Set in Southern England, Melody’s Key tells the story of a romance that blossoms between Tegan Lockwood, a talented girl with crushed dreams, and Mason Keane, a misunderstood and broken singer. Through the course of a summer, we see changes in the protagonist as she opens up to love and finally puts the past behind her.
As a contemporary romance, it is hard to find a story that hasn’t been done before. Although the concept itself seems vaguely familiar to stories that I’ve read before, the author has clearly put his passion into his writing in order to create a list of characters that are likable and genuine in richly described settings.
The world-building was one thing I enjoyed about Melody’s Key. Dallas Coryell did a brilliant job of painting a very vivid world for the reader. It was easy to picture in my head what everything looked like. I especially loved the description of the manor’s grounds at the beginning of the book (it also made me admire Tegan’s ability to tend it!). The only drawback was because of all the descriptions, the story did seem to slow down at times, especially when I was eager to find out what happens next. One example of this was near the end, when Tegan was trying to break into the THAT concert. I was rooting for her but found myself skimming the scenes in order to get to Mason.
Mason. He was charming, talented and good-looking to boot. I liked that he had depth to him and also felt sorry how he was manipulated all those years, which partly led to his breakdown. It was sweet how, despite how fragile they both were, Tegan and Mason still eventually reached out for each other and became stronger. Their love was also quite swoon-worthy. I definitely could feel the chemistry between them.
The relationships in the story were particularly endearing. The Lockwood family were absolutely fantastic together and Simon was great. The pancake tradition was especially sweet. However, I do have to point out as a Brit, that pancakes and flapjacks are two different things and can’t be used interchangeably…
There was another love story that was weaved throughout Melody’s Key using the epistolary form. It was sweet, seeing the memories that were left behind in the manor. It also provided a good buildup for the more contemporary romance that was the main focus. The fact that Tegan cherished the letters also gave the reader a closer insight into her character.
Overall, I really liked this story and would recommend it for someone looking for a bit of romance that touches on real life issues as well. I felt that it became more interesting and easier to read when I was 1/5 through the book as the world-building laid a solid foundation for my understanding. If some passages were a little more compact, I’d probably give it another star.
3.5 rounded up to a 4 out 5 star on Goodreads.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the author, more information and links are below!
Dallas Coryell is a musician and author residing deep in the untamed wilds of Michigan, USA, where he desperately attempts to assign meaning to his world through bouts of maniacal creative catharsis and pitifully doomed hopeless romantic fantasies. All of the songs written by the characters in this novel are real and can be viewed on the author’s fledgling YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DallasCoryell1 Selfies and other assorted randomness can be found on the author’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dallascoryell