REVIEW: A Song of Secrets by Jayci Lee
Her secret tore them apart. Will his secret reunite them?
World-renowned cellist Angie Han is desperate to save her trio’s chamber music society. So when she discovers that her ex Joshua Shin is the anonymous composer setting the classical music world on fire, she asks for his help. The sexy musician agrees to an uneasy truce to protect his secret success. But when their passion reignites, Angie’s own secrets may be exposed. Will Joshua ever trust her again? And will what’s keeping them apart ever lead them to happily-ever-after?
Dear Ms. Lee,
Yay a new Harlequin series from you and double yay, it’s set after the end of the pandemic. From your pen to the ears of the Universe. Even without the lovely cover, I would have wanted to see what this book was all about. Second chances, musicians, and secrets – bring it.
Angie Han, eldest sister and the cellist of the Hana Trio, had a chance at love with Joshua Shin before fate in the form of her father forced her to give it up because of her sick mother. Dad would have sulked and created scenes that would have stressed her mom during her treatments. But after her mother lost her fight with cancer, Angie moved out and cut the trust fund strings. Now she lives alone, supports herself, and feels darn good about that.
Then she sees Joshua at a fundraiser for the Chamber Music Society and learns that emotions about their past relationship ride him as much as they do her. However she’s sad while he’s angry. Shortly after that, Angie puts together some clues and realizes who the mysterious composer only known as AS really is. When Angie learns that the Society will need substantially more donations in order to be assured they won’t be forced to stop performing, she comes up with a plan.
Joshua Shin was devastated ten years ago when Angie Han ripped his heart out as she left him to keep her trust fund. He can’t believe it when she shows up in his office and announces she knows who he really is and what she wants from him. Soon he needs something from her as well and the two strike a bargain. Will their time together and love of music give them a second chance?
This is a quiet and thoughtful story. When the penny dropped for Angie, I had visions of what she’d do with the information but instead of the usual, she went another route. Joshua can be forgiven for initially shutting her down but his need also turned out to not be what I expected. Both actually thought of the needs of others before their own feelings.
What Joshua wants from Angie introduces a charming character from his family: his Halabuji who sees and understands a lot more than Joshua is comfortable with. Joshua’s beloved grandfather could have been a stiffnecked old coot but instead he takes Angie to his heart and treats her like a beloved relative while Angie throws herself into her part of the bargain and charms him right back.
This is a Harlequin Desire book so I was expecting sexy times but to see Angie take charge of what she wanted in her new and different relationship with Joshua was fun. Thank goodness the two of them don’t hem and haw but go right for what they’re comfortable with. The story is actually longer than it feels like as days at a time are skipped giving Angie and Joshua time to be together off page. A surprise occurred when something that had been a misunderstanding was revealed way before I thought it would be and in a way that I usually can only long for in a romance book.
As I waited for a few shoes to drop, Joshua finally got to work on his part of their bargain and I enjoyed how music – which they had once enjoyed together – brought him back together with Angie. The final conflict between them was what I was expecting but again, it was handled in a way I wasn’t expecting. Which was good! But the original conflict that tore them apart ten years ago never really felt as if it was resolved or explained to me. I can only assume that more will be shown in the next two books but it was disappointing here. I also thought the professional challenge that Joshua faces was over and done fairly quickly.
I look forward to the next two books with Angie’s younger sisters. Some information was revealed that ought to shake up the Han sisters but based on how they were written here, I think they’ll be more than up to the challenge. B