One of the jobs I like best in our genre is being a judge for the Rainbow Awards. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of reading Matthew J. Metzger’s YA story, Vivaldi in the Dark. Somehow I completely missed Matthew is a Brit. I have to make up for that now, especially as I see I have a new book to read in the series.
Out-and-regretting-it comprehensive attendee Jayden Phillips turns his cast-iron plans for life upside-down by falling in love with private-school violinist Darren Peace, a sardonic boy with the craziest hair Jayden’s ever seen.
But all is not what it seems, and Jayden’s bullying problem becomes meaningless when he is confronted with what the music does to Darren. How do you stop a dangerous depression rooted in the same thing that makes someone what they are? Dark moods, blank apathy, and the undertow of self-loathing all simmer beneath Darren’s dry and beautiful veneer, and Jayden feels powerless to stop them.
Then a mugging gone wrong takes the music forcibly away, and Jayden is finally given the chance to change Darren’s life — and, quite literally, his mind.
Three years after that first meeting in a theatre storeroom, Jayden Phillips and Darren Peace are separating for the first time, trading in school for the trappings of adult life. Jayden has achieved his dream of a place at Cambridge University; Darren has achieved his own of escaping the Cold War of home and tasting true independence for the first time.
A hundred miles apart and embarking on two very different paths, Jayden feels it is inevitable that time and distance will slowly pull them apart. School relationships, after all, don’t last. Darren disagrees — at first. Love is all they need, and they have weathered harder storms than chasing dreams.
That is until the separation, and the encroaching influence of Jayden’s new friends, begins to take its toll on Darren’s mental state. Alone, he descends in a rapid downward spiral that is finally arrested by one night and a drastic course of action. In the wake of a single unanswered phone call, Jayden learns that time and distance have the power to do much more than break a relationship.
The dream is over — and the reality is far, far worse.
Matthew’s Bio: Matthew is a character. Quite literally. He’s not actually real, he’s just kind of good at pretending he is. But he’s actually as made up as his books – elements of truth, but that’s about all.
Matthew is an author of primarily gay romance novels, both adult and young adult. He is looking to branch out into mainstream fiction, other non-traditional sexualities, and fantasy.
Matthew had two novels published in 2013, and so far has four contracted for 2014 release. That’s six books in two years. He doesn’t even want to think about 2015.