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Music Lights & Never Afters

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THIS IS A STANDALONE ROCKSTAR NOVEL. Some blades cut deeper than others. When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage. I had it all, until that very first cut. Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but THIS IS A STANDALONE ROCKSTAR NOVEL. Some blades cut deeper than others. When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage. I had it all, until that very first cut. Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but not as bad as the betrayal I felt from Andy. I admit I went a little crazy when they passed away. I isolated myself, pushed away everyone I could, and it worked. I was free from the confines of expectations, but that high only lasted so long before the second cut came. Andy gave me my space. Even though I asked for it, it wasn’t what I wanted. It was almost as if the connection we shared, all the late-night conversations, and laughs evaporated. And now, five years later, when I feel at least halfway decent about my life and the music I create, she calls me, asking me to meet him—her new fiancé. Some blades cut deeper than others, but that one completely bled me dry.


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THIS IS A STANDALONE ROCKSTAR NOVEL. Some blades cut deeper than others. When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage. I had it all, until that very first cut. Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but THIS IS A STANDALONE ROCKSTAR NOVEL. Some blades cut deeper than others. When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage. I had it all, until that very first cut. Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but not as bad as the betrayal I felt from Andy. I admit I went a little crazy when they passed away. I isolated myself, pushed away everyone I could, and it worked. I was free from the confines of expectations, but that high only lasted so long before the second cut came. Andy gave me my space. Even though I asked for it, it wasn’t what I wanted. It was almost as if the connection we shared, all the late-night conversations, and laughs evaporated. And now, five years later, when I feel at least halfway decent about my life and the music I create, she calls me, asking me to meet him—her new fiancé. Some blades cut deeper than others, but that one completely bled me dry.

30 review for Music Lights & Never Afters

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.L. Matthews

    MUSIC LIGHTS & NEVER AFTERS is coming February 8th! BLURB: Some blades cut deeper than others. When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage. I had it all, until that very first cut. Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but not as bad as the betrayal I felt from Andy. I admit I went a little crazy when they passed away. I is MUSIC LIGHTS & NEVER AFTERS is coming February 8th! BLURB: Some blades cut deeper than others. When I was younger, that saying never made sense. I was the child of a famous musician living my best life, learning talents of my own, and making the world my stage. I had it all, until that very first cut. Losing my parents was only a nick in the dumpster fire that became my life. Their death hurt, but not as bad as the betrayal I felt from Andy. I admit I went a little crazy when they passed away. I isolated myself, pushed away everyone I could, and it worked. I was free from the confines of expectations, but that high only lasted so long before the second cut came. Andy gave me my space. Even though I asked for it, it wasn’t what I wanted. It was almost as if the connection we shared, all the late-night conversations, and laughs evaporated. And now, five years later, when I feel at least halfway decent about my life and the music I create, she calls me, asking me to meet him—her new fiancé. Some blades cut deeper than others, but that one completely bled me dry. PRE-ORDER HERE: UNIVERSAL Trigger Warnings Sexual assault, self-harm, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression, anxiety, haphephobia, pseudo-incest, mild-cheating (not between the main characters), gaslighting, and isolation. There are sexual situations with honorifics, sadism, masochism, humiliation, knife play, breeding fetishization, exhibitionism, gagging, drool play, blood play, edging, edge play, orgasm control/denial, belonephilia, intercrural sex, hematolagnia, voyeurism, degradation, and random object usage. If you’re feeling suicidal or like you need to self-harm, there are places to help. For self-harm crisis hotline: Text HOME to 741741 For the suicide crisis hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255

  2. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Brand

    Motherfucker this book was so goddamn good. Holy hell balls. I’ve always been a fan of CL Matthews since I read her reverse harem series but Jesus she fucking blew it out of the water with this one. This book has a shit ton of triggers please take them seriously because while it isn’t a super dark book deals with extremely dark situation ranging from self harm to addiction and death. If these are not things that you can handle being spoken about in detail please do not read this book. This book is Motherfucker this book was so goddamn good. Holy hell balls. I’ve always been a fan of CL Matthews since I read her reverse harem series but Jesus she fucking blew it out of the water with this one. This book has a shit ton of triggers please take them seriously because while it isn’t a super dark book deals with extremely dark situation ranging from self harm to addiction and death. If these are not things that you can handle being spoken about in detail please do not read this book. This book is about Madden and Andy who are a placebo aunt and nephew. So not super taboo but it definitely skims the edge. Rockstar romance where both characters have extreme past traumas ranging from abandonment issues to substance-abuse. Throughout this book the two characters not only grow but learn to deal with the different issues that they are both facing not only as a couple but individually. It is well written and captivated me almost right away. The spice is fucking phenomenal. (There’s Pegging!!!) The tension between the two characters is palpable and every interaction between Madden and Andy is packed full of angst, lust and so much emotion. This book releases February 8 and is a definite must read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}

