When a single dad meets the former rock-star crush of his youth, everything they thought they knew about happiness and love is thrown into chaos in this hopeful, heartwarming romantic comedy.
“Bound to charm readers from page one . . . You’ll root for everyone in this sweet love story.”—Elissa Sussman, bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask
Billy Perkins is happy. And why wouldn’t he be? He loves his job as an independent music teacher and his apartment in Baltimore above a record shop called Charm City Rocks. Most of all, he loves his brainy teenage son, Caleb.
Margot Hammer, on the other hand, is far from happy. The former drummer of the once-famous band Burnt Flowers, she’s now a rock-and-roll recluse living alone in New York City. When a new music documentary puts Margot back in the spotlight, she realizes how much she misses her old band and the music that gave her life meaning.
Billy has always had a crush on Margot. But she’s a legitimate rock star—or, at least, she was—so he never thought he’d meet her. Until Caleb, worried that his easygoing dad might actually be lonely, cooks up a scheme to get Margot to perform at Charm City Rocks.
It’s the longest of long shots, but Margot’s label has made it clear that any publicity is an opportunity she can’t afford to miss. When their paths collide, Billy realizes that he maybe wasn’t as happy as he thought—and Margot learns that sometimes the sweetest music is a duet.
In this gentle romance, Norman (All Together Now) takes a thoughtful look at finding love in one's 40s and how it balances against family, career, and other obligations. Cheerful single father Billy Perkins is content living in his Baltimore apartment over a record store, teaching music, and raising his son, Caleb, who's almost ready to head off to college. But Caleb thinks his father needs more love in his life and engineers a meeting between Billy and his longtime celebrity crush Margot Hammer, former drummer for the all-girl rock band Burnt Flowers. After some initial awkwardness, Margot and Billy realize they enjoy each other's company, and embark on a quietly satisfying relationship. Then a viral performance at a local bar thrusts Margot back into the spotlight and her newfound happiness is threatened by both old colleagues and the reappearance of her actor ex-husband. With Billy and Margot forced to reevaluate their goals and priorities, their time together may be cut short. Both protagonists come with plenty of baggage, whether it's Billy's attachment to the status quo, or Margot's checkered rock star past, and the way their chemistry pushes them both out of their comfort zones seals the deal on this romance. This is a joy.
“All you need is love and the perfect melody.”
My first thoughts about “Charm City Rocks” were family, baseball and rock and roll! What else do you need to create an amazing story? I loved everything about this book and I immediately fell in love with the characters, the setting and the use of music as a backdrop. How many of us have dreamed about meeting our favorite band or rock star? Billy’s crush on Margot dates back twenty years and was all encompassing. He was mesmerized by her stage presence when he saw her concert, he was in awe of her musical ability and he never forgot how he felt the first time he saw her.
I loved the chemistry between Billy and Margot and to me, they were a perfect match. Leaving the confines of her lonely apartment and surprising Billy in Baltimore was the spark she needed to start writing songs again. Being with him was refreshing, always fun and it felt like they had known each other forever. Billy couldn’t believe that this was his life now, and that Margot was enjoying their time together. They fell into a comfortable routine as a couple and Margot had found the happiness that she didn’t know she was looking for. Billy’s knowledge of music called to Margot and they spent many nights singing together, arranging songs and laughing about his “crush” on her. Margot became a baseball fan, found the perfect coffee shop where she could relax and write down her thoughts, and enjoyed being part of Billy’s family. It didn’t take long for their peaceful bubble to burst, as videos and pictures of Billy and Margot were everywhere on social media. When someone from Margot’s past finds her in Baltimore Billy is worried that their magical time is almost over. Will the bright lights of stardom guide Margot away or will she choose her new life with Billy that is filled with love, fun and endless melodies?