“Diminished” by Bianca Sommerland gives us a different perspective of the complicated relationships in the band that has clawed its way out of the morass it was in due to the guilt and self-destructive behavior caused by the tragic death of their leader. The healing has a ways to go, despite the leavening influence of Danica, and the perspective introduced when Shiori Ayase auditions to join the group threatens to disrupt any progress made. The progression that she is a catalyst for is both uncomfortable and admirable, as several of the characters come to face hard truths, especially after her unexpected bombshell. It was lovely to see Brave’s journey to fight his way through his demons and figure out what he values.
This angsty but compelling story is a sequel and it is important to start with the first in the series in order to appreciate the conflicts and how the band has begun to mature and grow into a true showcase for its members’ talent. I get frustrated with some of the actions and miscommunication between the various characters but that gives the story even more realism. There is a nice balance between the wickedly spicy intimate scenes and the glimpses of the stress and challenge of traveling on tour, forced into close quarters despite conflicts. The support staff provide an interesting counterpoint and a bit of mystery but it is heartwarming to see how well things mesh when everyone focuses on the important things and dare to show vulnerabilities. Some of the characters are not quite fleshed out enough for my tastes but I enjoyed some of the twists and turns in this tale and look forward to seeing some of the other guys find their happiness as well.
This contemporary erotic story is the second story in the ‘Winter’s Wrath’ series and follows Shiori Ayase as she pursues not only a dream but a means to support her young nephew. Getting intimately involved with the members of the band was not on her agenda, but she finds it difficult to resist the allure of Brave Trousseau, not to mention her rapport with Malakai. Each of them has pain and damage from the past to overcome, but perhaps they can find a way to work through their issues…if they can keep the band together for long enough.
When Shiori Ayase comes across a casting call to dance on stage for Winter’s Wrath with a model she idolizes, she jumps on the chance. She needs this opportunity to break free from the control of her stepfather, and she made her sister a promise on her deathbed. One that involves learning if the Trousseau brothers are the type of men that can be trusted. What better way to find out than by spending a few weeks with them on the road?
Brave Trousseau has to face the damage he’s done to the band in his efforts to push his younger brother away. But then his goddess, a young woman with a sharp wit and moves that drive him crazy, joins the band on tour to take over the sexy performance meant to entice the crowd, Brave ends up more than motivated to be on his best behavior.
Unfortunately, he’s not the only one enchanted with the girl. Malakai Noble, the band’s bassist, has always been a strong, steady presence at the core of Winter’s Wrath, but he’s now become Brave’s most bitter rival. How can Brave show he’s changed with Malakai's constant reminders of every mistake he’s made? With the band on the line, and Shiori stealing her way into his heart, maybe there’s only one way to prove he’s the better man. And that’s by letting her go.