Review: Dissonance (Blue Notes #6) by Shira Anthony

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Dissonance-build-full-r2(1)Lord Cameron Sherrington’s life feels very empty since he lost his love,  opera singer Aiden Lind.  Of course,it was his own fault.  Cam cheated on Aiden not once but numerous times until Aiden finally left him for good.  As Cameron always expected Aiden to do.  Aiden was much too good for Cameron and he knew it.  Now he hears from Aiden that Aiden and Sam are getting married and the depression that it brings on seems endless.

As Cameron tries to  figure out how to move forward in a life without goals, disaster strikes from the last  place he expects, the family business. Cameron is being framed for money laundering by someone who wants to takeover the business and the FBI want to bring Cam in for questioning.  Cam flees the authorities but with all his accounts depleted or frozen, he is friendless, helpless, and on the streets.

Galen Rusk plays his trumpet in NYC Subways for the shear enjoyment of playing and people watching. When Galen finds a man in dire straits in the tunnels, he recognizes him from the times Cam has stopped by to listen and leave him tips.  Now the tables have turned, and Galen offers Cam all the protection and sanctuary he can afford.  And soon, bonded by need and their desire for each other, a tenuous relationship forms that neither man is prepared for.

When love appears, all the troubles and fears threaten to break the men apart even before their relationship has been given a chance to succeed.   Can Cam and Galen overcome their pasts to grab onto the love in front of them or will it be lost forever in the pain and uncertainties of the present?

I have been such a fan of this series since its inception.  The marvelous blending of passion, music and drama in story after story keeps bringing me back into the lives of these musicians, their music and the men who love them.  For not only is love the key to their happiness but so is the music that flows through their lives, no matter the melody or instrument.   It sustains them, it speaks for them, and it consoles them when all else is falling apart around them.

The shear vitality and musicality to Shira Anthony’s writing makes these characters and their stories ones to hold close to your heart.  It is so easy to revel in all the romance, passion and yes, even pain, that life brings to them all as we watch them overcome the obstacles on the path to a future and happily ever after.  But of all of them, I believe that Cameron and Galen are my favorite couple of the Blue Notes series.  How astonishing!

After having lived through the turmoil and devastation of Aiden Lind’s life in Aria (Blue Notes #3) and the major role that Lord Cameron Sherrington played in Aiden’s pain, I never thought I would see the reclamation of such a cad.  In that story, Cam was an unadulterated terror.  A selfish, spoiled brat of a man who was used to getting his way and a bully when that didn’t happen.  Talk about your unlikable character! But over the next several stories, hints were creeping in that all was not well with Lord Cameron.  Glimpses of vulnerability and regret were seeping in, especially when it came to his actions towards Aiden. Soon people were clamoring for Cam’s story.

Here Shira Anthony tears off the cover of Cameron’s assuredness and arrogance to reveal a past of pain, neglect and perhaps something darker that even Cameron had repressed. It’s a slow process of pulling back the layers that Cameron has so completely piled on top of his memories. Anthony prolongs that  aspect of this story in a manner that makes it feel not only authentic but hauntingly real as well.  From the events that trigger Cameron’s memories to the stress and strain of his situation that brings Cameron to the breaking point, the author’s descriptions pull us into his life so completely until  we are there, teetering on the edge of the precipice with Cameron.  And Cameron is not the only one here whose past has immobilized him and any relationships he might attempt.  Galan is just as wounded as Cameron.  Both men must deal with their problems and pasts before  they can decide to move forward together.

What a wonderful and absorbing story in every way.

Textured portraits, a story full of plots guaranteed to secure our interest and emotions, and an ending that brings the men together with favorite couples from previous novels.  And on top of all those amazing ingredients, Shira Anthony folds in the music that so represents these characters and their journey, separately and together.  What music it is!  Such an eclectic selection.  From the iconic sounds of Billie Holiday to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, we sway to the music that flows through this narrative, pulling us along.  There’s some of my all time favorites here.  “Moon River’, sung by Audrey Hepburn , Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and so many others.  A complete soundtrack and links are listed below.  Check them out or better yet, listen as you read.

I loved Dissonance.  It’s a joy in every way.  It will be on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best of 2014 lists this year.  Pick it up and start reading now. Yes, you can read it as a stand alone but do yourself a favor, and read the others first.  You will appreciate Cameron’s journey so much more if you know what went on before this book.  I highly recommend Dissonance and the entire Blue Notes series.  Get started on it today.

Buy Links:    Dreamspinner Press eBook      All Romance eBook (ARe)        Dissonance (Blue Notes) ”         Dissonance

Cover Artist:  Catt Ford.  Lovely cover, works for the story and for the branding of the series.  Great job.

