Music of the Soul (Souls of Chicago #2)

32180835Title: Music of the Soul (Souls of Chicago, #2)
Author: Annabella Michaels
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary/Rock Band/Firemen
Page Length: 248 pages
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Besides his family, music had always been the most important thing in Carter Greene’s life. Having a career in music was everything he had ever dreamed of. That was until the terrible night when he nearly lost everything.

Carter can’t get the image of one particular man out of his mind; the man who found him in his darkest moment. The one who risked everything to save him and the same person who most likely never wants to speak to him again.

Ryan Marshall had led a pretty solitary existence ever since his grandfather had passed away. He spent most of his free time renovating the property he had inherited while avoiding the dating scene. Lately, he found himself longing for someone special; a man he could share his life with.

One fateful night, an emergency call placed Carter in Ryan’s life and the two felt an immediate connection. Unable to stop thinking about him, Ryan decided to reach out, but was disappointed when Carter was not at all what he expected.

Ryan is determined to move on and forget all about the beautiful man he rescued, but he soon realizes that sometimes fate has other plans.

Music of the Soul is book 2 in the Souls of Chicago series and can be read alone or as part of the series.

This was a new-to-me author, and this book was full of sweet, gooey, fluffy goodness. Think Cardeno C, people.

Carter Greene is an up-and-coming musician, and the front man for Carter’s Creed. He is severely injured in a fire, and saved by Ryan, the hot-as-sin fireman. Within seconds of receiving devastating news about his guitar-playing arm, Ryan comes to visit Carter. He lashes out in anger, and Ryan leaves the room.

Carter figures out who Ryan was pretty soon after, and feels terrible. The make up scene was delicious.

I’m not gonna focus on the story, because it was a good story with good relationship development. This wasn’t insta-love, but it was insta-something. Maybe connection? The author did a good job with making me feel their connection to each other, even in the sugary-sweet, eye rolling moments.

This is only the author’s second book, according to GR, and there wasn’t a “polished” quality to the writing. Better content editing was needed because the author felt the need to explain a lot of things to the readers when we’re pretty sharp and would pick up on that. Example:

“She had attempted to set me up on two disastrous blind dates until I threatened to quit speaking to her. She knew it was all bluster though, they were like family to me and I knew how fortunate I was to have them in my life.”

I didn’t need that second sentence. Based on their interactions, it was clear they were close. I don’t need the added commentary. There was a fair amount of that in the book. Additionally, this author is a comma whore. There were extra commas everywhere, when a period or semicolon was needed, and it drove the grammar Nazi in me insane.

Let’s talk about the dialogue. This is where the sugary gooeyness comes in. Most of the dialogue was good. But about once a chapter, there’s a line that is so OTT cheesy that I had to highlight. Here are some examples for the good folks of GBR:

“Who don’t we go back to your place and you can show me why they call you Superman, The Man of Steel.”

And the time I felt like I was in a Harlequin book:

“I want you to cuff me to this pole and use me for your pleasure.” “[…] I promise, we will both experience pleasure tonight.”


“Let me inside so I can feel your smooth walls.”


I had to be sure that he was feeling the same way I was and to do that I needed to be able to look into his eyes. After all, they were the windows to his soul.

Gag-inducing stuff for my personal tastes. But, I want to be fair – most of the dialogue WASN’T like that. I enjoyed it overall, hence the 3.5 stars. The story kept me engaged, and I really dug the character development and relationship building. This author could just really use a good editor and some good betas.

I liked the writing and the story enough to go back and read Book 1. If you go into this thinking of it like a Cardeno C-level of writing, or perhaps even Conquest, then I think you’ll enjoy this. Fluff has its place, and sometimes you’re just in the mood for some sweetness. If so, give this one a go.

And I must mention the cover. Author nailed it with her choice of cover artist!

Souls of Chicago Series

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I love boys who love boys! I’m in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.

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