Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….
Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.
Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.
With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony…
Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell is another sweet, heartwarming romance in the Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press. Relatively low key and with only a bit of realistic family style angst, Barwell’s story is a lovely tale that gives a reader the flavor of the Wellington, New Zealand location, some believable characters and happy HEA that readers will be delighted with.
The cast that Barwell created for Prelude to Love here was immensely likeable and real, including the child and cat. I enjoyed following their interactions and relationship dynamics. If the attraction between Joel and Marcus found it’s way from physical attraction and friendship to instant love, well, that for me was my only issue with this story. At times they felt more like best friends instead of passionate lovers, and it was that missing “spark” here that made it and this couple a little less memorable for me.
The family drama between father and son over Joel’s homosexuality plays out realistically. I was less sure how I felt about what it said about the relationship between Joel and Marcus and the events that took place. I found myself less connected with them both than I should be. It could be just me and someone else will feel more suitably empathetic than irritable, which is what I felt at certain points.
Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell is a sweet contemporary romance. I love the Wellington location, that’ s a plus for those of us who always want an extra look at the New Zealand city. Want a new story? Check out the latest from the Dreamspun Desires….
Cover Artist: Bree Archer. It’s a lovely cover, complete with the Wellington coastline. Love it.
ebook, 234 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press