Book Review: A Duet for Invisible Strings by Llinos Cathryn Thomas

A tale of sweet, unrequited love, embittered by the possibility of devastating loss, set to music.

A Duet for Invisible Strings by Llinos Cathryn Thomas is a heartrendingly beautiful paranormal romance written for readers who love women and magic. It is the tale of sweet, unrequited love, embittered by the possibility of devastating loss.

In essence: A Duet for Invisible Strings

Heledd is the First Violinist for the Prelude Chamber Orchestra. It’s the peak of her musical career – which she takes very seriously indeed – and has the added bittersweet bonus of giving her one-to-one time with the woman of her dreams, her conductor, Rosemary. Not that she believes she would ever have a chance with her. Nor even deserve her.

But Heledd has a secret (and we’re not telling you about it right here) which begins to unfold after a near-miss car accident. In saving Rosemary’s life, Heledd seals her own fate – a seal which cannot be undone, and opens up their relationship … just a little.

An unexpected booking for the orchestra takes Heledd back to the village of her childhood, in Wales, and there, under the green trees, alongside a familiar flowing beck and a deep green pool, she faces her truth – with an unexpected outcome.

The magic of the writing

A Duet for Invisible Strings is just so very cleverly and sensitively written. Heledd’s character is as down-to-earth as any older woman with sensible behaviours should be. She is direct – at times a little harsh to the cellos – seeks no social company, generally avoids eye contact, and spent her childhood somehow invisibly different.

Perhaps you recognise some of the character traits that seem to match to that invisible difference. Perhaps in reading Heledd’s part, you’ll recognise them still further. It’s often called a ‘disability’ in our everyday world.

But Heledd’s invisible traits are not a disability by any definition. She’s had to tone down and disappear her beautiful innate skills, so that she will somehow fit in – but still the villagers and her Dad knew she was different anyway. She’s special-yet-ordinary, a wonderful, skilfully written metaphor – and a lovely, painfully self-aware and tough character to boot.

‘She’d always liked to make music, too. She hadn’t even had to try, back then. Just a thought, a gesture, and she could be the whole orchestra, symphonies flying from her fingers. She could reproduce anything she’d heard once before, with perfect clarity and accuracy.

She remembered a time, when she was small, that her father had caught her in the act. She’d seen his face and been afraid he would shout at her – she hadn’t been sure enough of him yet to know that he never would. But he’d just come over to her and knelt to take her hands in his, stilling the sounds.’

Will you like it?

If you love romance novels – or, love the pining aspect of many romance novels – this one’s for you. There’s unrequited love, blistering self-analysis, and the heartstrings are thoroughly twanged. (Or played, like a harp …) It’s f/f romance, two older ladies, and as you’d expect, is written with taste and solid passion.

If you love the paranormal, this one’s definitely for you! See how quickly it dawns on you what is happening! (And read no spoilers, so much that is delicious in this book is in the guessing. The bigger picture is just so beautiful and sad and then beautiful again).

The other thing this book does well is tension. As a reader, you’re working out what’s going on; will-she-won’t-she; is-she-isn’t-she; trying to figure out where the story will take you next. It grips you, stays with you afterwards, and pops back up in your mind a week later. The writing is clean and straightforward, with elegant, effortless description that builds only pictures in your mind.

If you read nothing else over a short weekend, you’ll get something wonderful from A Duet for Invisible Strings by Llinos Cathryn Thomas.

Buy the Special Edition of A Duet for Invisible Strings today, which includes your package of lovely Extras!

Find out why we stock this beautiful love story set to music.

A Duet for Invisible Strings

by Llinos Cathryn Thomas

Heledd, leader of the first violins, has been in love with her irrepressible conductor Rosemary for years. But Heledd has a secret.


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More about A Duet for Invisible Strings



Llinos Cathryn Thomas

I'm a queer Welsh fangirl who sometimes writes things.

Llinos Cathryn Thomas was born and raised on the North Wales coast, where she read a lot of Welsh fairy tales and legends and watched a lot of Star Trek – which probably explains some things about how she turned out.

She has a degree in Russian Studies from the University of Nottingham, which she has used mainly to deepen her appreciation for the movie Anastasia.

She now lives in London with her wife, and when she’s not writing she is often reading instead, and if she’s not doing either of those things she’s probably watching TV.

She is the author of two speculative F/F romance novellas, Sparks Fly and A Duet for Invisible Strings, and is working on a novel.

Author page


Cover of A Duet for Invisible Strings

A Duet for Invisible Strings

by 2 hours £2.99

Heledd, leader of the first violins, has been in love with her irrepressible conductor Rosemary for years. But Heledd has a secret.

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