I’ve decided to start occasionally recommending books/series on my blog. It won’t be a particularly regular feature, but I’m going to shoot for about once a month. Disclaimer: Just because I don’t mention a certain book/series/author doesn’t mean anything bad! These will simply be ones that really stand out, usually ones that get regular re-reads.
Let me start by saying that I adore Shira Anthony. If I had half the class in my little finger that she has in her entire body, I’d be delighted. She’s smart, funny, polished, and very talented in multiple ways. I wish I’d known her in her operatic heyday!
It’s that operatic background that Shira has put to work in her Blue Notes series. I have a classical music background of my own—many years of band through college and a summer at Brevard Music Center—so one of my favorite parts of this series is how much the music is enmeshed into the stories. It’s not treated as framework or background color; the music is the story, just as much as the romance.
At the same time, though, I don’t feel that the technical parts of music or the music business are too dense for those who don’t have that background. Obviously I do have a music background, which makes it harder for me to judge, but I certainly don’t have the wide knowledge of the classical music and opera fields that Shira does, and I don’t feel that I’m missing anything. Even when specific pieces are described, it doesn’t matter if I don’t know them: the characters’ reactions and emotions are what counts.
My favorite book in the series is The Melody Thief. This book tells the story of Cary Redding, a brilliant cellist (did I mention how much I love cello?) and troubled man who falls into the life of gorgeous Italian lawyer Antonio Bianchi and his young son, Massi. Cary must deal with the demons of his past and present if he wants to spend his future with the man and child who quickly worm their way into his heart. I love this story for so many reasons, but I’ll readily admit a large part of it is Massi—or, I should say, the way Antonio and, before long, Cary love the little boy. Little is more touching (and sexy) to me than seeing a man taking care of a child.
The Blue Notes series now totals six novels and one novella, though Shira does have more planned. They are designed to be standalones, so they can be read in any order, though many of the characters cross over being books. If you’d like to read in chronological order (based on when the bulk of the events in each story occur), they are: Encore, Prelude, Blue Notes, Aria, The Melody Thief, Symphony in Blue (novella), and Dissonance. (But personally, I’d recommend reading Blue Notes first, since it was originally published first and introduces several repeat characters.) You can find details and links for all the books on her website.
In short, Shira has created a rich, beautiful world full of talented men, gorgeous music, and heartfelt romance. I highly recommend letting the Blue Notes series sweep you away.
Image courtesy of Anusorn P. Nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net