Review: Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell

Music speaks directly to the heart.

Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….

This is a very light read in every way. Light on the romance, light on the drama, light on the character development and light on the intimacy. It’s not a bad book, it’s just so light that I feel like I needed more substance to really enjoy the story.

Joel and Marcus met years ago when Joel’s best friend Darian married Marcus’ sister Ella. Both men had an attraction to the other but both men were in relationships at the time and were respectful of that. Over the years, random encounters and dinners have provided the men to see one another but it’s not until Marcus decides to move his life to Wellington for a fresh start that they begin a friendship.

Told in dual POV’s we know how the men feel about one another from first time Marcus is duped into taking his niece to piano practice with Uncle Joel. Everyone around them has the thought the men would be perfect together but they dance around the attraction for a few weeks until Marcus gets stranded at Joel’s place by coincidence or more so by meddling family.

I like both men but something held me back from being engaged with them as individuals or a couple. Both men come to the relationship with baggage of past lovers and Joel also has the family baggage of how his father treated him when he came out. A few instances of Joel’s mother and sister brought some life into him but I couldn’t connect to Joel nor Marcus enough to buy into their romance.

The small bit of drama with the couple was just that, a bit of drama that they get over quickly and the epilogue was cute but the speech felt forced.

It wasn’t a bad book, just not the fluff that I am used to with the Dreamspun houseline.

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