When a freak accident leaves Aiden unable to perform to the high standards required for a concert pianist of his caliber, and a cheating boyfriend deserts him because of it, Aiden returns home to lick his wounds, try to recover his ability, and hopefully start again. The piano has always been Aiden’s first choice, which meant leaving behind everyone, including a boy who Aiden was falling for and who might have been the one. For years, he buried himself in the fame and applause and convinced himself he was happy, until the accident brought him to a crossroads where the unthinkable might happen and his career may be over. Can he give up the one thing he loved—the one thing that has defined who he is for life in a small town and obscurity?
Dean Cooper has morphed from a “bad boy” to the town’s Mister fix-it. Along with his handyman job, Dean is respected and loved by many in the small town he never left. When he finds out the boy he once fancied himself to be in love with has returned, Dean is conflicted as to how to act around Aiden. There is still a spark for Dean and he wants to get to know the adult Aiden, who is both a stranger and yet so familiar. But once again, Aiden may not be his to keep, for if there is anyway the man can get back to the stage and play then Dean is determined to help him do so. One thing Dean is not is selfish—he may be in love with Aiden, but he will never hold him back from fulfilling his dreams.
It was so incredibly easy to fall in love with Dean Cooper and that is down to the marvelous writing skills of author, Jamie Fessenden, and his uncanny ability to make a character so incredibly realistic and appealing. Small Town Sonata reminded me why I like this author’s work so very much. His skill at creating men who come off as the kind of neighbor who lives next door immediately makes me feel comfortable and draws me into the story. Dean spoke and acted like a man who never got over the boy who left him so many years ago. From his simple and honest speech, which evoked that small town charm, to his genuine selflessness where it concerned Aiden, I couldn’t have responded negatively to anything this character did.
When you couple that kind of appeal with a story that took it’s time to rekindle past feelings and constantly remind the reader that the future for any relationship between Aiden and Dean was tenuous at best, you have a beautiful romance that unfolds gradually and keeps one fully invested. I really enjoyed this novel. It was chocked full of fun and fascinating side characters and set in a town that was so familiar—perhaps because I grew up in a small town myself. But it was the struggle Aiden had with his weakened abilities and trying to come to terms with how his life would have to change and had changed so dramatically that made this story feel so genuine. There was no deus ex machina to swoop in and save the day. At the end of the day, Aiden was still going to be too injured to go back to the life he once had. Instead of some miracle forcing his decision, there were two very appealing men who had to figure out just how important their love was and whether it would survive if Aiden chose a limited career over being with the man he loved.
I highly recommend Small Town Sonata by Jamie Fessenden for any who like second chance love stories and enjoy sweet romance. This novel fits both those criteria very well indeed
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.