I’m not great at writing reviews for books, so I thought I would share my thoughts on the book series “DUET Stories” by Brownell Landrum. There are no spoilers, so if you haven’t read them already, don’t worry!
It started with an email I received after doing an community interview for Laters Baby (a Fifty Shades of Grey fan blog and podcast). The email was from an author named Brownell Landrum. She gave me a quick hello and noted how much she liked the interview from the Laters Baby blog. Then she went on to give me a brief description of a three volume set (of a soon-to-be series) that she had written titled “Duet Stories”. It also featured a tagline of “The Prequel/Sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey”. There was even a book trailer!
The “prequel/sequel” bit sparked my attention enough to watch the trailer. Along with the fact that Brownell seemed so excited about the books. But after I watched the trailer, I KNEW I wanted to read these books! Sexy books that included past lives! Sign me up! PLUS, the third volume introduced the lead characters, Paige and Griffin, to Ana and Christian of FSOG! That brought my attention to another peak!
“Yes! Send me the books! I want to read them!”, was my immediate response to her. I received them shortly after in PDF form so I could read them on my tablet.
Brownell also let me know that the books could be read in any order, but I decided to start with Volume I “The Song Begins”, because that’s just the type of girl I am.
It didn’t take me long to get hooked. I found the characters to be believable and relatable. The story moves along easily as well, which also made me happy.
Another cool thing about these books, is that they are written from BOTH the viewpoints of Paige and Griffin. (Another link to the “Duet” title).
A friend of mine, who is currently reading these books and enjoying them, mentioned that she thought some things were repetitive. I see that… BUT… again I state that these are written from BOTH viewpoints, so there will be some repetition. But if you’re looking closer, you’ll see that you get different information about the scenes with each viewpoint. Different parts of the conversation, different descriptions of mannerisms, or scenery, etc, that you didn’t get from the other viewpoint. Basically making the whole scene equate into a whole.
Another thing I really liked about the characters, were that they weren’t really given a physical appearance. Therefore, you can picture ANYONE as Paige and Griffin. This aspect of non-descript physical appearance lasted throughout the entire three volumes – with the exceptions of Ana and Christian of FSOG. I found that to be an amazing feat. I even mentioned it to Brownell as I kept her updated on my reading progress of the books. I have NEVER read a book or series that have managed to pull off maintaining characters only on personality traits. I think that’s a sign of a great author!
Now, on to the past life portions of the books…
These were done amazingly as well. Again, no focus on physical descriptions, but you knew who was who, all by their personality.
My favorite past life story in these books happened in Volume 3, “A Chorus of Voices”. It’s set in the Ottoman Empire and has both Paige and Griffin, along with Ana and Christian. There’s a Sultan, slaves, a harem, sex, love, violence, hidden moments, a nasty antagonist… and even a guru named Goo. I’ll tell you this much about that Goo – he’s a kick in the pants!
Along with the “Duets” meaning of two people telling the story, it also means music! I’m a huge fan of music, and there are a lot of musical references in these books. I may not have gotten ALL the references, but I knew the majority of them. And I’m thinking most readers will too.
Another thing I should mention… to those of you reading this who are also Fifty Shades of Grey fans, you MAY be a little hesitant when dealing with something that brings in your beloved Ana and Christian. Well, I can tell you straight out, Brownell stayed true to who Ana and Christian are. So have no worries. I think even E.L. James would approve!
An extra bonus to the stories is the Epilogue, which should ONLY be read after reading Volume 3. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t go into it. But I WILL say that if you are a fan of metaphysics, this will be right up your alley. You’ll see why!
You know how you can get so excited about a book, or even a series of books, that you could talk about them all the time because you just loved them so much? Well, these books are the type I could talk about most of the day. Seriously, it would have to be just “most” of the day, because I tend to sleep a hell of a lot – that’s where the rest of my time would be spent. But I am really excited about this series, and I recommend them highly.
If you haven’t read them already, PLEASE DO!! They are SO WORTH THE READ! You’ll have a hard time putting them down! And when you do, LET ME KNOW! That way we can talk about them! We can share our favorite parts (of the book), talk about who we envisioned as Paige and Griffin, all sorts of stuff!
Here is the book trailer I mentioned before that got me excited!
And don’t forget to continue on past it for DUET Stories links!
For the Duet Stories website, go to duetstories.com.
For the Duet Stories Facebook page, click HERE.
Follow the series on Twitter, click HERE.
To read the FSOG community interview that started it all, click HERE.