    ***5 "Razorblade Kisses!!!" stars*** OUT NOW!!!! "Little Demon I'm coming for you. Little Demon I know you feel it too. Shh, Little Demon, we'll be together soon." I have to admit that the beginning was rocky for me... Honestly, I was soooo frustrated, but guess what??? This certain story might be my most favorite of this author!!!! I freakin' loved it, even though it had a ton of triggers inside of it... Still... I wouldn't change anything... Madden and Andy got under my skin and they made me ***5 "Razorblade Kisses!!!" stars*** OUT NOW!!!! "Little Demon I'm coming for you. Little Demon I know you feel it too. Shh, Little Demon, we'll be together soon." I have to admit that the beginning was rocky for me... Honestly, I was soooo frustrated, but guess what??? This certain story might be my most favorite of this author!!!! I freakin' loved it, even though it had a ton of triggers inside of it... Still... I wouldn't change anything... Madden and Andy got under my skin and they made me feel along their side... And god, I felt everything in the biggest degree!!! Hurt, pain, abandonment, sadness, love, lust, addiction, helplessness... I was constantly balancing between Heaven and Hell, but I freakin' loved it!!! "They say not to fear touch, they must not know how cruel it can be." -Madden Black There were some taboo ingredients in here... Andy and Madden were aunt and nephew, but not really... Also, Andy was older from Madden by three years... Both of these where matters that someone could see as taboo, but they weren't an issue for me... These two loved each other very much, but these small details that I mentioned above were breaking their hearts over and over again... They had crossed the lines in the past a handful of times, still... they tried to pretend that nothing ever happened and it was so sad to witness their struggles... And then tragedy striked and everything changed for both of them!!! "Between our secrets in the the dark, where our lips met and our bodies shared moments, we were bound to ruin each other." Five years forward, Madden is living the big life, but not really... Sadness and grief are still cutting him deep. He is lost and it doesn't seem that there is a light at the end of the desperation's tunel. He had pussed away the two persons that ever meant something to him, and even though he tried to live without them, there is a big gap inside his chest... When Andy is reaching out to him after so long, he doesn't know what to think, but when she is asking him to meet her fiancee, he can not stay away from her longer... He has to know if what they shared once upon a time meant something for her too!!! "Pain was like an abusive lover, you always came back to them, hurting, sorrowful, but they repeated their harmful actions. Wash. Rinse. Repeat." Now, Madden is getting back on Andy's life when she is starting to think that she has control over it. She is about to marry a guy who is ticking all the boxes. But why her heart is still craving the forbidden fruit??? Madden is back and the intensity between them is even bigger than before... She needs to take a decision and it is both the easiest and the hardest decision of her life!!!! Can these two become something more when everything are falling apart around them??? "If we were the sickness, I'd let it crawl up my veins. There wasn't a moment that I'd want the antidote. No cure could fix what we infected into ourselves over the years." These story gave me all the feelings in the nth degree... I fell in love with Madden and Andy, even though they were both broken beyond repair... My heart was aching for them... My body was humming when they were together... My mind was praying for their happily ever after... These wasn't an easy ride... It was soooo hard to witness all this destruction.... Don't take lightly the triggers warning!!!! There are happening too many savage and cruel things in here... The brokeness of these people was too much to handle from time to time... Still... I fell in love with their broken pieces!!! And I will never forget their story!!! "You make me crazy and sane at once. You wind me up and unravel my very existence. You heal a part of me and rip the other part to pieces..." If you have no hesitations, just enter and allow yourself to break freely. I promise you that at the end, Madden, Andy and the rest of the crew will put you back together... Yep, the triggers in here are too many, but this is a story that definitely deserves your attention!!! "Little demons make the heart beat faster." **I received an ARC for the exchange of an honest review**

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    First off, I would just like to say this is hands down the best thing that CL has written to date. This is taboo/forbidden (adopted aunt and nephew) and filled to the brim with toxic angst, emotions, crazy hot spice, mental health issues and so many possible triggers. While staying with his 'aunt' Andy, tragedy strikes their family, Madden is inconsolable and runs away from the only two people left in his life... Andy, who is around 3 years older then him, they grew up together and have always h First off, I would just like to say this is hands down the best thing that CL has written to date. This is taboo/forbidden (adopted aunt and nephew) and filled to the brim with toxic angst, emotions, crazy hot spice, mental health issues and so many possible triggers. While staying with his 'aunt' Andy, tragedy strikes their family, Madden is inconsolable and runs away from the only two people left in his life... Andy, who is around 3 years older then him, they grew up together and have always had this tension between them, and his best friend Carson. Years later, Andy is set to get married and wants Madden to meet her fiancé before the wedding. Madden is a wildly famous and destructive rockstar, following in his fathers footsteps. He hasn't spoken to Andy since he left. He can't deal with his emotions, he is essentially a shell of himself. But through all the pain he has been through he still loves Andy, in his own way, and agrees to see her. The relationship between Madden and Andy is intense, savage and a roller coaster of emotions. They crave each other but Andy is still with her fiancé. Madden gives her an ultimatum and Andy doesn't know what to do. But the heart wants what it wants, so Andy flees and goes on tour with Madden and his band. Their story is filled with passion and pain, sometimes its so gut-wrenching you have to take a minute to collect yourself before continuing. But its also filled with overwhelming love and desire. This also has to be one of the most diverse books I've ever read (LGBTQ+ and POC representation) and I was loving every minute of it! And the spice!! AHHHH! Don't even get me started. There are a TOOON of triggers in this story, so PLEASE read those at the beginning of the book and don't take them lightly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rumi

    Currently dying and only 20% in. ETA: At this point I'm just dead. RTC when I get my shit together and can stop thinking about these two and all the other secondary characters long enough to formulate some actual thoughts and opinions. Currently dying and only 20% in. ETA: At this point I'm just dead. RTC when I get my shit together and can stop thinking about these two and all the other secondary characters long enough to formulate some actual thoughts and opinions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rosie Alice

