Review: Jigs and Reels by Leigh M. Lorien

Jigs and ReelsRating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Elijah used to play regularly with a band in college. He took violin lessons for years and years and although he’s not the most outgoing guy, the stage made him feel alive. He now works at a job in data entry for an hourly wage. His family is proud of him for having a college degree and an office job. Elijah knows that life is nothing exciting right now, but he doesn’t have to take a lot of risks and that works okay for him.

When his friend introduces him to a traveling band that needs a fiddler to fill in for the weekend, Eli meets Peter. Peter tours with a traveling renaissance band and is a musician and a performer and his outgoing nature both appeals to and scares Eli. It’s not only the music and performing that Eli is looking forward to, he’s also looking forward to spending time with Peter.

Both guys seem to be crushing on the other and Peter helps Eli remember how to have fun both onstage and off. But it can only be for the weekend, because even though the band has asked Eli to become a permanent member, Eli is certain he cannot leave the safe life he has carved out for himself.

Jigs and Reels was an easy book to read, but it lacked a lot of substance and depth and ultimately will not be a memorable book for me. It’s basically a wish fulfillment story where the guy with the boring office job and safe life gets to meet a seemingly more dynamic guy and join him for the promise of an exciting life on the road.  

Both Eli and Peter were okay guys to read about, but both of their characters lacked depth. The story is told from Eli’s POV and we see him working in an office, still living with his parents, and playing it safe. We learn that he used to be in a band in college and that something happened that included an ex, but we are never told anything further, which then brings the question of why it was brought up to begin with.

We don’t learn any back story on Peter. We learn he plays the flute, has stage presence, and is someone that Eli cannot take his eyes off of. The story takes place in a weekend where Eli reconnects with his music and there were references to specific Irish songs that may have more impact for those familiar with the music. The book also shows Eli and Peter connecting, but the time they spent together wasn’t enough for me to believe in a forever true love story for the pair. Eli spends a lot of time in his head and there was substantial inner narrative that got long winded after a while for me and the story was mostly predicable.

There wasn’t that spark here that would have me telling everyone to read this book and there was a distinct lack of depth to most areas of the story. But the characters were enjoyable overall and it was a quick, light read about a guy taking a new path in life.

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