immortal symphonyRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novella

Serials are a new thing to me, but I’ve sort of become addicted to them. If I were to describe a serial to someone who had never heard of them, I would have to say they are like a television show (a cable television show in this case), spaced out in episodes. Some publishers put them out weekly, some monthly. But either way, it’s the anticipation for the next installment of the story that is part of the excitement of serials.

Gabriel Lawrence is a paranormal hunter. After his twin brother’s death, Gabriel gained a second sight that allows him to feel malevolent spirits with help from the ghost of his brother, Michael. Stranded in London after a particularly difficult case, Gabriel takes work as a hotel housekeeper. An unexpected encounter with the penthouse guest turns Gabe’s world upside down. Something about the man draws Gabriel in and he’s not sure that he wants to deny it.

Dorian Gray was goaded into the situation that led to his immortal destiny. These days Dorian is a playboy of the highest order who is haunted by his past. When he meets Gabriel, seduction is easy, but something about the young man has Dorian wanting more. Offering to take Gabriel away from his currently stagnant life and take care of him is out of the ordinary for Dorian, but the true shock comes when Gabriel doesn’t immediately accept but offers to think about it. Now Dorian has to wait to see if the beautiful man will come to him.

I originally read The Picture of Dorian Gray when I was in college. Even then, the story of Dorian Gray was appealing. Now, Armstrong and Piet bring him to life again, but this time in the modern world. Changing the ending of the classic story, these authors give Dorian a chance to right some of his wrongs, not that he’s exactly taken done anything about it yet. And I absolutely love Dorian in this world. He hasn’t changed over the centuries – still a vain man-whore. But this time I think his past is going to play a bigger role. There’s a whole past these authors have created that people who’ve read the classic don’t know about. I’m looking forward to seeing that unfold.

I’m most interested to see how Gabriel’s character develops as well as his relationship with Dorian. Gabriel has some secrets of his own that have yet to be revealed and I’m looking forward to finding those out. As well as finding out why Michael is attached to him in the first place. He doesn’t know who Dorian is yet; that should be interesting to watch play out as well.

As for the story, from the opening scene, it is hot. Like fan-yourself hot. And just a warning to people who are averse to girly bits, this serial does contain them. Although they are not the main focus, more of a distraction. But wow, these authors sure know how to turn up the heat. There is a lot of sex from start to finish, but there is also quite a bit of story and introduction.

The one thing I do have a problem with – and keep in mind that this is a personal quibble – is the recreational drug use. I think it’s being used as another distraction for Dorian, but it’s just not something I like reading. Again, it’s a personal preference, and you may not feel the same.

Overall, I am pleased with this initial episode of Immortal Symphony. The basis of the story, played off of the original, is creative and fun. The characters are endearing. And the writing is captivating. I want more. I’m looking forward to the next installment. If you’ve ever read The Picture of Dorian Gray and wondered what if, this story is for you. If you are a fan of the paranormal, instant connections, and mystery, this is definitely a story for you. And if you just plain love serials, I recommend you read Immortal Symphony: Overture.

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