Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story

Written by Ruth Sims
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Spanning the late 19th century, this historical romance centers on composer Dylan Rutledge and the two great loves of his life: Laurence, his young history master who becomes a popular novelist, and later Geoffrey, a gypsy violinist of extraordinary talent who takes Dylan’s compositions to new heights. Willful and wild, 18-year-old Dylan’s stolen kiss from his teacher toward the end of his term sends the high-minded Laurence fleeing to Paris, where he reignites an old dream to become a novelist. But fate and their mutual belief in Dylan’s raw talent brings them together again once Dylan has finished his studies and is on his family-financed Grand Tour. The two men start a life in Paris together, surrounded by patrons and gifted artists. Laurence’s star rises as his novels achieve success, but Dylan struggles for acceptance in the music world. When Laurence is killed in a carriage accident, Dylan plunges into despair that cuts him off, even from his music.

But with the help of friends he re-connects with life and meets the protégé of a former teacher, the gypsy violinist Geoffrey. Soon after they become lovers, the young man becomes victim of his patron’s scheming relatives and is thrown into prison. Dylan calls on all his resources and even the help of a family who disinherited him years before. His lover is freed in time to recover and play at a triumphant concert featuring Dylan’s music. Well-paced and told with great tenderness, this story of long term love, creative lives and adventures adds yet another wonderful subgenre to historical romance.