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Our Review

‘There’s no Limelight without me. I’m the songs, the voice, the passion, the pain. I’m the failure. Their curse, because they can’t let go…’

Alyson Santos doesn’t do a hearts and flowers rock romance with Limelight, instead she gravitates towards the gritty, raw and painful side of Jesse Everett’s creative genius. In fact, we’re hesitant to call this rock star a romance, yes, there is a love story at the heart of Limelight, but instead it’s secondary to a story that portrays the tormented side of Jesse’s musical talent. The camaraderie between the band and at its heart, the relationship between two brothers – one’s fight for a brother who threatens to spiral out of control, about to lose himself down the rabbit hole of addiction. Like Luke Craven (from Night Shifts Black and Tracing Holland) before him, Jesse Everett has quite the fight on his hands.

‘I didn’t get far last night before crashing. The music knows I’m a fraud and doesn’t appreciate when I rebel.’

Whilst characters from the Night Shifts Black series make cameo appearances, Limelight can be read as a standalone, though we admit, we did love catching up with the other characters, Luke Craven especially has come a long way since his tortured early days, and it was an added bonus meeting him again.

“You said you were done with me.”
“I said I didn’t love you.”

There is a fervid and intense anguish behind this story as we shared the painful cost Jesse paid for his creative genius. Jesse, the self-destructive front man behind Limelight is a plagued man who really does suffer for his art. Behind those genius songs is a man struggling with his past, allowing his songs to tell his haunting story. We briefly met Jesse in Tracing Holland and knew he had his demons whilst finding solace in drugs. In Limelight we’re exposed to exactly what causes Jesse to so often self-implode and the enemies to lover’s story between Jesse and music blogger Mila Taylor.

“What do you want, Mila? More of my soul to feed the masses?”

Mila Taylor is a well-respected music blogger. A lady so well regarded, she has the ability to make or break an artist or band, and she has Jesse in her sights. Mila acknowledges Jesse’s incredible talent but is frustrated by the front man’s lack of drive, and the constant drama he invites.  Jesse is in a writing and performing slump, blaming his lack of creativity and spiralling career on Mila’s article and despite advice to leave it alone, he responds to her comments and thus a cheeky interaction begins between the two resulting in them finally meeting where sparks fly.

‘I’m Jesse Fucking Everett. Tormented, broken, and gifted beyond reason. I’m on stolen year twenty-three. Twenty-three years of Life trying to beat my ass six-feet into the ground. But I’m breathing. Why? Fool me once. Even Mila Taylor can’t fool me twice.’

Can Jesse pull himself together before he self-destructs? All will be revealed in this intense, raw and emotional story. Whilst we did feel a little similarity in Night Shifts Black at times, and although it did take us a little while to connect with the story and the characters, there’s no doubt we were heavily invested in this story and its outcome…..most of the time with our hearts in our mouths.

“He’s okay.”
“But look at him! It’s like he’s not even here.”
“Yeah he got the music.”
“The what?”
“This is what happens when the music comes. He’s writing.”
“This is normal?”
“Nothing about my brother is normal.”

We love how Alyson Santos beats to her own drum, delivering rock star stories in her own unique, emotional and gritty way. Together with her knowledge and backstage view of the music industry, Alyson gives us an addictive series to add to our rock star recommendations!

“I want to stop running. Help me stop?”


I’m unpredictable.
A genius, an underachiever.
I’m the song, the voice, the passion, the pain.
I am failure.
I do music because it’s what I am, but sometimes that’s not enough.
A slave to my nature, I wait for it to show mercy and drop a gift in my lap.
Because the music chose me.
I’m its victim not its gift.

She destroyed my career.
Ruined my life.
Pushed me from the shadows and exposed my lies.
She’s the fire that destroys lesser men,
and now her flames are aimed at me.
She loves to watch me burn,
but the part we never saw coming?

Sometimes it takes a fire to ignite a spark
And slay the darkness.

An NSB standalone novel.

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