Monday, December 4, 2017

No Place Like You (Cloud Bay #3), by Emma Douglas

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250111029, December 2017

Zach Harper and his sisters are the children of Grey Harper, late leader of the band Blacklight. Since Grey's death, his former bandmates and his three grown children have all, in various ways, been struggling. Zach has spent the last year playing for a new band. The youngest sibling, Mina, has gotten married after some hardships of her own, and middle sibling Faith is planning her own wedding.

A friend of the siblings, Leah Santelli, is sound engineer at Harper Studios on Lansing Island, but has ambitions to be a producer. She needs a break, a way in to the ranks of producers. When Zach comes back to Lansing to make a solo album, she hopes Zach's album can be that break.

The problem is that she and Zach have a romantic history. She doesn't want to rekindle that history, not because she's over him, but because she isn't. The "don't rekindle romance" goal is of course doomed from the beginning, but that's just a piece of the problems and challenges they face. The Harpers, Grey's former Blacklight bandmates, and their friends on Lansing Island make a large, complicated, and often disfunctional family.

The main story here is Leah and Zach, but there's a lot more going on around the edges. Former Blacklight band member Billy may have problems of his own that haven't come out yet. The Harpers have been told by the lawyers handling their father's estate that there was a $5 million payout by Grey to someone, six months before his death. Other things lurk in the background. This is the third book in the series, but clearly not the last planned.

I like the Harpers and their friends. The character development, and the relations between them, are interesting and well done.

Sadly, I found that I don't care about rock stars' romantic lives. Not even a little bit.

That's really not a criticism of the book. I don't think my annoyance with that aspect of it was a function of the writing. I think it's a function of what I do and don't care about. There's enough that's very good about this book to make me believe that a lot of people will like it a lot better than I did. So bear that in mind.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley.

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