~USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated romance~
Life in London’s poorest quarter is hard, but gifted composer Clara Becker scrapes a living writing music under her brother’s name. When celebrated musician Darien Reynard notices her work, it seems fortune is smiling on the Becker siblings at last. But Clara must keep her distance from Darien if she hopes to protect their secret—and her heart.
Set against the glittering backdrop of 19th century celebrity, Sonata for a Scoundrel is the first in the Music of the Heart novels from award-winning author Anthea Lawson.
Clara Becker lives in two worlds--a family life of deteriorating poverty and an invisible world where music flows from her pencil to the page. Her compositions keep her father, brother, and their maid from starvation but nothing more. Each piece is sold under her the name of her brother, Nicholas Becker, an outstanding pianist whose recent fit of melancholy prevents him from attracting paying students. Entranced with the compositions of Nicholas Becker, virtuoso violinist Darien Reynard offers Nicholas a high-paying position as an accompanist and composer for his next tour. Nicholas arranges for Clara to join him on the tour, and the siblings work to keep Darien unaware of their deception. Relegated to the background, Clara sees her works inspire Darien to new heights of fame and glory. What she doesn't see is how their mutual attraction inspires the truest music of all: love.
Verdict: Mesmerizing and addictive, Lawson's (All He Desires) Sonata blends elements of music fact with a sensual mix of historical fiction. Readers will identify with the accomplished but invisible Clara, who sacrifices professional recognition and love for the financial welfare of her family. Darien is a man of unrepentant passions and talent, qualities that will entice readers onward through the book. Balancing the elements of a good story with the sights and sounds of the music world in 1830s Europe, this highly engrossing read will keep historical fiction fans clamoring for more." - Starred Review, Library Journal