Sunday, October 14, 2018

Review: "Rose in Three Quarter Time" by Rachel McMillan

A few weeks ago, my Twitter feed started blowing up with mentions of Rose in Three Quarter Time. I didn't really know much about it, but when I looked it up and saw that it 1) only cost 99¢ and 2) featured a marriage of convenience (my favorite trope ever), I decided to get it.

Some people marry for love; others marry for music...

Rose McNeil is rising the ranks at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as a violinist to watch. Her musical Nova Scotian heritage has loaned an unparalleled technique to her interpretation of some of the most beautiful compositions in the world. The opportunity of a first chair assignment to the Rainer Quartet under the tutelage and baton of Oliver Thorne is a dream come true ... until her student visa expires and the threat of leaving Vienna looms. As much as she grieves the prospect of leaving Vienna and the quartet, it is Oliver—with his dry sense of humour and unexpected charm—she will miss most.

British ex-pat Oliver Thorne’s recent appointment as conductor to the Rainer Quartet make him the youngest in the role during its prestigious history. But it wasn’t the path he wanted. A tragic accident years ago forbade him from ever playing his beloved cello again. Now he spends his life conducting for premiere orchestras at the Musikverein. When he first hears Rose McNeil play, all the dreams he left by the wayside are reborn with her unexpected talent. When Rose learns she may have to leave Vienna, Oliver has to come up with a solution. Losing his first violinist is unfortunate, losing her is unimaginable.

So he comes up with a crazy idea: A marriage on paper only. She’ll take his name and his citizenship. They’ll split rent money and coin toss to decide who takes the bed or the futon every night. They’ll keep their secret from the orchestra. She’ll play and he’ll conduct and, most importantly...she’ll stay. 

Unbeknownst to each other, Rose is in love with Oliver and Oliver is in love with Rose. They might even find a happy ending, if only their pesky marriage doesn’t get in the way.

First of all, Oliver 😍😍😍. If we're talking book boyfriends, he's a great one! While he's not perfect, I loved everything about him. His love for Rose is palpable, and as she fell for him, so did I.

I loved Oliver so much that I really, really, really wanted to love this book. While I liked it, I can't really say that I loved it. Part of that has to do with me and what gives me a hangup with books: grammar and proofreading errors. Especially in the first quarter of the book—before I was completely swept into the plot—every sentence fragment and missing comma jolted me out of the story. Also, I felt like I got a great handle on Oliver as a character, but I can't say the same for Rose. Sometimes her actions puzzled me a bit because they didn't jibe with what I thought I knew of her as a character.

I really did enjoy the plot—this is a great example of a modern marriage of convenience—and my love for Oliver gets me to overlook some things. There are some truly humorous moments, and I loved the pop culture references! 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of McMillan's The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (4 stars).

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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