Reverie by Lauren E Rico
Months ago, I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. With so many books to review, I’ve only just gotten around to this one. In the event, the ARC proved to have so many formatting errors that it rendered it virtually unreadable. So, instead, I downloaded a copy from Kindle Unlimited on Amazon, and am basing my review on that copy.
First of all, I have to say that I love the book cover. It shows the story so well, and I love the dark versus light too.
Secondly, and happily, I can say that in the Kindle copy, the formatting issues have been resolved.
Abandoned at a young age by her mother, Julia James escaped an abusive childhood only to find herself in state care until she came of age. A fellow ward of the state, Matthew, took her under his wing and helped her to come out of her shell. The two of them found a passion for playing classical music, and it is the Cello that brought Julia back to life. Reverie begins at the point where Julia is studying at the McInnes Institute and has become lead Cello there. Despite her talent, she manages to remain largely unnoticed and earns the nickname of ‘Mouse’. Until, that is, Kreisler rival, Jeremy, sets her in his sights.
The first half of the book is told from Julia’s rather innocent point of view, and I found that I connected strongly with this lead character. What a wrench it felt, then, when the POV flipped abruptly to Jeremy’s obsessive and manipulative character. It read like two separate books, and I had to take a period to readjust to the massive change. As you might expect, I didn’t like Jeremy’s character at all, but that is all kudos to the author, as she portrayed him realistically enough for me to develop such a strong aversion to him. Right at the end of the book, the POV flips again, and this time it moves between Julia’s POV once more and Brett’s (Jeremy’s brother) in the epilogue. The story contains plenty of steamy scenes and suspense and will pull you right in.
While the ending isn’t a cliff-hanger, it is open-ended and leads you to book two, which–I’m pleased to say–is now available.
The characters and setting are written well and feel authentic. The author, obviously, knows her stuff when it comes to the world of classical music. Unfortunately, unpolished writing and spelling mistakes let it down somewhat. The amount of times ‘own’ is inserted into a sentence where it just isn’t needed, and waive is used instead of wave, as well as sooth instead of soothe, etc. Add to that dialogue tags that tell what has just been artfully shown (he coaxes, I point out, I agree, I whine, he quips, etc.), and all the filter words (I’m sure, I notice, I can feel, I can see, etc.), and the name-dropping within dialogue, and it all ends up a bit tedious to read. Also, hyphens have been used where dashes are needed.
All of which leaves me in a quandary with the rating for this review. A book with characters this well drawn and the scene-setting so excellently done, and with such a good and consistent pace and plot, would get five stars from me, no question. However, with the issues mentioned above, this would earn it an automatic three stars. So, what to do? For sure, the book is so much better than a three, and this writer has brilliant potential. After some thought, I have plumbed for a four-star rating, with the proviso that it does contain some errors that need tidying up. All of that aside, this is an enjoyable and entertaining read. And, while some of it is predictable, it still has a unique twist and feels authentic and realistic. I look forward to reading book two: Rhapsody–so, watch this space for that review, coming soon! 🙂