A Review of Blue Notes by Shira Anthony

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From Dreamspinner Press: “Blame it on jet lag. Jason Greene thought he had everything: a dream job as a partner in a large Philadelphia law firm, a beautiful fiancée, and more money than he could ever hope to spend. Then he finds his future wife in bed with another man, and he’s forced to rethink his life and his choices. On a moment’s notice, he runs away to Paris, hoping to make peace with his life.

But Jason’s leave of absence becomes a true journey of the heart when he meets Jules, a struggling jazz violinist with his own cross to bear. In the City of Love, it doesn’t take them long to fall into bed, but as they’re both about to learn, they can’t run from the past. Sooner or later, they’ll have to face the music.”

My Review:

I loved Blue Notes, from the characters involved, through the streets of Paris where they lived and loved, and finally in the music they listened to and created. It took me a bit longer to read this story as I kept stopping to search for a particular selection of music to listen to as I read (Bach Sonata 2 in A Minor was the first) which gave me a deeper appreciation for the scene I was reading. As I listened I was in tune with the emotions of the characters as the music engaged them. Shira Anthony matched music to the men and the story. What beautiful harmony she created.

Jason is a man in flux. His life is upset upon learning of his fiance’s cheating. Unhappy with both his romantic life as well as his dull but successful career, Jason returns to Paris in winter for a vacation and to reflect upon his life. I love Paris and here the author writes about Paris with knowledge and love evident in every sentence. Jason meets a young musician on his very first night in the city who seduces him with his music and flirty demeanor.

Jules upsets Jason in so many ways. He is young, vibrant, with the air of the “streets” and gay. Jason has always acted and behaved straight while inwardly acknowledging his attraction to men. Both share a love of jazz and classical music. From that shared love, they slowly build a relationship that pulls in the reader from the very beginning. All of the characters are wonderfully fleshed out, including the secondary and satellite people around them. Jason’s sister, Rosie, is especially charming and winning.

Shira Anthony does provide a Blue Notes soundtrack on her site shiraanthonydotcom but I was disappointed to find only 3 selections listed (I know, what whining to be sure). I would have loved to have had a list in hand for all the music she used to listen to instead of stopping to look for soundbites. Josh Lanyon is great at this and has spoiled me. But that is really such a minor complaint when she delivered such a wonderful book and music along with it.

So bravo. Loved it. Encore, encore!

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