Book Reviews

Aria (Blue Notes 3) by Shira Anthony at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 27-January-2013

Book Blurb

Five years after a prestigious scholarship jumpstarted his opera career, Aiden Lind has it all: fame, choice roles, and Lord Cameron Sherrington to share his life with. Maintaining his façade takes effort, but under his poised, sophisticated mask, Aiden is still the insecure kid from rural Mississippi. Then he walks in on Cam with another man, and the illusion of perfection shatters.

Philadelphia attorney Sam Ryan never moved on after his partner died, though he tried. Instead of dating, he keeps himself busy with work—but when he unexpectedly runs into ex-lover Aiden while on a rare vacation in Paris, he’s inspired to give their love a second chance. First, though, he’ll have to get Aiden to forgive him. Because when Sam was still grieving five years ago, he broke Aiden’s heart.

When rekindled lust blossoms into a true romance, it seems like the start of something wonderful. But Aiden’s career has him on the road much of the time, and the physical distance between him and Sam starts translating into an emotional disconnect. If Aiden and Sam can’t learn to communicate, their separation may prove more than their love can bear.

Book Review

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and create a new ending." - Maria Robinson, Author

Sam Ryan and Aiden Lind from Shira Anthony's 'Aria' are two different men in many ways. They certainly live different lives with Sam being a Lawyer and Aiden being an opera singer, but their enthusiasm for their work is just as great. Sam and Aiden have a simmering passion between them which has lasted for years, but somehow, they just haven't been able to get it right—timing, distance, and feelings, have all complicated their ability to make it work. Somehow, they need to put it all aside and get out of their heads long enough to listen to what their hearts are saying right now.  

I liked Sam from the first time he appeared in the series in book 1, 'Blue Notes'. He was such a good guy in that story and I was hoping to see him again. Fortunately, I got my wish. I felt sorry for his inability to let go even when his partner Nick died. Grieving is necessary to a point, but when it totally controls your life, it becomes a problem; one you can't fix by wishing your loved one back. You have to go on and find a new normal for you. Unfortunately, Sam has a problem doing that. Instead of their love being a testimony to his ability to love and be loved, he lets it put him in a perpetual state of stasis. He's unable to move forward and have new relationships even when one presents itself as it did with Aiden. The first barrier they face splits them apart; Sam isn't ready for another relationship and instead of communicating this to Aiden, he lets him go thinking he did something wrong. Lucky for him, Aiden is the forgiving sort.

Aiden has his own problems. Even though his life is glamorous, it's an illusion. Finding Cam, the man whom he expected to spend the rest of his life with being unfaithful, brought the walls tumbling down. All of his insecurities which he thought he'd left behind come to a head and he's floundering trying to find a new direction. He's hesitant when he sees Sam again, but that spark is still there. Even though he's been burned by his ex and by Sam, Aiden is still hoping to find true happiness so he tentatively gives it a try. Their attempts to be in a relationship is a wild, crazy roller coaster of emotions, doubts, and misunderstandings. There are some very tender and sensual moments between the two men, but there are also times when I wanted to knock their heads together, put them in a room and not let them out until they talked with each other instead of avoiding their issues; but this doesn't happen in this story. They are not confined somewhere and forced to work it out one way or the other. They both learn to confront their fears and, better yet, learn to communicate them to each other. Sam and Aiden show great character growth by changing their perspectives and realizing that they do have a love worth fighting for and commit to doing whatever possible to make it work.

Although this story is less about the music and more about the romance, it's well written, with superb characters, and a plot that is both conventional and varied at the same time. Shira doesn't always take the easy way out of situations, and I admire that. I recommend this story to everyone who likes a good love story with complicated characters, angst, and passion, along with mystery and intrigue. Thanks, Shira! I can't wait until the next installment.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 236 pages/68876 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-December-2012
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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