    It took me a day to put words together to review this book. This was my first book by CL Matthews and it will not be my last. The emotions this author was able to pull from me were things I had buried long ago, and I found myself welcoming them with open arms. This story - these characters - are going to stick with me for a while. This book was un-put-down-able. The complete range of feelings that were forced upon me whilst reading this was unexpected and completely insane. I rarely find books tha It took me a day to put words together to review this book. This was my first book by CL Matthews and it will not be my last. The emotions this author was able to pull from me were things I had buried long ago, and I found myself welcoming them with open arms. This story - these characters - are going to stick with me for a while. This book was un-put-down-able. The complete range of feelings that were forced upon me whilst reading this was unexpected and completely insane. I rarely find books that are able to poke at triggers for me, because I don't have any, but the sheer and utter emotion in this book was triggering, but in a way that was welcomed. This story ripped me open, poured salt on my wounds, and after a long cry, stitched me back together again. The range of diversity and inclusivity in this book was out of this world. Almost all types of humans were represented in this novel, and it was overwhelming & beautiful. The chemistry between the two main characters was undeniable. It was explosive, creative, and gorgeous. They were two pieces of a puzzle - two solo pieces that could only exist if the other fit with them. The side characters in this book have you gripping the edge of the table for more, giving you tastes of their own personalities and backgrounds that you're aching to know more. I wouldn't be disappointed if this group of characters lived on forever, in an endless series so they were all able to speak. Please, check triggers before reading - and if you are comfortable with all that the author has listed, go in blind from there. This story will shape people, it will bring people together, and it's the exact type of romance book that is going to change the future of this industry. *Thank you Cassie, for the ARC - you are a wonderful human.*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Anderson (Beauty.and.the.bookies)

    "Little demons make the heart beat faster" MY. FREAKING. HEART. This book, wow. So gut wrenching. So hot.. So emotional. So EVERYTHING. This book was everything to me! I not only devoured this book, I consumed it, breathed it, LIVED it. This book was life! I loved Madden before his world came crashing down, but I fell deeper IN love with him after it happened. His love for Andy, OHMYGOD. I could only DREAM of someone being that devoted to me. His possessive nature, even at the age of 15, the way "Little demons make the heart beat faster" MY. FREAKING. HEART. This book, wow. So gut wrenching. So hot.. So emotional. So EVERYTHING. This book was everything to me! I not only devoured this book, I consumed it, breathed it, LIVED it. This book was life! I loved Madden before his world came crashing down, but I fell deeper IN love with him after it happened. His love for Andy, OHMYGOD. I could only DREAM of someone being that devoted to me. His possessive nature, even at the age of 15, the way he took control, I just melted. I am a puddle now. Just call me Frostitty the snowchick. I connected to him on so many levels. His pain OMG HIS PAIN WAS UNBEARABLE AT TIMES. “I’d rip it out if I knew there was something after life." That line stuck with me so much. And Andy, wow. I could NOT have picked a better woman for him if I had chosen her myself! Two people could not be more fated to be written than these two souls right here. "She was the ending I wanted, even if the road was heady." C.L. Matthews had my anxiety ramped up at the halfway point with Andy. I was wondering "is she going to go through with this?" "What is happening, the time is getting wayyy too close" I mean COME ON MY HEART IS ON THE LINE HERE! But then...then.. OMG. The jacket 😭 and then seeing him walking slow toward the plane like that, not knowing, THAT CRUSHED ME. Why does Madden's pain hurt me so bad? I just love him SO much. You will too just wait. Madden is my favorite character C.L. Matthews has ever written hands down. He has so many layers, I could go on and on. And the crazy part is, I LOVED LOVED LOVED Andy! She was freaking incredible. But man, my love for him just shines too bright I can't see in front of me. His love for Andy is what got me going everyday. "He loved me without words. He loved me without touching. He loved me without remorse." Let's get into the nitty gritty. Because let me tell you, this author CAN WRITE some hot XXX scenes. WOW. The sex. The foreplay. The freaking taboo smut filled tingle down under I had during this entire book because the spicy hot chemistry between these two never waned. EVER! Even when they just SPOKE to one another it was like an aphrodisiac. THE GUITAR PICK? What a great idea! THE FREAKING STRAP ON. HALLELUJAH. Also, THE SPIT. GOOD GOD. THE SPIT. I had to change my panties after that. Done. They were gone. The foreplay and sex between these two was just absolute "chaos" ;) "You taste like the missing words in my lyrics." I LOVED that Madden didn't waste any chance to throw in that "nephew" name. It made me weak in the knees. All the kinks. ALL OF THEM. CAN CL MATTHEWS WRITE ANYTHING NOT FIVE FREAKING STARS?? THIS BOOK LEGIT KEPT ME UP FOR DAYS!!!!! I DREAMT OF IT LAST NIGHT!!! Also let me just throw in the fact that there was an Amanda in this book *hair flip* Also also, I LOOOVVEEEEE THE BAND, ROYCE, THE GIRLS AND CARS!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!!!!!!!! I neeeeed more books with them!!!!!! That middle, wow it drove me to the edge of a cliff and left me dangling for a bit. I just have no words for all the ANXIETY I had. But seeing everything come together, with that whole last part, just, made my heart freaking GALLOP! I am sitting here with my heart skipping. "She made me feel."-- That right there is really all the words needed. “One day, you’ll be reminded why living was so important to them.” 😭 Oh yea, this review is long. Oops. 5 stars? 5 stars? PSSH. MORE. This has been my favorite book now this year and I don't know how anyone will top it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anita _booktoread

