Read The Melody Thief by Shira Anthony Online


A Blue Notes Series NovelCary Redding is a walking contradiction. On the surface he’s a renowned cellist, sought after by conductors the world over. Underneath, he’s a troubled man flirting with addictions to alcohol and anonymous sex. The reason for the discord? Cary knows he’s a liar, a cheat. He's the melody thief.Cary manages his double life just fine until he gets mugA Blue Notes Series NovelCary Redding is a walking contradiction. On the surface he’s a renowned cellist, sought after by conductors the world over. Underneath, he’s a troubled man flirting with addictions to alcohol and anonymous sex. The reason for the discord? Cary knows he’s a liar, a cheat. He's the melody thief.Cary manages his double life just fine until he gets mugged on a deserted Milan street. Things look grim until handsome lawyer Antonio Bianchi steps in and saves his life. When Antonio offers something foreign to Cary—romance—Cary doesn’t know what to do. But then things get even more complicated. For one thing, Antonio has a six-year-old son. For another, Cary has to confess about his alter ego and hope Antonio forgives him. Just when Cary thinks he's figured it all out, past and present collide and he is forced to choose between the family he wanted as a boy and the one he has come to love as a man.Note: The Blue Notes Series can be read in any order. Each is a stand-alone story from the same classical music universe....

Title : The Melody Thief
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781613726952
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Melody Thief Reviews

  • A Girl Has No Name
    2019-06-05 18:42

    The Melody Thief is the second installment in the Blue Notes series - when looking at the publication order. I liked this one a bit better than the first part, the main characters and the dynamics in their relationship were very catchy. Cary is a successfull cellist and has been playing concerts all around the world since his childhood. However, the relationship with his mother has always been complicated and after her death, he decided to leave the United States in order to live in Milan. A great musician at day, he is looking for quick, anonymous and dirty sex at night. However, on his way home after one night at a gay bar, he is attacked by two men in an alley. Before anything worse can happen, another man steps in and Cary is immediatly attracked to the very hot stranger. Antonio is willing to help Cary after his stay in hospital and the attracktion between the two men is immediate. Unfortunately, Cary is keeping is true identity a secret and Antonio comes with a story of his own. The story moves quite fast, we are following the characters for about two years. The falling in love between Cary and Antonio happenes in the middle of the book and it is thus a bit different than many other stories in this genre. The second half of the book is focussing on real life problems: Cary's father is arising from the death and his sudden and unexpected presence in Cary's life is about to have a heavy impact on Cary's feelings and on his relationship with Antonio; difficulties in parenting, sickness and addiction are being adressed. I really had the feeling that this story could be happening just like descirbed in real life and that's what made me like the characters so much. It was a lot of fun reading a story playing in Milan, as I'm currently there for my studies. I also like reading stories about gay men with kids and Massi was such a lovely character! This story motivated me to keep reading the series! 4 stars!

  • Kaje Harper
    2019-06-11 14:46

    I really enjoy books like this, where "I love you" is the middle of the story and not the end, and where you get to see the characters coping with life. I really felt for Cary as the story began - he's a man with one singular talent who has been made to believe that outside of his music he has little worth and must hide who he is. Antonio is wonderful for him, both strong enough and loving enough to gradually convince Cary that he is worthy of a full and balanced life. I appreciated that the story line with Cary's dad didn't end up all roses, and enjoyed the supporting characters, including a little boy who was not always an angel. There is a sweetness to the second half of the book that will make this a comfort reread for me.

  • Ami
    2019-05-23 11:24

    3.35 starsThe second book in Shira Anthony's "Blue Notes" series is a stand-alone novel; it might share the universe of classical music, but each stands on its own. So there is no need to read the first book -- as the characters here are different. In Blue Notes, the readers are being taken to the wonders of Paris. In this book, Milan replaces Paris to give its voice to the story. I find the city background and the world of classical music as fascinating as the first book. For me it gives nuances and helps the story to be otherwise just another okay story.Personally, when it comes to the romance between Cary and Antonio itself, it misses its mark. I think my issue with it is the fact that I didn't prepare myself for a story where the falling in love happens in the middle, rather than in the end. The beginning is really good -- Cary struggles with his destructive behavior, his penchant for alcohol and one-night-stand on bar's toilets. Rough and not intimate, that's his preference -- what he thinks as 'the melody thief'. So, I sort of thinking (and expecting) a long journey towards self-healing, when Antonio and his son, Massimo, comes into his life. Unfortunately, it turns out that Cary realizes that he's in love with Antonio (and vice versa) even before the half mark. That the story afterwards is the life after the "I love you's", when someone from Cary's past returns and makes Cary reanalyzes his choices and perception about family. Not that it's not a good plot -- but for me, it reduces the intensity that I'm expecting.In the end, I think the middle part is just 'okay' and the ending slightly too predictable (view spoiler)[with Cary winning a Grammy (hide spoiler)], though nonetheless sweet. Still, it's a nice contemporary romance read. Plus, I love stories with kids -- cannot help myself. I think Massimo is just adorable

  • Mandapanda
    2019-06-09 15:43

    A nice love story that spans a few years about an internationally renowned cellist Cary, who is spiralling out of control emotionally, being rescued by a patient Italian lawyer Antonio and his cute son.I didn't quite connect with the MC's in this one. I'm not really sure why. All the usual ingredients were there to make me fall in love but it just missed the mark. But the writing is fine and the classical musical background was interesting.

