Title: The Timpanist and the Stagehand
Author: Ava Hayden
Length: 82 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13 April 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Ren Murphy is a stagehand. He’s also a loyal friend, a gifted musician, and an inspiring teacher—but most people don’t see past his job. Ren knows that crushing on the Oilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal timpanist, Christoph Theoharis, is a waste of time. Christoph brushes off highly eligible would-be suitors regularly. What chance would a stagehand have? Christoph doesn’t even notice Ren’s existence—until one fateful night when chance or luck or maybe fate gets Ren Christoph’s undivided attention.
Old betrayals overshadow both men’s lives, yet each sees something compelling in the other, something that won’t let either walk away. Ren and Christoph may be each other’s best hope of finding a happy-ever-after, but to do that they’ll have to forgive old wrongs. They’ll have to let go of the pain in their past before it destroys their hope for a better future.
Most of all, they’ll have to find a way to believe—in possibilities and each other.
Review: If you’re into The Arts – i.e. following a hot musician and a stagehand from the local performing arts centre – and you just want to read a nice, sweet story, then this is the one for you.
Just the title – The Timpanist and the Stagehand – explains it all. The story is told from the POV of the stagehand, Ren. He has a crush on the timpanist of his city’s symphony orchestra, Christoph.
This is only a novella so everything is sharp and to the point. The story of Ren and Christoph’s developing relationship centres on the men’s personal baggage which is holding them back as a couple. Ren is something of a black sheep in his family, while Christoph keeps his family’s past close to his chest in fear of being rejected.
While it story itself isn’t overly and unnecessarily melodramatic, which I think is a credit to Ava Hayden’s writing, there is just enough mystery and tension to allow the plot (and the characters) to develop at a nice pace.
There are a number of minor characters that make the story even more enjoyable. Ren has a small cast of friends who play in a band where Ren is the drummer. These are really the family that he chooses after having difficulties with his own between coming out and not going to university after high school.
Ren’s family also makes an appearance and I like that they aren’t made out to be the devil despite the falling out that occurred between Ren and his parents. These people in Ren’s life are integral in getting to know Ren and where he is in his life – and just how perfect he is for Christoph.
Quite simply, I loved this story. It is all kinds of sweet with a HEA and all the plot points are tied together nicely.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *