BLUE NOTES by Shira Anthony
Blue Notes by Shira Anthony
Reviewed by Cassie
Upset after finding his fiancee with another man, and frustrated with his life, Jason Greene decides to take a leave of absence from his job at a prestigious law firm in order to spend three months in Paris. He settles into his fashion designer sister’s apartment in the city and tries to relax. At a jazz club, he meets musician Jules Bardon, a violinist whose music intrigues Jason. The young man proves just as intriguing as his music. When Jason finds Jules shivering in the cold, waiting for a bus, he invites the young man to stay at his sister’s apartment for the night. One night turns into days, and Jason’s interest grows. But he’s not gay…or is he?
Jules has experienced a lot of heartache and trouble in his short life. Meeting Jason seems like a stroke of luck, especially when their relationship goes from a tentative friendship to something more. But Jules is hiding some painful secrets, and he’s afraid of what will happen if they come out.
Can two very different men turn a short winter affair into something more?
Blue Notes is a lovely story of two men who need to find themselves in order to find love. Jason has compromised a lot in his life, giving up music for law, and getting engaged to a woman who seemed suitable rather than waiting for passionate love. His trip to Paris is a way of doing something just for himself. He’s a strong, determined, and capable man who keeps his vulnerability and passion hidden. He’s astonished by his reaction to Jules’ music, and the man himself. Having never thought of himself as gay, Jason tries to deny what’s happening between them at first, and then tries to remind himself that it will be over when he returns to the US. As his feelings for Jules deepen, and he begins to confront some unresolved issues from his youth, Jason realizes things aren’t as simple as he wants them to be.
Jules is Jason’s opposite, in many ways. He wears his heart on his sleeve, both through his music and his willingness to speak his emotions. Inside, he has a core of steely strength. Like Jason, he has a great deal of pain stemming from his past. Being a man who often leaps before he looks, he falls for Jason quickly. They work their ways into each others’ lives slowly, and what began as a passionate fling becomes something deeper.
Blue Notes is a pleasure to read, from start to finish. I loved watching Jason let go of some of the rigid control he held over his life. Sweet, vulnerable Jules was the perfect match for Jason, someone who could worm his way into Jason’s heart when Jason wasn’t looking. Together the two men face some of their demons and learn to trust each other, until a painful misunderstanding tears them apart. The misunderstanding was rather predictable, in my opinion, but still it evoked genuine emotion in me. Throughout the book I waited for Jason to see how perfect they were together, and then when he did Shira Anthony had to throw a wrench in the works. The ending is well-earned, and I found it quite satisfying.