Second book down from the TBR! ApplauseA few weeks ago, I was contacted by the author Dallas Coryell to review his novel, Melody’s Key. Since I was in the mood for a little contemporary recently, I finally picked it up! If you read to the end of my review you can catch some cool extras like…an excerpt!
Release date: June 24th 2016
Page count: 305
“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”
Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she laboured her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no colour, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.
*I was given a free copy, in exchange for an honest review*
Okay, so like I said I was in the mood for a little contemporary and since this book sounded super lovey-dovey and fluffy, I decided to give it a try. Here is the thing with me and romance novels. (Now I realize, I should have mentioned that this is a romance novel.) Well Rendz + Romance don’t always mix. Don’t get me wrong I love a little romance in all my other books. It’s kind of like a requirement in a lot of YA, apparently. But me….reading a pure romance novel?…………It’s not always my cup of tea.
I get bored, or flustered or uncomfortable. I feel like for me, reading a book on just romance takes away the magic from those few fleeting romantic moments that I get in other books.
Yet, I found this book quite entertaining. It was cheesy, but fun.
What I liked:
Tegan was a fun character. I found her nerdiness and fierceness very interesting. She had a tough past but ultimately survived through it. I love the fact that she would do anything to help her family even not go to college. The amount of sacrifice she preformed for them is admirable. I did find her a little boring sometimes, but it is a minor complaint.
Mason was also a fun character. He seemed very, very hot.🔥 I mean he had full sleeve tattoos. 🔥I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind the ink on a man. 😍 He was funny and charming, but did he leave an overall book boyfriend impression? Not really. I mean his actions were actually swoon-worthy, but I didn’t particularly take too much interest into his character.
Simon, a.k.a the gay best friend was probably one of my favourite characters. He was funny and out-going, I wish there had been more of him. Plus his story was left open ended.
Tegan’s family. Just a funny, crazy and hard-working group of people that I really admired! Her mother and father were the best. Next to Ryleigh because she was hilarious.
The Rock Star falling for the Small-Town Girl trope: It is cheesy and delicious. Sometimes it got on my nerves, but Tegan and Mason connected really well over their passion for music. Reading about his hate of fame and her fear of it was cliche, but undeniably cute. I know, I am always contradicting myself!
THAT NARNIA MENTION: I bookmarked and highlighted that page. I don’t even remember the exact reference other than that it was there. 😍😍
There were actually numerous cameo mentions from different fandoms like; Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Disney…etc. EVEN THE SOUND OF MUSIC!
The Setting: I will be honest I didn’t realize it was set in London until Mason commented on Tegan’s accent which is 1/3 of the way through the book. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the descriptions of the scenery (a lake-house!). It added to the romantic atmosphere.
The Letters: At first I wasn’t sure I appreciated the letters. In the end I really did. Again it added to the romantic atmosphere and gave a little insight into the history of Tegan’s family which is juicy!
Speaking of juicy…
THE DRAMA!: Ohhhh I love a good bit of drama and suspense. The chapters leading to the ending definitely had a good amount of drama to keep me going!
The Ending: I found very unrealistic…involving security measures. But I really enjoyed it. It was funny, cute and romantic. The perfect ending to the drama that had been in the previous chapters, I just soaked it all up.
What I Disliked
Overuse of the following phrase: His Piercing Emerald Green Eyes: I get it. His eyes are super green, hot and delicious. Let us focus on another body part. Seriously, Mason’s emerald green eyes got annoying after a while. It stopped being attractive…but only a little really!
Sexual Tension Galore: I know that romance comes with sex and above all else, sexual tension. I appreciated some of the sexy time moments…other times I was annoyed of them just thinking about ripping each other’s clothes off…for days on end. Also, this is totally aimed towards mature YA readers, borderline NA (new adult). There are some references to certain things that people under the ages of 13 (maybe even 14) should not read. At least in my opinion.
I’m not sure if certain issues were handled correctly…: This book has its darker themes, it is not all fluff. There is mention of rape, addiction and self-harm. I don’t think it was handled in the best way…but then again, I’m not sure I can judge this correctly since I have never been in any of those situations. However, I did find this as a book that used romance to fix those issues.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Considering I do not read a lot of romance novels, this did keep up my spirits. There were a few bumps in the road, where I felt a little bored or disconnected, but it was a solid novel anyways.
FUN FACT: This novel deals a lot with music! *see title/cover/synopsis* And the author actually wrote all the songs used by the characters. It was so awesome to see that Dallas was truly able to bring together his two passions for music and writing! You can listen to them on his YouTube channel! *Link down below 🙂 *
Rating: 3.75 / 5 Stars (It met my fluffy, romantic needs)
Recommend: For those of you looking for a cute story, with a delightful romance give this one a chance!
About The Author
Dallas Coryell is a musician and author residing deep in the untamed wilds of Michigan, USA, where he desperately attempts to assign meaning to his world through bouts of maniacal creative catharsis and pitifully doomed hopeless romantic fantasies. All of the songs written by the characters in this novel are real and can be viewed on the author’s fledgling YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DallasCoryell1 Selfies and other assorted randomness can be found on the author’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dallascoryell
EXCERPT FROM MELODY’S KEY!
“It’s just an expression, I assume you have those in America?” This time Tegan completely intended the playful sarcasm that dripped from the comment. She even ventured a slight grin to put him on the defensive a little, but Mason was quick with his reply.
“Yes, we have them. For example, don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Mason had smiled disarmingly when he said it, but the underlying message to her was clear. Considering what happened at the pub, perhaps she had been a tad hasty in her judgment of his character. Tegan bundled the tools she had been cleaning and attempted to pick them up all at once in order to move them into the shed, but before she could take two steps they began slipping from her hands. Just as she expected to see the entire bunch go crashing to the ground, Mason’s hands appeared and encircled hers, stabilizing the load. His hands were strong, but soft, and their sudden steadying warmth took her completely off guard.
She had been careful to avoid looking directly at him during their entire exchange so far, but her discipline wavered for one instant and she allowed herself to meet his gaze. She immediately regretted it. His eyes were two fiery emeralds that seemed to have already been waiting millennia for her to find them. The depth they held was something she had not expected; there was profound suffering there, but also something wild and passionate and unbridled…like the feeling she got while walking through the estate gardens after a summer storm.
Somehow his eyes burned through the walls of her meticulously constructed defenses as if they were flash paper. She felt as though he was somehow seeing her…the real her, instead of the protective façade she normally projected to people she didn’t know. In that instant of unexpected vulnerability Tegan was surprised to find she was capable of anything. She felt the boundaries and inhibitions that normally constrained her fading like a winter sunset.
A moment after Tegan felt the hurricane begin to stir within her, she smothered it for fear of being consumed. Where in the world is this coming from? She had only been looking at him for a moment, but it felt as though they had been staring at each other for hours. She abruptly pulled her hands free, which sent the tools clattering loudly into the dirt. In truth, she had forgotten they were suspended between their interlocked hands. Grateful for the distraction, she kneeled down and began gathering the fallen load, which he immediately assisted her with. Between them, they got all the tools to the shed in one trip. As the electricity of the moment faded, Tegan began feeling silly for even thinking such ridiculous things. I know nothing about him. She made a mental note not to look into his eyes again. There was a reason so many girls went crazy over him, and he probably knew exactly what he was doing with those eyes…and that crooked smile.
Thank you again, Dallas for letting me read your wonderful story! Please go check him out guys and for my romance readers, take a shot at this one!