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Monday, September 5, 2011

Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost by ZA Maxfield

Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost by ZA Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (180 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Fitz Gaffney finally has some breathing room. His mother’s out of town, his piano teachers have backed off, and he gets to spend time at a school where he only has to be adequate for an entire year before all his responsibilities comes crashing back in again. With this freedom comes the realization that he’s lonely, but his first attempt at dating goes horribly awry.

Fitz’s new -- but possibly imaginary -- friends, Julian and Serge, want to help him find happiness. His used-to-be-stepbrother Ari Scheffield wants to help him gain confidence and a little much-needed cool. His housekeeper Marguerite wants to keep fowl in the back yard for butchering because duck confit is expensive and she has pillows to re-stuff. And his possible new boyfriend Garrett wants to prove he didn’t mean for their first date to end with Fitz lying unconscious in a dumpster.

All Fitz wants is someone who cares about him, and suddenly there seems to be a glut. How’s a shy guy to know what’s real when he’s confronted by crazy ghosts, a less than truthful boyfriend, and relatives with hidden motives? It's a Rhapsody For Piano And Ghost.

Sometimes we all need a little push, even if it’s from a ghost. Fitz is a brilliant pianist but he’s not very socially sophisticated. In fact he has no friends at his new performing arts school and with his erstwhile mom in Europe, he jumps at the first young man to show him some attention. Unfortunately that attention lands Fitz in a dumpster where he’s fished out by two very energetic and talkative ghosts. Julian and Serge are determined to help Fitz in the minefield of his life in very unusual ways. If only Fitz could see the real life man in Ari as well.

Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost is an entertaining romp when Fitz’s naïve and somewhat overly innocent world collides with real men and their good or bad intentions. The story is very funny and pretty engaging as socially awkward Fitz suddenly has two suitors in his sheltered life. The first is Garrett, a school classmate that is obviously bad news. Everyone can see it but Fitz, who’s determined to be a loyal friend and boyfriend. The other potential love interest is Ari, Fitz’s ex-step brother and full time rescuer. The love triangle is fun to watch as Fitz fumbles and stumbles between the men with a lot of naïve assumptions and hopes. Some of this can be frustrating as it drags on a bit too long and much too obvious for the average reader.

What makes the story really quite fun to read are the ghosts – Julian and Serge. Julian fishes Fitz out of the dumpster by trying to steal his jacket. This sets the stage for two very loving but interfering ghosts to play havoc with Fitz’s life. All the while cooking fabulous meals of course. The ghosts are incredibly fun, very romantic, tragic, beautiful, and simply entertaining. They’re easily my favorite part of the story and really loved whenever they appeared in a scene. Their story doesn’t always make sense, either their backstory or how they came to be where/what they are, but at the same time they’re so engaging I didn’t care.

The writing is very typical of this author and fans of the author’s work are likely going to want to read this. It’s fun, light, entertaining and only slightly frustrating. Fitz tested my patience more than once but the writing and sheer fun of the ghosts, not to mention pretty romantic intentions of Ari help make up for those issues and everything else aside, I think Julian and Serge were absolutely worth reading.

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