  • Deeze
    2019-06-02 12:43

    This book had my feelings being twisted and pulled in a few directions. Just the way I like it lol.Cary was a deeper character than at first appears. I worried about him a lot. Antonio was pretty much the Knight in shining armour kind of guy. Pretty much perfect.Cary's mother was harder to like. While I could sympathise with her after learning more, I still didn't understand how she ended up so cold to Cary growing up.John I never liked from the start. I was all set to like him after learning the truth, but in that I actually ended up liking Janet more. John just left me cold. Selfish man. I admire Cary for being able to understand him, because I sure couldn't.Massi is just adorable. He is so well done, one of the most believable kids but still a cutie. Overall this is a true love story between Cary, Antonio and even little Massi. I'm always happy when a book can have my emotions engaged and this had them all over the place, from tears of sadness to tears of joy, not to mention the stomach tightening parts of wondering if it was all going to go wrong.Another full bodied story that I'm so glad I finally got around to reading.

  • DaisyGirl
    2019-05-21 16:30

    4.5 StarsWow. I really liked this one. Cary Redding is a world-renowned cellist flirting with addictions to alcohol and anonymous sex. His life outside of the limelight has required that he take an alias and not get close to anyone, which is fine by him. One night, however, his carefully constructed world is threatened when he is saved from muggers by a handsome lawyer, Antonio Bianchi. Antonio is everything that Cary is not: responsible, dependable, honest, and true. A loving father of a sweet six-year-old son, Antonio is drawn to the troubled musician. But Cary is unaccustomed to the love and romance Antonio offers. And, Cary's past - long thought dead - reappears, turning everything on its head. I loved this book. I usually shy away from stories involving addiction. It's too dark and heavy for me. As such, I was reluctant to try this story. Cary, however, eventually grew on me. It was a pleasure to 1) travel his journey with him; and, 2) see how far he came by the end. He definitely went from "zero" to "hero" in my book. As for Antonio ... love, Love, LOVE him! OMG. He was *sigh* all that and a bag of chips. You know why? Responsibility is sexy, accountability is sexy, and vulnerability is f*cking sexy! Antonio was all that and then some. He had my heart from the get go. I loved Massi and the non-traditional extended family. Cary's (view spoiler)[dad was the only dud in the group. I didn't care for him. I'm not sure that I was supposed to. I could appreciate his character to a certain extent and I sympathized with his situation to a point. However, I was frustrated with his attempts to drive a wedge between Cary and Antonio and his deep-seated bigotry (granted it only came out when he was drunk but still). I was also miffed by the unknown cause of his death. What happened? (hide spoiler)].Lastly, the book's blurb is a little misleading IMHO. I thought Cary was a "melody thief" meaning that his music was a fraud. (view spoiler)[That's not the case. He views himself as undeserving of the praise and acclaim he receives because his mother did a number on his self-esteem. (hide spoiler)].Bottom line: Shira Anthony hits another home run with this series. Recommend!

  • BWT (Belen)
    2019-05-30 13:48

    3.5 OH THE DRAMA! StarsWhen Cary is mugged and hurt on the streets of Milan after a night of anonymous rough and dirty sex in a gay bar, his savior, lawyer Antonio Bianchi, takes him to the hospital where he's treated for a broken wrist (set and cast) and concussion. Cary tells Antonio his name is Connor Taylor, and when the doctor recommends Cary be looked after for a few days, Antonio takes "Connor" home with him to recuperate from his concussion.So begins a series a lies and half-truths Cary tells Antonio so that Antonio will not find out "Connor" is actually Cary Taylor Redding, renowned cellist. Of course, Antonio is a patron of the arts so it turns out he already is well aware of who Cary is from the beginning.But that's only the beginning...Cary is filled with self-loathing and is pretty self-destructive in his actions.Peter B. Brooke's narration rips your heart out. It broke my heart!Once again, Brooke's narration is crisp, well enunciated and shows off his wonderful range of accents. I think it's hard when any narrator also has to do children's voices, so I don't really fault not caring for the voice Brooke does for Massi, Antonio's son.Personally, even the good narration did not save me from nearly rolling my eyes out of their sockets on this one folks. Don't get me wrong, it's written well. This is a really good story with realistic, flawed characters. I just don't care for that much realism in my romance. Major spoiler and trigger warning here: (view spoiler)[ At the beginning of the story Cary has rough, dirty bathroom sex with multiple different partners. Even after meeting, and starting to fall for, Antonio. (hide spoiler)]Thankfully there is a nice HEA to take away the sting of drama throughout the rest of the story.Copy generously provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.This review has been cross-posted at Reviews by Jessewave.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sandra
    2019-06-12 12:50

