Category Archives: 2 Star

3.5 and 2 Stars for Pianissimo by Lauren Shiro #FF #Historical #Paranormal


Title: Panissimo
Author Name: Lauren Shiro
Publication Date & Length: October 16, 2014 – 193pgs


Darryl and Corinne Richards purchase their first house. With Darryl’s army career coming to a close, they feel ready to settle down in Louisville, Kentucky. With impeccable timing, Darryl is sent on one final tour, leaving Corinne to live in this new house and new city alone.

Overwhelmed, Corinne becomes reclusive, living a quiet, boring life with her cats as she adjusts to her new surroundings. The problem is: someone or some thing does not want her life to be either quiet or boring. And then there’s the creepy piano in the basement…

There is more to that creepy, dilapidated piano and her new home than Corinne could ever imagine. Through highs and lows, twists and turns, she begins to understand that even the most softly played music is powerful – and that even soft realizations and quietly subtle changes can have a profound effect.

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I have mixed feelings about this novel. I really enjoyed the historical parts, and I adored Margaret and Agnes. I wish the whole book had been just them without the modern-day parts. They were simply wonderful, and I feel a bit short-changed on seeing their relationship blossom.

I found it confusing at times when it switched back and forth between Corinne’s story of restoring the piano and the past. It was often abrupt and didn’t flow smoothly. The whole thing could have benefitted from tighter editing and some well-placed scene breaks.

I also had mixed feelings about Corinne and the other modern-day people. It read like it was aimed at people who aren’t sure they like gay people rather than at people interested in reading about two women in love. That might be why I didn’t care for the present day stuff—I’m really not the target audience for this story.

Because I enjoyed Margaret and Agnes so much, I look forward to reading Ms. Shiro’s other work, which might be more to my taste.

3.5 stars



This book had an interesting premise, but I was definitely disappointed by it. There is relatively no plot, and the plot that is there isn’t in the main part of the book. It was very hard to get into, reading wise. The main character is ridiculously whiny, and by the time we get to any other character in the book, it’s a respite.

I wish that this whole story had been Agnes and Margarette–that would have made it completely interesting and able to hold my attention. Corrine seemed to be a character thrown in there to drag it back to the present, and like I said before, she was really whiny.

I loved the idea of the piano being the connection between all these women and having little bits of information about Agnes and Margaret be filtered through the beginning part, but the main character made it very difficult to continue reading.

Writing wise: the beginning of the book, until we get to actual scenes with Agnes and Margaret is very redundant and repetitive. It’s not well-written. Corrine will say she’s going to do something and then we get to read about her doing it. The redundancy of writing like that happens throughout. What the writing lacked was a really good copy-editor who could catch the redundancy and tone of the main character.

Overall, the interesting premise and my love for any piano fic is what saved this piece and allowed me to continue reading it.



I give this book 2 stars. If there was supposed to be a plot I’m not sure what it was. I think the idea of the book is good and with a good copy editor it might be an OK book but as it was I found it extremely redundant and boring.
I did like the fact that it shows gays have been around forever and that they are people. It made some good points and has the ability to possibly open some eyes.



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