfortable. Maddox doesn't really seem to understand or respect the fact that Roscoe could lose his job, and also that, as part of his job/somebody who cares about him, he has to consider things like exposure/safety that Maddox might not like--get the fuck over it. Maddox came off as quite immature, but also with some very clear mental issues that he wasn't getting help for, and Roscoe knowing this and deciding that, instead of insisting he get help, decides that getting into a relationship with Maddox, who has said that he feels Roscoe is the ONLY person getting him through the day, is a good idea. It was selfish to the point of recklessness and it felt unbelievable from a character we're clearly supposed to view positively--to me, it was skeevy. And maybe this is all address and it's actually not that bad, as I ended up stopping before they actually had sex because I was so uncomfortable with everything, but yeah, not for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ariana

    It was alright but didn’t rip me off my seat. And yeah, I know this isn't a popular opinion. Sorry guys! Basically, I’ve had my fair share of the ‘troubled rock star’ trope and have avoided the topic for quite a while. However, I was curious to see what N.R. Walker would do with it. While I liked how the romance between Maddox and Roscoe unfolded, I found the plot as such a little ‘bland’. The events around the concert tour get very repetitive, and although this will be mostly realistic, it didn’t It was alright but didn’t rip me off my seat. And yeah, I know this isn't a popular opinion. Sorry guys! Basically, I’ve had my fair share of the ‘troubled rock star’ trope and have avoided the topic for quite a while. However, I was curious to see what N.R. Walker would do with it. While I liked how the romance between Maddox and Roscoe unfolded, I found the plot as such a little ‘bland’. The events around the concert tour get very repetitive, and although this will be mostly realistic, it didn’t make for a captivating read. (imo) I really really wanted to hear Maddox POV. He is the troubled one and his thoughts would have aided a little bit more grit and angst to an otherwise very tame story. The main problems between the MCs are caused by ‘lying’, an issue that comes up again and again throughout the book. Tbh, I have to say that in some instances for me the ‘lying’ was more a case of ‘protecting’, and I found Maddox’s reaction sometimes over the top or inappropriate. Not sure why I felt a little bit at odds with Roscoe. He is caring, thoughtful and does a good job with Maddox, He is around 30, but I’m not convinced that matches his emotional maturity. His regular ‘Holy shit!' comment eventually made me role my eyes, and I wanted to shout “For God’s sake, get this into perspective!” a couple of times. On the whole, I guess, everything and everyone felt a bit superficial, and much is seen through rose-tinted spectacles. Like for example this: The 'boys' in the band are like brothers. They support each other, love each other and never argue. And at 23 they're so well behaved, it's totally unbelievable. Certainly a nice, light read, but for me, this could have been so much more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    JESSI ☾

    Code Red is not a story full of angst where you are just begging for the two main characters to get together. This was a story about a man whose whole world was crumbling around him until that one person who had been there all along finally showed him that he was valid for just being who he was. Not the rock star, not the rich guy, not the hot guy but just the guy who liked rainstorms, quiet time and old westerns. Maddox was such a beautiful character. You could really feel his emotions even whe Code Red is not a story full of angst where you are just begging for the two main characters to get together. This was a story about a man whose whole world was crumbling around him until that one person who had been there all along finally showed him that he was valid for just being who he was. Not the rock star, not the rich guy, not the hot guy but just the guy who liked rainstorms, quiet time and old westerns. Maddox was such a beautiful character. You could really feel his emotions even when you really didn't know what was going on with him 100% yet. Left feeling like he wasn't supposed to have these problems because on the surface he had so much before anyone knew he was slowly spiraling down a hole that he didn't know if he would ever make it out of. Roscoe was the heart of this story for me. I loved every one of the band members, the other managers and even Ambrose came around in the end, but Roscoe was who I fell for. He was always there for Maddox, not once faltering even when a lot of people would have walked away. Even when he was put in uncomfortable positions, he always had Maddox's back. One of my favorite things about this story was the characters relationship progression. They had both been skirting around their feelings for one another for years and right when Maddox needed Roscoe the most was when their time finally came. It is true what they say that no one can save you unless you save yourself, but it is so much easier to save yourself when you have someone in your corner. Five heartfelt stars for Code Red!! Maddox and Roscoe's love might not have had the "epic" quality that people were hoping for, but it felt so much more real than that. In books the relationship doesn't always have to be the biggest thing that a couple fights for, and N.R. Walker proved that.

