Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review of Behind Blue Eyes: Love Reign Over Me by Anne-Marie Klein



Synopsis:

Son of a wealthy, successful, and famous British designer, Ian was born into the world of the rich and shameless. He blames himself, and his father, for his mother's death, and has run far away to start a new life. Beautifully blond, musically talented, but emotionally troubled, he hides his pain behind pale blue eyes and drinks to numb the guilt that has followed him across the ocean. When he meets Sarah, the fiery-haired singer with all the connections to make their dreams come true, will the burdens of his past destroy their love and everything they ever wanted?

Behind Blue Eyes is a new four-part series following a young musician's turbulent life as he makes his rock and roll dreams come true in a city far from where he grew up. Equal parts family saga, love story, and rock and roll circus, this first novel will take you back to the late 70s in Toronto for a dramatic roller-coaster ride through the world of music.

Inspired by the Pete Townshend song made famous by The Who, the series is at once a nostalgic love letter to the author's hometown and to the music she listened to while growing up there.


Review:


Love Reign o'er Me (Behind Blue Eyes, #1)Love Reign o'er Me by Anne-Marie Klein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and, as the blurb intrigued me, I decided to give it a try in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in a four part series. I really enjoyed it.

Ian is a young man with a dream - to be a musician - in 1970's Toronto. I really liked this character. He is sensitive and caring, but he also has some serious issues that made me want to shake him.

Sarah is a sweet young girl with a passion for music. When she meets Ian, she falls for his shy and charming personality. I really liked her. She is quite levelheaded and down to earth, to say that her family are quite wealthy and famous.

This is an intriguing story that is very much like a soap opera! I must confess that it did take me a while to get in to the story, and I have found that I am not really a huge fan of drama filled sagas. However, I decided to keep going, and I am glad I did.
The story is mostly told through Ian's and Sarah's point of view, but a few of the other characters have their say too. The story was well written and flowed wonderfully, but even though there was drama and angst, I found myself oddly bored at times. There was not much in the way of action, and I found some of the scenes to be a bit too drawn out for my liking. The characters were all interesting in their own way, but I struggled to connect with them. Ian is a likable person with some seriously unresolved issues from his past. All the other characters in the story had issues of their own, but it was the drama between Ian and Sarah that was like watching two trains on a collision course. The path to true love is not easy, and is fraught with obstacles and challenges to over come. These two characters have a connection that I envy, but Ian's inability to deal with his past and pull his head out of his cute behind (pardon the parlance) is a major stumbling block. As this book is set in the late 1960's/early 1970's, there are several references to the music and people who shaped the decade. However, this story shows a side to the music industry that is not all that glamorous. Yes, there are parties and fun, but there is also a darker side that seethes below the surface - drug and alcohol abuse. The author explores the subject of alcohol abuse with a sensitivity that I admire. However, Sarah's reaction seemed a bit too forced and, although I can understand why she did what she did, a bit extreme. It just hurt Ian, which created a spiral of depression that made him drink more. Depression is a serious illness that hadn't really been diagnosed at that time. But, it would have been better if Sarah had been a bit more understanding and supportive. However, real life is messy and emotional, and this book portrays this wonderfully. These characters are all scarred and flawed, which gave them a realism that would have been absent if they had been perfect. I like flawed characters. Unfortunately, this genre is just not my cup of tea. If you do decide to read this book, you can make up your own mind, and hopefully enjoy it.

Anne-Marie Klein has written a gritty story that I enjoyed. Although I wish the pace of the story could have been a bit faster, it was well written and flowed wonderfully.

As this book contains scenes of alcohol abuse, as well as those of a sensual nature which, although not as explicit as some books I have read, I do not recommend to younger readers. I do, however, recommend this book if you love high drama or contemporary fiction filled with flawed characters, drama and angst. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


                      

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