A Hangover from Hell is exactly what greets rock star Callum Carter upon being rudely awoken by his partner, artist Daniel Flynn on the last morning of their 'On the Road' trip along Route 66. They have been together for five years, after meeting when the infamous 'enfant terrible' was commissioned to paint Callum's portrait. Theirs is a story of lust, laughter and all-consuming love, although this remains a closely kept secret; until the morning they wake up in Las Vegas. Married. Dan has no memory of this miracle taking place--only one thing seems certain--he has somehow managed to pull off a masterpiece on the mischief front, and inveigled Cal down the aisle...
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Publisher: MLR Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Coming Out / Closeted, Married Life, Queer Wedding, True Love
Word Count: 74000
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
They were in Las Vegas. Daniel actually remembered as much now. Two clues seemed to suggest this was a mite more than a guess; he couldn’t rustle up another explanation for The Ring…and he now had a vague recollection of arriving in Sin City yesterday afternoon.
“Urrgh. Shhh…I’m asleep,” Cal mumbled from the depths of his pillow.
“I’m married.” Dan informed him—in the interests of full disclosure—it was rather a corker on the fascinating facts front.
“Oh shurrup, I think I’d have noticed by now. Pleeease, just five more minutes,” Cal groaned.READ MORE
“I am. Look!” Daniel thrust his hand towards Callum’s pillow.
Cal turned his tousled head to the left and a lizardy eyelid slid open to spear Dan with blue. Daniel hadn’t realized it was possible to glare with one eye, before they met. You could. Very proficiently too; if one were in possession of eyes like lasers and a cantankerous disposition. Callum was supposed to be staring at The Ring, rather than scorching Dan’s retinas, so he waved his hand about a bit, in an effort to redirect Cal’s focus.
“What the fuck?” It seemed to have worked. Callum was awake now; wide-awake, sitting up in bed and grabbing Dan’s wrist to glower at the miscreant in question. Chances were, wisps of smoke would soon start wafting from it when The Ring began to smoulder in surrender.
“Uh-oh…” Dan gawped at the hand wrapped around his wrist. Gleaming on Cal’s golden skin was a very close relative of the squatter residing on his own finger. They might almost be twins.
“Christ.” Callum flopped back onto the pillows and clamped a hand across his face. The guilty one. It did look rather splendid.
A warm glow was unfurling in Dan’s gut. Crikey, he was going to have to stamp it down, before it started putting up the bunting and planning a street party. He knew all too well exactly who might’ve deemed it a splendid plan to get wed. In Vegas. As y’do. It sure as salty shenanigans would not have been at the top of Callum Carter: Indie-Rock-God’s to-do list.
“Um, Good Morning, Hubby,” Dan chirped in the cheeriest manner he could muster up, then hid beneath the sheet, sharpish.
“You…” Cal sprang up to straddle Daniel’s cocooned body. Naked. “Come out!” he demanded, yanking at the covers Dan was clutching above his head.
“Nope. Tis cosy in here.”
“I’ll give you cosy in a minute.” Callum snorted, wrenching the duvet away. Daniel smiled up at him, blinking a bit. Cal slammed his eyelids shut. “Stop it,” he muttered.
“Stop what?” Dan’s eyes widened, innocence personified.
“You know what. Pulling the doe-eyed deer in the headlights look. You are a monster, Flynn.”
“Me? Ah! I’m wounded. Cut to the quick.” Daniel sniffed. “I might not be Flynn anymore, by the way. I could be Dan Carter, or Daniel Flynn-Carter. Or—”
“Oh fuck.” Cal let his head fall forwards to land with a thunk on Dan’s chest.
“Are you dead?” Dan asked, stroking the umber tumble of curls spilling across his own pale skin.
“No. Just wishing I was.”
“Charming. Just what every groom longs to hear after waking on his first day as an honest man.”
“It’ll be your last, if you keep this up,” Cal raised his head to deliver another flinty glint, but his lips twitched devilishly, despite his efforts to appear miffed.
“Don’t be grumpy, p’raps we’re not properly married. I bet Elvis did it, with the mic, in the photo booth. Ooh…can you shout at me in a minute? Delightful as it is to have your delectable derrière sat atop me—you’re squishing my bladder—I really need the loo...”COLLAPSE
MelanieM on Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words wrote:
“Once you label me you negate me.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard
The very last thing that Daniel (Dan) Flynn ever thought would happen is that the love of his life, Callum (Cal) Carter, and he would end up at the altar. When Dan wakes up beside him on “the morning after”, he is astonished to find a wedding ring on his as well as Cal's finger. After years of deep abiding love and yearning, shadowed by doubt, pain, and anguish, Dan prays that it's not a cruel dream.