    2.75 stars So I started out with the first chapter loving this. Cary was obviously struggling and my heart broke for him and couldn't wait to see his journey of finding himself and his music again. It turned out to be a nice enough story, just something about it kept me at a distance. I liked the characters well enough but I didn't ever quite feel connected to them or emotionally invested. Things just sort of happened. There was the addition of a surprise character, which was fine, but some of what transpired was a little odd (view spoiler)[I got lost in the argument Cary and Tonino had about Cary's Dad. Cary was mad Tonino wouldn't tell him, but he kept interrupting every time he tried to talk. And the whole "I won't have him here" seemed weird and over the top, but if he had explained he didn't feel safe with him around Massi it would have made more sense. (hide spoiler)]. They sort of already had their HEA and then this characters was supposed to create upheaval... but I just didn't buy it. (view spoiler)[It's kind of ridiculous to even presume he would leave Tonino and move to NYC, to what? Be near his Daddy? Um, he's 28 years old and just met this man. And the way the tiniest snide comment from John made Cary question his and Antonio's relationship really annoyed me. You're an effen adult, grow a set! They had been together over a year at that point, are you really that freaken insecure?! (hide spoiler)]And although Cary did talk about it, given the title and his descriptions about music and the way it made him feel (and the way he wanted it to make him feel), I felt like that should have been more of a focus than it was. Like he should have been struggling with his music because of his downward spiral... but he wasn't really.Won as part of the 2012 Holiday Party in the Erotic Enchants Group!

  • Ilona
    2019-06-19 15:29

    This was my first Blue Notes story but it won't be my last. Shira Anthony wrote a wonderful contemporary romance that had me eagerly reading to find out more about both the main characters. It even had me in love with little Massi (the six yr old son) which is rare for me having had 5 of my own to contend with over the years :D What I liked most though, was that it didn't do the instantly get together and everything turns up roses, instead it showed how a relationship needs to be constantly worked at to keep that happy ending. Something else I truly know from my 37 years together with the father of the 5 children. The final bit that sealed the deal for me and turned this into a truly good book was that the truth about how much hard work goes into achieving success in any field but especially that of a good classical musician wasn't ignored.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-23 16:26

    What a little gem of a book.Cary, likes to live life on the edge. Different guys each night in tatty bars. One night whilst in Milan he is mugged and then saved by Antonio.Although Cary tells Antonio a made up story of who he is, it comes to pass that Antonio knows exactly who Cary is.They begin a friendship, when horror of horrors, Antonio introduces Cary to his son and Cary doesnt do kids.A sweet build up of a love story.Recommended.

  • Jess Candela
    2019-05-29 12:45

    Review Summary: A wonderful story, absolutely enjoyable as a stand-aloneReview: I’m not a fan of insta-love and I love stories that show what happens after the couple ride off into the sunset together, so I really appreciated this one. Cary and Antonio get to know each other a bit before falling in love, and once they do there’s still quite a bit of story left to see what their life together looks like. That really worked for me.The world of classical music and professional musicians was beautifully drawn, making me feel I was right there, living it with Cary. I appreciated the opportunity to be immersed in another world for a while, and to experience Cary’s journey along with him. I loved (and ached for) the significance of the title.I ached for Cary and his belief that his only worth was his musical ability. It was understandable With his family background, but there were also a few moments at the beginning that seemed to contradict that, moments when he’d say or do something suggesting he knew he was worth more than that. That made getting a clear sense of his character a bit tricky at first, but once the story and I got into the groove, all was well.Cary started out so damaged, and the “meet cute” was when Antonio rescued him from a mugging, so right from the beginning Antonio was clearly the knight in shining armor. I liked him, but I thought he was maybe a little too perfect, with his patience, understanding, awesome family, and so much more. Even though Antonio was arguably less than perfect with his lack of musical or artistic ability, I thought that was part of what made him a good complement to Cary and it helped me better appreciate why he was so drawn to Cary.There was one thing about Antonio that confused me, a seemingly trivial detail but one that – once mentioned – required an explanation that never came: why was he circumcised? Because it’s so unusual for Italians to be cut, and because we were so explicitly told that he was, I expected that we would get an explanation which would offer some new insight into Antonio and/or his family; it never came, so it just endlessly niggled at me.I also felt like there was some lack of resolution with Cary’s brother, who I had hoped and expected to see him visit. Family was such an issue for Cary, and I loved that he got a second chance at understanding both of his parents. It was a big deal for him to finally realize they both loved him, each in their own ways. Some of the storyline with his father felt a little unnecessarily over-dramatic, like a plot device to create tension in his relationship with Antonio. But aside from that, I loved the opportunity it provided for him to heal a bit, and thus make his HEA with Antonio all the more believable.This was an engrossing story that I was able to enjoy greatly without having read the first in the Blue Notes series. Whether I might have enjoyed it more if I’d read the other first is, of course, impossible to say. But the claim that it stands alone is one I can happily vouch. Recommended.This review was originally posted at Reviews by Jessewave, where I received the book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lou Sylvre
    2019-06-02 17:32

    Five stars for Shira Anthony’s The Melody Thief! This book told a truly lovely story of a jaded man’s unasked for but unavoidable search for himself. We meet the MC, Cary Redding, in his childhood, or at least when he should have been having a childhood. His mother has laid a burden of expectations across his shoulders like a yoke, and he has no understanding of why except that his musical talent—he plays the cello—is exceptional. The next time we see him, he has lost all chance of ever understanding his mother’s reasons, and he has become a man who believes himself unworthy, so much so that he will let himself have nothing sweet in his life. The author takes us along as he navigates a treacherous path through the lies he’s told himself and others. Along the way, the reader visits the world of beautiful music and shares in Cary’s singular joy when he gives himself over to his playing. Shira Anthony’s love and deep understanding of music is evident in her simple yet spot-on prose. The author made me feel the morning sun in Milan, and the sweet, history-rich, Italian countryside, and indeed each discreet setting simply by placing her characters down in the midst of it and letting them live. I recommend The Melody Thief to those who love music and children and good men loving each other truly, and especially for those who love stories of redemption.

