BOOK REVIEW: I made it as far as about the second page before I was cheering for Rosa. Or falling for her, to be more precise. But her vulnerability makes for difficult reading. It’s so hard to see how she will ever find happiness under the influence of her sister and the weight of societal tradition. I was really worried for her as I read. I wanted to be her hero and save her from the horrible choices she had. I was so into this story – completely captivated…. In a broader sense, I’d say this is an interesting study of how a calculated marital arrangement might take time to get going, but may well develop into something rich and powerful…. The resolution for sweet Rosa worked very well for me. This is a poignant little regency romance with plenty beneath the surface.
BOOK REVIEW: I like the villain…. No, I don’t mean I’m on his side or anything – just that I like the way this kind of character contributes to the angst of the period and makes for interesting reading. He makes it so difficult for the heroine and hero to get together – for romance to flourish (and I agree with other reviewers that this is a good romance). The villainous uncle is portrayed, I think, quite realistically. He has so much power and brings this to bear against what we are hoping for as we read, and just when it looks like he’s being defeated, he goes and does something to rip the heart out of our triumph. What he does is an excellent bet-you-weren’t-expecting-that moment, which sets off an exciting and wonderfully written journey and pursuit that we have to live through before we can have any kind of happily-ever-after…. Yes, this is a terrific love and adventure story. It’s heart wrenching, touching, enlightening and steamy. And it also has a classic Victorian era villain, whose portrayal is particularly powerful and interesting in my opinion.
BOOK REVIEW: The heroine is a handful. Way too intelligent and strong willed for the conventions of her time. The way she fights, deceives and manipulates to get what she wants out of life makes for a bit of a romp, but the fact that this tale is based on a true story is quite sobering. It’s also very romantic and interesting because of that. For word of this lady to be around 300 years later, she must have made quite an impression at the time… I felt well enough immersed in the early 18th century setting, with minimal detail allowing the plot to move along quickly, making for a fast and exciting read. There’s a cute supernatural twist that offers another dimension to the tale. This quite cleverly heightened the intensity of the climax and ending with a parallel timeline. It also brought our protagonists to the intersection of storytelling and true-to-life… Well done!
Victor Emmanuel Rossi is The Pusher, the Florence frightener.
Victor’s problems began when his father dropped him on his head as a baby. Things didn’t get much better for Victor throughout his thirty years on this planet. He became a menace, the scourge of his street, a local celebrity and a fine artist, in his own right.
Next door to the Hotel Paris on Via dei Banchi in Florence, Italy, Victor Emmanuel Rossi lived. Local residents nicknamed him the pusher, but it wasn’t drugs he was pushing.
A black comedy fable – 5000 word.
I liked this. What a weird story. It’s very cleverly constructed and intriguing from start to finish. There’s something so simple and true about The Pusher. I’m wondering why I can so easily relate to him, lol… It’s a short read – definitely worth your time.
FirstWorld is at the centre of the multiverse and it is under threat. If the Balance tips entirely to Chaos then time will end. A Hero is needed and the Hero needs a powerful Sword, perhaps the most powerful weapon in the multiverse. An inexperienced young man, Simon Redhead, is saved from nuclear annihilation in Melbourne 2043 and reluctantly pressed into service. Will he accept the fate that his genes dictate, retrieve his sword and adopt the role of killing machine to aid his new friends? Or, will he find sanctuary and peace in the past with a Palaeolithic tribe? Who is the evil wizard Weylyn the Wolf working for and why does his master want time to end? Will Simon Redhead embrace the role of Everlasting Hero and become the saviour of not only his friends but the entire multiverse? And if he does, what will it cost him?
A flawed hero with no idea who/what he is. The future of the universe at stake. The scene is set for action and adventure, which is delivered with just enough detail to evoke the imagery you need in an alternate world, without drowning you in description. The breadth and depth of this fantasy world is impressive – the depiction of multi-dimensions is smooth. This is a fast paced story that leads you on a fascinating quest while keeping you grounded and often amused through the thoughts and impressions of our hero Simon Redhead. The scene is set for an awful lot more to come.
After their cars are vandalised, real estate tycoon Jensen Kingsley and his quiet employee, Emma Williams, are stranded miles from anywhere in an empty house in the middle of a storm. With no one able to rescue them for days, they must face the truth – they’re stuck…. together.
