Heartstrings (Heartstrings #6)

Title: Heartstrings (Conquest #6)
Author: S. J. Frost
Cover Artist: Winterheart Designs
Publisher: MLR Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: 220 pages / 64,000+ words
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by jeayci

Review Summary: A cotton candy-like story, it’s sweet, good for a beach read (especially if you like rock star stories), but without a lot of substance.

When violinist, Nicholas “Las” Lamont” would make his treasured violin sing, he could transfer the emotion of every piece to his listeners. That was before his passion faded. As Las performs the last concert on his tour, he realizes his lackluster playing goes against everything he used to love about music and he has two choices; rediscover his love for music, or stop playing.

Quinn Patrick, the leader and drummer of the Scottish rock band, Lions Rampant, lives for music. The instant he and Las meet, Quinn sees in him a man with a beautiful gift, but who’s lost his way.He wants nothing more than to bring back the sensitivity and passion that made Las the virtuoso he is.

The more time Las spends with Quinn, the more he learns about what it is to love music. But if he’s to truly find happiness, he must open his heart not only to music again, but to Quinn as well.

Conquest Series

Review: This was an enjoyable story populated with beautiful people. There were no real surprises – except how conveniently everything fell into place – and one bit of blatant stupidity that shocked me. I’ll share what that stupidity was at the very end of the review, so those who want to avoid any sort of spoilers can ignore it. But if you know about it going in, maybe your jaw won’t drop quite as hard as mine did.

I had trouble liking Las at times, finding him disappointingly shallow and thoughtless. I loved Quinn, and feared Las wasn’t good enough for him; a fear shared by Quinn’s best friend (and obvious sequel-bait), Tanner. However, by the end of the story Las had redeemed himself sufficiently for me to appreciate their HEA. And despite feeling a little manipulated, I’m looking forward to Tanner’s story.

Quinn was the perfect man: kind, intelligent, talented, gorgeous, and with a Scottish accent to top it all off. Although I adored Quinn, there were a couple of times I wanted to smack him. I also questioned his musical avocation at one point when he claims to have never been as enchanted by music as he was listening to Las play. I get that it was supposed to be a statement of how moved he was by Las, but I really wondered what sort of musician Quinn was to not have gotten more enchanted at some time or another when actually playing himself. I also thought they were “in love” awfully quickly, but then I dislike Insta-Love. While these guys didn’t do that, exactly, they were closer to it than I am quite comfortable with.

Having spent some time in Edinburgh in January myself, I laughed hard when Quinn implied it wasn’t all that cold. I was there with a Canadian friend who conceded “it was a bit nippy”. He was wearing a leather jacket, while I was bundled up like the abominable snowman and shivering anyway, Californian that I am. So I could easily imagine Quinn’s machismo in the face of such cold. And I appreciated the opportunity to revisit Edinburgh Castle.

I frequently struggled with the head-hopping POV changes that occurred randomly every few paragraphs whenever the two men were in the same scene. For what it’s worth, despite all the complaints of head-hopping in Cut & Run, it’s never bothered me; not on any of my many rereadings. So this is either more egregious than that, or I just wasn’t as into it. I’ve noticed I pay much more attention to technical details when I’m not as engrossed in the story. Whatever the reason, I frequently found myself reading back a few sentences, trying to figure out whose head I was in now.

It was fun seeing the characters from Conquest again, though I think Jesse and Evan get more treacly each time I see them. Overall this was an enjoyable story, good for whiling away an afternoon on the beach.

Now for the spoilery bit. Scroll down for it or stop reading here if you don’t want to see it.
Still with me? Okay, here it is: Las and Quinn bareback after just a few weeks together, no tests, and minimal discussion. Especially considering how much we’re told that Las slept around before Quinn, that struck me as insanely stupid.



  • Thanks Jeayci. I keep passing this author’s works because I had not been too keen on vampires for some time now, but even though these are not vampires, I somehow do not feel too inspired. I already my go to writer, when I feel a need to go read about super gorgeous people lol.

    • If you like reading about (gorgeous 😉 ) rockstars, you might enjoy her Conquest books. Those were almost all 4-star reads for me. They’re not anything deep or intense, but I can’t handle that all the time! 😆 They’re light, fun reads, and I really appreciate those sometimes. 🙂

      • Oh, of course I need the break from deep and intense too and I like to switch those with light and funny (and with other genres lol), and I guess I confused her with another author if she writes about rock stars and not vampires. But I think I am okay with Mary Calmes for those types of reads – I am addicted enough to her type of gorgeousness and do not want to start questioning myself if I will get addicted to SJ frost’s characters too ;). I also like Amy Lane’s lighter books for fluff and actually off the top of my head, I cant say right away who else my go to writer for mindless relaxation reads. I am sure I can come up with few more names later 🙂

        • I don’t think you confused her with someone else, she’s written a couple of vampire books too. But I think she’s usually better known for her rockers books. 🙂 I understand the “having plenty of light reads” already thing, but if you’re ever in the mood for rockers and a light read, the Conquest books would probably be just the thing! 😀

          Hmmm… I wonder if that would be an interesting question Wave might want to toss to readers here? I love that there’s the list of diversity, and that’s much more important! :cooler: But it might be fun to find out what are people’s “go to” light, fun reads. And maybe a corollary post about favorite angst? (Or do we just say “Amy Lane” and be done with it? 😉 😆 ) Or maybe it’s redundant since there’s already the readers’ favorites post.

  • Oh woa, you didn’t like it? I loved this story. Yes, the author writes sweet romances and in this particular one there we no big conflicts like the previous books, but I did like it.

    I liked that Las came ofmas an arrogant bastard at first and a bit shallow, but I did think he came around in the story.

    Oh well to each their own, I guess. 😉

    • I liked it, I just didn’t love it. Or hate it. That’s what 3 stars means to me: it was good. I do think it’s a perfect beach read, as it’s sweet and doesn’t make you think too much (especially with how perfectly pat everything fell into place; okay, I guess that bugged me a bit! 😀 ), but to me that is a 3 star book. 🙂

      • I agree. I liked this, maybe a 3.5 star for me, but then I loved the Conquest series. I’m not sure why people think 3 stars is bad, for me its a C — a passing grade. 🙂

        Great review!

        • Thanks Lasha! Yes, a passing grade, that’s exactly it. But then, with grade inflation what it is, my university students often whine horribly about getting Cs. 😀 I loved the Conquest series too, but they were almost all 4-star reads for me. This author in general seems to be consistently 3-4 stars for me.

          • My students moan about C’s too. Heck, when I was in school I was happy with a D — it meant I passed and didn’t have to take biology, economics, etc. ever again! So in my book, C’s are fine. 😀

      • LOL, i guess I undstand, I was just surprised because I loved it 😉 this is one author I like almost most works from and for me it’s hard to like contemporary stuff nless it has cowboys!


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