  • Shirley Frances
    2019-06-15 16:28

    Awesome!!! I loved everything Shira Anthony brought to the story - the characters, the language, the music and the conflict. Every concept exceptionally written and enjoyable.I loved Cary. He was so conflicted and in need of love that my heart went out to him immediately. I wanted to shake him, smack him upside the head and hug him all at once. And Antonio? Well, er, is just wanted to take him and his son home with me. I know, I know! He's gay! But he was adorable and honest and tortured in his own right. Add to that the sexual vibe he exuded and my imagining how he would sound speaking Italian, moaning and saying "cara" and I was melting.I enjoyed how these two got together and how they developed throughout the story. Both of them had doubts and both of them had to fight their demons to be together. But they did and it was beautiful!Once again I enjoyed how Shira Anthony brought together the music, the romance and the setting to tell the story of Antonio and Cary. I loved it. This is my favorite book of the series so far and I have the highlighted text to prove just how much I enjoyed this. There might even be a Facebook post or two.

  • Michael Halfhill
    2019-06-13 14:32

    I am no stranger to intricate plotlines, or the complexities of classical music. Shira Anthony’s “The Melody Thief” combines both in Carry Redding. Redding is a walking contradiction. He is a famed cellist, a man of beauty, and consummate talent; a man surrounded by adoring fans and friends. Yet he is a man full of self-loathing; a man walking a path of destruction through sex devoid of emotion, devoid indeed of identity. This is about to change when, on a Milan street, he meets the confident, no nonsense Antonio Bianchi and later on, Massimo, Antonio’s young son. Reluctantly, Carry lets himself be swept into a world he thought beyond his worth, and in so doing, finishes a personal masterpiece, a masterpiece not of music, but of the heart. Five stars for Shira Anthony’s “The Melody Thief.”

  • Anders
    2019-06-05 18:47

    This story was so beautiful. You could call it a second-chance story, I guess. It's about a cellist, Cary, who is about as messed up as they come. He drinks too much, he has sex in the bathrooms of bars, and in spite of his personal life, manages to have a career as a musician. But things catch up with him in a big way when he gets mugged late at night.I loved how Cary changes through the story. He really grows up and figures things out. And when something happens that is really hard for him to understand, he really grows up. Antonio's son, Massi, was adorable and realistic. Cary learns to be a father to Massi and a partner to Antonio.The music world is interesting, the romance is so sweet (and the sex was really hot!). I cried at the end but in a good way! This is probably my favorite book of this author so far.

  • Kate
    2019-06-15 11:48

    The Melody Thief takes us on a tour of a man on the mend - a solitary tortured soul who not only needs to love, he also needs to learn to love and accept himself. His journey narrates a lovely relationship-building process that touches upon the foundations of Cary's character. His mother, his brother, his romantic tutelage and his relationship with music are all interwoven into a complex tapestry of self-discovery and growth. I was thrilled to revisit Shira Anthony's other characters that populate her world, whose cameos serve as a uniting factor to the Blue Notes series. I'm looking forward to the next book!

  • Melanie
    2019-05-20 13:24

    After reading the first in this series I wanted to immediately start this second installment.The first 30% had me feeling sick with nerves, when you just know things are going to go "boom".I forced myself to get through it and I wasn't disappointed.I fell in love with all the characters. And was incredibly happy to find that things didn't end when the MC's got together, we followed these characters through their HEA, witnessed them overcoming other obstacles, felt with them as they stood by each other.I just freaking loved it.

  • Jacq
    2019-05-22 19:24

    Loved it!This was a dynamic story! I loved Cary and Antonio sigh... Massi,was a sweat treat also lovable. I don't usually like kids in the story, somehow massi, just fit. wonderful trip to Italy, with sweat detail Small angst, but lovable so real to life, with a vey close HEA.

  • Susinok
    2019-05-24 12:32

    Amazing story. I loved it.It was fantastic. Five star all the way. Cary did not only change over time from a very bad place to having a real life, but he healed as well. Great book!

