REVIEW: Mayluna by Kelley McNeil

Posted February 27th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 5 comments


In Mayluna by Kelley McNeil, Evie Waters fell in love with soon to be rockstar Carter Wills in 1998, just as his band Mayluna was poised to become one of the biggest in the world. Neither of them had any idea exactly how life-changing their relationship would be. But from the moment the Brit and the music journalist crossed paths, everyone could see they were meant for each other. Their timing, though…that left something to be desired. Because as much as Carter and Evie could see a life of travel, music, and love ahead of them, their careers and personal issues were pushing them in opposite directions.

‘I think I started writing songs about her before I ever knew she existed. Somehow, I knew she was out there. And it was as if the music led me to her.’

Many years later, as Evie’s adult children find mementos from those glorious days she had with Carter and the members of Mayluna–who became her chosen family for a time–she finds herself finally ready to talk about it. All of it. Including some truths that will shake Evie’s family to the core. As the full story of her and Carter’s romance comes to light, she will get to reflect on the profound way it affected them and everyone around them as well as how lucky she was to have had the experiences that brought more joy to her overall than loss and regret.

‘Along my journey, I have discovered a powerful truth–the one we love the most in life may not be the one we love the best.’

Music and romance took center stage in MAYLUNA with a star-crossed couple whose timing seemed to never match up. Heartbreakingly honest and filled with every emotion imaginable, author Kelley McNeil told an epic tale that will have readers spellbound.

‘A great love. A broken heart. A story like mine is one that is repeated in all walks of life, in every decade and century. Still, it’s mine.’

CW: View Spoiler »

We’ve probably all seen the memes about a book tearing your heart out, leaving you a sobbing mess, and then wanting to instantly put that same book into a fellow reader’s hands, right? MAYLUNA is absolutely 100% that kind of story. But it was also cleverly written and held so much depth of emotion that I would turn around and read it all over again right now–even knowing I would be crying my eyes out once more. Kelley McNeil’s storytelling was that wonderful.

Told from Evie and Carter’s perspective in a narrative form with three timelines–1998, 2009, and present day–it was difficult to tear myself away from their incredible journey. It was truly that absorbing. Over those three different time periods, we got to see Carter, Evie, and Mayluna’s other band members at their best and their worst. The highs of their careers. The lows in their personal lives. But through it all, there was always a sense of belonging between Evie and Carter. They *belonged* together. As did the four guys in Mayluna. And that’s where many of the issues stemmed from for them all.

I will caution that MAYLUNA isn’t a traditional HEA type of story. There were two romances explored by the final page. And both were important, even life-changing, to the people involved. It’s while we got Evie’s thoughts on all of the events over the years that it became clear how strong she was as well as how much she wanted to do the right thing for those she cherished. Whether you view her choices as right or wrong, Evie was the type of flawed but relatable heroine I think readers will grow to care for–and you might even see some of yourself in her.

QOTD: If you’re a music fan, what is the favorite concert you’ve attended?

Book Info:

Publication: Published: February 1st, 2024 | by Lake Union Publishing |

A legendary band, an iconic lead singer, and their mysterious connection to a woman whose love helped create the music of a generation. Timing is everything in a powerful novel about fate, regret, and moving on by the author of A Day Like This.

In the 1990s, Carter Wills was the lead singer of the English alt-rock band Mayluna, securing his place among music legends. His tortured-heart lyrics struck a chord. And so did his secret connection to a woman whose love changed all their lives. Who was she?

Evie Waters’s two grown children discover an iconic photo in an old magazine of a “mystery girl” with their mother. It all started in a wistful time and place for Evie, her twenty-fifth summer. A young columnist forging her career. Backstage euphoria. A long-shot interview. And an almost cosmic connection with an enigmatic musician on the rise.

What happened between them is a hidden story no one, not even Evie’s family, knows. Until now. Worlds apart, Carter and Evie finally reveal the story—joyful, regretful, and unforgettable. It was a time when the stars aligned for a love so profound the whole world felt it. It was as if it would last forever.



5 Responses to “REVIEW: Mayluna by Kelley McNeil”

  1. Amy R

    QOTD: If you’re a music fan, what is the favorite concert you’ve attended? Bon Jovi
    Thanks for the review.