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Duet  By  cover art

Duet

By: Eden Winters
Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
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Publisher's Summary

A conqueror's decree can't separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan's forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family's name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil's younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well. Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn't count on his charges' English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds. Aillil's father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend. Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover's return. Billy doesn't believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life. But the Lost Laird knows his own.

First edition published by Torquere Press (2010).

©2013 Eden Winters (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Duet

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

beautifully written, beautifully narrated!

Any additional comments?

Independent Reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the audio file of this book.

I cannot word the blurb any differently, so am using the official one here.

A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.

OH.MY.WORD!

Such a beautiful book! Beautifully written, beautifully told, beautifully narrated!

I get ahead. I usually write a bit about the book, and then a separate bit about the narration but I can't split them apart.

For part of the beauty of this book, is its narration by Michael Ferraiuolo. His voices are simply brilliant! Aillil's broad, raw Scot accent. Malcolm's much softer, proper English one. The professor's voices at the school Malcolm taught, and Aillil's brothers voices. Then over time, to Billy and Neil's American voices and the much softer Scot accent of today.

His portrayal of Aillil, then and now, of Malcolm and Billy, of everything that happens between them, is quite simply stunning. He has such a good book to work with, in the first place!!

I'm struggling not to gush, about either the book or that narration. So, as much as it pains me, I'm keeping this one short.

I've filed in on the following shelves for the following reasons:
historical, because much of the book is set late 1700's.
paranormal, because...well, just because, you'll need to read it!
musical theme, because there is much music in this book! oh!! *see bit further**
all other shelves are self explanatory.

Back to the music! Violins are the instrument of choice in this book, and the way Winters describes the music, even I could hear the passion and sorrow are love and heartache in it. Its just so darn beautiful. *I know! I know, I keep saying it, but its really the best word!!*

I WILL however, say this much:

READ THE DAMN BOOK! Or better yet, get the audio book.

This is, as far as I can see, the first of Eden Winters I have read. It will not be the last! Its also the first book narrated by Ferraiuolo I have listened to. My wish list on Audible is now several books longer! I can't wait to see what else both the author and the narrator come up with. If there are any more of this collaboration, I want in!!

5 stars for the story
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall.

Again, read the book. Even if you don't like male/male romances, its a good one to start with.

**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Audible.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com**

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Sweet paranormal historical romance

I enjoyed Aillil's and Malcom's love story. With their differences standing in between them, nevertheless they find common ground and are able to find true love with each other. Aillil's deep hatred of the invading, cruel English keeps him from even accepting Malcom, but once Malcom proves his mettle, Aillil sees the Englishman's sweet soul and, reluctantly at first, falls so deeply in love with him, as to challenge the gods for Malcom. The romance flows naturally, even though Aillil is in all ways the more experienced lover and seduces Malcom skillfully, I liked that once Malcom commits to embracing his sexuality, he doesn't hesitate to give himself completely to the Highlander. The first part of the book is my favorite. Once the story delves into the present day, I didn't feel as engaged with it, and was even slightly disappointed in the easy way the crisis was resolved. For a supernatural story, I easily accepted the premise of lovers searching for each other across time and space, but the very end was a little too hard to accept. In any case, there's a happy ending, and there's plenty of steamy action to delight in, with lovely moments of romance. The narration is superb, the narrator transitions between accents flawlessly, and he hits all the emotional tones of the story, bringing the characters to life. All in all, I liked it and would recommend it, with the caveat that it slows down in the second part and the ending is a little too fantastic.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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I loved every single word!

This book.... I'm lost for words.. How I loved listening to this book. The love, the agony. The tears! So many, many tears. But it was so worth all the tears.

Duet is divided into two parts. Back in 1758 when it all started, when we meet Malcolm Byerly and Aillil Callaghan, and then present time when it all begins again, when legends aren’t just legends anymore…

Malcolm Byerly is a quiet soul. He lives for his violin and to educate young minds. When we first meet him he works it a school in Kent. One day a new teacher comes to the school, a teacher that might just threaten the quiet life he leads. Fear of getting caught has him running to Scotland to become a tutor for the younger boys in the Callaghan family. If only the oldest brother didn’t hate him so much.

Aillil hates the English and everything they stand for. Actually hate is too tame a word for the loathing he has for those people, that country. He’s just biding his time for when he can take over the family title and restore his family name and heritage. So when his father hires an English tutor for his brothers, he is furious and more than a little suspicious of the man. After all Englishmen can’t be trusted.

As time pass and through careful observations, he comes to realise that Malcom might not be as bad as he first believed him to be. Not only that, they share some common interests and secrets. Their relationship slowly develops through a shared love for music. Aillil slowly teaching Malcom about intimacy with another man, and Malcom teaching Aillil about love. Their relationship is a beautiful one. It’s tender and sweet and forever.

Until the day when an unforeseen foe tares them apart and they become a legend at Castle Callaghan. About two young lovers separated, to be reunited when the time is right. About the laird playing his lover home at night. Only the wait is long, longer than he imagined, but he played when his lover was near. Until finally one day, the time was just right, and Billy sets foot in Scotland. He finds the violin that's been kept safe for him all these years and hears the music that might just bring him home again.

I loved this book. I loved Malcom and Aillil’s love story. Their love shone through it all. It truly became the stuff of legends. The kind of love people dream of having, that they would do absolutely everything and then some to keep. You felt it all right along with them. The happiness when they were together, and the pain when they were separated. The promise of a someday in the future. Which is why, when that future finally arrived I was disappointed by the ending of the book. It felt anticlimactic to say the least. We’ve been waiting for them to finally reunite, to finally be able to love again, and it all was over in just a few minutes. I wanted more. A lot more if I’m being honest.

