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A Song Begins by Mary Burchell

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This is a wonderful story but I think I’m going to have to read it again, once I’ve finished the whole series. Because Oscar Warrender just gets more sexy and alpha as the books go on.

The basic plot is that famous-conductor-Oscar-Warrender falls in “love at first hear” with young singer Anthea’s voice, and falls in love with her pretty soon after. She thinks he despises her, and has no idea he’s paying for her musical training, which he carries out himself. Of course she gets the lead role in an opera when some star drops out, she becomes a world sensation, and eventually realises she’s madly in love with her teacher. This is Oscar:

Good-looking, in a forceful rather intimidating way, he seemed bored most of the time, but occasionally roused himself to a glance of sardonic and incredulous amusement when some of the least gifted contestants paraded their offerings before the panel.

He’s also a “tall, arresting” figure and apparently has “fair hair”. Above all he’s incredibly arrogant.

Anthea is very pretty with supposedly the most beautiful soprano voice in the entire history of the world. Here’s the final love scene:

“I fell in love with your voice the very first time I heard it. Immediately and irretrievably.”

“With — my voice? Just — with my voice?”

There was an odd little silence. Then he laughed protestingly and asked, “What more do you want me to say? That I fell in love with you that first day?”

“Only if — it’s true,” she said breathlessly.

“It is not true,” he replied coolly and categorically, and suddenly the world went cold and empty for her.

“Oh, I see.” She put down her lashes and tried hard not to let any tears escape. But it had been a tremendously emotional and harrowing evening and her self-control was weak. In spite of all her efforts, two large tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks.

Then that beloved, half mocking voice said softly, “I think it took me two and a half weeks to fall in love with you yourself.”

“You beast!” cried Anthea, and her lashes swept up, so that the tears could no longer be held back. “You beast! How dare you torment me like that!”

“I don’t know,” he said. And suddenly he was beside her and his uninjured arm was round her. “And I don’t know how you can shed tears for me, my angry little beloved. I don’t deserve it.”

These books make opera sound amazing. Unfortunately I find myself unable to appreciate it, thought I love reading about it. I wish I was one of the people who gets misty eyed at a primadonna warbling an aria, and I tried listening to some opera singing after reading this book, but I can’t make my ears like it. But the point is that even if you’re not very into classical music/opera/orchestras, the Warrender series is still incredibly enjoyable.