by Ann VerWiebe, for FolkAlley.com
Sharing its title with a bluegrass tune, Take Me for Longing is a new romance novella from Felice Fox that makes good use of the world of traditional music. The story revolves around Nic, the mandolin player for the Taylors, who has been disgraced by a thinly veiled character in a romance written by a young woman he met – and entranced – at a summer festival years earlier. They didn’t have a relationship then, but sparks fly when they meet again after Nic’s escape to California.
In her book, Fox has created in Nic a man who has been pushed to the outside of his own family band by the perception of an event that never really took place. Bluegrass is an unusual genre that includes multi-generational family bands – many of which (like the Taylors) have built a reputation as a conservative, family-centered voice. This is what slips Nic up. If he played bass for Kiss, no one would care if he marriage fell apart. In fact, he would probably be flattered to find his way into a romance novel.
When Nic drives his (rather posh) tour bus to California to be closer to his ex and his son, he runs into June, the woman who wrote the offending book. And sparks fly! June loves bluegrass (there are lots of scenes of people jamming on the beach) and she feels equally bad about breaking up the Taylors with her fiction.
Fox knows her music – bluegrass is never treated as an oddity, she obviously is a fan. One of the book’s themes is the connection between June and Nic, but another is the conflict growing out of the past and future of bluegrass. Two more books are planned in the series. WARNING: there are several scenes of explicit sexy sexiness (if you’ve read a romance novel, you know what I mean). This would be the perfect book to read between sets at Telluride this summer. As long as you’re not part of a super-conservative family band.