  23. 4 out of 5

    misz lei

    ***So many rereads its not funny anymore*** Have you found your comfort book? I have and this is it. Whenever I feel sad, alone, overwhelm by everything that's happening in this world, I pick up this book. ...and I'll be fine❤️ This is NOT the hottest book i have ever read and If you know me i love hot sexy time in my book. But with this ,the trade is so worth it. I love the scene where these two guys just hold hands. Where Roscoe just kissed maddox head and go to sleep.I found the scene where Roscoe s ***So many rereads its not funny anymore*** Have you found your comfort book? I have and this is it. Whenever I feel sad, alone, overwhelm by everything that's happening in this world, I pick up this book. ...and I'll be fine❤️ This is NOT the hottest book i have ever read and If you know me i love hot sexy time in my book. But with this ,the trade is so worth it. I love the scene where these two guys just hold hands. Where Roscoe just kissed maddox head and go to sleep.I found the scene where Roscoe simply kissed Maddox lips, cheeks,eyelids so sensual than any other sexual part of this book. I'm not a fan of slowburn but I love how the author takes time to build the relationship between the two MC's. Their scene together always felt intimate and serene. We only got Roscoe POV and we never get Maddox POV but it works for me. I. Love. it I think it made everything beautiful, warm and comforting. How I wish I can get a paper back copy of this book one day. *original review “𝑾𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆’𝒔 𝒏𝒐 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒃𝒂𝒏𝒅, 𝒏𝒐 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒏𝒐 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒂𝒏𝒔? 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆?” I don't understand why this book is not popular... I read some super hype book, so much publicity stunt but ended up to be a̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶p̶l̶e̶t̶e̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶s̶h̶. But this gem of a book, just sits there quietly, smiling, hoping someone will take notice. This story was beautiful. The characters are bright and shining stars. I enjoyed every second of it and I whined when I have no more pages left to read. I didn't want it to end. 𝑰 𝒌𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅. “𝑰 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒐 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉, 𝑴𝒂𝒅𝒅𝒐𝒙.” “𝑳𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖, 𝒕𝒐𝒐.” “𝑮𝒆𝒕 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒔𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒑, 𝒃𝒂𝒃𝒚.” “‘𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖,’” 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅. “‘𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒖𝒔, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒚 𝒎𝒆. 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒔𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓.𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝑰’𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆.’” 𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒍𝒃𝒖𝒎. 𝑰 𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒉𝒊𝒎. “‘𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒔, 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒆.’” Thank God I don't usually read reviews and Mariam was super stingy when it comes to spoilers. Had I known this book deals about mental health issue I would have never touch it. Why? Because the last book I read about mental health made me want to drink arsenic😓 But this book was amazing! It didn't sugar coat the issues and did not romanticize it. It was gritty and realistic. Their struggle was painfully beautiful. I'm glad there was no m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶ ̶d̶i̶c̶k̶ that heals and the approach was real. Maddox and Roscoe love for each other was simply amazing, deeply profound. Solid. "𝑰 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒚 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅. 𝑰𝒏 𝒎𝒚 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅, 𝑰 𝒌𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒏’𝒕 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅. 𝑵𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒆𝒍𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍, 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒂 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒃𝒍𝒖𝒓. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐𝒈𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓, 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕? 𝑴𝒚𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒊𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒏𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑹𝒐𝒔𝒄𝒐𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒅.” Sometimes, all we need is someone we can turn to, someone to hold hand, someone we can kiss. “𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒅 ‘𝑪𝒐𝒅𝒆 𝑹𝒆𝒅,’” 𝑴𝒂𝒅𝒅𝒐𝒙 𝒔𝒂𝒊𝒅. “𝑰 𝒘𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒂 𝒇𝒆𝒘 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌, 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒏𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝒉𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒍 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎. 𝑾𝒆 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑹𝒐𝒔𝒄𝒐𝒆’𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒂 𝒌𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒎𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒂𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔,” 𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒂𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒆𝒅, 𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒂𝒓𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒅. “𝑨𝒏𝒚𝒘𝒂𝒚, 𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒔𝒍𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒊𝒎 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆, 𝒈𝒐𝒅𝒂𝒘𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒇𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆.” 𝙻𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚍𝚘𝚎𝚜𝚗'𝚝 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍s 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝. 𝙸𝚝 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚎 . This will be added on my keeper shelves forever❤️ ________