  • Vio
    2019-06-13 17:31

    3.75 stars

  • Maria (aka Fashionta)
    2019-06-16 14:32

    Reviewed for Confessions from RomaholicsReview at Confessions from RomaholicsA meeting brought together by chance sets about a series of moments that lead to a romance, a romance filled with challenges and many possible different outcomes, but only one chance at love.Cary is tired, tired of living a lie, of being a fake, but most of all, tired of his music. He believes so strongly that he does nothing but steal music. A prodigy since a young age, playing the cello has been one of Cary greatest and yet most devastating achievements. When he plays he forgets everything: his fears, and his loneliness.Left to find minuet satisfaction in the back stalls is hardly the happiness one wants. But it seems to be Cary’s only escape, until … Antonio. At 3 o’clock in the morning with the bruising effects of rough sex tempered with too much alcohol, it’s safe to say Cary isn’t at his greatest. So when he is attacked by 2 men, on the verge of kidnapping him – for what I really don’t know – a stranger comes to his rescue. Antonio. A gorgeous Italian!When introductions are made Cary seems to hesitate with giving out his real name, and ends up using the name Connor Tyler – which is actually him in a sense. Once getting caught in a compromising position, Cary was left to create an alter ego, a man no one would care about if he decided to get drunk and have random sexual acts in back alleyways. Hence Cary has become Connor, confusing … yet understandable.The attack has left Cary with a broken wrist and a concussion, Antonio offers his place for the night so he isn’t alone. This is the beginning of Cary’s confusion towards Antonio, a sexual attraction unlike anything he’s ever felt draws him to Antonio … it also scares him beyond belief. And come morning there is a little surprise in store for Cary when he wakes up at Antonio’s in the form of a young boy, Antonio’s son Massimo, who is quite adorable! Massimo is just a huge bundle of energy but then what 5 year old isn’t? I love how he manages to essentially make Cary feel like a kid again.Even with this attraction he feels towards Antonio, Cary hasn’t given up his nightly bouts of rough sex with strangers in the stalls. Yet this time it’s different, Cary has a wake up call. How much longer can he continue to run from his own fears, his own shadow? Years of the mental abuse from he mother has left Cary wary of his own self worth. And Cary’s lies seem to stack up with no end in sight. Antonio decides to give Cary a little nudge, he knows David Sommer, a friend of Cary’s, and together they scheme a way for Cary to come clean. I found it rather interesting that Antonio let Cary continue on with the charade of lies. Almost like he was testing to see how far Cary was willing to take them.Of course the lies end with a kiss and a promise from Cary to never lie again to Antonio. Like with every relationship, little snags are bound to be encountered, no one is perfect. Cary is dealing with a constant struggle to understand what he wants. The concept that he does actually deserve to be happy is a challenge. I must say though, Antonio has the patience of a saint to be able to put up with Cary’s constant moods. He also knows when to push him just enough so he’ll realize that he does, in fact, deserve happiness.Cary’s insecurity at times seems a bit overly dramatic, drawn out too much even. He has a great brother, though we never meet him, they only ever talk on the phone. He has wonderful friends, who are a built-in support group, yet they have let him continue down the spiral of depression. How was it they never stepped up to help Cary? With Antonio in the picture, he just takes control and cleans up the mess of Cary’s life. The strength Antonio has is amazing: such faith in Cary! It’s no wonder he is perfect in every sense. He basically gives Cary the tools he needs to grow into himself.How about another bombshell? Cary’s father, whom he believed was dead, suddenly shows up after one of his performances. I must say, it seems rather ominous if you ask me. Makes you question why? After all this time, why did he wait until now? It seemed like it was just another fabrication brought on to create a rift between Cary and Antonio, another challenge for them to over come. Of course it puts Cary and Antonio at odds. Antonio sees things that Cary is blind to. So when a choice is needed to be made, will Cary choose the right one?With the return of Cary’s father, comes a better understanding of Cary’s mother. Cary gets a clearer picture of why his mother did what she did. Essentially, he gets a better understanding of both his parents, though – which gives him a sort of closure on his childhood. While his mother has a strange way of showing it, she did love him.I wish we could have had more time with Justin, Cary’s brother. He was only really there peripherally. We never get to see them together. You have a feeling they are close, and with how much Cary aches for anything related to family, I felt sure we’d see them together at some point.I give The Melody Thief 4 couples. It’s a story that holds your attention. As I’ve read the first, I can say that it holds up well as a standalone even though it’s a part of the Blues Note Series. It’s a beautiful struggling story that I would definitely recommend!

