Review: Songs Unfinished – Holly Stratimore

Posted 25 March, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 8 Comments

*I received a free copy of Songs Unfinished from Bold Strokes Books via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Songs Unfinished – Holly StratimoreSongs Unfinished by Holly Stratimore
Published by Bold Strokes Books on 20 January 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance
Pages: 264
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
5 Stars

Can a love of music bring two women into harmony, or will their pasts create too much discord? Guitarist Jaymi Del Harmon is battling writer’s block and focusing on her band’s growing success. Love is a distraction she doesn’t need as she recovers from an ex-lover’s betrayal and her mother’s premature death. Singer Shawn Davies survives in LA in any way she can, even if it means exchanging sex for a place to sleep. She reevaluates her life when a desperate decision results in a brutal attack. Seeking a fresh start, she heads home to New Hampshire and tracks down her old friend, Jaymi.

Their passion for music blossoms into much more than either woman was expecting. Can Jaymi find it in her heart to trust again, or will Shawn’s past mistakes destroy any chance of a future together?

Songs Unfinished is a beautiful love story featuring great characters, music, friendship and romance – well written and sounding true, I both had tears in my eyes at times, and good laughs at other times.

My Songs Unfinished review:

I enjoyed all the different parts of Songs Unfinished. Shawn and Jaymi both are very well done characters, and they both have to come to terms with their pasts so they can start living in the present, and plan their future. Story-wise, I was enchanted, both because I could relate to characters I don’t have much in common with in real life, and because they are both musicians and I love music. What the characters have been through in the past is shaping their future, but they are both ready to let go and do their best to be happy.

One of the things I enjoyed the most in Songs Unfinished is that while most of the characters were gay, that was in no way the main focus of the storyline. I think I noticed this because I have read a lot of coming out stories lately, but here, Shawn and Jaymi were both out already, and very comfortable in their own skin and with the people around them. The obvious chemistry and sweetness between the main characters made it very easy for me to love them, and root for them, even when they hit some major bumps in the road.

As Jaymi and Shawn got closer both emotionally and physically, other characters were interfering with their happiness, and some of the outside problems were difficult for them to deal with – especially when taking issues like trust, cheating, friendship and family into account. Songs Unfinished is a tender and strong story, and I still smile when I think of it, over a week after finishing reading.

Written in third person past tense, I got to know all the characters well, and there were many more than Shawn and Jaymi that had an important part in Songs Unfinished. Between the music business, concerts, fans and friends, I really felt like I could see them all as the story unfolded.

Some of my favorite Songs Unfinished quotes:

If there are times you are sad after I’m gone, promise me you won’t focus on my death. I want you to think about my life and the good times we had together. Remember how much I love you. Her mother’s words were enough motivation to drag herself out of bed.

Jaymi released a long breath, and then laughed halfheartedly. “I don’t know how we lasted as long as we did. Stupidity, I guess. I was young and stupid and though I was in love. You don’t think straight when you’re in love…”
“We’re gay, Jaymi – we’re not supposed to think straight, when it comes to love,” Shawn teased, sitting up and giving Jaymi a playful push.

Excitement consumed her as she reread what she had written. She let out a huge breath of satisfaction and smiled. She didn’t want to sleep now; she wanted to play it. To share it. With Shawn. Now.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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8 responses to “Review: Songs Unfinished – Holly Stratimore

  1. Something intrigues me : male gay romances, I read. Hetero, I read. Lesbian, I never do. Why, after all, I have gay and lesbian friends and coworkers ? At first, I thought it was because I couldn’t relate to a lesbian heroin, but it’s about love, love has no gender, and I also read about serial killers even if I don’t relate to them either, lol ! So I don’t know… Maybe I’m afraid it will be overly sweet because both MC are women, and in that case, that makes me a sexist ! I need to take a closer look at that and read that one so I can finally find out. All this to say : I’ve added it to my list/”next” shelf, thanks !

    Red Iza recently posted: Review / Chloe Neill : Dark debt
  2. This sounds like an incredible story, Lexxie. I like that the characters are already put and comfortable in their skin. And I like that the author was able to create a connection bergen toy and the characters despite not having a lot in common. This is definitely going on my tbr. I really want to read it!

    I hope you’re having a great week! Still enjoying your class? I hope they’re behaving. We’ve been having fun. We went on another hike yesterday and it was beautiful. Today is snowing and james took the kids skiing. I’m dog sitting for a friend so i stayed home. *BIG HUGS*

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: Travel by the Book ~ Cold Mountain/Asheville
    • Yeah, the story was really good, and of course, there’s music, too. The main characters being out did bring something more to the story, as a lot of stories with LGBT characters I’ve read in the past also had to deal with letting friends and family know about their sexual orientation.

      I’m still enjoying my class, and they’re mostly behaving very well 🙂 They have a big test tomorrow, so next week, we’ll take things a little slower before the Easter break starts on Wednesday – ten days off!! (I guess this is our spring-break).

      I’m glad the kids are enjoying their spring-break, even if there’s snow outside. It must be beautiful, and I certainly hope my mom packed clothes for the cold as well, she arrived in Denver yesterday.

      Have a great day, my dear. *BIG HUGS*

  3. Berls

    I just love that the characters are already past the coming out phase and are now firmly imbedded in their life – I don’t see many of those kinds of books. I get that the coming out is an emotional and often controversy filled time, so easy fodder for a book, but I feel like not having more of these kinds of books also kind of sensationalizes the gay life, KEEPS it seeming different when really it’s not at all. And I’m really drawn to lesbian stories lately – I used to prefer gay, but now that my brother is dating it feels weird… Idk why exactly. Lol! Great review!

    • I agree, Berls, it’s a great way to show that they’re just as normal as anybody else is 🙂 LOL now that your brother is dating you prefer reading about two girls rather than two guys? I can understand you, and at the same way it is quite funny.

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