    This is unabashed, emotional turbulence that’ll kick you in all the feels. From falling in love to heartbreak & tragedy. From abandonment to reconnecting. I felt this all on such a deep level. Because Cassie can write the emotion and the disconnect I had no issues with her trigger warnings. Even though there are some that make me cringe and squirm Cassie wrote them into the story well. I loved the broad assortment of characters too, not just race but sexual orientation and poly-love too. I love th This is unabashed, emotional turbulence that’ll kick you in all the feels. From falling in love to heartbreak & tragedy. From abandonment to reconnecting. I felt this all on such a deep level. Because Cassie can write the emotion and the disconnect I had no issues with her trigger warnings. Even though there are some that make me cringe and squirm Cassie wrote them into the story well. I loved the broad assortment of characters too, not just race but sexual orientation and poly-love too. I love that Cassie doesn’t make me feel ashamed about my needs or desires also- she hit nearly all my kinks and more in this book and I truly loved that. For those that have ever lost a parent or parental figure in your life, there are parts of this book that will burn. But the growth and closure that Cassie delivers at the end is exquisite. For all the rough times that she puts us through she really closed it out perfectly in the last 15% of the book. Thank you Cassie for sharing your heart with us. ARC received for an honest review. PS, I love finding my name in a book, even if it’s only a once off. It’s not the most common of names so I haven’t seen it much anywhere.

  9. 5 out of 5

    The Romantic Rush Blog

    Are you ready to be ripped to shreds?! No one quite marries the tintillating appeal of forbidden taboos with heartripping emotional angst like CL Matthews. This story is rife with heartache, grief, love, and longing- yet mired in the toxic, dark, and damaged romance within there is a beautiful tinge of hope and optimism. Hope that we can work our way through our demons, that we can accept the fullest parts of ourselves even if others see them as wrong, that we can find the true essence of our be Are you ready to be ripped to shreds?! No one quite marries the tintillating appeal of forbidden taboos with heartripping emotional angst like CL Matthews. This story is rife with heartache, grief, love, and longing- yet mired in the toxic, dark, and damaged romance within there is a beautiful tinge of hope and optimism. Hope that we can work our way through our demons, that we can accept the fullest parts of ourselves even if others see them as wrong, that we can find the true essence of our being from within our own hearts….and in the ways our hearts connect with others. CL has the magic touch of delivering stories that are soulfully emotive while also pushing me to the edge of my comfort, pushing me to question myself. She explores characters and themes that others might shy away from - dynamics that feel less “accepted.” And in that vein, prepare yourself- this is not really a “rockstar” story. Her stories are designed to both unsettle and challenge- but also to highlight our sameness. How the shared human experience of pain and heartache supersedes all differences. She’s a bold and unapologetic story teller- and as such, this book is loaded with characters whose identities or whose approach to romance might not be that that is the typical “trope”- and that is what makes it so authentic and powerful. And she’s also not scared to explore the depths of pain, trauma, and heartbreak- in particular, the ways in which our demons impact both our minds and bodies. There are topics and experiences in this story that many might fight triggers- though others might appreciate an unflinching look and the worldview or experiences similar to their own. Our narrative is an interesting marriage of the psychologically dark character journeys CL is known for writing with the more plot twisting moments we’ve associated with her more recent work. It’s a turbulent and raw story, and at times I even had to put it down just because it felt so heavy. But that’s what I ‘ve always appreciated about her work- life, loving, LIVING isn’t always easy, it isn’t always “on trope,” and it certainly isn’t pretty. CL isn’t scared to help us find the beauty in the uglier parts of our humanity, in finding peace in the chaos.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Na

    I haven't read a book in a while yet, that pulled as heavily on my emotions than Music Lights & Never Afters. It's not an easy read, it's heavy. It's emotionally draining and played every chord of my emotions. This story is a well written masterpiece by CL Matthews! I haven't read a book in a while yet, that pulled as heavily on my emotions than Music Lights & Never Afters. It's not an easy read, it's heavy. It's emotionally draining and played every chord of my emotions. This story is a well written masterpiece by CL Matthews!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Hartman

    I keep trying to wrap my mind around this book when my mind was completely blown apart. The world and characters C.L. Matthews created were so real, full of flaws and hope and desires that spoke to me at a visceral level. The story had me so immersed that I felt all the pain and torment that Madden and Andy felt, being torn between what the world said and their need for each other, and I quickly became obsessed with Madden. C.L. Matthews wrote him in such a way that I simultaneously wanted to co I keep trying to wrap my mind around this book when my mind was completely blown apart. The world and characters C.L. Matthews created were so real, full of flaws and hope and desires that spoke to me at a visceral level. The story had me so immersed that I felt all the pain and torment that Madden and Andy felt, being torn between what the world said and their need for each other, and I quickly became obsessed with Madden. C.L. Matthews wrote him in such a way that I simultaneously wanted to comfort him and jump his bones. I loved the way Andy centered him and allowed him to show his tender side in a way no one else did. I needed them to have a happy ending the way I needed my next breath and was thrilled with the end result.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Murphy

    Heart- wrenching 💔… that’s what this book is. This book is such a rollercoaster of emotions it was hard to concentrate. This is Madden and Andy’s taboo story. Nephew and Aunt (not actual blood related). The story takes place through multiple years. Madden grew up as a famous rockstars son. Not really knowing what true love could feel like because his parents never showed it to him the right way as they were always gone on tour. Andy was adopted after Maddens dad became suddenly famous and lost h Heart- wrenching 💔… that’s what this book is. This book is such a rollercoaster of emotions it was hard to concentrate. This is Madden and Andy’s taboo story. Nephew and Aunt (not actual blood related). The story takes place through multiple years. Madden grew up as a famous rockstars son. Not really knowing what true love could feel like because his parents never showed it to him the right way as they were always gone on tour. Andy was adopted after Maddens dad became suddenly famous and lost himself into drugs and fame. Only 2 years older than Madden. After practically growing up with each other, their relationship blossomed. It seemed the more they were together, the less time they wanted apart. This story goes into depth with the pain, the struggles, the everyday crap people have to take when they feel so alone. Even famous rockstars with fame and fortune. Nothing is ever as it seems. The bleeding heart Madden has struck by the udder devastation he went through/is going though is so painstakingly beautiful and sad that I loved how he could still care for others. When the two finally overcome their struggles and come together, the fireworks are legendary and the whole world is nothing but shadows as they fall in love even more with each other. The multiple future epilogues were fantastic and truly made you love this story if you didn’t already… This book contains so many triggers. Definitely read with caution. Also, this book is very LGBTQIA friendly and includes MM. This was my first book by this author and will not be my last. *Overall 4/5 *Heat? 5/5 🔥 *First person POV (Andy and Madden) *Romance - eventually 4/5 *Intensity 5/5 *MF Romance *HEA? Yes!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Safaereads

