Release Day Reviews: Small Town Sonata by Jamie Fessenden

Title: Small Town Sonata
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 249

Dreamspinner Press  |   Amazon

Can the trusted town handyman rebuild a broken pianist’s heart?

When a freak accident ends Aiden’s career as a world-renowned classical pianist, he retreats to his New Hampshire hometown, where he finds the boy he liked growing up is even more appealing as a man.

Dean Cooper’s life as handyman to the people of Springhaven might not be glamorous, but he’s well-liked and happy. When Aiden drifts back into town, Dean is surprised to find the bond between them as strong as ever. But Aiden is distraught over the loss of his career and determined to get back on the international stage.

Seventeen years ago Dean made a sacrifice and let Aiden walk away. Now, with their romance rekindling, he knows he’ll have to make the sacrifice all over again. This time it may be more than he can bear.

4.5 stars 

Small Town Sonata is a sweet contemporary story which reunites two men that had a high school romance.

Aiden Scott has achieved international acclaim as a classical pianist. He left his small hometown 17 years ago and his career skyrocketed. Fame, status and wealth carried him forward until a freak accident with a bicyclist seriously injured his hands. The pain is constant and no amount of physical therapy can relieve it. His fingers never regained their original strength and he fatigues easily, making it impossible to play on the professional level he was used to.

Dean Cooper was the town troublemaker who turned his life around. He loves his hometown and has an intense connection with the people who live there. He could never imagine living anywhere else. He was “asked” by the sweet elderly ladies in his neighborhood to resurrect a band to play for an annual event. I found Dean to be an endearing character. He so did not want to be a part of the band but could not turn down their request. This commitment to the geriatric con artists, err, I mean ladies is very adorable but also an important back theme in this story.

The men meet again and do a cautious dance. Dean is still very much attracted to Aiden but he was the one to leave and not come back. Dean learns about the freak accident that has altered the pianist’s career path and he really wants to explore a relationship but fears Aiden will depart again once he figures out his new direction in life. He can’t imagine Aiden being satisfied with living in this small town environment. Both men realize they can’t fight their true feelings and begin to casually date. They find that their physical attraction is still just as powerful as it was before.

The story is touching and I enjoy how the men took the time to really learn about each other all over again. They did not haphazardly jump into the relationship with unreasonable expectations. Being a couple and sharing their interests and commitments with each other you see how much they have grown. Aiden does have a choice to make. Can he be content playing on a limited scale or will he continue to travel tailoring the music to adapt to his hands?

I recommend this well written and moving book and felt the men and their life challenges were genuine.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.***

4.25 Stars!

Aiden has come home to try to sort out his life. He had been living the high life of a renowned concert pianist until an accident damaged his hands. Unable to play as he once did, he is trying to figure out what he is going to do now that his dream and career are gone. Dean is the local trusted handyman. He hasn’t had much luck dating in his small town, but he is happy even if some residents drive him crazy on occasion. Aiden and Dean were friends as teenagers before Aiden left town. Now, they have a chance to know each other again, but is it echoes of old times or something more special? 

I felt for Aiden. While his personal life wasn’t the best at the height of his career, his professional life was everything that he wanted. Now, he’s adrift and unsure what to do. I could totally understand why Dean is torn about Aiden. He missed Aiden and wants to get to know him again, but figures it’s just a matter of time before Aiden leaves again. While I felt bad for Aiden, I really liked Dean. He’s hard-working and is a great friend. He was just a regular guy trying to do his best by everyone, even if it wasn’t the easiest thing for him to do.

I really enjoyed this book. This small town is super quirky; and it was fun to see how Dean ended up in situations that he didn’t expect and didn’t want to deal with. My only complaint was that I wished we would have gotten an epilogue to see how Aiden makes his decision to stay and work in the long run. Overall, this was a fun, quirky second chance story that made me miss my hometown.  

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. *** 

3.5 stars

I liked Dean right away! He was kind and genuine and it was endearing to watch him in his interactions with the different people of the town that he lived and worked in. Aiden was a good character but in a different way. He had obviously been through something that altered his life drastically and it was sad to see him struggle. Dean and Aiden having that history of knowing each other growing up made it that much easier to see them getting together as adults. I wish we could have gotten a passage or two of them as teenagers just to see how they were with each other, to help build their relationship in my mind. And I do think they seemed to jump into things quickly after Aiden was so reluctant, so I think seeing them as teenagers would have helped me understand that connection a little better. 

I always love when characters have things they really believe in and love, and music was absolutely that for Aiden. It was nice to see him find that drive again. He was a different person with his music than what we see at the beginning of the book and it made me like his character even more. Overall I enjoyed Dean and Aiden’s story! 

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***