  • Sophie [at] Book Suburbia
    2019-06-18 12:28

    If I could only explain with words all the emotion and joy I felt reading this book, I wouldn’t have enough space in this post to do so. So, I’ll stick to what can be described in words and will tell you this: The Melody Thief is possibly one of the greatest books I have read this year. Mrs.. Anthony knocked this completely out of the ball park. The story, the love they share, family values, friends, passion, Milan, New York. This book has all the necessary elements to make this love story, AN EPIC LOVE STORY. And of course the added bonus of a proud gay couple with the overwhelming blessing of a child is just the cherry on top. I’m still emotionally wrecked about this beautiful yet painful love story between two men who have meet in the most awkward circumstance, and built a love from ashes, where each one was literally reborn. If you’ve read Blue Notes, you probably remember Antonio Biachi, Rosie’s lawyer in Milan at a brief scene with Jason. Well, this is Antonio’s and Carey’s story. Before I describe you Antonio, let me describe you Carey in 5 words: ONE – HELL – OF – A – DISASTER. Carey is a gifted Cellist. He’s also a sex addict. A man whore who turned to promiscuity as an escape from his fucked up reality. Here’s the thing though: Carey doesn’t care about his life being this upside down. All he cares for is to release his inner pleasure beast night after night anywhere he can, with whoever he can, however he can. It doesn’t really matter that he’s a world known artist and that he has fame and fortune. Because of his strict upbringing, Carey grew resented of his mother’s demands. At the end he understands she only did it so he could succeed, but the lack of motherly love every child craves and needs is what turned him into what he is nowadays. His greatest escape? Anonymous sex in public bathrooms. After getting in trouble for unleashing his innermost cravings in a very careless way, his manager creates an alter ego for him. From there on, Carey is known in the downworld as Connor Taylor. Ok so that’s Carey in a nutshell. Antonio ‘Tonino’ Bianchi is a powerful lawyer, who just happened to be walking by the day he met (and saved) Carey from being mugged. From there, Carey noticed that Antonio was all he ever dreamed for in a man and he realizes he’s scared shitless to give him the opportunity to care for him. Little things like chicken soup, a bath, a massage and nurturing he never received from anyone do the trick. And Tonino is just all about loving and caring, since he has a little bundle of joy of his own to practice with. Massi is the son he procreated with his best friend, Francesca, who shares custody of Massi with him, although she has a girlfriend of her own. Gifted with infinite patience, Tonino also carries a burden that shatters his soul, but that he’s willing to finally let go when he meets Carey. Both of these guys stole my heart completely. Both had internal battles. Both were scared, but dared to love. Carey in particular was more adamant, and many of his insecurities were so deep rooted he didn’t even think he deserved a love and a family like the one Tonino was offering him. The overall story of forgiveness and second chances, makes this story a recipe for laughter, joy and pure reading pleasure everybody could love. I cried a lot reading this book. Carey’s transformation is just one of the many reasons. Tonino’s soft, love and patience was another. Massi’s pure heart was the key to mine. Mrs. Anthony: thank you, again and again and again until the end of time, cause without you knowing it, this book brought my love for reading back to life when I had thought it was dead.

  • Shelby
    2019-06-20 13:36

    I love these sort of books. There’s enough angst to keep it interesting, but the development of the relationship isn’t all there is. This is about love in the long term and learning to be with the person you’re in love with. In the end you’re left knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that these two will be together forever. HEA with the best of them. I get my warm happy glow-y feeling. The writing is light and warm and I get to thoroughly enjoy my reading.Cary Redding is a renowned cellist who was once a child prodigy. He’s played with all the greatest composers around the world and in the most elite orchestras. Yet underneath all of his success lies the soul of a troubled boy struggling to earn his mother’s approval. He’s learned to hate himself and buries the pain in quick fucks in bathrooms and booze. At least as his other persona, Conner, he’s free to be a mess. Until the night when he stumbles out of the bar drunk and is set upon by footpads. Luckily a broken wrist is the only major injury he walks away with.When Antonio Bianchi sees a young man getting mugged on the street he steps in to help. After helping the guy to the hospital Antonio is drawn to the man and invites him back to his place to recover from his concussion. Antonio is a successful entertainment lawyer based out of Milan, though he travels quite a lot for his work. He’s father to an adorable six year old son and is despite painful path, happy in his life. Allowing Conner in though is a dangerous proposition if he doesn’t know the whole truth.I love the ease of Ms. Anthony’s writing. Her stories are always so fluid and really make you care for the characters involved. I particularly enjoy the depth of knowledge and understanding of music that she includes. I really feel like I understand the love for music that her characters have.Cary…what can I say Cary’s tortured soul broke my heart. He hated himself so much and yet he deserved so much more. I loved how devoted he was to his music and the cello. I adored watching him blossom under Antonio’s loving care. Cary was so closed off from everyone around him, burying his true light under anonymous sex. I enjoyed seeing the little changes in him as he welcomed Antonio and Massi into his life.Hello Antonio! To quote one of my favorite shows it’s an “invasion of the hot Italians” (Amy Pond voice please). Antonio was such a beautiful soul and his patience was incredible. He gave Cary all the time he needed to realize his own value and yet had the strength to let Cary take care of him when he needed it too. Besides the fact that he has one of the absolutely cutest kids ever. Massimo made me just want to cuddle him and it’s easy to see how Cary fell for him as well. Who wouldn’t love that little bundle of happy energy.This book is one of those comfort reads. It leaves you warm and happy with the knowledge that despite troubles and pain love will always help you through in the end. It shows how love can deepen over time and that if you truly love someone everything else is just details. The alcohol addiction depicted here was handled smartly and gave full weight to the damage the disease can do. There are some books that are incredibly deep and wonderful because of that. Then there are others that are amazing because of there sweetness. Sometimes you’re in the mood for one, sometimes the other. I wanted the sweetness and light when I started this book and I got exactly that. I fell in love with Cary and Antonio as they were falling in love with each other. They truly created a wonderful modern family together and have a wonderful future to look forward to, just as I have a wonderful next book in the series to read as well.

