4.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Homophobia Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Music/Rock Star Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Opposites attract

The Timpanist and the Stagehand by Ava Hayden

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents


Ren Murphy is a stagehand. He’s also a loyal friend, a gifted musician, and an inspiring teacher—but most people don’t see past his job. Ren knows that crushing on the Oilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal timpanist, Christoph Theoharis, is a waste of time. Christoph brushes off highly eligible would-be suitors regularly. What chance would a stagehand have? Christoph doesn’t even notice Ren’s existence—until one fateful night when chance or luck or maybe fate gets Ren Christoph’s undivided attention.

Old betrayals overshadow both men’s lives, yet each sees something compelling in the other, something that won’t let either walk away. Ren and Christoph may be each other’s best hope of finding a happy-ever-after, but to do that they’ll have to forgive old wrongs. They’ll have to let go of the pain in their past before it destroys their hope for a better future. Most of all, they’ll have to find a way to believe—in possibilities and each other.


Ren and Christoph both work for the Oilton Orchestra in Canada. Ren is a stagehand and Christoph is the lead percussionist. Ren’s crush on Christoph is huge, but his self-esteem won’t allow him to approach. When circumstances throw them together they are forced to talk about their misconceptions.


This is a fairly low angst, low steam, very sweet story about two men finding love.

The writing is smooth and fluid and I felt the author knew her subject (music) very well. I enjoyed learning a bit about percussion through this story.

I’d have liked it to be a bit steamier and a bit longer, but I really enjoyed it for what it was.

4.5 of 5 stars


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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

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