by Dallas Coryell
Melody’s Key was suggested to me, and I quickly dove into the romance. I loved the characters, the setting, and the plot. I was immediately pulled into the story and I did not want to leave the characters when I finished the book. I’m still sad that I had to say good-bye. Coryell’s plot-line reminded me a lot of Colleen Hoover’s stories: from the meet cute, to the angst, to the resolution. Coryell has a gift of description (though sometimes it was a little much and could have been paired down . . . but that’s my only complaint). He brought each encounter and setting to life, which made a vivid story. I was captivated and so happy I picked up this book!
Tegan lives with her family in Lymington, England, where she helps them run their holiday home business: Lockwood Holiday. Their estate is enormous and they spend the summer hosting different groups (singles, families, etc), creating a beautiful getaway. Tegan is a gifted musician and artist, but has declined a college scholarship in order to help her family out (and really because they can’t afford to send her). She loves her life and is mostly content until they get a special guest for the summer. Mason is a hot, popular American singer. He needs a break (no one really knows why), so he asks to stay at Lockwood Holiday for the summer, and Tegan parent’s readily agree. Mason has no parents, so they pity him a little, and financially it is a huge help. Tegan gets mad because Mason is stuck up and she is furious that he is barging into her life, so she ignores him for a while. Before long it becomes obvious that he is anything but stuck up. Rather, he is kind, sweet, humble, and someone who has had a lot of pain in his life. Tegan starts to warm up to Mason and it doesn’t take long for them to completely fall for each other. They are truly a perfect fit in every way, having tons in common, nicknames for each other, and the ability to joke or simply be together in silence. It doesn’t hurt that Tegan’s family love Mason and her parents give them their blessing to be together. Side note: Tegan’s family, as well as many other characters in the book are funny, sweet, and make the book that much more dynamic. I don’t have the time/space to describe them well enough, but they are amazing. Spoilers: Tegan holds back a little because she was horribly hurt in high school by a boy she loved who took advantage of her and raped her. Mason is pivotal in her healing, but she is thrown completely off balance when his fiancée shows up at the estate. She corner’s Tegan and explains the Mason is liar and hurts innocent girls. He is engaged and has been all summer. He has a past filled with cutting and drugs and she is essential to his healing and future, and of course she is so sorry Mason was so hurtful. Tegan is shocked because it sounds nothing like the Mason she knows, but she believes it because of her past. She is heartbroken and furious and refuses to see Mason before he leaves for America. While most of the summer has been a dream, Tegan also dealt with a serious blow: her family is worse off financially than she thought and they are losing the estate at the end of the summer. Now the end of summer is here and Mason is gone and they are losing their home (to the family of the boy who raped her, to matters worse). Unbeknownst to Tegan, who is lost in her own misery, Mason has been at work to secure her and her family’s happiness. (His “fiancée” is the liar and a manipulative force that Mason was escaping from by staying at the estate all summer. She found him and is trying to get him back under her control, but Mason won’t have anything to do with it.) Mason has had lawyers on her parents’ case and they discovered fraud . . . which will take away all the power of the man ruining their lives (the dad of Tegan’s old boyfriend). Their estate was already in foreclosure, so Manson bought it and gave it back to Tegan’s parents. He also has a connection with the school Tegan got a scholarship to and arranges for her to keep the scholarship and pays 100% of her tuition/books. He also stipulates that Tegan should know nothing about it (but her dad tells her anyway). Tegan is elated and heartbroken all over again because she was wrong about Mason, who obviously wasn’t lying about loving her and wanting to be with her. She is beating herself up and convincing herself that she’s no good for Mason anyway because of not believing in him. Tegan reluctantly agrees to fly to America to attend college, and on the way she finally gets it: she loves Mason and she shouldn’t be punishing herself for what she did. Instead she needs to apologize and fight to get him in her life again. When she lands, she learns that Mason is giving a concert right there and after a serious of hilarious (and almost disastrous) events, she is able to get into the concert and find Mason. She spills everything and Mason forgives her and invites her out to the stage where they sing a song they wrote together. Mason has been struggling all summer about whether or not to sign a record deal that will give him millions, but force him to make music he hates. In the end, they decide to reject the offer and make music together (there’s already someone in London interested). Art school for Tegan will always be there, and in the meantime they can move back to England to make music and be near Tegan’s family. It’s such a perfect and beautiful ending!! Also, there is a whole side story about an antique key of Tegan’s that unlocks a box filled with tragic love letters from a couple in the 1940’s. She loses the key and Mason finds it and returns it to her once he realizes it’s hers.
Summing it up: I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it!
All the best, Abbey