  24. 4 out of 5

    Santy

    Brilliant... I've not read an N.R Walker book in a while and this book just showed me the errror of my ways. She has a way of making you feel the emotions the characters are feeling and this was no different. I loved Roscoe and Maddox's journey into something more. They faced immense pressures from all sides but still managed to come out victorious. I enjoyed every single moment of the book. I know this is a standalone but really, Madam author, how could you introduce us to characters as interestin Brilliant... I've not read an N.R Walker book in a while and this book just showed me the errror of my ways. She has a way of making you feel the emotions the characters are feeling and this was no different. I loved Roscoe and Maddox's journey into something more. They faced immense pressures from all sides but still managed to come out victorious. I enjoyed every single moment of the book. I know this is a standalone but really, Madam author, how could you introduce us to characters as interesting as Jeremy, Luke, Blake, and heck even Steve and Ambrose and not expect readers like me to want more? I mean it's impossible. Lol. I will be waiting and hoping that we get more from these guys because I'm READY for so much more

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    What a crap name for the band- Atrous! How do you say that?! Atrowse, Atroose? I haven’t got a clue and it drove me mad. I could ignore it for the first 30% because I really liked how Maddox and Roscoe (another weird name in my opinion) started to get together. It was cute and I liked that they both had liked the other for a while. But once they were together, it was all a bit boring. The last 50% was pretty uneventful and Maddox was so ‘deep and feeling’ that I rolled my eyes a few times, he was s What a crap name for the band- Atrous! How do you say that?! Atrowse, Atroose? I haven’t got a clue and it drove me mad. I could ignore it for the first 30% because I really liked how Maddox and Roscoe (another weird name in my opinion) started to get together. It was cute and I liked that they both had liked the other for a while. But once they were together, it was all a bit boring. The last 50% was pretty uneventful and Maddox was so ‘deep and feeling’ that I rolled my eyes a few times, he was such a sap!! I ploughed through but definitely wouldn’t recommend to my GR friends. Xx

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Dnf @ 58%. This is a favorite author for me but I’m bored with the story. ☹️

  27. 4 out of 5

    Liya

    Captivating, emotionaI and real. I loved this book from start to finish: organic relationships development, strong genuine feelings, true friendship, compelling tour description, mental struggles that require work and are not magically healed by love. The book is told solely from Roscoe POV but I could clearly see Maddox through his eyes, both MCs are fleshed out and lovable. Secondary characters are great as well, especially the other band members and Steve - the bodyguard. A total winner, whol Captivating, emotionaI and real. I loved this book from start to finish: organic relationships development, strong genuine feelings, true friendship, compelling tour description, mental struggles that require work and are not magically healed by love. The book is told solely from Roscoe POV but I could clearly see Maddox through his eyes, both MCs are fleshed out and lovable. Secondary characters are great as well, especially the other band members and Steve - the bodyguard. A total winner, wholeheartedly recommended

  28. 5 out of 5

    This Is What I Read (Nitzan)

    Amazing book! The sentence written on the cover of the book best describes it "The brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow" The book deals with though subjects in a very human and authentic way. I love N. R. Walker's writing and was really excited to get an eARC of this book, which will be published on 24.6 Amazing book! The sentence written on the cover of the book best describes it "The brighter the spotlight, the darker the shadow" The book deals with though subjects in a very human and authentic way. I love N. R. Walker's writing and was really excited to get an eARC of this book, which will be published on 24.6

  29. 4 out of 5

    Toni K

    This is ...juvenile? I don't get it. So, we have a boy band that is not a boy band - rock /pop /rap, which is it?! All of them are super nice and super good friends, there are no drugs and alcohol (they are 23 years old).... And nobody parties once after a concert?! There are no grupies, no significant others, no anything. The front man is in love with his manager, a big surprise. He doesn't meet anybody else! Of course he doesn't feel seen, he doesn't have other human contact... I'm at 40% and This is ...juvenile? I don't get it. So, we have a boy band that is not a boy band - rock /pop /rap, which is it?! All of them are super nice and super good friends, there are no drugs and alcohol (they are 23 years old).... And nobody parties once after a concert?! There are no grupies, no significant others, no anything. The front man is in love with his manager, a big surprise. He doesn't meet anybody else! Of course he doesn't feel seen, he doesn't have other human contact... I'm at 40% and really don't feel like finishing as nothing is making any sense. This author continues to not work for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I don't usually like to read about celebrity romance, but I'm giving it a try because is NR Walker. I still can't bring myself to finish it because there are simply too much details on the celebrity life. Is like watching a behind the scene thingy. I don't even listen to radio or watch tv show anymore for years. So is really ME and not the book. I don't usually like to read about celebrity romance, but I'm giving it a try because is NR Walker. I still can't bring myself to finish it because there are simply too much details on the celebrity life. Is like watching a behind the scene thingy. I don't even listen to radio or watch tv show anymore for years. So is really ME and not the book.

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