I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.
But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010, in the Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology.
Wow. This was not what I was expecting and that is a good thing. Though I should have paid attention to the above note on it being a second edition and where it was first published, I am glad I glossed over that and just enjoyed the story as it presented itself.
From the dedication of the book I felt emotion and a connection but once I got into the story, I kinda got sucked in and transported back to the 1930’s and the world of speakeasies, prohibition and the mob.
Told from the POV of Nathan “Nate” Pederowski, we meet him as he is auditioning for a gig as a singer for the Starlight Lounge. Nathan is down on his luck; dirty, hungry and in need of the basics to stay alive when a friend and manager tells him about the job. When Nate walks in and nails his audition with singing a bittersweet song, he is thrust in to the post-Depression world of the lounge life and into the strange relationship of the brother and sister duo who own the club.
From the beginning you know this story is different. There is a feeling, an uneasy and yet unrelenting feeling that though something is not as it seems, you need to know what it is.
“How the hell did I end up here?”
“Because you belong here…”
This story has a dream like quality. Maybe it’s the way it’s told, second person present tense, or maybe it’s the unique quality of the characters, either way it’s engaging and different than what I expect.
I thoroughly liked, Nate. His backstory is heartbreaking and I was not prepared for the feelings I got with such a short story and yet there were there punching me in the chest. I liked Nate and how he liked Rick and I liked that Rick was a man who could set the sheet on fire… *nods* Oh … Rick and Coco, our brother/sister team are magical, for lack of a better word and while you begin to realize just what they actually are, the story takes a twisted turn and I felt Nate’s reaction.
Once you’re in the music, you can open your eyes, but you don’t see anything; you’re blind with love and passion. It’s as pure as a homecoming, as hot as sex; it’s everything you need and have lost and found again. You let the passion burn through you until there’s nothing left, and the notes of the song drain from you whatever has been keeping you on your feet …
On a personal note, the music for me in this book was lovely, it reminded me of listening to jazz, big band and crooners with my father. His musical taste is something that stuck with me from the young age he first shared it opening my eyes, to today as a woman in her late 30’s. The music, it made me miss my dad who passed away 17 years ago this February but it made me cherish the all too inadequate time I had with him.