Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Reid MacKenzie and Jake King grew up on the Southside of Chicago, one dreaming of the day he can get out and one knowing that he never can.
Reid (Mac) MacKenzie’s parents came from Scotland, bought a pub and are very happy living in Chicago’s Southside. Mac is a musician and songwriter who hopes to one day make it but now he works part time at the pub and plays and sings on the Street of Dreams wearing a kilt. The kilt is quite an attention getter so he does pretty well. It is his best friend Skyler who will be instrumental in his success handing out flyers, calling clubs and making CD’s with Mac’s newest song.
Jake rules the neighborhood and like the other’s on the Street of Dreams Mac pays him for protection. Since they were kids Jake has always been in Mac’s face, now they have come to blows on more than one occasion but Mac doesn’t back down. Jake and his twin brothers are always together but it is their father Bruce who is the neighborhood gangster and deals in guns. Jake runs numbers and makes collections and the last thing he wants is to deal with guns like his father.
When I began reading this book Jake was not my favorite character, in fact I did not like him at all. Then we got Jake’s story of a brutal abusive father, a mom who was an addict and died leaving behind Jake, the twins and a one year old little boy Ben. Jake’s sole purpose is to protect his brothers and make sure that eight year old Ben has nothing to do with the family business. I am not going into all the details of his life but I went from not liking him to loving him.
In spite of how Jake treats him Mac has always had feelings for him but Jake is not someone you just go up to and announce that to. An alley, a dumpster and a young man is all it would take to start a relationship with Jake and Mac, a relationship that is dangerous if Bruce finds out but their feelings for each other just grows and for the first time in his life Jake has someone he can be himself with and trust.
As I mentioned before Skyler kept herself busy trying to promote Mac and she did an absolutely amazing job of it. She got him jobs singing in clubs and before long Mac’s dream was becoming a reality. Mac was popular selling out at each club until people began to recognize him and before a record producer knew he had a money winner. I am leaving out so much of the story because although his finding success seems great it came with a whole load of heartache.
Each of the previous books highlighted a different group and a different front man and their objective was to make it to Rocktoberfest in this book everything revolved around Mac and Jake and Rocktoberfest was secondary but of all the books this was my favorite. The characters had so much to overcome in their lives, the Southside of Chicago is a very dangerous area and one never knew what violence would break out at any given time. Jake was a part of that violence and life and Mac saw his life there as temporary.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough: a story of overcoming the odds, a story of never giving up and a story of love.