  • Chris, the Dalek King
    2019-05-25 15:44

    The Melody Thief is the second book in Shira Anthony’s Blue Notes series-–though the stories are all written so that they can be read individually. I had previously read Blue Notes and found that I enjoyed it, and have been looking for an excuse to read more books in the series.This one I probably liked more than the first. Probably a lack of trauma-inducing french words (strangely enough, Italian is the other foreign language I took at uni-–though it was not nearly as horrible as my experience with the french language).Cary is a successful cellist, though he has always felt like a bit of a fraud. Trying and failing to live up to his mother’s exacting expectations, Cary has become a bit of a partier in his spare time. Though he at least does it under an assumed name so not to trash his career. But when he gets mugged one night, coming home from being fucked in the dingy bathroom at a local gay bar, Cary’s life takes a rather unexpected turn.His rescuer, Antonio, is incredibly handsome, incredibly nice, and also very much out of Cary’s league. Not that Cary wouldn’t want to at least have a try out. But Antonio is also the father of a young–-precocious-–son, and Cary has never been fond of children. Still, he can’t seem to walk away from the man, even if he is sure that one day Antonio is going to look up and see what a fake he is…and walk away from him.This was pretty low on the angst meter. Which actually made it a pretty good story for me this week. There are certainly moments where the tensions rise (especially with the father issues) but on the whole it was just a nice story. And while huge time-jumps are not my favorite thing, it does work really well here. We get to see the growing relationship in a more realistic time frame, and we get enough time with the characters so it doesn’t feel like we are missing large chunks of the story.I was a little unsure about the whole ‘melody thief’ aspect of this story. I’m not sure I ever got what this was supposed to mean. Cary didn’t steal anything tangible…so that wasn’t it. Maybe he felt like he stole the fame from some unknown person because he didn’t think he was worthy? I don’t know, and that not knowing was a bit of a mark against the book for me. It kept bringing up the idea that Cary felt like a fraud…but I never really felt like it explained why and the why is pretty damn important.This was however a small portion of the book, and the rest of it was really good. And I even like the kid. Which is not a normal occurrence for me. Unlike Cary, when I say I don’t like children, and never wish to have one, I don’t think that is going to change. Which is probably a good thing for the poor child who would otherwise get stuck with me.I really enjoyed this series and will definitely be checking out the other books in the future.This book was provided free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.

  • The Reading's Love Blog
    2019-06-04 16:48

    LA RECENSIONE COMPLETA QUI: storia è raccontata dal punto di vista di un narratore onnisciente e narra la vita di Cary che incrocia quella di Antonio. L'ambientazione invece è sorprendente perché passa da Milano per poi andare negli Stati Uniti e viceversa, descrivendo il necessario. Cary inizialmente non mi è piaciuto per niente: la sua vita tra alti e bassi e il suo modo di fare di comportarsi mi infastidiva. Andando avanti con la lettura, ho capito il suo motivo e il perché, ed è stato un personaggio che è riuscito a cambiare grazie alle proprie volontà e all'amore; alla fine infatti l'ho amato. Antonio invece mi è piaciuto sin da subito, un uomo esteriormente molto pacato e pacifico che all'interno ha un animo tormentato, tuttavia cerca di essere sempre se stesso e di vivere la propria vita con coraggio. L'incontro con Cary però gli darà una vita nuova, come un fiore appassito che torna in vita con più coraggio di prima. Poi c'è il piccolo Massimo, un altro personaggio che ho amato fin da subito e che ha reso la storia molto tenera e dolce. Quando si tratta di bambini ogni cuore dovrebbe essere in grado di sciogliersi e lo sa bene Cary, che all'inizio dichiarerà di non amare i marmocchi, ma col tempo cambierà idea. I miei complimenti a quest'autrice che ha scritto un libro meraviglioso, emozionante, sofferto, romantico, con le giuste scene di passione, insieme a personaggi secondari alcuni dei quali dimostrano la vera amicizia e altri che purtroppo dimostrano la crudeltà come nella vita reale. La storia è scritta in modo molto coinvolgente, scorrevole e dettagliato. Se siete in cerca di tutte queste cose, non aspettate e comprate subito questo libro, perché sicuramente non ve ne pentirete assolutamente! CONTINUA SUL NOSTRO BLOG. VENITE A TROVARCI

  • Plainbrownwrapper
    2019-05-21 14:50

    IMHO this was a much better book than the first of the series. Aside from the fact that this is much more my sort of couple -- both are successful and financially stable, however screwed up they may be emotionally -- this volume is much more complex, layered, and nuanced. Not perfect by any means, but a good read.Some of the good stuff: There weren't many easy answers here, and no Evil Cardboard Villains. The MC cellist, Cary, had a hard childhood -- but as we learn during the course of the book, neither of his parents were bad people. They made decisions that hurt Cary over the years, but it wasn't because they were evil or wished to harm him, and it wasn't even because they were uncaring. They were simply human. Similarly, Cary made bad decisions without being stupid, or weak, or evil. He was simply as screwed up as the rest of us. And even when people hurt him, even when he had a *right* to feel hurt and angry, he could still love them and accept their imperfections as well. Good work there, I thought. Oh, and the kid, Massimo. So often kids in romances are just way too cute for any good use. Here, however, Massi also got to be petulant and annoying and rebellious at times, which I very much appreciated. As for Antonio...well, he was perfect. I thought that was a flaw with the book, actually -- he never showed any serious imperfections. Handsome, successful, confident, a wonderful father, he had it all. I wanted him to stumble a bit more.Another imperfection -- parts of the book were episodic, which always bugs me. On the one hand, an episodic structure does help to jump across time when an author wants a book to include a significant time span (in this case a couple of years). And using the episodic structure does mean that we get much more than the wham-bam-we-fell-in-love-thank-you-ma'am. OTOH, the episodes always break up the narrative and dramatic flows for me, and I'm always wondering what we the readers miss in the skipped periods. So it's a mixed bag there.Overall, a great improvement from the first book in the series. 3.75 stars. Yes, I know I'm splitting hairs with that rating. ;-)

