Wendy reviews ‘Guarding His Melody’ by Victoria Sue. Published by DreamSpinner Press, September 25, 2018.
Congratulations on the release of Guarding His Melody! It is a stand alone book set in the Enhanced World.
***Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post for your chance to win a $50 DSP gift card***
*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Deaf since childhood, Sebastian Armitage had a promising musical future until his dreams were shattered when he transformed at twelve years old. In a world where enhanced humans are terrorized and imprisoned, his life shrinks around him even more as he suffers the torment of his father’s experimental research to enable him to hear.
Gray Darling—struggling with the scars left by his experience in Afghanistan—agrees to provide short-term personal protection when anonymous threats escalate into assault on those closest to Seb.
As the lines between protection and attraction blur, Gray and Seb can’t ignore the intense feelings drawing them together. But secrets and betrayals might prove deadly, unless Gray is willing to risk it all. And Seb must find the strength to make his own future and sing his own song
Grab your copy here:
Gray sat and let the words wash over him and tried not to squirm. Every note Seb played seemed to come from somewhere deep inside. Every word he sang screamed loneliness, frustration. Gray had never met anyone who needed to be heard so fucking badly, and Gray ached to give him that. He stood up and walked over to the piano stool. Seb hadn’t put the headphones on, and his eyes were closed. He was in his own little world, and somehow for some ridiculous reason Gray couldn’t put a name to, he didn’t want Seb to be in there on his own anymore. He knew Seb would feel him sit at the piano. Seb’s voice changed almost to a whisper, and his hands slowed to picking out the occasional note.
“Ever played the piano?” Seb didn’t open his eyes, so Gray didn’t bother answering him.
Slowly, breathlessly, Gray rested his right hand over Seb’s and felt Seb’s fingers moving underneath him. He closed his eyes and tried to follow Seb’s dexterous fingers, but in the end, he just relaxed and gave Seb his hand’s full weight and let him take it where he wanted. Gray would have loved to do the other one, but he couldn’t reach, so his left hand he set gently onto Seb’s thigh. Seb changed the music and started singing something else Gray had never heard. If he had to guess, it was a lullaby, and he remembered Seb telling him he had learned to play from following his mom’s hands while he was small. The thought that Seb was including Gray in what must be such a powerful memory for him was humbling. He could feel the muscles under his left hand harden as Seb pressed the pedals. Gray was torn between not daring to move and needing to jump away because any second his fingers would slide higher up Seb’s leg, and he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. If he concentrated really hard, he could keep them still.
Gray’s eyes focused on the luminous green ones staring at him. Seb’s hands were still, but Gray’s right one curled over Seb’s fingers, and his other clutched Seb’s thigh. They were plastered together. Hip to shoulder. Warm minty breath wafted over him as Seb was so close when he spoke. “Did you like it?”
Gray nearly said what, and then realized what he was supposed to be doing. He cleared his throat and moved his hands. He couldn’t bring himself to stand up, though. “You are incredibly talented.” Gray watched the faint flush appear on Seb’s throat.
“Really?” Seb’s eyes were sparkling, and Gray was lost.
He was seconds away from leaning forward and brushing his lips over Seb’s. Gray needed to move, but just as the thought formed, the decision was taken away from him, because Seb closed the gap and kissed him. Not that he would have called the too-hesitant, softly brushed, barely there glance a kiss, but as Seb drew back not even an inch from his face, it was enough for Gray to follow, chasing the hesitation, the warmth, the whispered moan that flew all the way to his groin and settled there.
Gray closed his eyes and copied the shy movement from Seb. If there was even a second of pause from Seb, it would be enough to stop him. Gray wouldn’t hurt him for the world. He was here to protect—
Gray yanked himself away and nearly fell over as he stumbled away from the piano. Protect. Seb was a client, even if the other obvious reasons weren’t enough of a deterrent, not least his age.
Gray dragged a shaky hand over his face. “I’m—”
“If you’re going to apologize, I will steal your gun and shoot you with it.”
Gray opened his eyes wide at the anger in Seb’s voice, but even as he stared, Seb relaxed and gave him a hesitant smile.
“I don’t need to be able to hear to understand that sort of message.” Seb’s gaze fell to the large bulge in Gray’s jeans. “And I’m not blind either.”
“But—” This time Gray snapped his mouth closed over the sentence. Seb was intelligent. He didn’t need Gray to point out why this was such a bad idea. “It’s a line I won’t cross,” he said simply. “Not while I work for your father.” He counted his own heartbeats while he waited for Seb to acknowledge his words. When the small nod of Seb’s head came, Gray would never ever admit he was a little disappointed.
Why I read this book: I’m a huge fan of the Enhanced World books and an even bigger fan of Victoria Sue. I jumped when I was offered the chance to review this story. Literally. *grabby hands*
This book is a stand alone but follows the Enhanced World universe.
I admire the thought that goes into creating a fictional world. Some do it better than others and the Enhanced World is one of the best I’ve seen. Everything is thought out. From the rights of the enhanced to the guardianship laws, travel restrictions and health care. This story is no exception. Elements that I probably wouldn’t have missed but appreciate being in the story are included. It makes a good story great!
Grey~ This character is selfless and gives his all to protecting his charge, (Seb). Watching him help Seb learn to live a healthier life with information that he gathered while battling his own issues says a lot about this character’s character. Knowing that some of those issues are still works in progress just elevates him in my eyes. He’s definitely the guy Seb needs watching his back.
Sebastian~ What a great character! He’s been deaf since a childhood illness, he lost his mother at a young age, he’s intelligent, a skilled musician and works for himself, but… he’s enhanced. This poor guy has been so oppressed. Used as a guinea pig in hearing implant experiments because enhanced have few rights, yet he still remains hopeful to a degree. He’s reclusive and sensitive and holds a secret close to his chest. I honestly could go on and on about this character because he’s so complex. I felt like I was given just enough peaks at his many facets to have my imagination want to supply what wasn’t written about him. Probably one of my all time favorite characters!
The secondary characters deserve some mention as well. I had feels for every character in the book but a few in particular really capture the essence of the story. From the motherly housekeeper that I wish was mothering me, The doctor who preforms all the surgeries that Seb has had to endure, to the father that is almost manic in his desire to find a cure for Seb’s hearing loss. You will feel a huge range of emotions for each of these characters as well as the many others in this book.
Victoria Sue brings all of the above together with a suspenseful tale of angst, despair, betrayal and a budding romance while solving a mystery and saving the day.
Do yourself a favor and buy this book!
Victoria Sue fell in love with love stories as a child when she would hide away with her mom’s library books and dream of the dashing hero coming to rescue her from math homework. She never mastered math but never stopped loving her heroes and decided to give them the happy ever afters they fight so hard for.
She loves reading and writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—and creating a family for them to adore. Thrilled to hear from her readers, she can be found most days lurking on Facebook where she doesn’t need factor 1000 sun-cream to hide her freckles.