Whew! Second post of the night, and two more to go! I somehow really fell behind. Either that, or a lot is happening at once and I’m a bit too tired to notice. Any who. I’m going to pull a Belle from Beauty and the Beast here because…. I just finished the most wonderful story! I couldn’t wait until tomorrow morning to tell you all about it. Let’s talk about Dark Notes by Pam Godwin.
OH.MY.GOODNESS! I don’t even know where to begin! To say I love this book would massively undermine how stunning this story was from beginning to end. It’s powerful, dark, deep, sexy, suspenseful, and a symphony of words. I’m so mad I left this sitting in my iBooks for months before giving it a go!
Ivory Westbrook is one of the top students at one of the most prestigious arts academies in the country. She’s a talented pianist with dreams of continuing her studies at the top conservatory before being an integral part of a symphony.
Emeric Marceaux is not only Ivory’s teacher, but he has family connections at her dream school, is an heir to a piano empire, and a member of the Louisiana Symphony.
She’s innocent (in her own way). She also has some of the worst luck on the planet. She used to be a child of prestige, but after losing her father at a young age, her mother fell into a depression fueled by drugs and alcohol, her brother returned from the Marines, full of anger and beat her on a regular basis, and his best friend repeatedly defiled and abused her for four years. While this would put most people into a downward spiral of despair, Ivory holds her head as high as she can, and keeps a sweet smile on her face. She also has to resort to unspeakable acts with some of her classmates in order to keep a roof over her family’s heads and pay for her school necessities. She’s an outcast among her peers, and because of her need to survive, she also has an undeserved reputation.
Emeric is a man of privilege and immeasurable talents. He also has a flaring temper and an insatiable appetite for women, which is what caused him to resign from his old school where he was teaching. The new man on campus, Emeric is commanding and demanding of his students. When he and Ivory meet, he knows she’s not like the rest of his kids, and his protective (and obsessive) instincts instantly come to the foreground.
I adored their chemistry and loved the tension between the two. He is everything a girl could dream of; an absolute prince charming with some dominant alpha thrown in the mix. She is the dream heroine; completely coming into her own and transforming into a grown woman who can be proud of all she achieves, and Emeric’s protection and kindness is to thank. While there is a ten year age gap between the pair, and he is her teacher, the taboo aspect of this book fades into the background once Emeric and Ivory have to deal with very real and serious situations.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a massive fan of the Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard , and no one has topped the romancing style of Gabriel Emerson, but I must say, Emeric Marceaux has either tied or run a very close second. He’s equal parts sizzling sexy, and compassionate and passionate knight in shining armor. Ivory and he have such chemistry that I never wanted their story to end. The writing was pure poetry, as is the playlist. I was obsessed with all the references to classical music and academia and it helped to completely immerse me in their world. I could NOT get enough!