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published August 8th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1632161826 (ISBN13: 9781632161826)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5291
seriesBlue Notes #6
charactersDavid Somers, Alex Bishop, Aiden Lind, Lord Cameron Sherrington, Galen Rusk
settingNew York City, New York (United States)

Books in the Blue Notes series can be read as standalones but it helps to read them in order to understand the various relationships and time line. Listed below are all the stories in the Blue Notes series. The author has noted that she considers it a series of interrelated, classical music themed standalone novels that can be read in any order.

Knowing (Blue Notes, #0.5) a free read at Goodreads
Blue Notes (Blue Notes, #1)
The Melody Thief (Blue Notes, #2)
Aria (Blue Notes, #3)
Prelude (Blue Notes, #4) by Shira Anthony and Venona Keyes
Encore (Blue Notes, #5)
Symphony in Blue (Blue Notes, #4.5)
Dissonance (Blue Notes #6)

Shira Anthony’s Dissonance Sountrack:
Dissonance Playlist:

On Tour with Rory Ni Coileain and the SoulShares Series (contest)

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Series: SoulShares
Book Names: Hard As Stone

Author Name: Rory Ni Coileain

Author Bio: Rory Ni Coileain majored in creative writing, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself – being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, got shot down in flames, and found other things to do, such as nightclub singing, for the next thirty years or so, until her stories started whispering to her. Now she’s a lawyer, a legal editor, a sopraltenor in her church choir, the mother of a budding video game designer, and amanuensis to a host of fantastic creatures who are all anxious to tell their stories, and sometimes even wait their turns.

Author Links:

Facebook Author
Facebook soulshares page   ,
Twitter: RoryNi
Cover Artist: Allan Penn
Publisher: Ravenous Romance

The Four Books in the SoulShares series are listed below with the accompanying blurbs and excerpts:

♦Hard As Stone:

Blurb:
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Hard As Stone: Tiernan Guaire is a Fae in exile. Forced from the Realm into the human world for the unimaginable crime of a brother’s murder, he lives by a century-old vow, to trust no one, and never to allow himself to love or be loved.
Kevin Almstead has just lost his future, to a vote of the partners at his law firm. Trying to escape for an evening, he ventures into Purgatory, the hottest all-male nightclub in Washington, D.C., where he allows himself to be seduced by a stranger with long blond hair and ice-blue eyes.
Drawn into a Soulshare bond with his intended one-night stand, Tiernan soon learns that the most ancient and evil enemy of the Fae still walks the human world, and it will stop at nothing – certainly not Kevin Almstead – to possess the magick of a Noble Fae.

 Hard As Stone Excerpt:

Tiernan stirred, muttered under his breath, the first signs of distress he’d shown since falling asleep. Passing out. Whatever. Kevin sighed, resting a hand lightly on the blond’s smooth chest; in short order, he found himself running his fingertips lightly over his lover’s chest, tracing the lines of the muscles, and then down, a fingertip traveling along the intricate tattoo over his hip. Tiernan wasn’t buff, not like some men were and Kevin himself tried to be. Lean, hard-bodied, almost impossibly fit. And with that long, unruly blond hair, and his crystalline blue eyes, Tiernan would turn heads in rooms full of men or women. And no doubt had.

Mine.

The Fae rolled onto his side, away from Kevin; chuckling softly, Kevin settled himself behind his lover, glancing over the shoulder in front of him at the bedside clock. He could still get almost three hours of sleep if he was lucky. He wrapped an arm around Tiernan, nuzzled into the curve where neck met shoulder, breathed in the scent of wild hair and sated male body and honey, and closed his eyes. So this is what magic smells like.

Sales Links: Hard as Stone for Kindle    All Romance eBooks   Nook    Kobo

 Ravenous Romance’s Web site

Gale Force:

Gale Force Cover FinalBlurb:
Conall Dary is the most powerful mage born to the Fae race since the Realm was parted from the human world, over two thousand years ago. But that very power condemns him to a lifetime of celibacy, because sex calls to power, and he has power enough to drain a world. When he refuses to use his talents for a Noble lady’s petty revenge, he finds himself shanghaied to the human world, his soul torn in half and his magick blocked.

