British noble Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his fault for pushing Aiden away. As if that’s not enough, someone is trying to take away his family business, and the US authorities are pursuing him on charges of money laundering. Fearing for his safety and unable to return to London, Cam runs, but he’s too broke to find a place to stay, and his fugitive’s life doesn’t even remotely resemble a Hollywood thriller.
Desperate and betrayed by the people he thought cared about him, Cam takes refuge in the subway station where Galen Rusk plays his trumpet for tips. Though Cam hears the beauty in Galen’s music, it’s Galen’s firm hand on his shoulder that stops him from throwing everything away. Their unusual relationship takes a turn that surprises them both, and neither man is sure he wants the complication. Galen is fighting the ghosts of his past, and Cam has his own nightmares to face. When Cam’s troubles threaten to tear them apart, Cam figures he had it coming – that it’s all penance due for a life lived without honesty or love. But he never considered the possibility that he might not survive it.
This is part of a series – The Blue Notes Series – https://www.goodreads.com/series/70452-blue-notes – but, each book can be read on it’s own. What’s really amazing about the series is that the author, Shira Anthony, was intimately involved in the classical music scene before she became a writer, so in addition to creating these amazingly complex story lines, she infuses into each story some of her extensive knowledge about music and in each story the reader/listener gets a mini-lesson (without being didactic) about classical music. It’s fascinating!
I have to admit that it’s been a long time since I’ve read the other books in this series and I haven’t managed to read the entire series. On the one hand, I think that’s helpful because the characters in this story have some ugly back history and if you read some other reviews you’ll see that many people had a hard time finding the “good” in Cam based on what he did in the other stories.
I don’t really have that hurdle to overcome because I don’t really remember the other stories that intimately to have preconceived emotions for him.
With that in mind I think this is a really dark, difficult story to read/listen because the history of abuse and suicide in both our MCs pasts make it hard to have anything but a dark storyline. There are happy moments – to be sure – but there is a lot, lot, lot of darkness in this story.
I was disappointed that Peter Brooke didn’t do this narration – he did the others in the series and was part of the reason I loved the series so much.
John Solo does a nice job with this, however. He attempts a British accent when needed and does a nice enough job with all the dark emotions.
I think this would have been better in Brooke’s hands, but it was more than passable in John Solo’s.
For fans of the series – I think this is a must – even if you never quite warm up to Cam or get to a place of forgiveness. For people new to the series – I’ll tell you this wasn’t my favorite – by a long stretch – but it is still a powerful piece of writing. Shira Anthony is a gifted writer, full of musical knowledge and not afraid to write a character who is tough to love.
I think this would appeal most to fans of hurt/comfort romances or anti-heroes because the main themes in this move away from music and focus on personal change and overcoming past hurts.
Overall 4 of 5 stars for the audio and the book.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review