Monday, April 7, 2014

Christie's Review: Still Life with Strings by L. H Cosway


Title:Still Life with Strings
Author: L.H. Cosway
Release Date: March 24th, 2014
Rating: 5 stars

My name is Jade Lennon and I stand still for money.

The night I saw Shane Arthur watching me everything changed. A man in a suit always catches my eye, but it was the way he looked at me that was different. Like he knew me or something. He didn’t know me, especially not in my costume. My sobriety rests on staying away from men, but there was something about him that made me throw caution to the wind.
After all, I was never going to see him again, right?
Standing still isn’t the only way I make my money. I also bartend at a concert hall. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Shane was going to show up there. Not only that, but he’s the most recent addition to the orchestra. So now on a daily basis I have to resist one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met and he plays the violin. For me that’s one hell of a deadly cocktail.

He wants me to teach him how to live. I’m not sure how much a twenty-six year old recovering alcoholic who works in a bar and moonlights as a living statue can teach a world class concert violinist, but I’m sure going to try.

Still Life with Strings is a story of music, art, sex, magical realism, and romance that you will never forget.

This my first time reading a L.H. Cosway book and I am now officially sold for the forseeable future on all of her future books. There are some books you simply enjoy, set aside and move on. This book for me, was a book that you don't simply read. You savor every page, get pulled into the author's words until you feel as if you are a part of the characters' lives and hearts. And when it ends, you wish you could go back and start all over again. I really loved this book! It wasn't cliched. It wasn't overdramatized. It was genuine, unique, and lovely.

Jade is living in Dublin, working whenever she can and taking care of her two younger siblings. At 26, most people her age would be out dating, enjoying themselves, and working towards a career. Her life isn't like most. With both parents passed away, she has the heavy burden of taking care of her troublesome teenage brother and sister, making enough money to help provide for the family, and trying to keep out the pain from things that haunt her. She can't seem to escape the memories, but she's learned a few tricks to temporarily escape. She's a recovering alcoholic. Now she uses other methods to numb the pain. And yes, they are bizarre. Busking and dressing up as a character she likes to call the Blue Lady, (complete with blue wings and wig) and becoming so still physically and mentally she becomes a human statue? Yes, she actually does that. It's kind of strange, kind of puzzling, and also kind of beautiful when you learn her reasoning behind it. She also has a way of escaping into her mind that takes her wherever she wants to go in that moment. She has a fertile and intriguing mind that you just want to jump inside and take a peek into. Her daydreams were so spellbinding to me. They were some of my favorite scenes in the book.

Shane is an extremely talented violinist who just joined the orchestra where Jade works selling tickets and drinks. But that's not where they meet. Their meeting was unorthodox, to say the least and when they run into each other again they are both shocked and amazed to cross paths again. Shane is struggling, trying to meet new people and fit in as he's a little bit shy. He's unsure around Jade initially and I found that adorably sweet, but when it came to the moments that count, he didn't hold back at all in confidence and passion. They were wild and uninhibited with each other and I got butterflies right along with Jade.

Shane's got this subtle confidence in his sexuality that can't be taught. I'm totally at his mercy. His teeth graze the edge of my knickers, teasing, hinting at the fact that he could probably rip them off me if he wanted to. Instead he slowly pulls them down, exposing me inch by agonizing inch.

As perfect as these two fit, Jade doesn't especially want a relationship. Not only does she have a lot on her plate, but she's been burned in the past and she doesn't want to risk backsliding into her old, unhealthy habits. So she sets boundaries for their relationship to keep them casual-well, that was the idea. Normally I don't care for the whole friends with benefits plotline, but this didn't feel like that at all to me. She may have been in denial, but they both were in deep from the beginning and it was as clear as day. Her willpower weakens daily over how much intimacy they're allowed. She just can't resist him and his vulnerabity, his affection and care, and his exceptional and stunning musical talent. She's falling hard. And so is he.

Jade teaches him how to live free. Shane teaches her to let go and trust. They're both dealing with pain. One with betrayal. But what they didn't know is that their lives are woven together in ways neither of them knew.

Is this like some fucked up version of serendipity or just a complete and total coincidence?

And when things are revealed and truths and uncovered they can't deny their feelings anymore. I'm not going to even hint at how they're connected. That would be just wrong. I loved the role that music played in the book to illustrate their emotions and help you understand them better. These two were simply perfect for each other too, I was reveling in their bantering, their intensity, and their sweetness.

You have to read this book and experience this wonderful story for yourself. This story moved me. Truly. One final thought: Jade and Shane...

Serendipity? Fate? Or just dumb luck? You decide.


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