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Counterpoint: Dylan's Story

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  239 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
At eighteen Dylan Rutledge has one obsession: music. He believes his destiny is to be the greatest composer of the rapidly approaching twentieth century. Only Laurence Northcliff, a young history master at The Venerable Bede School for Young Gentlemen, believes in Dylan's talent and encourages his dream, not realizing Dylan is in love with him. But Dylan's passion and beli ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published July 12th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 11th 2010)
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Dee Wy
Following Dylan's story is a journey that will require patience at first, but as Dylan grows and finds love you begin to connect to him more intimately. You will follow him through failure, loss and grief, certain that your heart will break while sobbing and blinking the tears from your eyes so you can keep reading.

You will also cheer for Dylan as he begins to let himself live again and finds love once more when he least expects it. But love is never easy, and there are outside forces that will
Sep 30, 2011 Jenre rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, historicals, romance
As many of you know I'm a fan of m/m historical romance so this book by Ruth Sims was very appealing.  It's not your typical romance, although it contains two romantic story lines, because it breaks some romantic conventions - something I think some readers may not like.  Instead it's a Victorian set drama about the creative life and frustrations of Dylan.

We first meet Dylan as a pupil at St Bede's where his inattentiveness in lessons and his compulsion to do nothing but compose music does not e
Aug 06, 2010 Kassa rated it it was amazing
Ruth Sims is a great author. I can say that unequivocally and as a huge fan. When I read The Phoenix, I was blown away by the beauty and sensuality of that book. Sims does it again with another stunning story that rides a wave of emotion from tears, laughter, beauty, frustration, and obsession. At one point I threw my ereader (gently onto the couch) in frustration then hurried to pick it up and continue reading. Although a wonderfully written historical, the themes and emotion transcend the time ...more
Jeff Erno
Sep 18, 2010 Jeff Erno rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-historical
Dylan Rutledge is a headstrong teenager in an all-boys English boarding school. He is driven by a desire to compose music, and this passion is so powerful that it leads him to take bold risks. He steals the cathedral key from the headmaster’s office for a single opportunity to play the church organ. He simply must hear his music played as he intended it to sound when he wrote it. Dylan is obstinate and daring, and he cannot help but challenge the conservative establishment. Sadly, this sort of b ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Erastes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
Counterpoint is the musical relationship of melodic lines playing independently but forming a harmonic whole. There couldn't be a more fitting title for this book. A story with many independent tales, but coming together in one grand finale.

It is very difficult to review this story due to it's complexity and length which is by no means a criticism but a complement as it stands out from the normal trope of m/m stories. Intricate, complex, intriguing, thought provoking and well balanced. Just lik
Feb 07, 2012 Andune rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-gay-fiction
Dylan’s Counterpoint is a magnificent story of love, loss, struggle and music. The trials and tribulations that Dylan and Geoffrey survive, each going through their own devastating pain and growth, are heart wrenching. As a composer I definitely felt a connection to Dylan’s character and the troubles he faced.

It is not so often that I’m moved to tears by a novel and this one was certainly special. Life is not easy in this story, but the characters portrayed by the author have a realness and vul
Mickie Ashling
Jul 17, 2010 Mickie Ashling rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of Ms. Sims since I read The Phoenix several years ago. I can't say enough about this new book. Counterpoint: Dylan's Story is a beautiful love story from start to finish. There's nothing I would improve and her characters will linger in my head for days. I inhaled this first read, tearing throught it like glutton. I plan to read it again, but this time, savoring every passage. Her mastery of time and location, her word choices, the attention to detail, and the fierce love betw ...more
Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked Up

This story was such a roller coaster ride of emotions, that I don't know where to begin. I was literally engulfed by the book and I had some difficulty trying to emerged from it. As incredible as it sounds it left me nervously exhausted. Unlike other books that very swiftly fade away, this one continues to haunt me...