    𝗥𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴; 5/5 ⭐️ 5/5 🌶 𝗧𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘀; Rockstar Second chance A tiny bit taboo🌚 Mental health awareness Drugs/alcohol,SH abuse LTBTQ+ friendly (Hero = pansexual , Heroine = Bisexual) “𝘼 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧.” I have been trying to write a review ever since I finished this amazing story but what do you say about a book you just want everyone to experience themself? The way CL Matthews opened up to give us Madden and Andy with all their real pain, just for that it deserves to be read. “𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙚𝙩 𝗥𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴; 5/5 ⭐️ 5/5 🌶 𝗧𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘀; Rockstar Second chance A tiny bit taboo🌚 Mental health awareness Drugs/alcohol,SH abuse LTBTQ+ friendly (Hero = pansexual , Heroine = Bisexual) “𝘼 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧.” I have been trying to write a review ever since I finished this amazing story but what do you say about a book you just want everyone to experience themself? The way CL Matthews opened up to give us Madden and Andy with all their real pain, just for that it deserves to be read. “𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙚𝙩 𝙢𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙞𝙣?” “𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙣𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡,” Pff this is hard to, I don’t know what to say about our broken rockstar hero, expect Madden black will consume you into his darkness so deep till you see the beauty in it and Andy is just oh so sweetly perfect?? 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚, 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙢𝙮 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮. I don’t even want to start about Cars, Memphis, Stony, Tays, Les, Royce and so many more that are all just as amazing. They are exactly what MaddenAndy always deserved. I do want to say the diversity in this book is 🔥👌🏼 This book has a lot of tr*gger warn*ngs so do read them before you start it! Last thing the 🌶 level is 🌚👌🏼

  14. 5 out of 5

    TINA

    So many layers, and beautifully written. I'm going to try to and be as honest with this book as I can. First let me preface that I love light-hearted books. I love dark books. I love sweet books. I love smutty books. And I love taboo books. I've read this authors RH series which I absolutely and unapologetically LOVE! Needless to say I'm a sucker for any kind of romance or love story. With that, here I go! I wish I could say the connection for Andy and Madden hit me right from the start. But hones So many layers, and beautifully written. I'm going to try to and be as honest with this book as I can. First let me preface that I love light-hearted books. I love dark books. I love sweet books. I love smutty books. And I love taboo books. I've read this authors RH series which I absolutely and unapologetically LOVE! Needless to say I'm a sucker for any kind of romance or love story. With that, here I go! I wish I could say the connection for Andy and Madden hit me right from the start. But honestly, it didn't. It took me to well over half-way through the book to start feeling their connection. Madden - I was so confused with Toland/Madden. I kept having to read back and forth asking myself "who the hell is Toland?" It took me a minute to figure this out. lmao. smh. Madden 'Part I' was so sweet. I fell so in love with his character by 5% into this book! He was brave and kind, protective and so fucking sweet it hurt. Madden 'Part 2' was a fucking hot mess. Hot being the operative word! I hurt for all the hurt he felt. It was obliterating. Andy - Her character was actually MUCH different than I thought she would be. I was thinking she was going to be this 'no fucks given' type character. Hot as hell (granted she is). But her character was so much more laid back, sometimes passive. Very easy going. I actually loved her character though. I had a really hard time with the "taboo" part of the story because in my head I kept saying "they are not actually aunt and nephew!" I get it was how society would still view it but for me I was like, this isn't wrong, just go with it!! LOL. And then we have Madden. There are literally two parts of Madden! It was a hard concept to go from Madden 1 to Madden 2 because he was so different! His emotional trauma was obliterating to my soul, just thinking of how he couldn't have anyone touch him! It was so heartbreaking seeing the emotional trauma he suffered. So lets get to all the societal norms, or rather perceptions of norm. I am an older reader, I'm likely not the normal reader demographic for this book. I have a pretty open mind. I actually love reading literature that goes against the norms because it's not something that I live and I'm curious. This author has a lot of layers in the book. A LOT. At one point I wondered if she was just trying to throw everything at me to get a reaction! I know that's not true and I know this author is passionate. It's why I love her writing. The book is very diverse with pretty much all aspects. If you are on the fence with the book, know that she doesn't hold back and doesn’t hesitate with what she writes. I hope you do read it though because the story, down to the bone, is actually a beautiful sentiment of a boy that was afraid to feel and a girl who would break through that barrier.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ara Zapanta

    Did one touch mean I couldn't breathe since it'd separate us? I never know how to write these reviews. The page seems a little daunting, when it comes to trying to describe how this book made me feel. Mostly because no amount of poetic verbiage will really capture what this novel has done for me, in more ways than one. I've connected with some amazing novels in the dark romance/contemporary romance genre for being able to bond with the traumas of the main character(s), but this one completel Did one touch mean I couldn't breathe since it'd separate us? I never know how to write these reviews. The page seems a little daunting, when it comes to trying to describe how this book made me feel. Mostly because no amount of poetic verbiage will really capture what this novel has done for me, in more ways than one. I've connected with some amazing novels in the dark romance/contemporary romance genre for being able to bond with the traumas of the main character(s), but this one completely fucking rocked my soul. C.L. Matthews gives us an emotional, sensual, lyrical masterpiece that does more than touch on themes prevalent in our times, but throws you right into the reality of it all--assault and rape culture, gender fluidity, identity, sexuality. Real, gritty, raw depiction of mental illness, addiction, drug and alcohol abuse, self harm, grief and loss, and the underbelly of the music industry... If you're not into angst, then this isn't the one for you. We get all the angst, but it isn't done in a way that romanticizes ignorantly, it's real. At least, speaking from a personal standpoint, I think it's quite accurate, and this novel made me feel ten million things. In ways that both threw me into some great discomfort, and also made me feel seen and held. But it's not just angst. There is also a fuck ton of forbidden spice. Temptation. Yearning. BDSM! Seriously, you will ask yourself if you are sad or horny, and the answer will be both. Besides the amazing forbidden love between the main characters, there is also wholesome, realistic friendships, and an assortment of struggles that, I think, will leave any reader feeling something. Seriously, I suck at writing reviews about five-star books that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I just know that Madden, Andy, and Cars now have a special place in my heart. And I will most definitely be consuming more of Matthews' works.

  16. 4 out of 5

    S ( Bookish.vibes.reads )

    WOWW I'm still trying to process what I finished reading just want to mention please take trigger warnings seriously if you have any triggers like self-harm and suicidal thoughts, etc. *Sigh* Cl Matthews never fails to impress me. Like every time i think this is my favourite of her she just keep getting better. Madden and Andy's story was of already two broken souls and if you add the rockstar and the taboo romance aspect into it, damn this is it. Loved it Loved it. When I tell you this is good👀❣ WOWW I'm still trying to process what I finished reading just want to mention please take trigger warnings seriously if you have any triggers like self-harm and suicidal thoughts, etc. *Sigh* Cl Matthews never fails to impress me. Like every time i think this is my favourite of her she just keep getting better. Madden and Andy's story was of already two broken souls and if you add the rockstar and the taboo romance aspect into it, damn this is it. Loved it Loved it. When I tell you this is good👀❣️ I mean it. Just keep in mind if you have any triggers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jax

    I’m not sure where to start with this book, there’s so many layers to it. I already knew based off the dedication of the book that this was going to crush me in the most beautiful way. The whole book has dark somber tones that put their fangs into you, refusing to let go. Madden is a tortured soul & Andy is his salve. It’s a forbidden love that takes dark twisted turns. You find yourself chasing down the characters highs and lingering in their lows. The artistry in metaphors that Matthews used ar I’m not sure where to start with this book, there’s so many layers to it. I already knew based off the dedication of the book that this was going to crush me in the most beautiful way. The whole book has dark somber tones that put their fangs into you, refusing to let go. Madden is a tortured soul & Andy is his salve. It’s a forbidden love that takes dark twisted turns. You find yourself chasing down the characters highs and lingering in their lows. The artistry in metaphors that Matthews used are hauntingly poetic. I’m not sure what inspired this story, but it was all let out, laid bare & raw. They don’t shy away from the honesty of how mental health affects our thoughts & drives behaviors. The story is balanced nicely with the spice (and holy hot tamales does it get spicy). It is also one of the most racially diverse & LGBTQ+ books that I’ve read and I loved every second of it. I would highly recommend this book, it will definitely be one that I will not forget. ⚠️ Please check triggers before reading, the Author has them available.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Stars ▷ ✨✨✨✨/4 stars Spice ▷ 🌶️🌶️🌶️/3 chili peppers POV ▷ Dual Rep ▷ 🌈 Queer Diversity! (Both with gender and orientation) S/S ▷ Standalone Themes/Tropes ▷ MF Coupling/Contemp/Rockstar/Taboo (adopted aunt) Triggers ▷ Please check the TWs provided inside the book! Trad/Audio ▷ Traditionally read/ARC This one was filled with so much angst I needed a few days to collect myself. ITR WAS SO GOOD! Our poor baby beans have to fight for their HEA but it's certainly there. Stars ▷ ✨✨✨✨/4 stars Spice ▷ 🌶️🌶️🌶️/3 chili peppers POV ▷ Dual Rep ▷ 🌈 Queer Diversity! (Both with gender and orientation) S/S ▷ Standalone Themes/Tropes ▷ MF Coupling/Contemp/Rockstar/Taboo (adopted aunt) Triggers ▷ Please check the TWs provided inside the book! Trad/Audio ▷ Traditionally read/ARC This one was filled with so much angst I needed a few days to collect myself. ITR WAS SO GOOD! Our poor baby beans have to fight for their HEA but it's certainly there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Raaaiss

