Book Reviews

Duet by Eden Winters at Rocky Ridge Books

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Ghosts/Spirits/Hauntings / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 02-April-2021

Book Blurb

A heartbroken Highlander, a Druid’s whispered spell, the promise of a future.

A conqueror’s decree couldn’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish pride. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid as a badge of honor, living for the day he can restore his family name and overthrow English tyranny.

Fleeing England and persecution, violinist Malcolm Byerly accepts a post in the Highlands as tutor for the sons of Laird Callaghan. He never expects the kilt-wearing force of nature, the Laird’s eldest son, Aillil, or the man’s bitter hatred of all things English, including Malcolm. He doesn’t expect their shared love of music to overcome the barriers between them. Or for their love to be short-lived.

Distraught and alone, Aillil grasps for a second chance at love, and vanishes into Highland legend to await the rebirth of his lover.

Concert violinist Billy Byerly’s arrival at Callaghan Castle feels like coming home, and the gift of an antique violin awakens memories of another time and place. Billy doesn't believe in ghosts, but a dark-haired Highlander haunts his dreams and the antique violin releases tunes he doesn’t remember learning.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.



First edition published by Torquere Press, 2010.

Second edition published by Dreamspinner Press, February 2013.


Book Review

“If we can feel that it is not our voice, not our fingers, but some reality deep inside our heart which is expressing itself, then we will know that it the soul’s music. The outer music comes from an outer instrument. The inner music comes from the heart. The name of this inner music is oneness.” ~ Sri Chinmoy

To say that love can survive the test of time would be an understatement for Malcolm Byerly and Aillil Caligan. Although their path of love is difficult and their differences vast, through their love of music, they find common ground and once in love, never let it go.

Malcolm Byerly is such a gentle, talented man. He tries so hard to do the right thing even if it's not right for him, even though it means being cautious, wearing a mask, and not being able to express his true self. The only time he is free is when he's playing his violin, creating soul stirring music fit for the angels. His music is his link to sanity, giving him purpose and helping him communicate his feelings even if he's the only one aware of their meaning. When he is assigned to teach the children of the Calligan clan, he doesn't expect to meet someone like their older brother, Aillil and he certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him. Aillil is rough, gruff, and defiant, but he's also extremely loving and gentle with is younger brothers. One thing Aillil appreciates from the beginning, is Malcolm's mastery of the violin; he also shares his love of music. With his beloved bagpipes banned, Aillil needs an outlet for his feelings. With Malcolm's encouragement he discovers the joy of musical expression with a violin instead which becomes a key element in their relationship.

Our introduction to Aillil Caligan is set in the middle of a rather feverish tryst. He cares for his lover, but isn't in love with him. He proves what a generous and fair man he is by helping his lover escape to a better life. When he meets Malcom for the first time, he's already formed an opinion of him simply because he's English; not to say that he didn't have reason to mistrust an Englishman after all Malcolm's countrymen had done to his beloved Scotland. Malcolm takes it as graciously as possible. Through close observation, Aillil gets to know him, he realizes that this Englishman is quite different from what he expected. Malcolm is a kind, respectful person who isn't prejudiced as many of his countrymen are and sees beauty in everything. He also sees the respect and affection Malcolm holds for his brothers, even to the point of smashing his precious violin protecting one of them, which prompts him to buy twin violins, not only so they can play duets, but as a symbol of their harmony, passion, and love which only grows stronger as time passes. When he and Malcolm are cruelly parted, Aillil doesn't give up on them; he formulates a plan for them to be together again, regardless of how long it takes.

This very romantic story is actually two woven together–one in the past and another in the present, intricately entwined with music and love. Aillil and Malcolm's love is so strong that even time can't keep them apart. It reaches into the present with an incredibly forceful projection which proves to be undeniable. It gives us the feeling that these two men, having endured so much, and loved so deeply, most assuredly belong together. If you enjoy beautiful music, castles, kilts, handsome men, abiding love, ghosts, and other supernatural occurrences, you will surely love 'Duet'. Thank you, Eden, for an extraordinary and endearing love story of bravery and perseverance.




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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 202 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-April-2020
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link