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Forbidden Melody

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  662 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Emma Harvey is a brilliant and gifted young pianist, accepted into one of the most prestigious music conservatories in the country and prepared to do whatever it takes to accomplish her dreams of playing professionally. With a renowned jazz musician for a father and a world-famous mentor growing up, she is convinced her path is easy. Until her world is suddenly silenced wh ...more
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published June 13th 2018
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  662 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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What do you do when it's 4:30am and you're wide awake? Read! I just couldn't make myself fall back asleep for some reason, so I picked up my Kindle and started reading this one. I thought I would read just a few chapters and then get sleep again, but this book COMPLETELY sucked me in.

I'm a shameless music lover, and a fan of great classical music. For me, music has always been a dialogue between instruments, between the conductor and the orchestra, the musician and their instrument, performer an
Diane Wallace
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay read!
Way too much detail about music plus it's importance in the Philharmonic and other musical stage industry -- okay relationship,friendship and romantic storyline.

Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book deserves all the attention it's getting, it is one of the best romance out there, it should be read by anyone who loves love. The playlist generously supplied by Ms.Robbins would be a great company when you read this instead of the background sound from the TV. Thank you Kara, for the info on the Forbidden Melody's playlist on Spotify. When I read this, I didn't think of Spotify, YouTube was my search engine. I rated it 4 at first, due to Juliet's father but every great romance needed ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Second Read

I liked it better the second time around.

But this time I felt that some of the descriptions of music at the philharmonic and a sex scene could have been cut down a bit to help the story flow better in those spots.


I am in love

So, I read this. I may be ruined for books going forward.

Magnolia Robbins, who even ARE you? Why am I married? Why haven't we met and fallen for each other? :)

Music and words and feelings. This was everything. The way emotion was demonstrated thro
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favs
I was literally gobsmacked after reading Magnolia Robbins' "Forbidden Melody." Still am, tbh! Still reeling after days of contemplation, pondering and reflecting. Thanks to a rec from Ms. Aten c/o TLR (cheers, K!), and a ringing endorsement from a GR mate (cheers, Bethany!), I have finally found a story in lesfic that was written in the essence, spirit and rhythm of music vibrating behind each and every word crafted in its literary language as it flowed through every page. Having music...classic ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pleasant surprise for me. I had never heard of this author before but figured "what the heck, it's free on KU." Whenever I'm in need of a nice beachy romance, i'm looking this author up. And why not, most of her books are on KU, so makes sense to "buy" them.

The premise was the oft used teacher/student trope which apparently I have yet to get sick of. Emma is a prodigy like pianist, doing her graduate work at the Bard Conservatory where Juliet is a music instructor and world renown vio
Corporate Slave
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
As this is the first time I hear or read this author, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. So for me it’s a solid 4.
The reason why it’s not 3: oh god how I loved the connection between those 2 characters! You could really feel the love!
Reason why it’s not 5: too much music details for me. Could’ve been a bit shorter..
Sandra Andersson
This book makes me want to lock myself in a dark room, listen to classical music and cry for like a week, in other words, I loved it, it was amazing, incredible, fantastic, wonderful, A WORK OF ART.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So many wonderful points to make about this book. It’s the kind of writing that makes you want to read and re-read again and again to savor every moment. A young graduate student and her much older professor fall in love, getting all kinds of grief over the obvious violation of ethics on the part of the teacher. The author takes her time and delicately weaves a profound story of friendship and human connection that is just too sweet and tender to believe. There’s fire and passion as their romanc ...more
Very well written with lovable characters. This has the potential to become a go-to comfort read for me. Music is front and center, carrying the plot forward, and I appreciated the list of pieces at the beginning of each chapter. In some cases, I stopped to pull them up and listen to them. It was a lovely reading experience. I'm only sorry I didn't start reading this book the first day I put it on my 'up-next' shelf. ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the beautiful story of Emma, a gifted, deaf young pianist and Juliet a violin prodigy turned NY philharmonic lead and conservatoire professor, who becomes Emma's teacher. Juliet is completely focussed on her music, to the exclusion of everything else in her life. She is not a people person, or it seems, particularly interested in teaching. Her parents own the conservatory where she works as a professor and her father rules her life completely and without love. Emma, the deaf prodigy, cha ...more
K. Aten
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it

I love a good romance that features music or prodigies and with this book I got both.

Magnolia Robbin’s descriptions of the songs and their motion, as well as the way the two characters played together really painted a picture in my mind. Some of the songs I recognized, having heard them before or even currently own. There were others that the author painted so well in my head that I was forced to search for the music online so I could listen. I also liked that the author really went into de
Jo Watkins
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful romantic love story that will have you captivated to the end!

I don’t know how one person can write so many beautiful books on so many wide ranging subjects.The way she intertwines the chosen music and conveys the passion all musicians need too perform is unbelievable,I know quote a lot of the pieces in the book and the descriptions are so perfect I can hear them in my mind.The story is a rollercoaster of emotions love,longing and heartbreak as well as some very erotic love scenes.Ano
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

I am late to this party and oh my goddess, no wonder you all were raving about this book. It is exceptional. It's been a while since a story has touched me so profoundly. What a journey.

Firstly, I must compliment Magnolia Robbins on her phenomenal writing skills. I was completely immersed in the story from the first page and profoundly invested in characters. At times the writing was almost poetic. I came into this book with high expectations and it sure delivered.