Once Cal is fully awake, his reaction is one of shock; Dan mistakes it for displeasure. Then the memories begin to roll around in his head and the events of last evening come back, a bit fuzzy still, but enough to remember that he did, indeed, propose and marry his beloved husband. As Cal comes to terms with their state of wedded bliss, Dan is terrified that Cal doesn't want this and will, somehow, undo it. After all, Dan has suffered for years, wanting to be with Cal but being shut tightly in the closet for fear that his rock star lover will be found out. The pressure is too much and Dan goes a bit off the deep end thinking that Cal hates the idea and, possibly, hates him as well. His insecurity is understandable, if not realistic. After all, Dan is the only man Cal has ever wanted to be with. After a heart-to-heart talk, and some physical reassurance, Dan is finally convinced that it wasn't a drug induced spur-of-the-moment thing, that Cal, indeed, meant to marry him. The biggest hurdle is going to be when they get back home and face the music that is sure to come from his manager, reporters, and fans.
Although they have been through hell and back, Cal and Dan find a way to stay together. First, Cal has to overcome the fear of being attracted to a man when, for years, he's lived the life of a reckless sex god, who racks up conquests the way others count kills. The last thing he expects is to be so utterly smitten by another male. But this is not just another man, this is Dan, Dan who blew his world apart with his charm, wit, brilliant talent, and utterly uncanny ability to cut through a situation with a clarity his frivolity and devil-may-care attitude, does not normally reveal. Cal does manage to conquer his doubts because Dan is everything he has ever wanted. Cal loves Dan with an unbridled passion that he never could have imagined. Their love, although not traditionally “pure and sweet” is overpowering and inspiring.
I love the poetic, lyrical, 'Shakespearian-style' writing. Zakarrie's way of portraying her men, with all their flaws and foibles, makes them all the more endearing. They are some of the most well drawn characters I've ever read. Although they are often rough around the edges, their love for each other is so brilliantly portrayed that I believe in their sincerity. Since the story is character driven, the dual point of view is particularly necessary; due to the intensity of emotion, knowing what each character thinks is imperative to understanding them. I'm in love with this series, and, of course, with Dan and Cal and can barely wait for book two to be done. This is Zakarrie's first published novel and from what I've read so far, she's done a fabulous job. It's a terrific start to a career and series, that I, for one, will be following closely. If you enjoy rock stars, eccentric artists, hot sex, angst, joy, and abiding love, you may enjoy this book as much as I did. Thank you, Zakarrie, for the all-consuming and satisfying read.
I enjoyed Hangover from Hell (Hangover #1) by Zakarrie Clarke. Bad boy rockers, quixotic artist lovers, oodles of miscommunication, and a wonderful premise. They woke up married in Vegas after being together on the down low for 5 years. That’s sort of irresistible. I had to know how this ‘unknown to me’ author was going to handle it.
Turns out, after a little disjointed beginning, really well. We jump right into the morning after and everyone is just waking up from what had to have been a wild and wooly night of sex, drugs and rock n roll. Then our boys get a look see at the new rings flashing on their hands and tiny spurts of memory of Elvis and a chapel start to come back. Yes, it’s very funny.
The jumpy, disjointedness comes in recounting who exactly these men are and their history with one another. That part of the narrative could have a more fluid feel to it. That comes in small flashbacks scattered throughout the story while the men are dealing with the ramifications of their marriage in Vegas (that’s turned into a media frenzy). The whole story actually occurs just over the course of a couple of days.
I thought the author did a great job with the characterizations and the dialog. Each is easily distinguishable and I loved each man’s personality. Daniel Flynn is a particular favorite of mine and I could clearly see him as the artist he was written to be. The same goes for Callum the rocker and they both had genuine chemistry between them.
This is the first in the Hangover series so I’m interested in where the author will take it. That means I’m definitely in line when the next story releases. In the meantime, I’m recommending Hangover from Hell (Hangover #1) by Zakarrie Clarke to all lovers of contemporary romance and bad boys in love.
Cover art is simple but nice. I liked it.