A Memory’s Muses Novel- Book 1
A contented smile graced my lips when I closed the back cover of this book. Willows’ latest work (as always) was a joy to read and it filled me with a peaceful happiness from the first word to the very last.
I mentioned in a previous review that Willows’ Fury’s Bridge novel is my favourite book, and whilst that remains true, as I finished Song of Serenity and reflected on the familiar feeling of comfort it gave me, I realised I needed to refine that statement ever so slightly.
Four years after the release of Fury’s Bridge, Song of Serenity has firmly cemented Willows as my choice for the ‘you can only read one author for the rest of your life’ question.
In other words Willows takes the top spot as my all time favourite author and it’s justly deserved. Words are inadequate when it comes to describing the calibre of Willows’ storytelling ability; it has to be felt. And that is where the core of Willows’ talents lie – so beautifully displayed within Song of Serenity – the gift to elicit a readers thoughts, feelings and imagination.
Set in the Afterlife Inc. universe and roughly five years further along that particular timeline, Song of Serenity is the first book in Willows’ new series exploring the nine muses of Ancient Greece. As the muse of justice and serenity, Calliope Ardalides the firstborn of the nine muses, is in need of a break from her day job of peacekeeping between the Gods and humans alike. Having the perfect vacation place in mind, Calliope doesn’t bank on having to safe guard the peaceful safe haven that is the Temple of the Muses (nestled in amongst the Scottish countryside) from adventure park developer, Jordan James.
A thrill seeker and business woman combined, Jordan travels the world creating environmentally friendly adventure parks, whilst enjoying the finer delights of the female form as and when the opportunity arises. As she waits for planning permission to be granted on her latest proposal in Scotland, she doesn’t bank on the opposition of a Greek Muse and whilst that’s problem enough, the growing attraction between herself and Calliope is more than enough to cause both a headache and heartache.
Having sworn off another relationship with a human, Calliope is convinced that her interest in Jordan can go no further than ensuring the Temple of the Muses isn’t desecrated. Despite finding Calliope stunningly beautiful, Jordan is adamant she won’t go there, knowing full well that her stance on the Gods and their presence amongst humans will not make for the foundations of a solid relationship. But as they both soon realise, sometimes there are sparks that can’t be dampened no matter the situation, and as Calliope and Jordan continue to find themselves at opposite sides of the table, they start to question whether they have any chance at a love which can transcend their vast differences of opinion.
Song of Serenity is everything that I adore about Willows’ writing, it is nothing short of the essence of a warm hug from your favourite person. It’s the delightful glow of contentment in your chest, as you mentally traverse the Afterlife Inc. universe with a whole host of new, fun friends and magical creatures. And in this instance Willows really digs deep into Calliope and Jordan’s characters and personal journeys; exploring how it’s possible to intersect strongly held and vastly different opinions and beliefs by seeking to learn, communicate, and compromise – thus allowing love and understanding to get a foot in the front door. Calliope and Jordan’s connection and chemistry is genuine from the outset, and more importantly realistic i.e. just because you find someone hot as hell, does not mean there will be no bumps in the road or obstacles to overcome. The energy between them and the other supporting characters is nicely done – no-one feels surplus to requirements, and the rapport between the residents of St. Boswells captures the feel of a quaint Scottish village perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the characters of Duncan, Leith and Emma who all bring their own level of wit, humour and banter to the story, and the nurturing relationship between Calliope and Iona clearly depicted the capabilities and role of this particular Muse.
It’s worth noting, that you absolutely do not need to have read the authors Afterlife Inc. series to enjoy this story, Willows provides enough detail to understand what has previously happened between the Gods and humans, and subsequently the current climate. That being said, personally, I massively recommend reading that series first if you want a richer and deeper reading experience when delving into the Song of Serenity, but it certainly isn’t a prerequisite. For those readers that have had the pleasure of reading the Afterlife Inc. series, it’s a fabulous sweetener to find previous characters mentioned in passing or a cameo here and there… I also loved getting to learn a little more about the lesser known magical creatures of Greek mythology, and on that note I sincerely hope I never come across a dryad…
I can’t quite explain how ecstatic I am to know that Song of Serenity is just the first in a nine book series, with Vision of Virtue due September 2022 and Lines of Love in December 2022. It’s a readers equivalent of being a kid in a sweetshop; I truly cannot wait to sink into each and every book in this series.
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