Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell by Audio Review

Title: Prelude to Love

Series: Dreamspun Desires 49

Author: Anne Barwell

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 35 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18th March 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥️♥️♥️ 3 Hearts

Blurb: 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….

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: First off, I need to start with saying that I was torn with this review. I wanted to rate it 4, but knew that it really didn’t sit on par with other books I’ve rated 4, and while I also contemplated 3.5, in the end I settled on a 3/5 for this book.

The story is a sweet romance between high school music teacher, Joel, and home handyman/landscaper, Marcus. Joel has had a difficult life his family since coming out of the closet, but he has a couple of friends who became his adopted family. In fact, Marcus is brother to Joel’s best friend. They are both coming out of disastrous long-term relationships, Marcus has completely relocated to be closer to his sister, brother in law and niece. The two become friends but with a little help from their friends they discover the possibility of more between them. All this is happening around a large school concert Joel must orchestrate (pun intended) to raise funds.

Joel is a passionate musician and teacher and probably a bit stubborn, he is so easy to connect and relate too. I’m not sure I connected quite so well with Marcus, but he is also very likable. From the start, the two men together have a quiet but strong chemistry and are obviously going to find their way together.

Prelude to Love is part of the Dreamspun Desires line. It’s super sweet and has not a lot of over the top drama or angst and has a perfect little HEA for the two MCs. Written by Anne Barwell, who is a new author to me, I did enjoy the flow and writing style of the story as well. I just think the sweetness with not a lot of drama made this less exciting but perfect for the romantics out there.

Likewise, the narration by Andrew McFerrin was also quite good, although I cannot say it is the best that I’ve heard from McFerrin in the past. I think partly this is to do with the lack of proper drama in the book, but it still works. I particularly liked McFerrin’s ability to give each character, there are quite a few, their own unique voices. The only criticism I have about the narration was sometimes the accent would drift from New Zealand to Australian to South African and it did annoy me a bit.

However, being Aussie, I just have to accept the fact that many narrators will oscillate between these three accents quite often in audios.