Stella Riley strikes the Perfect note
There’s no doubt that Cadenza – Rockliffe book 6 – strikes the perfect note as once again this very talented author provides an outstanding and original story to add to her wonderful series.
In this book her hero is Julian Langham a gifted virtuoso harpsichordist and an absolutely adorable character on the verge of achieving stardom following his first major performance in Vienna, but is sadly duped into returning to England to take over a dilapidated estate.
Her heroines are Belle and Lizzie. Belle is the perfect counterpoint to Julian and their love story is beautifully written while at the same time Lizzie falls for former bad boy from Hazard, Ralph Sherbourne and as their relationship develops, we see a completely different side to him.
Add to this three children Tom, Rob and Ellie whose presence brings a tear to the eye as you see the interaction between them and Julian.
I won’t reveal how all these things occur but I can assure you, it’s a delight. Beautifully written, endearing and very, very touching.
Naturally the Duke of Rockliffe plays an active and influential part as do many of the family and friends we have met and come to love in the previous 5 books in this series, in particular charismatic Sebastian Audley.
On a separate note, we discover another aspect to Ms Riley - that of the musician. She describes the workings of the harpsichord and how to restore and repair one through Julian. She really is a most talented writer.
I cannot praise and recommend this book high enough. It has humour, poignancy, pace and the one thing Stella Riley does to perfection, truly likeable people. It also takes us on a musical tour of Baroque harpsichord music and its composers.
And finally, one added bonus is that if you go to Stella Riley’s website and click on Extras, the performance given at the end of the book is not only detailed but has a presentation of musical extracts from Julian's recital by modern-day harpsichord players. Very original.
Sadly I believe this is the last in the Rockliffe series and I shall miss her adorable characters but hope that perhaps the intriguing Max Brandon will step centre-stage and pick up the baton. He’s certainly someone who I’d be interested to read more about.
As I have said Cadenza strikes the Perfect note. Well done Ms Riley and please, please keep them coming.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)