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Songs Unfinished - Holly Stratimore
Published by: Bold Strokes Books, on 20 January 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Pages: 264, Format: eARC
Reading Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge, LGBT Challenge 2015
Can a love of music bring two women into harmony, or will their pasts create too much discord? Guitarist Jaymi Del Harmon is battling writer’s block and focusing on her band’s growing success. Love is a distraction she doesn’t need as she recovers from an ex-lover’s betrayal and her mother’s premature death. Singer Shawn Davies survives in LA in any way she can, even if it means exchanging sex for a place to sleep. She reevaluates her life when a desperate decision results in a brutal attack. Seeking a fresh start, she heads home to New Hampshire and tracks down her old friend, Jaymi.
Their passion for music blossoms into much more than either woman was expecting. Can Jaymi find it in her heart to trust again, or will Shawn’s past mistakes destroy any chance of a future together?
Songs Unfinished is a beautiful love story featuring great characters, music, friendship and romance – well written and sounding true, I both had tears in my eyes at times, and good laughs at other times.
I enjoyed all the different parts of Songs Unfinished. Shawn and Jaymi both are very well done characters, and they both have to come to terms with their pasts so they can start living in the present, and plan their future. Story-wise, I was enchanted, both because I could relate to characters I don’t have much in common with in real life, and because they are both musicians and I love music. What the characters have been through in the past is shaping their future, but they are both ready to let go and do their best to be happy.
One of the things I enjoyed the most in Songs Unfinished is that while most of the characters were gay, that was in no way the main focus of the storyline. I think I noticed this because I have read a lot of coming out stories lately, but here, Shawn and Jaymi were both out already, and very comfortable in their own skin and with the people around them. The obvious chemistry and sweetness between the main characters made it very easy for me to love them, and root for them, even when they hit some major bumps in the road.
As Jaymi and Shawn got closer both emotionally and physically, other characters were interfering with their happiness, and some of the outside problems were difficult for them to deal with – especially when taking issues like trust, cheating, friendship and family into account. Songs Unfinished is a tender and strong story, and I still smile when I think of it, over a week after finishing reading.
Written in third person past tense, I got to know all the characters well, and there were many more than Shawn and Jaymi that had an important part in Songs Unfinished. Between the music business, concerts, fans and friends, I really felt like I could see them all as the story unfolded.
If there are times you are sad after I’m gone, promise me you won’t focus on my death. I want you to think about my life and the good times we had together. Remember how much I love you. Her mother’s words were enough motivation to drag herself out of bed.
Jaymi released a long breath, and then laughed halfheartedly. “I don’t know how we lasted as long as we did. Stupidity, I guess. I was young and stupid and though I was in love. You don’t think straight when you’re in love…”
“We’re gay, Jaymi – we’re not supposed to think straight, when it comes to love,” Shawn teased, sitting up and giving Jaymi a playful push.
Excitement consumed her as she reread what she had written. She let out a huge breath of satisfaction and smiled. She didn’t want to sleep now; she wanted to play it. To share it. With Shawn. Now.