Prelude by Shira Anthony & Venona Keyes

The Blue Notes Series:

  • Blue Notes (book #1)
  • The Melody Thief (book #2)
  • Aria (book #3)
  • Prelude (book #4) – in this review.

From the author…..Book 4 in the Blue Notes Series is bit of a prequel to the other books, although it’s meant to be read as a standalone novel. For those of you who’d like to read the series in chronological order, it goes like this:

1) Prelude
2) Blue Notes
3) Aria
4) The Melody Thief


Prelude (Blue Notes, #4)Prelude by Shira Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

World-renowned conductor David Somers never wanted the investment firm he inherited from his domineering grandfather. He only wanted to be a composer. But no matter how he struggles, David can’t translate the music in his head into notes on paper.

When a guest violinist at the Chicago Symphony falls ill, David meets Alex Bishop, a last-minute substitute. Alex’s fame and outrageous tattoos fail to move David. Then Alex puts bow to string, and David hears the brilliance of Alex’s soul.

David has sworn off relationships, believing he will eventually drive away those he loves, or that he’ll lose them as he lost his wife and parents. But Alex is outgoing, relaxed, and congenial—everything David is not—and soon makes dents in the armor around David’s heart. David begins to dream of Alex, wonderful dreams full of music. Becoming a composer suddenly feels attainable.

David’s fragile ego, worn away by years of his grandfather’s disdain, makes losing control difficult. When David’s structured world comes crashing down, his fledgling relationship with Alex is the first casualty. Still, David hears Alex’s music, haunting and beautiful. David wants to love Alex, but first he must find the strength to acknowledge himself.

So what did I think?

This is the 4th book in the Blue Notes series but the series can be read in any order. However there is an author note stating that this would be book 1 if you want to read the story in chronological order.

This is the story of David who is a conductor and Alex a violinist.

David has had immense success in his career as a conductor and leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. However, he is not happy and satisfied with his life. He has been brought up with wealth and privilege but suffered loss which has made him fearful of relationships. His desire to compose was also ridiculed and criticised by his harsh grandfather who raised him. Therefore the less than perfect public response to his earlier compositions has destroyed his confidence.

Alex, on the other hand, is much more a free spirit. He has a love of music expressed in his playing of classical music but he also dabbles with other forms of music. He has tattoos and an attitude that doesn’t totally fit the expected mould of classical violinist. His life is a contrast to David, including his early life on the streets. Alex’s strength and focus and talent is what enabled him to change his life around and he still finds it hard to believe that he doesn’t have to watch every penny.

I really enjoyed this story. It was easy to feel sympathetic to David’s situation, his lack of confidence was heartbreaking..“He knew better, though. Alex wanted him now. Soon, he’d realize his mistake.” Although, at times I just wanted to shake him and tell him to get over himself! I think that would be my main issue with the book – the length of time it took for David to work through his issues and realise that his happiness lay with Alex.

There was lots of sheer romanticism directly linked so music as David’s feelings while he is with Alex translate into melody…..and sex as a symphony – yes! “David’s climax began like the distant rumble of the timpani and ended with a crescendo of sound – David’s own voice, raw, unrestrained, and full of emotion.’

Here are a couple of the pieces of music played by David and Alex.


A sweet and romantic 4 stars……
“I hear you, Alex. My love, my muse, my teacher, my partner, my desire, my inspiration. I hear the music in your soul, and it becomes my own.”


To find out more about Shira Anthony and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Venona Keyes and her books visit her Goodreads profile.

Buy Prelude from Amazon.

Buy Prelude from Dreamspinner Press.


★★★★★ Catch A Ghost by S.E. Jakes ★★★★★

The Hell or High Water series:

  • Catch a Ghost (book #1) – in this review
  • Long Time Gone (book #2)


Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water, #1)Catch a Ghost by S.E. Jakes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Everyone knows that Prophet—former Navy SEAL, former CIA spook, full-time pain in the ass—works alone and thinks only about the trouble he can cause. But his boss, Phil Butler of Extreme Escapes, LTD., has just assigned Proph not only a new partner but also a case haunted by ghosts from Proph’s past. Suddenly, he’s got to confront them both head on.

Tom Boudreaux—failed FBI agent, failed sheriff, full time believer in bad luck—is wondering why the head of a private contracting firm has hunted him down to offer him a job. Still he’s determined to succeed this time, despite being partnered with Prophet, EE, LTD’s most successful, lethal, and annoying operative, and even though the case is also resurrecting his own painful past.

Together, Prophet and Tom must find a way to take down killers in the dangerous world of underground cage matches, while fighting their own dangerous attraction. And when they find themselves caught in the crossfire, these two loners are forced to trust each other and work together to escape their ghosts . . . or pay the price.

So what did I think?

If the purpose of the first book in a series is to hook the reader right, to leave you panting for more, desperate to read the next book, then Catch A Ghost succeeds! From the smoking hot main characters, to the mystery and the action, I hung on every word.

The plot – new partners on a mission for the private agency they work for – violence, shooting, kidnapping, torture…These are tough men.

The characters – a bit damaged, a bit broken and a lot HOT – strong, hard and sexy (and Tom’s tatts and piercings!)

Prophet and Tom are both men with complex pasts. They have physical and emotional scars and there are many secrets that stay hidden. Their relationship is not an easy one and this story does not bring them together neatly. It keeps you thinking and wondering and when you finally reach the end, eagerly waiting the sequel so that you can follow Prophet and Tommy’s story!

5 stars all the way!

Here’s the song that Prophet hums throughout the book…….Flogging Molly  “If I Ever Leave This World Alive’.


To find out more about S.E. Jakes and her books visit her website.

Buy Catch A Ghost from Amazon.