Audiobook Review: Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote

Imperfect harmony can still be beautiful....

John Fletcher, a former musician, is stuck in limbo after losing his long-term partner two years ago. He's shut himself off from everything that reminds him of what he's lost. When his neighbor persuades him to join the local community choir, John rediscovers his love of music and finds a reason to start living again.

Rhys Callington, the talented and charismatic choir leader, captures John's attention from the first moment they meet. He appears to be the polar opposite of John: young, vibrant, and full of life. But Rhys has darkness in his own past that is holding him back from following his dreams.

Despite the 19-year age gap, the two men grow close and a fragile relationship blossoms. Ghosts of the past and insecurities about the future threaten their newfound happiness. If they're going to harmonize in life and love as they do in their music, they'll need to start following the same score.

Narrator: Mark Steadman
Listening Length: 7 hours and 6 minutes

Imperfect Harmony is a second chance at romance story that features two men with a nineteen year age gap. Though their differences in their age might be great, they shared passions in music helps bridge the gap. Set in small town in Britain, John still grieves for his partner. It's been two years but the grief is still present. He lives a quiet life in his former family home alone. A well meaning family friend invites him to a community choir practice. When he finally comes inside for a few, it changes his life for the better.

John sets his eyes on the blue-haired, tatted and (obviously) younger choir director, Rhys and he can't help but be drawn in by the musical talent. John is reluctant to try to live life again. Music helps ease his pain. Getting to know the choir director doesn't hurt either.

A volunteer job at a local senior home, as well as choir practices, helps the men familiarize themselves with one another. Plus, they find they share another thing in common: major losses at crucial points in their lives.

Before you think Imperfect Harmony is heavy with angst, it isn't.

Northcote keeps it (for most parts) pretty light. There's light hurt/comfort, but nothing you need to crawl up and bury yourself in a corner with liquor for. Though the story is told in dual POV, I felt it was John's story mostly. I enjoy reading loners and widowers. I felt Northcote did a good job here. He showcased John's grief where you can understand why he would react to change the way he did. John's slower to accept his feelings for Rhys. It might be frustrating for some, especially when the main conflict came up. But understanding John, it fit the way he was written.

The story is 3.5 Hearts for me. It was interesting. It had a decent amount of slow build (which I think is needed for characters that are still feeling the effects of loss of a loved one). There was some points where it dragged. I didn't read along to make notes but the dragging parts were mainly in the middle. The mood for the story was tame overall. A little sweet, quiet, slow burn,

Was there sex? Yes, indeedy. It's not a sex heavy book. But the moments read organic. Sweet vanilla with a few realistic moments. *cough*performance anxiety*cough*

Steadman is a great choice for narrating Northcote's words. He gives enough emotion and empathy to all of his characters. It makes for a solid experience. And if you're new audio books or hesitant on trying the audio route, Steadman is definitely a narrator I'd recommend to newbies. I'd rate the narration 4 Hearts since I felt Steadman was pretty good.

I averaged my ratings for the final rating.

If you're looking for romance that features a large age gap and a love for music without a lot of flash and has substance, check out Imperfect Harmony on audio!

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