Now the story itself
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is by far the best that Robbins has written. I loved the music portion and listened to a good number of the songs which further enhanced the reading experience. I also liked Juliet; for some reason I enjoy these somewhat bitchy, aloof characters who end up being softies on the inside. Great read.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, that was just lovely! I took the fantastic advice of other reviewers and listened to all of the musical pieces that are mentioned throughout the story. DO THIS and you will appreciate the story so much more. Incorporating both senses of hearing and seeing made for an enriching reading experience that I won't soon forget.... nor will my spouse, who would occasionally look over at me on the couch as I cried my eyes out with my headphones on, so moved by the music as she watched old episodes ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Again a very nice read. I have several books by Magnolia Robbins, but have not read them all. She writes well. Her books are comfortable to read. So was this one. The idea of a deaf concert pianist intrigued me and made me decide to buy this book(where I live we don’t have KU😔). It was well worth the price, enjoyed it very much. One small criticism: the end felt a bit rushed.
Paradise Lost
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f
This was a wonderful read. I love books revolving around the arts: be it dance, music, singing, acting, painting, etc.... And when done right, such books can make you look at an entire art form differently... the art envelops, as well as engulfs, your soul. You can feel it resonate in your entire being.

I only had one issue with the book, regarding the sole antagonist. It seemed contrived and unnecessary.

Having said that, I simply loved it. The chemistry between the two main characters was off
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just beautiful

This book is so well-written I can't even stand it. I've never played violin or piano but the way the author describes the music makes me want to give it a try. The story flows, just like the music Emma and Juliet play together, and the connection between the two of them is so intimate and real. There are so many emotions, ups and downs, that I couldn't put it down until I read the whole thing. I highly recommend this book if you love a good slow-build romance that sizzles with pa
Beautiful romance amidst a classical music setting. The author has either performed in an orchestra herself or did quite a bit of research, because this book came across as very authentic to me.

This book is heavy on the performance arts setting and I loved it for that. The writing style was lovely and atmospheric as well. This is definitely a must read for classical music lovers.

The reviews that said this book was too heavy on the musical setting just made me want to read this more. I wasn't di
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
When I see so many positive reviews for a book I did not care for I often wonder: did I miss something? Normally I like it when there is a character who is either full-on "ice queen," or at least mostly so, but here it just does not work for me...nor do the dynamics between the two main characters and how quickly they react to each other right from the start.

Maybe I have completely lost my romantic side, but it takes a lot in fiction for me to believe in things happening instantly the moment tw
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This was absolutely beautiful. I fell in love only reading the first few pages. The personalities of these two women jump off the pages and wraps you in. The use of the names of all the musical pieces is really a new way to experience reading and being engaged in a novel. It allows you to feel what the characters were feeling in the moment they were hearing the same musical pieces. Magnolia does an amazing job at describing exactly how the music pieces speak. She brings to the reader imagery
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Magnolia Robbins writes unsatisfying conflict resolution.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it

This book was exquisite. Filled with silences that have such a wide range of passion.
Music is the heart of this book, Emma and Juliet, being the two elements that make it beat.
Emma is a young lady, talented and dedicated to bringing to life this passion for music, which her father has. Extraordinary pianist, she decides to join a school that is worth the same prestige as her talent. She meets Juliet, a renowned violinist, who also follows in her father's footsteps in the field of music. It
Mirtha Siblesz
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Indeed, Wow! There was a movie in 1954 with Elizabeth Taylor and John Ericson titled Rhapsody that came to mind while I was glued to this beautiful book. Emma and Juliet were beautifully depicted in the development of their love affair. Their relationship was so deep, so strong. Juliet’s father, Frederick, was so despicable as the evil character of the story. Emma’s father, Red,was such a loving character to both his “Emma-girl” and Juliet. I liked the way the book ended “even dreams change”
Becky Spears
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This is the first book I've ever read on kindle unlimited that I went back and actually purchased because it is so good and I want to re-read it again and again. Absolutely wonderful.
This is a hard book to rate. I liked the love story between the two MC's though, at times, it was hard to understand why they would be attracted to each other except for the obvious music connection. The abundant music descriptions became tedious at times. (view spoiler) So coming fresh off of reading this my rating is not what I hoped it would be. ...more
T.J. Dallas
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesfic, favorites
Wow. I have just finished this book today and it has shot to my top three favourite books ever. It's stunning. Beautifully-written, passionate, and heartbreaking, all at once. This was my first book that I've read by this author, and I'm 100% going to read others. This book is magical; I loved it! ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I give this 5 stars because I love music and this book clearly loves it. It gave me the same impression as how the film “Whiplash” adores, to the point of worship, jazz. But they’re completely different works.
This one is a teacher/student romance (not abusive mentor/protégé) with its push and pull dynamic mostly with the teacher’s relationship with her father and his threats to end her tenure at the New York philharmonic if she becomes “deviant”. I love reading this while playing its classical
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it

First let me start with what I enjoyed. The descriptions of music and how it was played were beautiful, it made me want to listen to every piece listed in the story. What I didn't enjoy was the relationship, it was cute at first with Emma constantly challenging Juliet but then it quickly fell into every possible tired trope. I hated the way Juliet messed with Emma's head and their relationship seemed to go in circles without them ever trying to resolve their issues.
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Maggie is a bestselling queer romance author from the west coast. When she isn't writing, you'll almost always find a cup of coffee in her hands.

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