Sheet Music

This is an amazing short story by a new Ellora’s Cave author and it totally blew me away. I was surprised with the depth of emotion that Ms. Armstrong was able to generate between her characters and with how they affected me. It’s also one of the most titillating books that I’ve read in a while.

Kyra Martin is a music journalist who desperately needs to interview David Tallis, a secretive musician known for hating and distrusting journalists. She’s attractive and at the beginning of the story is willing to do almost anything to get this interview, even stooping as low as paying hotel staff for information on David’s habits, room number and itinerary. She’s liberated and knowledgeable about the music industry, done her homework and yet she manages to tip him off about both her plans to get an interview and about her attraction to him. She believes she will be able to entice him into giving her an exclusive and is not above using her feminine wiles to get it.

David Tallis is a very talented musician who also happens to be uber sexy. He’s known for some time that Kyra is after an interview; she had contacted his publicist, he knows about her bribes to hotel staff to get information and originally he had planned to turn her request down flat but when he meets her he is attracted to her and devises a plot to use her as a warning to any future paparazzi trying to obtain information on him. David is a man with no past prior to the age of thirteen and no matter what the press has done they have been unable to get details about his childhood and he’s determined to keep his secrets for good reason. He’s also been burned by an ex-wife whose tell all interview for a tabloid magazine was mostly filled with lies; he thinks that journalists are all scum. David trusts his inner circle else but even they don’t know his secrets and they are very protective of him.

The interaction between David and Kyra is smoking hot and they soon give into their sexual attraction for each other. The heat that the author generates between the characters was palpable and I had to stop reading several times to get a cold drink. They realize that their red hot affair would draw a lot of media attention and could damage Kyra’s reputation as impartial, so they decide to keep their relationship secret. The more time they spend together, the more they crave each other’s company and tentatively begin to trust each other. Eventually both Kyra and David trust each other with their deepest secrets and even though they haven’t made plans for the future, they both begin to realize that what they have found together could be real thing.

It is at this point that David decides to take what he sees as a huge gamble and give Kyra the interview she had originally requested. He decides that they also need to go somewhat public about their relationship but do it in such a way that their relationship isn’t the focus. Unfortunately not everyone in his inner circle is as trustworthy as David believes which leads to a betrayal that creates a media blitz. How David reacts puts the relationship in jeopardy and David has to do some self examination, which includes deciding if he loves Kyra enough to be with her or if he should just walk away.

The ending to this story was both amusing and emotional. Ms. Armstrong was able to make me fall in love with her characters and actually care about their situation. This story almost brought me to tears and I actually had to force myself to walk away from the story so that I could breathe deeply and finish the book. I’m really looking forward to Ms. Armstrong’s next book.  

Book Blurb for Sheet Music

Music journalist Kyra Martin faces the toughest assignment of her career—to write a cover story about enigmatic heartthrob David Tallis. Deadline looming, Kyra plans to go undercover. When she ends up under the covers with the sexy superstar instead, can both her career and their budding relationship survive?

With a closet full of skeletons to hide, and a paparazzi-fueled divorce behind him, David Tallis despises the press. When Kyra Martin bribes her way into his life, her sexy assets have him composing a duplicitous seduction. Ensnared in a media maelstrom of his own making, can David face the music? Or will he lose Kyra, along with another piece of himself?

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2010 5.00