Title : Prelude

Series : A Blue Notes Novel

Author : Shira Anthony & Venona Keyes


Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)

Genre : M/M, Contemporary

Length : 250 pages (e-book)

Published : May 6, 2013



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.


Wow!! The authors have outdone themselves with this latest installment in the wonderful “Blue Notes” series. David, Alex, their music, their passion, their struggles, their perseverance … all portrayed wonderfully in this story.

I love music. I love Chicago. I love vulnerable men. I love artistically talented men. I love kind, patient, understanding men. I love men in love. I love good friends. Wrap all of these together in a thoroughly engaging and beautifully told story.. and you have Prelude. 🙂

David comes from a wealthy family. His parents died when he was four years old, unfortunately leaving him with a hard- nosed grandfather who expected him to carry on the family business and not pursue his love of music. David stood up to his grandfather and pursued his dream, becoming a very talented musician and maestro – indeed going on to become maestro for the Chicago Symphony. Despite his professional success, David has never fully come to terms with his insecurities – most of which have root in the way he was treated by his grandfather. Enter violinist extraordinaire, Alex. Extremely talented, extremely comfortable in his (tattooed) skin, Alex takes an interest in David after performing with the symphony. David is attracted to Alex, but fights it. Alex is just a contrived persona, right? He’s a Hollywood production, hot-shot snot, not a “true” musician, right? This is where David starts a journey of discoveries.

David discovers that Alex, starting with his musical abilities, is so much more than what his preconceived notions of him are. He finds himself very attracted to Alex and the two enter into an affair. I found it really interesting that once David decided to pursue a relationship with Alex, he was sexually very forward and very passionate while making love. Very unlike the formal outward demeanor he usually possessed. Alex certainly takes note of this as well – seems still waters run deep…hmmm. The pair seem to be doing marvelously well together, friends and family members are happy for them…until David’s self- doubt gets in the way.

While I certainly loved the surface components of this story –The music, the Chicago setting (which I have a huge love for…the waterfront parks, Michigan Ave., House of Blues..yay!), it was David’s journey in dealing with his past, and facing his vulnerabilities, that really captured me. I loved the dichotomy, yet similarities, in his and Alex’s early years. Alex grew up orphaned, literally fighting for his life in group homes and on the street. Yet with the help of some wonderfully supportive friends, he found his way to his life’s passion – music. David of course, while growing up privileged, had to find his way to his passion very much on his own and without the support of family or friends.

Ultimately the authors present a marvelous portrayal of David – with much love, understanding and patience from Alex – exploring and coming to terms with his insecurities. The use of music, and the way in which the reader is allowed to witness the freeing of the character’s artistic muses, is stunning throughout the story. When the title of the composition that David is working on throughout the story is revealed, it took my breath away.  Several secondary characters are fully drawn and very relevant to David and Alex’s relationship – and contain some surprises of their own.

The only component I would have loved to have seen drawn on more would have been the emotions of David and Alex during love making. I love when the sex scenes really lend more to the plot and it would have been interesting to me to experience more of David’s inner dialogue with himself during these times, given how passionate he seemingly was during these times versus his more usual staid demeanor.

Highly recommended. “Prelude” works well as a stand-alone, although seriously… read the entire series!! 🙂

Rated 5 stars by Dianne

HI 5!

3 heat