The thing that characterizes this novel is that it takes place over a long period of time thereby allowing the writer to take her time with her s
Bending The Bookshelf
May 10, 2012 Bending The Bookshelf rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay
In Counterpoint: Dylan's Story, Ruth Sims gives us two stories for the price of one, contrasting love stories that echo one another across the years. In the first half of the book, we experience the first tentative stirrings of love from a young man infatuated with an older gentleman. In the second the tables are turned, and we instead experience a similar love from the perspective of the older, more experienced suitor.

Over the course of the novel Dylan grows and develops, maturing through his r
Feb 09, 2012 GymGuy rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m-romance
I happen to be a classically trained musician. Actually a church organist--though part time at the moment. So I was rather interested in seeing how the whole subject of music and composition were treated. Needless to say, I was unimpressed. This book might be fine for high schoolers or readers in their teens, but it is far too simplistic and sophomoric for anyone else. I just thought it was rather stupid.

Dylan is supposed to be this great composer-in-the-rough who through his struggles becomes a
Deanna Against Censorship
We first meet Dylan as a youth on the edge of manhood and journey with him to manhood shaped by tragedy and love. The one constant in his life is music, his music. His family, especially his father, does not support his passion. His father is wealthy and wants his children to choose professions that will not embarrass the family.

Dylan travels to Paris, studies with a great teacher and reconnects with his old teacher of history, Lawrence. He and Lawrence finally give into the passion and now the
Lil' Grogan
Dec 15, 2010 Lil' Grogan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance, sob, 4-5, gay
A deceptively unassuming touch that brought passion and vulnerability alive on page. I'm not sure why I've avoided this for so long, if I had known the time frame (starting in 1888) and that Paris would be involved! The music student in me squeed at the mere mention of Fauré and Berlioz. I enjoyed the descriptions of music, and remembered fondly the fervency and arrogance of belief in oneself, as well as the potentially crippling side of that passion.

Following Dylan from 18 as he aches for his
Edina Rose
Jan 12, 2011 Edina Rose rated it really liked it
Now I understand that the two men on the picture are:
- Laurence (left), very handsome, noble and distinguished, exactly as I pictured him. You want to fall in love with him and you know you'll be safe, with a good man
- and Geoffrey (right), dark, passionate, rebel, very gorgeous. You know if you loose your heart to him, you'll never have a peaceful moment.

This book is full of love of musics, love of arts. I loved it.
Aug 01, 2013 Angelica rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
This was a very emotional story, and in my opinion the artistic nature of the characters was well portrayed. The only complaint I have is that at times, especially the second part, it became very histrionical. Other than that, it was a satisfying read.
Jun 25, 2010 Lea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: made-me-cry, m-m
I wish I could rate this book higher than five stars. This is a very beautiful and heartbreaking love story that I won't soon forget. One of the best books that I have ever read.
Adrienne -kocham czytać-
(No explicit spoilers, but spoilers regarding the general direction in which the story goes.)

That right there might just be my favorite book of all time. The passion evident in every scene--front the youthful, fiery, arrogance that pervaded the beginning of Dylan's youth and time with Laurence to the slow maturity and strength and pained losses that came and were endured by Dylan and Geoffrey, to their ultimate successes.

"'These pieces are extraordinary for one your age and with your limited tr
Miz Love
May 17, 2011 Miz Love rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I live and breathe violin music. To me, to hear Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Winter II Largo conjures a world so beautiful I can hardly contain myself, stirs something in me that I can’t even write, can’t articulate. So, when I saw the cover of Ruth Sim’s Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story, I had to read it. It had a violin on the cover, as well as two beautiful men. All the elements in this reader’s mind for a delicious story—gorgeous men and music.

