Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: Verismo by E.M. Lindsey

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Title: Verismo

Author: E.M. Lindsey

Release: 31st August 2015

Genre: M/M (contemporary)

Rating:

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Synopsis

Two men, shaped by the demons of their past, find their lives inexplicably intertwined.

Nicolas Michaud, the prodigy composer and pianist, grew up apart from the world. A mother who neglected him, and a father who never met him. But when he's suddenly orphaned, Nicolas is taken from his comfortable home and thrown into a life where no one understands him. Consumed by his desire to find the perfect musician for his Magnum Opus, he turns away from human relationships, and it turns him cold. Taking a job at the University in the United States, Nicolas is met with disappointment and regret.

Until he meets Cedric Blum, a young chemical engineering student with a secret talent for music like Nicolas has never seen. But Cedric has his own past to overcome. With the help of an old friend, and new relationships, the pair begin their journey toward love, life, and the Magnum Opus.
In the end, will Cedric's happy nature thaw Nicolas' icy exterior, or will Nicolas find himself consumed by his fear of love?

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Mark’s Review

O mio babino caro, mi piace, è bello bello. Yes, this book is worth an aria, I loved it. It’s been out a while and I have eventually got around to reading it and boy am I delighted I did. It sometimes takes me a little longer but I get there in the end. I love books that accompany characters from childhood to adulthood. Why? Well, when you understand where the characters have come from and what they have been through then it gives the reader a greater depth of their behaviour and the reasons behind it when they become adult.

Here we have two characters, Nicolas and Cedric, both having less than happy childhoods to say the least. The circumstances of Cedric’s birth, his subsequent adoption, then add on top of this his disability, my heart just went out to him. He captured it for the whole book and just didn’t leave go. As for Nicolas? Again he also had less than the normal happy childhood but he didn’t capture my heart like Cedric’s did. Why? well, more about that later. What do this two have in common? It’s their burning passion for music, all consuming. Forsaking almost everyone and everything for their love of music. It is then by a twist of fate that brings these two characters together. It is such a delight to read how the paths of these two boys, worlds apart, become closer and closer geographical speaking until fate brings them to the same place.

Due to a forbearing father Cedric is forced to give up his music, sacrificing his own happiness in order to please his father, it’s as if he acquiesces to his father’s demands in order to have a quiet life. A father who professes he only has Cedric’s best interests at heart, a truly toxic kind of love. Put on top of this Cedric trying to cope the best way he can with his disability and I just wanted to whisk him away myself and offer him the love that he has been denied at home. Oh how my heart bled for Cedric and how I hated his father, what a truly miserable man but also with obvious issues of his own. Through all of his teenage years he is supported by his friends, two brothers Charlie and Ben, and at least they can provide some comfort in what would otherwise be an unbearable situation at home. Despite all of this Cedric makes it to University, Charlie is already there and his girlfriend is studying music. So now he has escaped from home he can now explore what he wants to be, but the music is still inside him despite his father’s best attempts at trying to knock it out of him.

Nicolas on the other hand is a musical genius, famous and well known. His talent being discovered at an early age and from there on developed and going on to study with some of the best musicians known. He is a musical genius but knows it. He is your very worst or I should say maybe typical example of artistic temperament. Conceited, self-absorbed, egoistical, emotionally cold to others, no idea of tact and diplomacy; yes, he is to be honest not a nice person to know. Quite detestable actually. When he is offered the job of being music professor at the University where Cedric is then he soon gets a reputation for being a complete tyrant. He reduces his students to tears, forces and drives them to their limits but all this due to the fact that he is trying to find a worthy equal and until now no one has come up to scratch. His one burning desire to find someone who can match him and play his composition, a duet for piano, his Magnum Opus. Then his life’s work will be complete.

This book is so intricate it’s almost impossible to write a review to include all the nuances in the story that I felt while reading it. We are taken on a journey When and how Cedric and Nicolas eventually meet is nicely done and form there on in we are treated to a feast of emotions as these at first, quite literally, dance a tango around each other. Geez, the suspense nearly killed me not mention the sexual tension. It takes two mediators if you will, two very good friends Rémy and Alessio, to give them a push in the right direction. When they do get together it’s still not all roses, neither are easy but Nicolas has to learn how to become more human. I loved watching how these two characters develop, how they change a form each other. Especially how Nicolas becomes more human as he can no longer deny the one thing he has tried to avoid his whole life and that is love.

Nicolas has denied himself any kind of love or affection mainly due to his childhood and doesn’t want someone to have that much power over him. He sees being or falling in love as giving up control and this is something he can’t do, he always has to be in control. So I went from not liking him at all to by the end of the book he is now tolerable as a person, but this was only made possible after he let himself go, fall in love with Cedric and take that leap of faith. But in all of this relationship drama the one main focus for them both is still their music and the preparations for the end of semester concert. It binds them together in a way that nothing else can, so even if they have trouble expressing emotions to each other the one common denominator remains music.

This book is a wonderful character study on how two people develop over time, how the people around them affect their lives and in the end how they both affect each other. Like a musical composition itself, always in transition with undulating tones, fluid and flowing, a juxtaposition of overtones that are constantly criss-crossing each other, a relationship that starts off very dissonant but then harmonises to form something wonderful.

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Meet E.M. Lindsey

E.M. Lindsey grew up loving literature and history, both reflected in her work. Growing up between Europe and the US, she’s been given a unique perspective on life which she uses to craft her worlds of fiction. She currently resides in the south western United states with her loving family.

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