Vivaldi in the Dark Box set by Matthew Metzger ~ Book Review by Karen

vivaldi-coverTitle: Vivaldi in the Dark Box set

Author: Matthew Metzger

Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Unknown

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 03/30/2016

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: Young Adult


The best-selling gay romance series by Matthew J. Metzger is now available in a box set exclusively on Kindle! For one low price, get all 3 books in 1 ebook!

Contains the stories:

VIVALDI IN THE DARK: Jayden’s course changes when he falls for dry violinist Darren. But all is not what it seems, and Jayden is confronted with a dangerous depression that has brought Darren to the edge more than once, and undoubtedly will again. Darren’s talent is his own undoing – until a mugging takes the music forcibly away, and Jayden has the chance to change Darren’s life and, quite literally, his mind.

THE DEVIL’S TRILL SONATA: Jayden is going to university. Dream-chasing and distance have Jayden thinking a break-up with his boyfriend is inevitable – but they’ve weathered worse storms, right? Wrong. As their relationship fractures, Darren’s depression strengthens — until one night, a rejected call, and drastic action. Too late, Jayden learns where his heart truly lies. The dream is over — and the reality is far, far worse.

RHAPSODY ON A THEME: Their relationship has been repaired since Darren’s overdose, but Darren has not. When two attempts at medication fail badly, his partner Jayden fears that the end of this depression will only come with the end of Darren himself. Until Darren is asked to play at Ethan’s upcoming wedding. As Darren slowly returns to the music that never quite left him, the shadows finally begin to fade

My View:

Wow, this series just about broke my heart, and then put it back together, Vivaldi in the Dark takes us on a six year journey with Jayden and Darren – from meeting at school to being 20 something adults. Its clear from the blurb that the books deal with some potentially difficult subjects – specifically depression , and while they are certainly not of the fluffy book variety, the books are shot through with hope and love.

Jayden and Darren meet when they are 15 and 16, Jayden is gay and Darren..well he is a bit a mess, his patents are distant and emotionally stunted and Darren is crying out for love. The three books catalogue the love story of these boys at critical moments: when they meet and fall in love, when they part go to university and work, and when in their 20’s they have moved in together. Underlying all is Darren’s depression and how it affects not just them, but everyone around them, and how ultimately Darren starts to realise that while depression is part of him it doesn’t define him.

As the book starts with the boys being young, they make mistakes, some have far reaching consequences but throughout not only did I feel that they had each other (mainly) but that their friends and Jayden’s family were also there. So that while there was no quick fix for Darren it was definitely a journey where you saw that things were going to get better.

I totally fell in love with Metzger’s writing style, the dialogue felt so true to life, and the snarky asides and flashes of humour made the books shine. Plus the sense that he really cares for the characters, so while they do make bad choices and frustrate the hell out of me- I was always in there with them. Jayden, Darren and Jayden’s parents in particular will all hold a special place in my heart.

Despite the beautiful writing, the sympathetic characters and the spot on descriptions of how depression affects all those it touches, these books had a few faults, mainly centering on some of the dialogue and how sentences just drifted off, which started out endearing when 15 – and ended up annoying when the characters were 22. And reading it in one go, I felt that it could have benefited from some tighter editing in places – especially in the latter stages.

But honestly these are small niggles, the thing that puzzles me most about this series is why isn’t it  much more popular ?


Vivaldi in the Dark Box set on Goodreads
JMS Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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One thought on “Vivaldi in the Dark Box set by Matthew Metzger ~ Book Review by Karen

  1. That’s my question too – why isn’t it more popular and widely known? It’s some of the best m/m romance I have read in a while.

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