Book Reviews

Duet by Eden Winters at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Ghosts/Spirits/Hauntings / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 01-March-2013

Book Blurb

A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.

First edition published by Torquere Press (2010).

Book Review

“If we can feel that it is not our voice, not our fingers, but some reality deep inside our heart which is expressing itself, then we will know that it the soul’s music. The outer music comes from an outer instrument. The inner music comes from the heart. The name of this inner music is oneness.” ~ Sri Chinmoy

To say that love can survive the test of time would be an understatement for Malcolm Byerly and Aillil Caligan. Although their path of love is difficult and their differences vast, through their love of music, they find common ground and once in love, never let it go.

Malcolm Byerly is such a gentle, talented man. He tries so hard to do the right thing even if it's not right for him, even though it means being cautious, wearing a mask, and not being able to express his true self. The only time he is free is when he's playing his violin, creating soul stirring music fit for the angels. His music is his link to sanity, giving him purpose and helping him communicate his feelings even if he's the only one aware of their meaning. When he is assigned to teach the children of the Calligan clan, he doesn't expect to meet someone like their older brother, Aillil and he certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him. Aillil is rough, gruff, and defiant, but he's also extremely loving and gentle with is younger brothers. One thing Aillil appreciates from the beginning, is Malcolm's mastery of the violin; he also shares his love of music. With his beloved bagpipes banned, Aillil needs an outlet for his feelings. With Malcolm's encouragement he discovers the joy of musical expression with a violin instead which becomes a key element in their relationship.

Our introduction to Aillil Caligan is set in the middle of a rather feverish tryst. He cares for his lover, but isn't in love with him. He proves what a generous and fair man he is by helping his lover escape to a better life. When he meets Malcom for the first time, he's already formed an opinion of him simply because he's English; not to say that he didn't have reason to mistrust an Englishman after all Malcolm's countrymen had done to his beloved Scotland. Malcolm takes it as graciously as possible. Through close observation, Aillil gets to know him, he realizes that this Englishman is quite different from what he expected. Malcolm is a kind, respectful person who isn't prejudiced as many of his countrymen are and sees beauty in everything. He also sees the respect and affection Malcolm holds for his brothers, even to the point of smashing his precious violin protecting one of them, which prompts him to buy twin violins, not only so they can play duets, but as a symbol of their harmony, passion, and love which only grows stronger as time passes. When he and Malcolm are cruelly parted, Aillil doesn't give up on them; he formulates a plan for them to be together again, regardless of how long it takes.

This very romantic story is actually two woven together–one in the past and another in the present, intricately entwined with music and love. Aillil and Malcolm's love is so strong that even time can't keep them apart. It reaches into the present with an incredibly forceful projection which proves to be undeniable. It gives us the feeling that these two men, having endured so much, and loved so deeply, most assuredly belong together. If you enjoy beautiful music, castles, kilts, handsome men, abiding love, ghosts, and other supernatural occurrences, you will surely love 'Duet'. Thank you, Eden, for an extraordinary and endearing love story of bravery and perseverance.




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, 200 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-February-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link