Review: Let It Be Me by Kate Noble


Let It Be Me (The Blue Raven #5) by Kate Noble
Berkley (April 2, 2013)

Rating: B
Heat: Sweet

Heroine: Bridget Forrester – Pianist, Middle Child 
Hero: Oliver Merrick – Second Son, Half Italian 



Bridget Forrester had a bad first season. Not only was she hidden in her sister's shadow, and often remarked to pale in comparison to her sister’s golden beauty, her incurable shyness made her come across stiff and unfriendly. Which caused the men of ton to decide she wasn’t worth the bother. Thankfully, she has her pianoforte. While she may not get asked to dance at balls, she can go home at the end of the night and lose herself in music. Music is her balm. Her solace.

Until it’s not. Overcome with nerves, fearing ridicule and wayward glances, Bridget loses her cool at a dinner party and fumbles her way through a song she knows forwards and backwards. The mishap crushes what’s left of her self-confidence and takes away the pride she had in her playing.

Wanting to leave London, she convinces her mother to go to Venice so she can seek out a man who once promised her piano lessons. Bridget, her mother, and her younger sister travel the continent to meet the Italian maestro Vincenzo Carpenini. Once they arrive, however, Bridget gets a lot more than she bargained for.

Oliver Merrick has never felt like he fits in. With an English father and an Italian mother, he feels like neither and both at the same time. Oliver also feels like he has no merits of his own. Like he lives off either his father's name or his famous half brother’s. But while he may not have a talent of his own, he can recognize it in others. And Bridget has it in spades.

Bridget and Oliver have a very slow romance. There isn’t even a hint of attraction or lust or love until nearly 46% in. And, even then, more romance took place between Bridget and her pianoforte than between her and Oliver. It was beautiful and poetic but, at times, the music overtook the story. By 56% in, this does shift some. Going from nonexistent to subtle with a dash of sweet.

The second half swept me away. I loved Bridget's passion combined with Oliver's desire to help her succeed. He truly wants to help her overcome her fears... and he goes about it in the cutest of ways. And he does it with no expectations, which says a great deal about him. Oliver is a true gentleman, through and through.

Let It Be Me made music come alive on the page. The characters were lively and passionate. You could feel how much music meant to them. Music itself became a character. Miz Noble also did a wonderful job with the setting. The scenery, the waterways and the gondolas, the accents, were vivid and made it feel like I was truly there. My only complaint? I wish there had been more love, the kind between a man and a woman, woven into the first half.

Favorite Quote:

He removed her glove as the carriage rolled on into the night. Then he lifted the naked hand to his lips, pressed them against her wrist. She gasped with the sensation. It was as if all the power and passion of the music from that night could be transferred by that simple touch, skin to skin.
Bridget wanted to pull him closer, so she did. She wanted to take her hand and let it revel in the short curls at the base of his neck, so she did.
She wanted his lips on hers, wanted to share in the power of the night and the darkness of the carriage…


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