“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” ~ Flavia Weed
The worst way to try to solve any problem is to run away from it; but this is exactly what Surya Patel, of 'Moonstruck' by M.J. O’Shea and Piper Vaughn, does when he gives in to temptation and sleeps with Emmanuel Cortez (Em). Surya and Em had been flirting, but Surya had never been in a sexual encounter with a man before. When it happens, he doesn't process it appropriately. That wouldn't be so bad if he called later and explained and apologized. Instead, he leaves Em hurting, wondering what he did wrong. A year later, Surya is offered a huge business opportunity, but hesitates because it will mean he has to see Em again and doesn't know if he can handle it. Surya finally accepts the offer, still uncertain about how things will be between him and Em.
After several setbacks, Surya decides he wants to be with Em. Em is hesitant with good reasons, but he's in love with Surya so he agrees to “hang out” as friends only. This inevitably leads to them becoming lovers in private, friends in public, which Em is less than thrilled with. Surya was raised in a strict East Indian family where appearances are everything. When he and Em finally get together, Surya has no idea how to tell his family. Only his younger sister knows and is sympathetic to his plight. Instead of telling his family, Surya decides to lift the “just friends” rule and begins to be more openly affectionate with Em in public. Unfortunately, this maneuver blows up in Surya's face when his parents show up at his door with a fiancée in tow. Worse yet, Em is the one to open the door. His mother starts a cruel verbal assault that floors Em. He asks Surya about the fiancée, but Surya assures him that he is not engaged, that it's just a ploy to drive Em away. Surya begs Em to stay. Em tries to ride out the storm, supporting Surya as much as he can, but Surya's mother continues to batter him. It's just too much. Surya's family is adamant; it is either them or “that man”. Not wanting to be what comes between Surya and his family, Em decides to leave and stay away.
For weeks, the men battle with their feelings. Em not wanting Surya to resent him sometime down the road for ending his relationship with his parents; Surya, because he feels that Em deserted him when Surya needed him the most. He needs support and Em chose to avoid getting hurt or being blamed by running. Both men are miserable but unable to overcome their feelings of betrayal and guilt. Instead of trying to talk it out, regardless of how much it hurts, they choose to avoid each other, causing even more anguish, making them wonder if their feelings are worth it. If they can't get over themselves and learn to appropriately communicate without worrying about the outcome, they will never be able to be together.
If I have ever wanted to knock two men's heads together, they would be Surya and Em's. They let fear, guilt, blame, outside influences, and expectations ruin the precious feelings between them when all they needed was to be honest with each other. Fans of the series will understand this statement: When things get so bad that Nicky Ventura “bad boy extraordinaire” is giving Surya advice about his love life, then it's beyond serious. I enjoyed visiting with Jesse and the other members of the bands. It's good to see that their lives, also fraught with trials and tribulations in the past, still seem to be going well. If you like angst, misunderstandings, family pressure, rock bands, music, repentance and redemption, you may enjoy this story. Thanks, M.J. and Piper, for another great rocker story.