Book: Melody’s Key
Author: Dallas Coryell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 24th 2016
Publisher: AsherRain Publications
Page count: 334
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
*Melody’s Key was sent to me by the author for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
“You can make it stop. You literally tell yourself ‘it will be ok’, as many times as it takes throughout the day. You do your damnedest to put the stuff you can’t control out of your mind…and you hope. You refuse to let anything take that away from you.”
I was extremely ecstatic to receive a request to read and review Melody’s Key, my first ever request for review might I add. Due to the fact that it is a contemporary romance book, one of my favourite genres. I found myself having both positive and negative feelings towards aspects of the writing style and story that I will go into more detail below.
Tegan Lockwood has ambitions she forces herself to suppress because her need to assist her family is her top priority. Her family business, which involves an ancient home that once belonged to her ancestors, is what they rely on for their financial needs. Though times are difficult, and Tegan’s family barely gets by with paying the bills. So it’s no surprise that the Lockwood’s not only welcome groups of vacationers into their large home to entertain them with the stunning sights the place has to offer. But they also agree to host Mason Keane, a famous American pop star who needs a quiet retreat from his crazy life, to Tegan’s utter dismay. Tegan’s harsh judgment toward Mason slowly alters as she realizes that not all the rumors are true. The two begin to bond over their shared love of music and song writing as a trust develops between them. They confide in each other about their pasts, and as time goes on, their friendship becomes something more.
I want to start out by saying that the setting of this story completely enchanted me. The descriptions of this house, the dunes, the gardens, and the sea all surrounded me as I was happy to visit this unique setting through Tegan’s experience but also wished that I could escape there myself. There was a historical aspect to the story that was interesting, which also tied in with the ancient house. Tegan discovered love letters between her ancestors in the attic of her home, a secret possession that we were able to read to see the source of how Tegan was able to regain her hope for love. The letters contained the dramatic story of a romance separated by class and war. I found the wording of parts of the letters to be cheesy and over the top, but I assume that makes sense given the time they were supposed to be written. We only read from one side, the mysterious man that signed off every letter with Lost without you. The attic was a trove of history that I was begging Tegan to uncover. I was intrigued by this connection of history to the setting, which gave the story much more depth than I was expecting.
As for the writing style in general, there were a lot of cliché phrases and descriptions that I had trouble taking seriously. I was even disappointed when I realized that Mason was a “troubled” pop star who needed an escape to re-evaluate his life. I would definitely say that this is a trope I am not extremely fond of, hence my reaction. Though I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Mason’s character as I got to know him better. Since he was in refuge, seeing him in action as a pop star wasn’t heavily highlighted. Certain parts of the story accentuated how much of a big deal he was, but his initial laid-back demeanor and casualness around Tegan and her family allowed me to like him a lot.
Something specific that I didn’t understand was why Tegan was talented as an artist. Her specialty is song writing and music, but then her artistic skill got thrown into the mix. It didn’t seem to do anything for her as she developed throughout the story. It was mentioned in passing with not much to show for it.
As for the relationship development between Tegan and Mason, it was not instalove, which I really appreciated. Their back and forth was hilarious and adorable at times and I loved the backdrop of Teagan’s family being involved. Such as her sister’s enthusiasm at matching the two together.
With reading the book in general, the further progress I made, the more my enjoyment of the story grew. Especially the last forty pages where I couldn’t stop reading as I anticipated the results of Tegan’s ambition. There was even a point where I couldn’t stop grinning at the adorableness of what was going on. Another unique aspect of the story were the songs. The author wrote and sung the songs included in the story, which I enjoyed listening to when the songs came up in the book. As I flipped to the last page, I was so focused on the story that I didn’t realize I had reached the end. I would definitely say I’m interested in reading more about Tegan and Mason’s story in the future.