    I thought this was a really good book. It had a nice story, delicious spicy scenes🥵 and made various difficult subjects discussable. I liked how protective madden was with his friends and their bond with each other. I also thought it was nice to read that despite his parents almost never being there for him, he cherished their moments and loved them very much. But best of all was reading how madden and andy managed to find their way back to each other after all they'd been through. I thought this was a really good book. It had a nice story, delicious spicy scenes🥵 and made various difficult subjects discussable. I liked how protective madden was with his friends and their bond with each other. I also thought it was nice to read that despite his parents almost never being there for him, he cherished their moments and loved them very much. But best of all was reading how madden and andy managed to find their way back to each other after all they'd been through.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    “No matter music, lights, and never afters, Andy here right now trumped it all. She was the ending I wanted, even if the road was heady.” WOW! Madden and Andy are… they’re EVERYTHING! I loved them. Taboo, forbidden rockstar romance, angsty steaminess. There are MANY, many trigger warnings. Personally, I didn’t even read them, but if you have triggers of any sort, you probably should read them. Music Lights & Never Afters wasn’t an easy read by any means. You have to be a very open person to trul “No matter music, lights, and never afters, Andy here right now trumped it all. She was the ending I wanted, even if the road was heady.” WOW! Madden and Andy are… they’re EVERYTHING! I loved them. Taboo, forbidden rockstar romance, angsty steaminess. There are MANY, many trigger warnings. Personally, I didn’t even read them, but if you have triggers of any sort, you probably should read them. Music Lights & Never Afters wasn’t an easy read by any means. You have to be a very open person to truly enjoy C.L.’s beautifully written story. This book is full of diverse characters and I seriously loved it. Madden and Andy are “related” and I use that word loosely because she’s his adopted aunt, therefore not blood related, and they’re very close in age. So, while at first, it may seem a bit weird, it really isn’t. At least it wasn’t for me. While this story is full of chaos, heartbreak, tragedy – it also shows a couple that learns to grow with each other, overcoming many obstacles. The growth between these two is amazing. They're kinky little freaks and I love them. They're MINE. You can't have them. You can read their story, though. And love them, too!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    oh sooo good! This book is a must read!! You will absolutely fall in love with Madden/Toland/Reavers!! A beautiful boy who falls in love with someone forbidden!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Randi Wicker

    Wow. This book literally had everything. Madden was a force. He truly was such a good person who just had a rough upbringing. I’m so glad he got his happy ending with the family he always wanted and the person who would love and embrace all his wild fantasies. I loved Carson’s character. I cried multiple times when it came to their story and struggles. I’m so glad that we got to see cars come out of their shell. I would love a book devoted to their story! I would also be interested is a book abo Wow. This book literally had everything. Madden was a force. He truly was such a good person who just had a rough upbringing. I’m so glad he got his happy ending with the family he always wanted and the person who would love and embrace all his wild fantasies. I loved Carson’s character. I cried multiple times when it came to their story and struggles. I’m so glad that we got to see cars come out of their shell. I would love a book devoted to their story! I would also be interested is a book about Royce. I feel like you hinted at it! & Andy. My goodness what a character. I felt for her. Settling for someone you don’t love but is comfortable.. is such a sad reality for a lot people. I’m glad she found the passion she so desperately needed & deserved. This book has such good spice and had me melting on multiple occasions….. but the topic of mental illness and the insight of people accepting their identities… this really is what made this book a 5 star book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen's Utterly Unashamed

    RTC! But... As long as you check and are ok with the triggers, you want to read this! *********************************** I'm ready to let you all in on my thoughts of this book. So here goes: "You're an outcome of the life you've been offered." Ultimately, this book is about acceptance. Acceptance of yourself and others for exactly who they are and who they are meant to be. It's about gender fluidity, embracing kinks, finding pleasure, and living through pain. There is self harm, addiction, an RTC! But... As long as you check and are ok with the triggers, you want to read this! *********************************** I'm ready to let you all in on my thoughts of this book. So here goes: "You're an outcome of the life you've been offered." Ultimately, this book is about acceptance. Acceptance of yourself and others for exactly who they are and who they are meant to be. It's about gender fluidity, embracing kinks, finding pleasure, and living through pain. There is self harm, addiction, anguish, death, pain and sorrow. There are hurtful words but there are also so many moments of deep grace and love. These characters wade through the impossible task of giving credence to the family they were born into and creating a family with the people who love them most. There is lyrics, blades, drugs, alcohol, tattoos, blood, secrets, fights, and sex-lots of sex. The steam...holy hell...it is off the charts. "I wanted to kill her with my cock and resurrect her with my mouth." "-it was as if he caressed each word, opening a lover's legs with his virulent tongue." And as if that weren't enough to convince you, this story is all told through the eyes of a woman who loves a man she fells like she shouldn't...her rockstar. Nothing upstages a rockstar. "I wrote Little Demon to detail my feelings about a person I could never truly have. While she was mine, she was never allowed to be." It isn't always easy to read. Their pain and hurt and issues run deep but you will feel it all with them and when you get to the end, the epilogue will make it all worth while. Instagram | My Blog | Facebook\

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alison Gilbert

    What an amazing story!! I do wish there will be more books featuring these characters. There was just enough taboo and darkness to be perfect! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Angie M.

    I don’t know what to say, I’m all feels right now. I adored this story! This book shows Madden & Andy dealing with all sorts of situations - grieve, loss, society norms, depression, anxiety and more - and was written in such a manner that it makes this story tragically beautiful. The diversity and inclusivity also grants extra points. I loved the side characters just as much as I did the main couple (with the exception of one or two lol) And more extra points because the spice was phenomenal! Ye I don’t know what to say, I’m all feels right now. I adored this story! This book shows Madden & Andy dealing with all sorts of situations - grieve, loss, society norms, depression, anxiety and more - and was written in such a manner that it makes this story tragically beautiful. The diversity and inclusivity also grants extra points. I loved the side characters just as much as I did the main couple (with the exception of one or two lol) And more extra points because the spice was phenomenal! Yes, it was forbidden love with a touch of taboo, but Mads & Andy are already on my list of “favorite book couples”.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Doris

