Zoey Derrick’s 69 Bottles series is one of my favorites, that’s no secret. Defining Us, the 6th and last of the series was by far some of the best writing that Zoey Derrick has ever published. Eric and Calvin, aka Peacock and Mouse, have been the members of 69 Bottles that have been quietly sitting back in the series and waiting for their time to shine. I fell for both of them in the first book and I will admit asked Zoey with every book after “So when will Calvin and Erik get their book?”. Let me tell you, the wait was well worth it.
Calvin is a man haunted by a painful past filled with unspeakable horrors all because of a father who could not accept a gay son. For years he played the role of the heterosexual playboy taking woman after woman. What people saw was what he wanted them to see. What he thought he should be. What he was forced to be. If only he could as easily pretend his feelings for his best friend and bandmate Eric were only of that, friends. What he feels for Eric goes beyond that, but something in him won’t let those feelings come to the surface and certainly not out to the public eye.
Eric came out to all the members of the band in the last book and everything changed for him and his relationship with his best friend Calvin. They have both skated around their feelings for each other for years and now Eric is tired of fighting it. He wants Calvin and knows he won’t be happy until they are together. What Eric finds out about Calvin’s past explains the constant push he gets from him, and it may be enough to keep them apart forever.
I cannot begin to explain the emotional hangover you’re going to have from this book. There are very few authors out there that can write M/M and keep you engaged beyond the sex. There are even fewer authors out there that will hint at the social, emotional, and physical atrocities that the gay community faces. Zoey Derrick not only touched on the subject, she jumped in head first and made sure that the reader had no choice but to join her. Defining Us was heartbreaking, inspirational, uplifting, romantic and so damn sexy at the same time you won’t know whether you want to cry or take a cold shower, sometimes both at the same time. A story for everyone, a story of true love overcoming all obstacles and being loved for who you really are.
I could go on and on about Defining Us, but once you’ve read the first 5 books in the 69 Bottles series, you will be jumping at the opportunity to read Eric and Calvin’s story.
If I could give this 10 stars I would, but I will settle for the 5 that I can. Bravo Zoey Derrick, you are a simply amazing!
Defining Us: The Story of Calvin & Eric is a Standalone, Full Length Novel. Can be read without reading the other books in this series.
Loving someone completely means giving them your heart, soul, body and mind. What happens when your heart and soul love someone, but your mind and body refuse to follow?
For Calvin Caldwell, being the lead guitarist of America’s hottest rock band 69 Bottles has its perks. Performing night after night with his closest friends, he finds peace with a guitar in his hands. Playing music wipes away his unimaginable past, albeit temporarily. He struggles not only with who he is as a person, but with who he wants to become and what he is hiding.
Being in love with someone certainly isn’t the problem. He’s been in love for a long time, but what defines him is what keeps him from the person he loves.
Seeing something you so desperately want, but can’t have…
Eric Richardson knows exactly what he wants out of life.
He wants to play bass with his friends because performing gives him a high better than any drug he’s ever used. Being on stage is where he feels most comfortable.
But what happens when being on stage is no longer enough to satisfy him? What happens when the person he loves, doesn’t love him in return?
You fight for it.
You define it.
You prove it.
A rock band, A tour bus, One wild ride…
***CONTENT WARNING ***
This book is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18 due to the following content and more: M/M sexual content where nothing is off limits. So If two men turn you on or give you a reading rush other books can’t, then this books is for you.