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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Honora Katherine Gallagher loved her father, her home, her people and most especially her music. There was a special instrument, a fiddle, that had a place of prominence on the mantel, a place where it always sat except when it was being played or repaired. The fiddle was called Lover, named after Samuel Lover, a famous Irish ballad composer whose music was often performed on the instrument. All was well in Honora’s life until the fateful day that her father was tragically killed. Then she discovered she had a year to find a husband in order to save her beloved castle and the people she and her father cared so much about. Her dream of studying music was shattered. And now men from all over the country were trying to court her in vain attempts to make her their wife, to take control of her castle.
Rachel Britz’s Good-Bye, Lover is a classic romance. Although there are some musical elements to this story, associated with the fiddle that bears the name ‘Lover’, most of the plot focuses on the protagonist Honora’s need to find a husband. For a character who supposedly loves performing on the fiddle and loves her music so much that she wants to further her studies, Honora seldom picks up the instrument herself. I picked this book in the hopes of discovering a deeper musical connection, but it wasn’t there. That may have biased my perception of the story itself, which is, I must admit, well constructed: good plot, good characterization, good description – in fact, all that is needed in a good story. It’s just missing the theme that was suggested in the title, the cover and the book blurb: a little bit more music. And being set in an Irish castle, one would expect more music as the Irish love their music. However, it’s still a good read.