But that Ruth Sims. Damn her. She threw me a fast one and
Ebook Addict Reviews
As I finished Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story, there were tears in my eyes. Not tears of sorrow, but tears due to the indescribable beauty that is Ruth Sims’ Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story. This is a powerful and, to my mind, epic story; it sweeps through history and the lives of two men, men whose love of music is incomparable. It is complex but has a sublime beauty that is almost overwhelming. There were times in the book that I was completely overcome; the emotions that this most talented new-to-me ...more
Gerry Burnie
Nov 27, 2010 Gerry Burnie rated it it was amazing
In March of this year I had the pleasure of reviewing The Phoenix by Ruth Sims, and described it as, “A masterful piece of writing, credible and enjoyable from start to finish.” At that time I thought that I had exhausted all the superlatives possible on a novel, but with Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story [Dream Spinner Press, July 2010] she had surpassed even these. Indeed, Counterpoint has been described as “A symphony of words.”

It begins with a tasteful cover design by Alex Beecroft that captures t
Elisa Rolle
Counterpoint is at the same time a detailed, and wonderfully described, historical fiction and a love story; actually it is two love stories in one life, Dylan’s life, and as a perfect Salomon’s decision, Ruth Sims devoted the exact number of page to one love, Laurence, 160 pages, and another 160 pages to the second one, Geoffrey. And like in a perfect consecutio temporis, when the story starts Laurence is an adult who falls in love for a boy, Dylan, and when Laurence’s story is almost to the en ...more
Aug 03, 2011 J'aime rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical, m-m
I had the honor of being a beta reader for this novel, and ever since then I have been eagerly anticipating its publication so I could read it again. Though I truly enjoyed Sims' previous novel, "The Phoenix," I have to say that Counterpoint is even better. This is brilliant historical fiction with two love stories at the heart of it.

Dylan Rutledge has a gift for music, and nothing but disdain for traditional schooling that keeps him from it. At the Bede School, only Master Laurence Northcliff c
Sep 15, 2011 Lynette rated it it was amazing
I finished COUNTERPOINT: DYLAN'S STORY over a week ago and I've been having a hard time writing a review for it. All I can think to say is OMG I loved COUNTERPOINT: DYLAN'S STORY, it was totally not what I expected, it was sooo much better than that. I wish that I could end my review there, but I think you'd be disappointed, so if the rest of this review is crazy for coco puff, don't blame me. You've been warned.

COUNTERPOINT: DYLAN'S STORY is more than the typical m/m romance. It's not teeming w
Molly Ringle
Dec 16, 2010 Molly Ringle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was beautiful and addictive, and lurked in my thoughts the whole time I was reading it--which turned out to be less than a week, since I kept coming back to it to read more at every opportunity. Though it's highly romantic, it doesn't follow the usual romance formulas. It's more like a historical novel that happens to involve a couple of love affairs. That the characters in those love affairs are gay men adds a good deal to the tension and drama, since (in England, at least) that kind ...more
I read this for the 2014 Pushing Boundaries Challenge - topic "Heartbreaking"... and it did. It was because the characters were so real, so alive that when tragedy struck it pulled those emotions out.

The struggles that Laurence and Dylan had for their craft, either the music or the muse and their support of each other made it easy to truly care for these men.

Then when Dylan had a second chance after loosing Laurence and almost lost Geoffrey through such devastating treachery I was almost ill wit
Oct 13, 2013 Rebecca rated it liked it
Competently written melodrama.

The first section of the story was far better than the second. And the second section was better before the introduction of a character called B-211. When I am 3/4ths of the way through a decent, steady romance I don't expect or appreciate getting bombarded with imprisonment and torture. The book did not need to discordantly ratchet the angst up to eleven. Conversely, Counterpoint also suffers from a recurring problem where the main characters get rescued from small
Feb 02, 2011 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Book!




Lovely story, lovely characters, beautiful writing; what more can I say. I loved Counterpoint: Dylan's Story. I happily give its justly deserved 5 stars.

Jul 15, 2010 Anna rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book to read, it had everything you are looking for when it comes to two people falling in love. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone to read.
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