Michael Ferraiuolo narrated this book perfectly. There wasn't one thing that I'd change. He sure brought me back in time, all the way back to 1758. I was there for every sweet moment between Malcom and Aillil. And I was right beside Aillil mourning his lover, chasing death in hopes for the two lovers to be reunited once more. Ferraiuolo made me feel every single thing these men shared, the good and the bad. I loved every second of this book.

Duet was a truly beautiful story about an epic love. It was beautifully written and Ferraiuolo added another layer with perfect narration and feelings to it. I had a wonderful time listening to this book, and I’m definitely recommending it to you to read. But bring tissues, you’re going to need them.

A copy of this book was generously provided in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Bueno

me gustó la historia aunque me costó terminarlo, creo que tal vez es un libro complicado para el formato.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Haunting and romantic

Duet is a haunting and romantic tale that spans from the mid-1700s to the modern day. Aillil Callaghan mourns the loss of the Highland culture, and he's less than pleased that his brothers' new tutor is an Englishman. Malcolm Byerly left his previous post after fearing for his life, and the intimidating Highlander makes him wonder if he made the right choice. Their relationship unfolds with heat and humor until an untimely death separates them. Aillil searches for his lost love through the ages, and when they meet again, the love and music can begin anew. The historical aspect of this book is especially gripping, rich with detail and heatbreak. The characters are likeable and distinct, and one cannot help but root for their reunion. The narration for this story is excellent, featuring lots of different voices and accents. A great listen!

Disclaimer: I received an audio copy for free and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions are my own.

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Stunning & Beautifully Performed by M. Ferraiuolo

I have to say I'm often pleasantly surprised by my resistance to reading blurbs before reading a book, and Duet is now top of my list of 5 Star surprises. Not only is the story amazing, and the audio gorgeously performed by Michael Ferraiuolo, but I unwittingly listened to it from 31 October - 1 November.

What starts as a lovely historical romance soon blossoms into a full fledged ghost story, crafted spectacularly well by Eden Winters. Weaving the tale of the devoted laird waiting through 200 years for the reincarnation of his lost love, and incorporating stunning details of music, history, and folklore into the tale, Winters has truly outdone themselves.

Just lovely.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful story of lost Scottish love

I enjoyed this audiobook a great deal. The characters were lovely. I would’ve liked for there to be more interaction between them once they found one another in the beginning. This would have provided a better sense of them as a couple. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable listen and Michael Ferraiuolo can do no wrong.

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Excellent narration

After having listened to several books with horrible narration I was so pleased to hear this one. The story is compelling and the narrators voice is soothing and he does a good job with accents. I recommend this one.

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Dinna fail tae buy this book!

An exceptional story well written and performed. I recommend this to anyone who wants more than "tortured souls"

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story, wonderful narration.

I've been waiting to leave this review since August 2018. Why? Because the audiobook was missing the Epilogue for the story and the epilogue really was the cherry on top of an already wonderful story. I didn't want to leave a review back then and have to say something negative about such a wonderful book so I waited. I just found out that the file has been corrected. (It may have been corrected a while ago but I quit checking after a month or so. On to my review!

Michael Ferraiuolo has quickly climbed to the top of my list of favorite audio book performers. I specifically purchased this story because of him and I loved it almost as much as all of his other ones that I've listened to. He has the most seductive and also comforting voice. The different accents he does in this story were outstanding.

Duet is the first book I've experienced by Eden Winters and also my first book that has sort of a time-travel component to it. My heart just about stopped when the first part of the book ended but there was so much time left, I knew there would be more coming; and boy was there! The blurb is great but it can't do justice to how intriguing and wonderful this book was to listen to.

I just can't say enough good things about this story and audio performance. I don't often re-read books or re-listen to audiobooks but this is one I will listen to again just to hear Michael's wonderful voice. If you like books with just a bit of paranormal/unexplainable things happening and you love to listen to wonderful accents and a dreamy voice, you need to get this one STAT! 😊

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  • RjS
  • 02-12-22

Three very good stories in one enticing package!

The majority of this book is historical fiction - which is my first love - so I enjoyed that greatly. Then we get snippets of ghost stories which were intriguing. Then finally it’s a contemporary love story.

All were enjoyable and the narrator did a really good job with voices, colour and pace so it was easy to follow and always clear who was speaking. Well done!

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  • L.D.
  • 09-12-21

Timeless Love

The first thing to know is that Duet has a happy ever after. I promise. But getting to that happy ever after was filled with broken opportunities that span centuries. Duet is a hard book to categorize: it starts off as a historical romance that quickly shifts into a ghost story before finally transitioning into a beautiful contemporary romance between two soulmates tied to each other through music and love. I normally don’t cry when reading, but the love Scottish lord Aillil and musician Malcolm share was beautiful and tender and more powerful than death itself. Eden Winters really shows that she is a master at her craft with this story. It was well written with an intriguing plot and captivating emotions. I started and finished this book within one day—I could hardly put it down.

The audiobook was narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo who does a fantastic job with the narration. His voice is so versatile: he does a range of accents and different voices for the plethora of characters (time periods) and they all sound great. I loved his performance of this book – he made the touching moments even more poignant and the steamy moments had even more sizzle to them. The audiobook production was well done and it was a joy to listen to this book.