  • Susan Laine
    2019-05-21 14:50

    This reads like two stories: In the beginning you have Cary, an angsty musician enter into a tentative relationship with the handsome and wise Antonio, and toward the end you have Cary learning about family, specifically what makes a family. At first, Cary is not a sympathetic person, but when you learn about his past and his life, you can't help but feel and understand his compulsions and choices. Addictions come in many forms. And how can a man who has never really known family learn to embrace one? Carys's struggle to let go of his own fears becomes the reader's journey, as well.I adored Jules in Blue Notes, the first book in the series, and for me, Cary didn't reach his level of sweetness. Nonetheless, Cary has ghosts that many people have in their lives. Uncertainty, loneliness, fear of loss, fear of the future, and so on. And that makes him a grippingly realistic character. At some point I forgot I was reading a story, and began to see it as almost a real life narrative. A curious experience.Antonio and Cary are very different, and they come from different places in their lives. Yet they find a harmonious balance, after some big and small hiccups are resolved. Still, nothing is concluded at the end, just like in real life. There's happiness and tragedy mixed, and the reminder to treasure every moment of our lives thankfully does not fall on deaf ears.This series keeps getting better and better. Ms. Anthony knows her foreign climes, her languages, her men, and her music. Her expertise flows to the reader with every word. I've certainly come to appreciate the hard work musicians have to go through with their work, and Cary's dedication, as filled with duality as it is, comes through loud and clear.I can't wait for the next book, and I know I'll be rereading these, and soon too :) I highly recommend!

  • Lisa J.
    2019-06-11 18:42

    4.5 stars. What a lovely surprise. I'd read two previous books in this series, and thought they were OK/good, but this one captured my attention and wouldn't let go.We're taken on Cary's journey from Bang-Me-in-the-Bathroom Redding, who deep down doesn't believe he's worthy of love, to In-a-Relationship-and-Loving-It Redding, who relishes his roles as a husband and father. Cary grew up with a cold mother who demanded perfection. As a musical prodigy, he missed out on a lot of his childhood. So when Antonio enters his life, he keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop.I love when the MCs are committed for a good chunk of the book, and we spend time witnessing their growth as a couple. We follow Cary and Antonio for over two years from their first meeting to moving in together to meeting the family. Cary is tempted by his demons, but he doesn't give in. He knows better than to throw away the best thing that's ever happened to him. When someone unexpectedly comes back into his life, complications arise, but Cary still turns to Antonio for support. Antonio and Cary argue and struggle with communication, but the love is always evident. There was never any over-the-top drama.Cary certainly hit the jackpot with Antonio. Antonio is understanding, calm (maybe too much), thoughtful and loving. And he speaks Italian. Little Massimo was adorable without being precocious. He seemed like a realistic kid with his tantrums and the way he challenged Cary's role in their new family. No one was more surprised than Cary with how much he came to love the "stinker." And let's just say I melted a little every time Massimo called Cary, Cary Papa.I kept expecting The Big Misunderstanding or The Manufactured Breakup to rear their ugly heads, but they stayed away. The MCs were perfect for each other, and we get to bask in their relationship, imperfections and all.

  • Bebe Knight
    2019-05-22 18:25

    I have to say, I enjoyed the way Shira Anthony took the reader on a journey through Cary’s redemption and salvation. His tale was a sad one, but you enjoyed watching him come back from the edge. And Antonio was the perfect hero to save him; smart, handsome and strong-willed.While I enjoyed the story between Cary and Antonio, I was a little put off by the mid-story plot line about Cary’s father coming into the picture. The HEA came about halfway through the book, and then we were thrown for a loop with the impending upheaval of their relationship due to this stranger who walks into Cary’s life. It was somewhat unbelievable that Cary would choose this man over Antonio, especially after some of the things he says and does. I just couldn’t connect with the second half. Perhaps if the two story lines were intertwined together, it would have flowed much better.Check out the rest of my review on my blog, Reading Until I Fall Asleep:

  • Venona Keyes
    2019-05-22 11:37

    The Blue Notes series has a theme: Beautiful music. Beautiful, highly flawed men trying to come into harmony with their personal demons and find a loving relationship. Melody Thief is about a truly gifted musician, Carey Redding, who needs to hide who he really is when he goes out to the seedier side of the gay bar scene. Connor Taylor is the mask that Carey Redding wears, and nearly chokes on as he tries to establish a relationship with a very handsome Italian knight in shining armor, Antonio. As he finds out, knights can and do have chinks in their armor. Antonio has the patience of a saint, while Carey tries to sort out his past, his feelings, and how anyone as wonderful as Antonio could love him. Antonio does not play games and treats Carey with respect. Carey, unfortunately has never had an open and honest relationship, and he struggles with the freedom and the trust Antonio gives to him within the partnership. The story unfolds steadily and surely to show Carey's growth as a person, a musician, and a partner. A very nice read indeed.