From the first paragraph where Ryan Monroe is working on his latest painting to the very end the reader will be able to almost hear ghostly piano music playing in the back of their head as they follow the Ryan through the story. Ryan hears the sound of music coming from the empty apartment next door and shortly later it stops with the occupant knocks on his door to see if he minds the music. Ryan is stricken with the looks of his new neighbor, who introduces himself as Evan Oliver a pianist.
Evan went back to his piano and Ryan went back to his painting but Ryan could not stop thinking about the handsome man next door. This in itself was strange because Ryan had not been able to think about another man since the death of Victor Hancock, his deceased lover, since his death almost two years ago on Christmas eve.
Since then, Ryan has been spending time with Amy Woodward a neighbor of his. Although Ryan has no attraction for Amy or any woman as any more than a fried, it is good to have someone to hang out with. Their friends had been Victor’s friends and had slowly drifted away.
Strangely though Ryan heard the music and saw Evan through the neighborhood, even walking with him along the pier, no one else seemed to see him and Amy was sure the apartment next door to Ryan was empty. Then too, Evan always was dressed in black. Ryan fascination and attraction to Evan rose, and the mystery built. Evan did not quite seem human.
Who or what was this strangely exciting man?
During one encounter Ryan dreamed of Evan and a man, obviously his partner having a good time on the pier and taking photos in a vending machine. When Ryan woke Evan was gone But a photo of Evan and the man, Paul he realized, from his dream remained. Who was Paul and where did he fit in this picture?
Another morning Ryan woke to find his latest painted changed from the angry reds and yellow he had been using the last two years to a blue and green serene impressionist landscape, it was completely at odds with his previous style but it was what he had talked about with Evan a few days before . . . Both Amy and his agent Lauren were delighted with his new painting, Ryan found he had adopted a new calmer style of painting. Perhaps at last he was letting go of the rage over his friend’s death.
His new show at the gallery was scheduled for just after Christmas, that worst of all times for Ryan. He was still desolate over Victor’s death on Christmas Eve. As the holidays approached, Ryan and Amy planned a trip to his family, the first since the loss of Victor. And she got tickets to the symphony for the Nutcracker.
Trying to solve the mystery of Evan and his lover Paul they turned to the internet to search for Evan. They discovered his obituary. He had died in the same accident as Victor and he left a lover, Paul Goldman, a violinist.
After their next encounter Evan left a violin bow at Ryan’s apartment, ivory and ebony. Very special. Apparently pointing him to Paul. Ryan and Amy attended the concert and found they recognize Paul from the internet and Ryan’s dreams. How could Ryan approach him? He would be convinced that Ryan was insane. As they left the concert hall, Ryan saw Evan standing outside. Was he a “ghost" and was he trying to put Ryan and his former lover Paul together?
There is more to this haunting story, but I will leave it to you to discover it for yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book. It is a charming romance and a wonderful haunting. I would give it 5 notes out of 5 and a grace note as well, enjoy!