Josh LaFontaine is the beautifully inked owner of Raging Art-On, a Washington, D.C. tattoo and piercing parlor. While taking part in New York City’s Pride march with a former lover’s dance company, his world changes forever when the man of his dreams materializes out of nowhere at his feet. Josh’s sensual and loving touch, the first Conall has ever known, may be enough to give him back the magick he’s lost. But before they can complete their Soulshare, a terrible accident leaves Conall bodiless, lost, and invisible, to everyone except – maybe – the human with whom he shares a soul. But Josh will need to find him before the ancient evil of the Marfach does or everything they have – and more – will be lost.

GALE FORCE EXCERPT:

The sense of relief as he got out of the taxi was like nothing he’d ever felt before, and even knowing most of it wasn’t his own didn’t make it any less overwhelming. Only the presence of the foot traffic in and out of Purgatory kept him from falling to his knees in gratitude, maybe doing some pavement-kissing.

Well, that and a sense of haste only slightly less urgent than a cattle prod. He fumbled the keys off the hook at his belt and unlocked the deadbolt, then keyed in the combination on the touchpad, wincing as the tiny crystalline tones tried to pierce his eardrums.

Are you sure you can do this, lanan? There might be another way. Just let me think, now that I can.

Josh shook his head. Letting himself into the small client lounge in the front, he locked the door behind himself and made straight for the tattoo studio.

No time. Every minute you’re disembodied makes it less likely you’ll ever get back, you said so yourself. And me…” He paused, his hand on the doorknob of his studio. “I’m not sure how much longer I can stand this.”

Buy Links:  Gale Force for Kindle (US)   All Romance eBooks Barnes & Noble (Nook)   Kobo   Ravenous Romance

♦Deep Plunge:

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For the last six hundred years or so, the only things reminding Lochlann Doran he’s a Fae have been his faceted aquamarine eyes and the fact that he can’t die. He’s been a wanderer for so long in the human world – over two thousand years – that he’s lost his magick, including the gift of healing that goes along with being a Fae of the Demesne of Water. Finding his SoulShare might get it back for him. But it might kill him, too.

Garrett Templar has been living on borrowed time, in a sense, since he was eighteen, when one of the johns he entertained to pay the bills while he danced at Purgatory infected him with HIV. It was always supposed to be a “manageable” disease, though, at least until a cure was found. Except he’s just found out that the virus in his system has inexplicably mutated into full-blown AIDS, and no known drug cocktail can even slow it down.

And when Lochlann and Garrett find each other at last, on Purgatory’s dance floor, the only thing as urgent as their need for one another is the hunger of an ancient evil to do whatever is necessary to possess Lochlann’s magick…

Deep Plunge Excerpt:

Shit. His grip tightened on the strap of his bag, ready to swing it — or ditch it, if it looked like that would help him escape . And for one sick, sweaty, gut-wrenching moment, he was ten years old again, hearing the kids closing in behind him, knowing there was no way in hell he was going to get away without another split lip, ruined shirt, blackened eye. Almost hearing his mother’s voice again. Garrett Lee Templar, I swear, you find more trouble than any ten other boys ever dreamed of. Do you think I can just make new clothes appear out of thin air?

“Garrett?”

He recognized that voice from somewhere. Slowly, he turned. And stared up into eyes that gleamed blue even in the crappy light from the streetlight on the corner.

“Lochlann?”

He hadn’t had to rent his ass out for a while now, but the idea of a john following him home from the club still made his skin crawl. Yet there was something about those eyes, something different.

No. Fuck that shit. You get hurt the worst when you let yourself hope.

Buy Links:  Deep Plunge for Kindle (US)  Barnes & Noble (Nook)   Kobo    Ravenous Romance   ARe

♦Firestorm:

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Rian Sheridan is a foundling, a Northern Irish Catholic corner boy whose world was destroyed in fire, and reborn the same way, beside an Orangemen’s bonfire last July the Twelfth. A consuming, dimly-remembered pain in his past calls to him, taunting him, daring him to find it and lose himself to it in the S&M underground of Belfast.

Cuinn an Dearmad is the last surviving Fae Loremaster, and he’s just seen the beginning of the death of the Realm, the haven of the Fae race. The only hope of stopping it starts with him finding the Prince Royal of Fire he stole from the cradle, and lost in the human world, many years ago. He has a few guesses about where that hope ends, and he doesn’t like any of them.

Rian and Cuinn are an impossible pairing, two SoulShared Fae. Any two Fae will strike sparks, but these two Fae are a conflagration. Unable to stand one another, yet drawn into an escalating series of sexual collisions, their passion will either save a world or destroy it.

FIRESTORM EXCERPT:

He gave up on trying to sleep, rolling onto his back and lying sprawled out in the great bed fit for a king. Or a Prince. Shite. He didn’t want to be a fecking Royal. Whatever that meant. But if there was one thing he could say he’d learned in life, it was that what he wanted had fuck all to do with what happened to him.

