July 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Touching Melody (Forever Firsts #1)

I'm excited to be a participant in the Touching Melody blog tour, sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours. Read on for my review of Touching Melody and then enter to win a $75 Amazon gift card! And, don't forget to check out the other stops along the tour!

Touching Melody (Forever Firsts #1), by RaShelle Workman
Published June 2013
Publisher:  self-published
Format: e-book, provided by Xpresso Book Tours and the author 
Genre:  new adult contemporary
To Buy:  Amazon

Rating:  3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Maddie Martin's first weekend at college is nothing like she's used to. It's wild, like the wilderness on which the University of Bellam Springs sits. Roped into going to a frat party, she literally runs into Kyle Hadley. The boy she's loved since she was nine. The boy she promised all of her firsts to. But that was before his father killed her parents.

Determined to stay away from him, she throws herself into her music. Practicing piano eases her heavy heart, calms the sadness, and pushes away images of Kyle's face.

Until it doesn't.

Her music professor asks her to play a duet for their annual Graduation Gala. Doing so means she'll be assured another full ride scholarship. It's an opportunity she can't pass up.

But Kyle is the other half of the duet. And that means hours and hours of practicing.

Days and months of seclusion - just the two of them. And it's more than just music. It's passion like Maddie never believed was possible.

The inevitable happens. She falls in love with him all over again.

But, will loving him be enough to erase all the hate in her heart for his father? Can she look at him, and not see the evil in his family tree?

And maybe it's all a set up. Maybe Kyle is only pretending to care so he can finish what his father started, and kill her too.

Touching Melody had the potential to be an amazing book. The premise was interesting and mysterious. The backdrop of piano playing got my creative and musical juices all excited. The forbidden love plot device is one that I personally go for every time. Everything was executed perfectly, but somewhere along the way, many things sputtered out a bit.

When Maddie was 11, she witnessed her parents' murder at the hands of her BFF Kyle's dad. She was immediately whisked away to live with her aunt and uncle and never had the chance to say goodbye to Kyle or talk to him. Seven years later, they end up at the same college and run into one another. Maddie is still harboring a major grudge (understandably) against Kyle because of his dad's actions, and Kyle is still madly in love with Maddie.

The sins of the father... Touching Melody is another good example of whether one should pass judgment on another person because of what his or her parents did. It's a good question to ask. In this case, Maddie thinks, yes. Granted, she was pushed in that direction a bit by her relatives. But, I was a bit disappointed in her that she took all that without asking any questions, even though was was just a kid. 

Kyle was my favorite character. He had his own demons, but when it came to Maddie, he put them aside. She helped him through, and he loved her for that. He was strong and brave and everything we love in an NA book boyfriend.

I did think it just a bit too coincidental that both Maddie and Kyle picked up the piano after she left. And they ended up at the same college a year apart. AND they just happened to be assigned a duet. That's a lot of paths to follow, don't you think? And, along the same lines, I felt like so much more could've been done with the piano playing. It was a fantastic idea and it definitely should've been exploited more. Especially with a title like "Touching Melody," it felt like that aspect of the story should've dominated, and it didn't.

I also was more than a little creeped out by the fact that a bunch of 11-year-olds were having conversations about saving themselves for each other. I realize that especially Kyle was going through a lot of stuff that caused him to mature much faster than he should. but still. Little kids of that age should not be having the conversations that these two were having.

That being said, once Maddie and Kyle connected, they were really good together. The ending held several twists and turns that I didn't see coming, which was fun. Although Touching Melody didn't quite meet its full potential, it was still a good read and a captivating one.

About the Author
RaShelle Workman is the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series ("Sleeping Roses" is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series. She's sold over two hundred thousand copies of her novels worldwide in the past year, including Japan, Canada, and Europe. You can find RaShelle all over the web, but the best place to start is on her blog: www.rashelleworkman.com.

Check out RaShelle here - Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Unknown said...

Thanks for the amazing giveaway opportunity!!

LAWonder said...

I have never herd of Rochelle Workman and I am an avid reader. Thank you for causing me to be aware of her.

Giselle said...

This story sounds so sad and emotional! I can't even think about what seeing your parents murdered would be like for a child omg. I'm glad you enjoyed it this is definitely right up my alley!

Danielle Schneider said...

Thank you for the giveaway! :)

Ossie said...

Nice giveaway.

jmcgaugh said...

Sounds like an enjoyable story.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Great post and great giveaway!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway!