My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: ARC provided by author/publisher
Publication Date: April 15, 2016
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Point of View: Third Person (John & Rhys)
Genres & Themes: Romance, M/M Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQA+
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 neighbour 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 nineteen-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 harmonise in life and love as they do in their music, they’ll need to start following the same score.
66,000 words approx
“Your voice blew me away before I even saw the rest of you.”
Imperfect Harmony is a second chance type of novel. It’s a story of grief and healing, without it being suffocated with ghosts. Instead, we get this very beautiful, musical infused story with two characters that have been through so much at different points in their lives and are given this second chance of sorts.
John meeting Rhys awakens things inside himself he hadn’t felt since the death of his partner, David, two years earlier. Suddenly he’s wanting to sing again, something he had locked far far inside, since music was a thing he and David did together. John is an older guy—one that has lost so much and now just goes on a day-to-day basis just going through the mechanism of ‘living.’
Rhys is this young music instructor who just seems bigger than life. He’s bright and fun, and he’s the type of guy to go all-in in everything he does. But despite him being quiet happy with his life and what he does, he too knows what lose is. What it feels to grieve.
Rhys and John were so cute to witness at times, and that’s actually a note written in the book. Rhys was this straight-forward guy, and I absolutely lived for it. He wasn’t shy in telling John how he felt about him and they just fit so perfectly. The understood each other in ways that not many people do.
But this two have so much to deal with: they have their ghosts and an age-gap. Despite Rhys telling John that their age gap doesn’t bother him, does the same thing goes for John? I’m actually one for age not being a deterrent if you’re an adult. It’s quiet different from a 15-year old dating an 20 year old or 21. It all depends on where the age is. If an adult though by a few short years is dating a teenager, there’s a problem there because the mentality is far different. And that whole, “Oh, but you’re so mature,” yeah, sure. But that’s not the issue here. Rhys and John are both adults, but when John has lived the life he has he has so many doubts. Will Rhys really stick around? Will he get bored? And if he doesn’t, then he’ll one day also lose John since he’s older. There so many more doubts, and I completely understood where he came from.
But Rhys isn’t having any of that. Despite all of that, I love how Rhys being the guy he was he wasn’t one to just stick around moping.
I really enjoyed the music aspect to the story and how everything intertwined with each other. So, there two things that I thoroughly enjoyed: the music and John and Rhys together. They were just so tender at moments, and the grief was never forgotten by amazing dick. Instead, they both took their time to heal. They went on dates, they got to know each other. That’s not saying everything was perfect, since you know…it’s called imperfect harmony, but the imperfectness of their struggles and issues is what makes it real.
I’m not one for grief books, because sometimes I can’t take the hurt and I end of feeling super sad, which I tend to avoid at all costs, but this one surpassed it and instead gave me this fluffy feeling. In all, try to read books out of your comfort zone because they can surprise you. Remember, every book has their own story to tell.