Review: Dissonance (Blue Notes, #6) by Shira Anthony

British noble Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his fault for pushing Aiden away. As if that’s not enough, someone is trying to take away his family business, and the US authorities are pursuing him on charges of money laundering. Fearing for his safety and unable to return to London, Cam runs, but he’s too broke to find a place to stay, and his fugitive’s life doesn’t even remotely resemble a Hollywood thriller.

Desperate and betrayed by the people he thought cared about him, Cam takes refuge in the subway station where Galen Rusk plays his trumpet for tips. Though Cam hears the beauty in Galen’s music, it’s Galen’s firm hand on his shoulder that stops him from throwing everything away. Their unusual relationship takes a turn that surprises them both, and neither man is sure he wants the complication. Galen is fighting the ghosts of his past, and Cam has his own nightmares to face. When Cam’s troubles threaten to tear them apart, Cam figures he had it coming—that it’s all penance due for a life lived without honesty or love. But he never considered the possibility that he might not survive it.

Note: Blue Notes Series novels are standalone stories, and can be read in any order.

Relax. Focus.

A mantra of sorts that was repeated throughout "Dissonance"by the main characters, two damaged souls that didn't know that they needed the other. Trigger warnings: past child sexual abuse and suicide attempts.

I warn because this book does not in any form exploit child abuse but the way the survivor recalls his struck a chord with me. I am not a survivor but there are people who are very near and dear to my heart that are. And the way the story is told, it put me back into the first time they'd shared with me.  I think the author was spot on in portraying the conflicting emotions (and there are more than what was in Dissonance). I also applaud the author for not making the abuse survivor a likeable character that would get automatic sympathy points just because.

Just like how some people are nice and other are assholes, so can be abuse survivors.  They are people just like you and I. This author took the harder route to tell her story, and I applaud her.

Cameron is spoiled. He is selfish. He is uncaring and a cheater (he's the villain in a previous book in this series). He's rich, elitist, and uncaring. He's also a minor British noble, never had to work for anything in his life. And is unapologetic about it. He is not even touching my top ten of despicable main characters but he might get an honorable mention...if it weren't for the cracks that showed he was more human than he gave himself credit for.

Galen is this new-age, vegetarian, always has a positive quote, high school music teacher and subway performer. Yes, he plays the trumpet in the subway. He catches, the player's eye but Cam believes the good looking blonde to be beneath him, at first. It wasn't until hitting rock bottom, that Cam finally learned to humble himself.

"The realization took him by surprise. He hated the way everyone looked at Cam. Clever, charming Cam. Poised, confident, carefree Cam. Complete and utter bullshit. and with the realization came clarity of thought: not one of them knew Cam. Really knew him. They didn't know the big heart underneath the cool exterior. they didn't know of the grief and heartache. They didn't know that even now, Cam still hated himself for what he'd done to Aiden. Hated himself for what he was. For what he'd been."
Even when Cam hit rock bottom, he wouldn't open. So impenetrable, so cold...but still waters run deep. Ever wondered what makes a jerk tic? Ever think that maybe something happened to mold them into the person they were?  The author does a pretty good case study of Cam as he is being tried for a white collar crime he didn't commit. He's so spoiled and unused to not getting what he wants, it made him more interesting.

Cam goes from Manhattan high-life to hiding in New Jersey with Galen. The story alternates POV but it is mostly Cam's POV being told. We get visits from past characters from the series (my favorite couple - David and Alex - "Prelude" is still my favorite of this series) and get to learn about the characters.

So full of depth they were...both men were damaged, each facet cracked but put together, they made sense. Galen and Cam together made sense. They helped each other while discovering who is behind the sabotage of Cam's life. Galen was a little slow on revealing his background but it was no surprise they were the perfect compliment to each other.

There were a lot of emotions swirling in the story but I didn't feel influenced to pity Cam. It was kind of refreshing to have an asshole MC learn to drop the boulder on his shoulder and realize his self worth. Don't think that all the issues get solved by the end of the story or by a magic penis. No such thing.

Time, discussion were the keys on mending the men while traveling to NYC, NJ, and London. Adult conversations, adult reactions and a sense of realism with a musical background that Shira Anthony writes so well. She's a quiet creeper with the feelz but she always writes a solid story, well for me anyway.

This story does have a HEA, I wish at points the two men would quit being so stubborn but it was in their nature and it made for a better story in the long run. Justice does prevail but on the mens' terms and oddly enough it fit them.

Would I read more of this series? Definitely. (I love that I don't have to read in order)

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  1. This is an excellent review of an excellent series by an Excellent Author! There is not a klunker in the bunch & each can be read as a stand alone! But .. The BEST ... take a weekend & string them together ... Harmomy!