Music of the Night
Amber Allure, 2011
Jared Ross is at Carnevale to do a job. It’s the culmination of two years of blood, sweat, long hours, and agonizing patience waiting for his target to finally make an appearance. If he screws this up, he may never get another chance, and his mark, a man called Maestro, will once again disappear into the night. Jared can’t afford to let anything distract him from his elusive prize—not even the sexy stranger with the quick wit, the sinfully delicious mouth, and the bedroom eyes.
Sam Aubrey recently turned his back on his career. After years of having others dictate his every move and direct him like an unwilling marionette, he’s determined to live his life on his terms, and what better place to start over than at Carnevale, where he can become anyone he chooses. He wants no complications, and definitely no romantic entanglements with a hot hunk who has a questionable agenda and whose Southern drawl makes Sam ache in all the right places.
Sometimes, however, the best-laid plans take unexpected twists, and surprising complications are exactly what a man needs even if they’re not what he thinks he wants. After all, everyone should have a little unexpected music in his night…
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Insta-love, Music, Carnivale, Venice, Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 3 out of 3 flames
Guest review by Lis:
Wooooowwwieeee! M.L. Rhodes did it again. Ever since I first picked up one of her books way back when, I’ve been hooked (hook, line and sinker). I have yet to find a book by this author I don’t like and since last year I’m impatiently waiting for the next installment of the Draegan Lords.
In the meantime we got the novella Music of the Night. Definitely no Draegan Lords, but no less exciting. It contains all the elements of a M.L. Rhodes book: likeable, worked out characters, interesting (character) background, good – if somewhat short – plot, witty comments and instant love. I’m not a really big fan of the latter, but this author just always makes it work. It doesn’t matter if the characters are together for 1 day or 10 years, there is an instant connection.
The story:Music of the Night is the story of Jared Ross and Sam(uel) Aubrey, two persons who are as different as night and day, who meet at the Venetian Carnivale. Both are there for different reasons. In fact, Sam doesn’t even know Jared is there at first. Jared, on the other hand, is very aware of Sam from the first moment he enters. For different reasons.
When they hook up there is an instant connection and both are more than willing to explore and see where it leads.
The characters:As said, both Jared and Sam are very much different. Jared is the older of the two and more experienced. He’s a hardened soldier and has been around the block a time or two. Sam, in contrast, is younger, less experienced, a musician and has led a more sheltered life. This trip is the first thing he did to more or less take his life in his own hands and step away from what he is and the people who have controlled his life. That, by no means, makes Sam a whimp, but it’s clear he needs a little push when it comes to making up his mind. Jared is more self assured and very hot. He’s a man on a mission. While this story is short, it gives a clear view of both characters and who they are. Not just the role they play in the story. I liked that.
What did niggle me a bit is how long Sam let his family and manager control his life. He was by no means happy but he didn’t protest all too much either. Though I guess some people just don’t like to rock the boat too much.
A deeper look:There is more to this story than Sam and Jared meeting and hooking up. Though, of course, this is the main intention of the story. Jared is on a mission and it soon becomes clear that Sam plays a part in that, even though he doesn’t know it yet. I found the story believable, but would have loved to see more of it. It’s unsure if this story will have a sequel or not, but if there will be one I would like to see what Sam will do next with his life and music career.
The author gives a good view of the Venetian background and it’s clear that she either did her research or has been to a Carnivale. The way the story is told, it’s almost as if you’re there with Jared and Sam!
There is one bump in this story and that’s the editing. Originally the character of Sam was named Max. You can even see that on Goodreads in the story blurb. However, in between the name has been switched to Sam in all but a few places and it left me wondering who Max was! Normally, the author treats us to better edited books.
As said this story was brief. As it is a trend in the current e-publishing business I miss the longer stories. Especially by this author! However while it doesn’t make this story any less good, it would have benefitted from a longer plot. One in which things are just that bit more wrapped up that would make this story go from excellent to brilliant.
Fans of M.L. Rhodes will love this one. Critical fans might notice a few niggles. Personally I think you’ll either like this story with its sweet and very hot characters who will make your screen melt or you’ll complain that it’s the basic meet and hook-up with a meager plot kind of story. For me it was a fantastic hot read that almost made the train stop in its tracks!
Buy Music of the Night here