Posts from the ‘romance’ Category

Book Review: A Man for Kate by G.S.Bailey

Welcome to Goran Vale. A small (fictitious) town in New South Wales.

It isn’t far from Sydney and Melbourne.

It’s a long way from home—and farther from the truth than most folks find comfortable.

Author G.S. Bailey places readers right into the heart of town with vivid and detailed descriptions. We can close our eyes and see a little town reminiscent of Twin Peaks—without the picket fences.

A Man for Kate

A romance served with murder receives 4 of 5 stars.

Meet Kate.

She was left standing at the altar by one of the men in her life.

Early on, we meet them: Paul (her boss), Bobby (adopted brother), Ben (the friendly police officer), Stephen (her first love), and Lance (American insurance salesman). Will one of these candidates be the man for her?

One of them is “special” character. He’s the common denominator that links the major characters. He’s the glue that holds the story together.

Minor characters in Goran Vale are introduced and we learn that everyone seems to have secrets and several have skeletons in their closets (literally.)

Parallel plot lines follow Kate as she looks for the right man and Ben, the cop, who looks for the killer of poor little Melanie Rose.

Bailey does a superb job of weaving a page turner as we rush to learn which search is successful. Clues to the murder turn up when the shooting starts.

Which of the leading men will win Kate’s heart?

Will Kate and Ben find the same man? How do their paths cross en route to the story’s denouement?

A Man for Kate previously appeared as Remains of a Local Girl and Bailey does an efficient job of creating two female characters for whom either title would be eponymous.

A Man for Kate plays well as both a romance novel and a whodonnit. Such are the mysteries of love.

In the end, we leave Goran Vale secure in the knowledge that more books in the “Mystery Loves Romance” series are forthcoming.

Can you hear the Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack?

Book Review: Cynthia the Invincible by Amelia Grace Treader

In the year, 2342, Cynthia is pursued in “border space” by the Cataxi, an alien domain willing to destroy a planet to kill her.

Just as her space ship, driven by her onboard computer, “Chris,” attempts a jump to lightspeed, a shot from the Cataxi takes out the planet from which Cynthia et al just departed. The percussion from the explosion sends our foul-mouthed, video-gaming heroine back to nineteenth century England.  Cynthia the Invincible

Cynthia is more concerned about her video game than her real life fate. She passes off the possibility of prison with this remark to Chris, “Damn. I suppose prison is better than starving to death. Let me know when you pick up the guidance beam. I’ll be in the AR3 suite. I want to see if I can finally seduce Mr. Darcy. Take him away from that dreadful Elizabeth Bennett.”

In response, Chris asks, “That Jane Austen game, again? Why don’t you play something wholesome, like Battle for Mars or Kabul Shootout?”

Cynthia the invincible is the Marty McFly of the 21st Century with Chris instead of Doc Brown at her side.  Together they seek adventure, romance, and a little fun while their spaceship is repaired.

Author Amelia Grace Treader, in her fifth book, takes readers through the space time continuum as Major Tom meets Downton Abbey. We like the use of dialog to drive plot with a bare minimal scene-setting. We’ve been into the future with Dave and HAL and we’ve seen the past with Barry Lyndon. Treader allows readers to use their imagination rather than lengthy descriptions—and it works. We find it a refreshing diversion from the typical “dark and stormy night syndrome” often found in this genre. The challenge of juggling space exploration, time travel, and romance is adequately met by this author, who is, herself, a Southern Belle. Readers will be glad to know a sequel is in the works.

Will Cynthia find true love in the past?

Will she give her suitor reasons to love her?

Will she give readers reasons to care about her?

Will she be happy enough in 19th Century England to stay?

Just how old is Cynthia and will she age like Dick Clark?

Pick up a copy on Amazon and get the answers today.

Book Review: Help Wanted by Charmaine Gordon

Readers can take a walk on the wild side (not Lou Reedish) in one setting with this quick easy read. Perhaps some readers, such as this reviewer, will consider it a bit “wild” for a couple who have been married for thirty-five years to flirt with infidelity. They will both be tempted. What made me feel this was a bit unusual was that the couple we meet in Help Wanted, is introduced as happy empty-nesters.  Couples can appear to be happy to the outside world, but are they really? The plot resonated with me because I shocked friends and family by ending a marriage after twenty-six years and three different marriage counsellors. (It had been dead for years, but that’s another story.)Help Wanted

Help Wanted is the second in a trilogy of stories billed as “A River’s Edge Romantic Suspense.”  Charmaine Gordon writes books about women, baby boomers, who survive and thrive. Her motto is, “Take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again.” Gordon has been busy turning out six books and several short stories in three years. She’s always at work on the next story. Charmaine Gordon may be the hardest working author I know, certainly for a woman whose children are baby boomers.

Meet Steve and Sally Atwood.

He was recently given a golden handshake without the parachute.

Now the white shirt and tie guy is a handyman around town.

She’s looking for work.

She hopes to find an outlet for her creativity and journalistic talents.

Both are surprised when they discover what each really seeks and how their personal needs at this point in their lives converge and diverge.

Therein lies the suspense.

Can they manage what they find out about themselves and each other?

Life throws us curves and fastballs every day. How big is the strike zone and can the Atwoods manage the change-up pitch?

Adult readers of all ages can identify with the Atwoods and will be challenged to question themselves and the decisions they make. Cultural references will certainly appeal to boomers and the author has thoughtfully included explanations for the younger reader to connect.

Readers will also enjoy a vicarious performance for military veterans by canine performers representing Paws for a Cause.

Most baby boomers I know would still be teenagers were it not for mirrors and cameras.

The Atwoods are no different.

Will they have a happy ending?

Romance is not my preferred genre when I select the next book to read. Help Wanted was good enough to keep me clicking to the next page on my e-book reader.

Catch up with Charmaine Gordon on Facebook or at her blog, HERE.

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