In this novel, a wealthy young Parisian arrives in America to pursue her passion for music, only to find that the mistakes from her past will soon change the tempo of her life.
Twenty-three-year-old Yvette Berg arrives in Boston in 1977, brimming with ideas to teach a course of music appreciation for art students. While pursuing her dream job, Yvette, a viola player and classical music aficionado, has also arranged for her own study of music composition with a well-known but eccentric composer.
As she skips in and out of sexual liaisons with the composer; with her Russian neighbor Kolya; even with a girlfriend, she finally meets a man to love and respect. But that love will be tested as Yvette receives word that the baby she gave up for adoption five years earlier is about to be returned to her care.
Playing with Passion has many elements of a romance novel, with the high-brow patina of classical music giving the book its framework. The women are gorgeous and plucky; the men are handsome and brooding. “Kolya got out, opened Yvette’s door … and helped her to a standing position against the car. He leaned his body on hers… ‘I told you that you were my angel…You have fine, embroidered wings like the best woven silk Russian lace.’” Trumped-up jealousies, erotic moments, and contrivances abound.
This is a pleasant, easy-to-read romp. While those looking for depth won’t find it here, fans of romance will find much to like—and may even be inspired to look further into some of the classical music references in the book to enhance their knowledge of the Mahler Sixth Symphony, for example, or the Beethoven Triple Concerto.
It’s worth noting that just as the book hurtles towards its denouement, it ends with a cliff-hanger, indicating a sequel is probably forthcoming. For those who aren’t keen on waiting, that twist in such a slim book, may prove trés disappointing.
Also available as an ebook.