Playboy Jensen is faced with the temptation of his life. A weekend alone with a woman who has been under his skin for two years. However demons from his past force him back, and he vows to keep his distance.Emma has always secretly wondered what Jensen would be like in bed. He’s asked her a few times but she knows better than to let her handsome boss get too close. So why does he appear to have changed his mind? Determined to prove that he wants her, she sets out to do the one thing she swore she’d never do…. seduce her boss.
Emma is playing a dangerous game. With stakes this high, she stands to lose not only her pride…. but her heart.
Can they survive the fallout?
It’s cold shower time after the hot love scenes early on in this one. The seemingly shallow hero has been brought to life, and we’re starting to understand he has depth. While the lovely heroine – sensible and controlled – has fallen apart, unable to resist what she swore she would never do. There are lots of twists and difficulties in the path of these lovers. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster read, cleverly plotted. I’d recommend it as a good one to take to bed one night for the opening chapters, with a free day following to relax on the couch as you read on through all the ensuing drama an unplanned erotic encounter can create… As well as steamy and intriguing, this is a nice love story.
BOOK REVIEW: I’m just going to lead in with a word or two about Chapter 5: Lord Of Devil’s Night. Let’s make it two words: frigging awesome… Overall this is a varied line-up of creepy and erotic stories with a sometimes conversational tone that adds clever subtlety. Ratz in the Machine tells us to beware the nerdy nice guy, and has a surprising and quite brilliant shift from erotic to horrifying. The Hangin’ Tree, almost poetic, takes you down deep and has you wondering. The Bag Snatchers is freaky, imaginative, and nails the spirit of All Hallows Eve. Voices is the creepy, atmospheric one of the bunch, and A Grim Tribute is grim alright. It’s a seriously twisted tribute to a fairy tale that was little-kid-scary already. But getting back to Lord Of Devil’s Night… You know how it’s so great when you are right inside the characters head? Well perhaps you won’t want to be inside this particular guy’s head but you don’t have any choice. You’re pulled in and forced to experience a blend of eroticism and pain that is thematic metaphor on overload. And… well… good luck with that.
BOOK REVIEW: This story has a lot going for it in a number of ways. Awesome detail and imaginative ideas create a tangible and believable fantasy world – believable enough to pull you out of the real world that is. The heroine and hero both rock. You’re on their side from the start (although they’re on opposite sides) and you’re right there with them when all seems lost at the end. The emotional journey here is expertly crafted. It’s simple and true – a wonderful exposé of the power of love, including the flavours of lust and physical pleasure. The overall idea is tantalising with a touch of humour – life in the Men’s Tent looks pretty good to me… way to be imprisoned:) This is a captivating tale with an ending that tops everything I’ve mentioned so far.
BOOK REVIEW: A terrific action adventure told by a natural storyteller. The artwork is excellent and wonderfully apt for the feel of the story. The graphic violence here is offhandedly dealt with, and it works. It’s just normal for these ninjas to fight, shed blood and kill. Incorporating that into a story about a bunch of kids was handled with just the right, low level of sensationalism. The individual characters were fun and interesting. Spending time in each of their heads makes for excellent reading and was definitely the best way to tell this tale. A handful of misfits trained, tested in battle and building into a tough little fighting force with an unknown mystic power on their side, their foes beaten but not defeated and planning their next move… Great stuff!
BOOK REVIEW: Good versus evil, but wait a minute – not so simple. Two victims of bullying suddenly being bestowed with awesome powers… What better test of character and inner strength than to see how they each respond? How these two youths are transformed (or not) by this ‘gift’ is handled in an intelligent and complex way. Understanding the origin and ultimate purpose of this force is shaping as an intriguing supernatural thriller. One aspect of this power I’m finding particularly interesting is the sensing/exposing/manipulating of people’s emotions, and how this sword is double edged, with the loss of control happening inwardly as well. This volume ends in a blaze of action – the scene set for who-knows-what next… The main characters here are young adults, but I’d recommend a youthful spirit of adventure is all that’s needed to enjoy this story.