Though ever since the Twalf, last summer, there was one thing he nearly always got, when he wanted it. The thrill. They’d thought to break him that night, and perhaps they had, but after the breaking he’d been made anew. Into a man who craved what the bastards sought to shame him with, and who used them, in the end, more cruelly than they had used him. After all, he could use them, and others like them, any time he liked.

Addicted? Hell, no. Victorious.

Firestorm Buy Links: Amazon   ARe

SoulShareBadgeTour Dates:

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26

Tour Stops:
July 1: Smoocher’s Voice, Jade Crystal
July 8: Hearts on Fire, Nephylim
July 15: Parker Williams, Kimi-Chan
July 22: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Fallen Angel Reviews
July 29: The Novel Approach, MM Good Book Reviews
August 5: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Love Bytes, Because Two Men Are Better Than One
August 12: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, My Fiction Nook

August 19: Prism Book Alliance, Book Reviews and More by Kathy
August 26: The Blogger Girls, Amanda C. Stone

 

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Contest:  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Prizes provided by Pride Promotions and Rory Ni Coileian. The Rafflecopter Prize: One set of SoulShares series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal for Key of Behliseth by Lou Hoffmann! (contest)

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Book Name: Key of Behliseth (The Sunchild Chronicles)
Author Name: Lou Hoffmann

DEC2013LAPTOP - HoffmannAuthor Bio: Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing as more and more fascinating tales are told in written form. She reads factual things—books about physics and stars and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. Through all that time she’s written stories of her own, but she’s come to be a published author only as a johnnie-come-lately. Lou loves other kinds of beauty as well, including music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, rivers and seas. Proud to be a bisexual woman, she’s seen the world change and change back and change more in dozens of ways, and she has great hope for the freedom to love in the world the youth of today will create in the future. You can find Lou on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lou.hoffmann, or twitter @Lou_Hoffmann.

Author Contact:  Twitter   @Lou_Hoffmann

Key of BehlisethTitle:  Key of Behliseth (The SunChild Chronicles) by Lou Hoffmann
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press YA imprint)
Buy Links:          Dreamspinner eBook  Dreamspinner Paper 

Note: Use this code for a discount at DSP:Code: SUNCHILD
20% off – preorders
15% off – first 2 weeks after release

Blurb:
On his way to meet a fate he’d rather avoid, homeless gay teen Lucky steps through a wizard’s door and is caught up in a whirlwind quest and an ancient war. He tries to convince himself that his involvement with sword fights, magic, and interworld travel is a fluke, and that ice-breathing dragons and fire-breathing eagles don’t really exist. But with each passing hour, he remembers more about who he is and where he’s from, and with help, he begins to claim his power.
Lucky might someday rule a nation, but before he can do that, he must remember his true name, accept his destiny, and master his extraordinary abilities. Only then can he help to banish the evil that has invaded earth and find his way home—through a gateway to another world.

Excerpt (larger text to the side):

 

KOB excerpt graphic when something is trueThurlock gazed evenly at him. His cheek twitched; probably a tic, but to Lucky it looked like pain, a wince repeated over and over again. It made Thurlock’s next words seem important, maybe even urgent.

“I have erred. I’ve hurt you and that was never my intent. I assure you neither I nor Han are serial killers or anything else that’s ugly—we’re not like any of the predators you’ve probably met in the last few years.” Lucky didn’t have to decide whether to try to deny he’d had such thoughts, because Thurlock kept talking. “You can leave, if you want, with your key. If you go, I’ll watch over you as best I can, and—”

“Watch over me?”

“—and I’ll never again force you or trick you into coming here. You never need come back, if you wish it that way. Or—” Thurlock shifted his gaze, and though he didn’t move, his gray eyes closed in on Lucky’s until it felt as if they stood nose to nose. “—or you can open your eyes, and look into mine, and let yourself see with that part of you that you trust even though you don’t understand it, the part that knows when something is important, when something is true.”

hoffman KOB SCC banner (corrected) colorTour Dates: 8/12/14

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Amanda C. Stone, Havan Fellows, MM Good Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Velvet Panic, Love Bytes, The Hat Party, Angel Martinez, Fallen Angel Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Will Parkinson, The Novel Approach, Hearts on Fire, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Smoocher’s Voice, Cate Ashwood, Charli Green

Contest:  Ebook copy of Key to Behliseth by Lou Hoffman.  Use the Rafflecopter link provided for the entry form and for additional contest details.  YA contest, age appropriate.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway