Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ARC Review: Moonlight & Love Songs by Alyssa Linn Palmer

Moonlight & Love Songs (Le Chat Rouge, #2)Title: Moonlight & Love Songs by Alyssa Linn Palmer
Series: Le Chat Rouge, Book #2
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Expected publication: September 2013 by Alyssa Linn Palmer
Length: 200 pages

Rating: 5 Stars

ARC Provided by Author

When Le Chat Rouge’s pianist, Benoît Grenier, meets the club’s new singer, his world is turned upside down. He’d given up ever finding someone to love. His hopes and dreams of a life beyond the club are revived, while his heart heals.

Daniel Marceau has come from Marseille, looking to escape bad decisions and worse memories. He never expected to fall in love, and when his past catches up with him it could ruin the only thing he’s ever found worth living for.

Daniel’s fears and his reluctance to ask Benoît for help could cost them everything they've worked so hard to create.

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Moonlight & Love Songs is the second book in the Le Chat Rouge series but it can be read as a standalone. A main character from the first book, Sera, does appear briefly in this book, however, it is not necessary to read the first book in order to understand or enjoy the second book.

Le Chat Rouge is a rundown jazz club in Paris. After losing its long time singer, Sera, it recruits Daniel. Benoît and Daniel hit it off immediately. Benoît is tired of playing at a rundown bar. Even though he is a talented pianist and writes his own music, he cannot play at the high end bars without a compatible singer. Daniel, a highly skilled signer with an amazing voice and incredible charm, joins the tight knit band at the Le Chat Rouge. Benoît wonders why Daniel would sing at Le Chat Rouge when he can do so much better.

As their passion for music and their romance soars, they attracted the attention of a music scout that can change their life and make them famous. But for every good thing, there's a counterpart. Daniel gets blackmailed by the bar boss who's got connections to the drug cartels. He revisits his past in Marseille and his guilt. His drug addiction and overdose may them the chance to make it big and leave Le Chat Rouge.

I really enjoyed Benoît's and Daniel's story the whole time I was reading it. The way the author used the French setting and French words helped put me at the club. The author's music knowledge and all the songs played at the club really made the story come alive.

The MCs' romance felt believable. As they develop their relationship, Benoît's dreams of being famous and finding a better place to perform finally seems to become a reality, but only if Daniel learns to trust Benoît and confess his drug addictions. Daniel's pain and guilt over his drug addiction and lying about it to Benoît makes this section of the book a very emotional read.

Towards the end, the story is dark, bittersweet, and very poignant. The story ends with a HFN that wonderfully concludes the story and gives the readers hope for this couple's relationship. I would definitely read it again and recommend others to read it too.