Volatile (Treacherous Chemistry #1) - Avylinn Winter
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Length: 72,000 words
The Violinist (Now called Volatile), won a Watty award in 2015 in the LGBT+ category. The Wattys is the world's largest online writing contest hosted once a year by Wattpad.
Like a depressed moth drawn to a wild flame, Chris hoped that flame would brighten his life, not burn him alive.
Chris Sinclair fades into a grey world after losing his mother to cancer. When forced to attend a concert as a last attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might not be as bleak as he first thought.
Dante Heron holds the audience between the tips of his fingers and the delicate bow, playing the violin as if every heart is his to command. However, something darker brews behind the façade, and Chris is determined to solve the enigma.
When Chris is offered the job of traveling around Europe with the famous violinist, he surprises himself by accepting. With no idea what awaits him, he's thrown into a world where emotions rule and rules are bent.
They're a perfectly dysfunctional match, but then there's always calm at the heart of the storm.
Talk about your high-angst stories...Volatile is steeped in it, and the story actually had my stress levels pretty high through most of the book. Between Dante's unpredictable moods and personality, the growing feelings Chris is experiencing, and the blossoming-and-then-not relationship between the two--it's enough to have you strung out almost the entire time you're reading it.
Chris comes across as slightly depressed and still unable to fully move past his mother's passing. He's unsure of himself and wavers back and forth on how he should handle things with Dante. I really felt for Chris, he seemed so lost for much of the story until he realized exactly what his feelings for Dante truly are. Dante is a lot like what you'd expect from a temperamental, supremely talented musician. He has his own difficulties thanks to his parents and the undue pressure they place upon him along with the added pressure of being in the spotlight as the prodigy he is.
There's a bit of a lack of communication between Chris and Dante, and that along with the high tension surrounding their relationship (whether professional, friends, or more) puts a lot of strain on them both. It makes for a read that borders slightly on the darker end, but still with the spark of hope that things will eventually work out. While reading this story did have me on edge through most of it, that certainly held my rapt attention and I didn't want to put it down at all.
Volatile was a tense but very satisfying 4.5-star read for me, and I recommend this for M/M romance fans who prefer a more angsty read. I'm excited to read more in this series, especially the story of Chris' brother Ayden and his husband Callum, as well as Chris' roommate Adam's tale. Looking forward to more from this very talented author in the future!
Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can't choose herself, she's holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.
Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power-ready to launch at her poor readers.
She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.