ARC Review || The Piano Man Project by Kat French

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~ Genre : Adult Contemporary Romance ~

~ Publication Date : 30th July 2015 ~

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|| BLURB ||

Finding love isn’t always black and white…

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

A hilarious, feel-good, sexy romantic comedy for fans of Lucy Diamond, Paige Toon and Giovanna Fletcher.

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|| REVIEW ||

{I received an ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.}

Reading the blurb of The Piano Man Project, I’d expected this to be one of those cute and fluffy and sexy and fun reads that would leave me with a big grin on my face. In fact for the first 40-50%, I was totally sure this book was everything I’d hoped it would be. The story started out in a pretty funny and interesting way and I just didn’t want to stop reading. It was so good. I liked the main characters very much and loved the portrayal of their gradually developing relationship. We had this kind, adorable and romantic heroine and a hero who’s gruff, mysterious, hot and sort of an enigma. Theirs was a different relationship. Unpredictable and volatile. There was animosity, then friendship, then attraction – which by the way they wanted but could not act upon.

Also side by side, we had another story in progress. Our heroine, Honeysuckle (no kidding there! That’s really her name! ) or Honey, works in this charity shop with two volunteer workers, Lucile and Mimi, who are her dear friends and live in the Old people’s charity home attached to the shop. Due to the lack of funding, the residential home comes under the hammer, leaving the residents which include Lucile and Mimi, facing eviction and Honey losing her job. Hence begins a series attempts to save the home. Furthermore there were some personal issues of Mimi and Lucile which took some portion of the book. Their parts were fairly engaging but if you’re expecting this book to be purely a romance novel with the story revolving solely around the two protagonist, you might get disappointed.

There was quite a good dose of humor involved as well. The whole setup in totality was very gripping and I was enjoying the book thoroughly. But that was only upto where the story reached it’s midpoint. Because then things started being not-so-interesting and not-so-funny and not-so enjoyable. The characters I loved so much started deteriorating rapidly, to a point I was absolutely irritated of both our protagonists.

For Honey, I really wanted the girl to gain some self-respect. Hal (our hero) kept pushing her away again and again. Each time, his rejection more hurtful and insulting.  Still it was Honey who went back to him each and every time. I really wanted her to stand on her ground and let Hal grovel a bit. But she crawled back to him even if it was HIM at 1000% fault. The we had Hal. From the beginning of the story I loved him as a character. I justified his actions for some time as I realized his reasons and everything her had been through. But all that was okay to a point. Him being a complete ass again and again, I couldn’t overlook. Even though they get better towards the end of the book, I really wish they hadn’t worsened at the first place.

So obviously, it’s difficult to enjoy a book when you’re constantly getting irritated with the characters.

Moreover there was one more thing that was really getting on my nerves in the latter parts. Whenever things went downhill between Honey and Hal and you’d be dying to see what turn their relationship takes, instead of getting that you’d have to read pages and pages of the residential home issue. I’m not saying that part of the story was boring. But when you’re desperate to see what happens between the leads and how things change for the better, you just don’t want that to be interrupted by any other issue, especially if it takes so long to get back to the original matter. I guess that is why I felt so disconnected to the story.

Lastly, one thing that I dislike very much in book – rushed up conclusions. Has the ending at least been satisfying and not so hasty, it certainly would have lifted up some of my disappointment, but alas it did no good to the already collapsing story.

To conclude, I’d say The Piano Man Project was not a bad book. It was…okay. The first half was extremely entertaining and intriguing but the next half was not that happening. With decent characters, good humor and average story, it was a fine read.

My Rating : ★★★1/2