The Song That Seduced Paris

From the The Bel Homme Quartet series , Vol. 1

In this debut romance novel, a woman gets a new lease on life while managing four irresistible men training to become the world’s next singing sensation.

Renowned music entrepreneur Teddy Wilson has a vision that’s going to take the industry by storm: a multinational vocal group that combines pop and opera. But he needs a special kind of woman to manage his four talented, egotistical guys. Teddy’s longtime assistant, Harriet, knows just the person for the job: her niece Annie, a music teacher from Detroit who needs something new after losing her husband to cancer 18 months ago. Wounded, gorgeous, and plucky Annie charms Teddy and his singers, whom she aptly dubs Bel Homme (French for “beautiful man”). And she’s up for the challenge of keeping them focused and happy during a summer of intense rehearsals at Teddy’s estate in England, but she doesn’t anticipate falling in love. Though he won’t admit it, French superstar Gabriel Grenier joined the group for a fresh start, too. Already rich and famous, Gabriel is worn out, uninspired, and lonely. Drawn to each other instantly, Annie and Gabriel fight to control their urges, their pasts, and Teddy’s orders not to mix business with pleasure. Irish’s first book in a planned series delivers on many female fantasies: there’s a dreamy man with a sensitive side who knows how to please a woman (on top of a grand piano!), forbidden love, personal growth, even an all-expenses-paid makeover shopping spree. The story features few surprises and little shock factor in terms of plot (Gabriel’s big secret is far from scandalous), but readers will have fun anyway. Though the book opens with an abrupt, graphic description of Teddy receiving a sexual favor from an employee he’s about to fire, later sex scenes—built up slowly, between a couple worth caring about—are poetic and satisfying. Even Teddy gets a chance to redeem himself through a sweet, age-appropriate romance with Harriet. Readers will look forward to love stories involving Bel Homme’s other three eligible bachelors in future installations of the series.

A fun, sexy escape.

Pub Date: May 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-942627-01-2

Page Count: 338

Publisher: Enoch Publications

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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