    Intense With Taboo Subjects This book was extreme in every area it touched. The emotional turmoil tore at my heart. The chemistry between Madden and Andy was beyond everything imaginable. There aren’t words for the struggles that Madden had to endure. Taboo subjects were the main theme of this story. Madden grew up with a rock star father and a mother that followed her husband around the world leaving Madden behind sometimes by himself or with his adopted aunt and his best friend, Carson. Lines ar Intense With Taboo Subjects This book was extreme in every area it touched. The emotional turmoil tore at my heart. The chemistry between Madden and Andy was beyond everything imaginable. There aren’t words for the struggles that Madden had to endure. Taboo subjects were the main theme of this story. Madden grew up with a rock star father and a mother that followed her husband around the world leaving Madden behind sometimes by himself or with his adopted aunt and his best friend, Carson. Lines are crossed and tragedy strikes throwing Madden into a tailspin. This was an intense book that kept me wondering if there ever could be a HEA. I will be checking out this author’s work again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    My little demon😭❤🔥🤤🥵🤘

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy Sheridan

    This book was PHENOMENAL! So many amazing tropes!- Rockstar romance, dark elements and forbidden/ taboo. This story ripped me apart but in the end it was worth it because it also put me back together. Madden and Andy practically grew up together and they’ve always had tension between them, she’s his Adopted aunt but they are only a few years apart. He goes to live with her and the tension only grows thicker but when tragedy hits them he runs away from the one person he truly wants. Five years la This book was PHENOMENAL! So many amazing tropes!- Rockstar romance, dark elements and forbidden/ taboo. This story ripped me apart but in the end it was worth it because it also put me back together. Madden and Andy practically grew up together and they’ve always had tension between them, she’s his Adopted aunt but they are only a few years apart. He goes to live with her and the tension only grows thicker but when tragedy hits them he runs away from the one person he truly wants. Five years later, Madden is following in his dad footsteps, he’s a rockstar and he gets a call saying Andy is getting married and as soon as Madden meets her fiancé he knows that she doesn’t have the life she needs or deserves. He gives her an ultimatum and she doesn’t know what to do because she’s scared that Madden is going to leave again but she’s also scared that if she doesn’t pick him she’d be settling. Their like magnets gravitating towards each other and it was so perfect to watch. They try so hard not to feel what they feel but the heart wants what it wants. The chemistry was explosive, hot, creative and so beautiful. Their the missing piece of each other’s puzzle. The relationship between them is intense, painful but yet passionate and it’s an emotional Rollercoaster that will have you crying but also swooning! There’s so much desire and love it’s unbelievable, it proves that you can love someone no matter what the world thinks. The spice in this book was fantastic!! Bdsm, degrading, praising and Maddens dirty talk was delicious🥵. I love that this story has lots of diversity with the characters sexuality and it was overwhelming beautiful! This book release February 8th! It’s a story you can’t miss out on!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Isha Karmakar

    A total 5 star from the bottom of my heart. This novel was just amazing. The two maun characters are so powerful. They are lost in there own way but that shows the the fire underneath their masks. I got obsessed with Madden so easily, than I could've imagined. The hurt, the lust, the love everything describes him in his own way and I loved that about him the most. In case of Andy, she was also hurt but refused to break for even one second. She is a strong powerful woman who needed a man like Mad A total 5 star from the bottom of my heart. This novel was just amazing. The two maun characters are so powerful. They are lost in there own way but that shows the the fire underneath their masks. I got obsessed with Madden so easily, than I could've imagined. The hurt, the lust, the love everything describes him in his own way and I loved that about him the most. In case of Andy, she was also hurt but refused to break for even one second. She is a strong powerful woman who needed a man like Madded in her life. I loved the writing style of the author. The spicy scenes, the storyline, beginning & ending, the past story of both of them, everything made it a perfect it for romance lover who are into dark, forbidden romance. Loved the way the author put the recisime problems in here and described her own thoughts about it through Madded. Really appreciate the hard work. The novel is really worth of trying. TW: You'll find self-harm, drug, overdose, rape and other sensitive topics in the story. If you are not comfortable with these, I would like to suggest you to skip it for your own good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Micheala

    Copy received from the author. Voluntarily reviewing and all opinions are objective and my own. I’ve been wanting to read a C.L. Matthews book for so long, and boy, I’m happy to have had the chance now. This was… wow. I literally have no words. A bit slow in some places, but for the moments when the plot was slow, the emotions (and writing) were there. I felt every single emotion the author conveyed between her characters. The writing itself *chef’s kiss* so poetic, so lovely--it made the book. Copy received from the author. Voluntarily reviewing and all opinions are objective and my own. I’ve been wanting to read a C.L. Matthews book for so long, and boy, I’m happy to have had the chance now. This was… wow. I literally have no words. A bit slow in some places, but for the moments when the plot was slow, the emotions (and writing) were there. I felt every single emotion the author conveyed between her characters. The writing itself *chef’s kiss* so poetic, so lovely--it made the book. It conveyed these emotions in a way so amazing I, again, have no words. Going into this, I hadn’t realized it’s a taboo romance. Honestly, I skip trigger warnings. So I was surprised, and pleasantly so, since it’s definitely a relationship not done in books too often. It’s one of many things that assist this book in standing out so much. Also, let’s chat about the steam. Um, yes please! That alone has hooked me to read other C.L. Mattew’s books. Everything you want is here. It’s 2sLGBTQ+ friendly, which was a lovely addition. I feel like it was a very natural addition--as it should be, and nothing felt forced with the characters, which is nice. I hate when authors try to force the relationship just to have it there. All in all it’s a book that’ll stick with me for a while

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