Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fascinating Rhythm (review)

Fascinating Rhythm (Nightstar #4)
by Lynne Connolly is an ADULT title

Ok, I am a little late with my review (yes, my review pile is SLOWLY dwindling and I only owe folks about 55 now, lol), please see this link for wonderful excerpts and a few words from the author.


Fascinating Rhythm by Lynne Connolly is the striking fourth installment in the ‘Nightstar’ series that details events in the lives of members of the Murder City Ravens band.  Percussionist Hunter fled the silence that was such a major part of his life and he has helped shape his band into the major success that it has become but he inadvertently crushed the dreams of his lover, Sabina.  His return to his homeland rekindles the embers of their passionate affair but Sabina is facing her own milestones in life and may not be ready for all of the radical changes that will be required of her, particularly given the insistence of Hunter’s mother who wants deaf separatism.  Hunter and Sabina must face life-changing decisions and decide what their priorities are, the problem is that they may not choose the same path.

This enthralling contemporary erotic romance series is delightfully continued with this striking installment that examines the concept of handicap as it is applied to one who lacks the use of one of the five major senses.  The story is a beautiful and thought-provoking examination of a sort of reverse discrimination, as Hunter is virtually ostracized for being a hearing person in a society of those who cannot hear and Sabina may lose status if she chooses a radical operation that can give her the chance to regain her hearing.  I was captivated by the glimpse of life on another continent and fascinated by the detail provided, which was particularly pertinent as I have a friend who had cochlear implant surgery.  The interesting snippets that reflect the differences in syntax among different forms of sign language and the description of devices used to compensate for lack of hearing gave wonderful depth to the story even as the sizzling attraction between the two main characters continues to intensify.  I greatly enjoy this series and salute the author for her ability to continue to introduce compelling characters, each with his or her own particular  obstacles that must be overcome.  I look forward to learning more about some of the other memorable secondary characters and, even though this story can be read as a stand-alone, suggest that all of the ‘Nightstar’ tales be read to get a more complete picture of the unique people associated with the band.  A delicious addition to a very enjoyable series.

(submitted to Night Owl Reviews)

I received a copy of this delicious title in exchange for an honest review

Fascinating Rhythm: 4 (Nightstar)  (Amazon link)


Additional musings:

I really enjoyed this title because it reminded me of a good friend who lost his hearing after becoming an adult.  I always thought it was a particular tragedy because he is a musician and at the time my best friend and I worked with him, we eventually started learning sign language to try to communicate better with him.  I was always frustrated by the perceptions of those who didn't really KNOW this exceedingly intelligent man who assumed that he was less than knowledgeable because he would mistakenly answer what he thought people were saying rather than what they actually saying.  Fortunately, he wasn't embittered by society's reaction to him and has a thriving career and still pursues arcane things that allow him to discourse learnedly on any number of topics.

It wasn't until quite a few years later that I knew a woman who was studying to be an interpreter and she enlightened me about the difference between various types of sign language communication with the deaf.  It turns out that the few classes that my friend and I had taken were the kindergarten version of the exceedingly complex and elegant methods of communication employed by the deaf.  I personally don't have a cell phone and don't text but I was struck by the statement within this story that that has revolutionized interaction as I sometimes had the occasion to interact via an operator who acted as an intermediary between myself as a hearing individual and a hearing-impaired or deaf caller...a very long and tedious process.

The author of this story effortlessly includes allusions to the challenges faced by those who have little to no hearing without making this a dull lesson.  I was struck by the idea there are just as many prejudices within this very insular community as there are outside of it and bemused by the idea of yet another group which thinks that it can exist separate from fellow humans.  It amazes me how much information Ms. Connolly can convey within a very compact tale that still entertains and enthralls with a deliciously spicy love story and I look forward to many more stories from her talented and fertile imagination!


  1. Thank you for your lovely review! I really enjoyed your comments about your friend. I do have knowledge of what it's like to be objectified because of a handicap, and I used this to help write the story. The characters were fascinating, hence the title!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit, Lynne...and I agree, the characters were indeed fascinating. Hurry and write more of these great stories!