BOOK REVIEW: The princess of good trekking across the kingdom to battle the darkness of evil. This is a well tried concept and is handled wonderfully right here in a fast moving tale. If you don’t spend a lot of reading time in fantasy, you can need just the right balance of description and action to hold your interest. It’s a completely foreign world, so you need to be informed of the surroundings. The characters are often creatures, so you need plenty of detail about who and what they are. I find it easy to get bogged down in all this description in fantasy stories, but that didn’t happen with The Darkness Of Gold. Not at all. I found the characters to be intriguing and the scenery vivid, yet the story moved quickly and kept me very much interested and in anticipation of what would come next. I ended up with an impression of a richly three dimensional kingdom, with a lot to the story remaining mysterious and untold. The different kinds of communities briefly encountered were fascinating and offered adventures for the imagination well beyond the scope of this quest. You find yourself wondering what was going on there as you’re passing by. I liked that. The action scenes were quite powerful and, again, vivid. I think the romantic element was sweet and in just the right proportion with the rest of the plot. I didn’t pick the ending. That was a good twist… To an occasional fantasy reader, this was quite a good Sunday’s entertainment.
BOOK REVIEW: Is this a children’s story… a parent’s how-to perhaps? I was unsure what to expect with this book, but it captivated me immediately and held me spellbound throughout. I’m giving a full 5 stars because this is a brilliant story – could make it as a classic. It’s a wonderful read for children, and it shows us all the bullying experience through a child’s eyes. The tale itself is clever and highly impactful (had my lip quivering once or twice – the shoes). Expertly detailed and written.
BOOK REVIEW: This is an intense, shadowy thriller, paced for a quick read. There’s plenty of angst in the awkward, fledgling, arranged romance between our main characters before the real challenge even begins…. The 1980s setting is authentic and well suited to stories about this kind of crime – it’s kind of what makes it so shadowy. It works well. The descent into the murky depths of perversion as the thriller aspect of the story builds is another highlight. The climax is grim and hard-hitting. The romance finds a way…. This stands alone as a terrific read, but there’s definite potential for a follow-up and study of some of the secondary characters.
BOOK REVIEW: What a thrill ride! This picks up at the height of tension we were left with in the first part of the story. It picks up there and never backs off. Right to the final confrontation we are on the edge of the seat – heart in mouth. The style of storytelling here is sharp, gripping, take-no-prisoners. The action, including the love making, is graphic and powerful, but in that it is just keeping up with the mood of the story. The characters portrayed here are gritty and real. The bad guys are total scum and not easily defeated – more tension! The hero and heroine earn every bit of the ending…. Awesome, powerhouse read!
BOOK REVIEW: This book has deep down grunt that gives the storyline a rich and meaningful foundation. Corporate greed. The making of a psychopathic killer. Corruption. Murder. Cruelty. Love and loyalty. An epic idea in the suicide seed technology…. Everything builds inch by inch. Slowly and relentlessly. Like multiple angles to the same force that explodes in the final chapters…. An intriguing setting in 3rd world Africa. Great characters, both the good guys and the bad. And a wonderful dog hero that is worth the read on his own…. But above all, there’s a latent power here that I also noticed in a previous read of this author. Fry writes real, gritty stuff.
BOOK REVIEW: It’s the contrast between the unrelenting, high octane suspense and the excruciatingly slow burn of romance. That’s what it is about this author’s writing. Of course you get that a lot in these kinds of books, but Sandra S. Kerns does it so well. The crime here is complicated and deeply woven through the cast of characters. This is a damned fine police story. The action starts with the witness to a murder unconscious in an ER, our hero by his side, our heroine nursing them both. Unravelling what happened is a great read… The romance is between a strong, positive, yet damaged, woman and a tough, gritty man who is all heart and impatience. Expertly drawn, these two have you feeling that slow burn and living it with them. I was particularly pleased with how things came together at the end – the way the hero took charge… Excellent romantic mystery/thriller.
BOOK REVIEW: The feel of this book takes me back to the musty halls of the Hermitage Museum and the iron curtain mentality of the real Russia that still smoulders today. We are expertly pulled into this mood chapter one and never really get to crawl up out of it. The characters and plot – the mystery of Brodsky – kind of tumble in on top of us, abstract and disjointed at first, building and tightening as we crawl through the maze (walk the endless corridors of The Hermitage, the towering portraits of lives past eyeballing us)…. Yes, I found the setting here to be tremendously powerful. The mystery itself is classy and intelligent, and develops into a killer of a finale…. Try this one if you like your art-heist thrillers to be gritty, real, and steeped in history.