Inspired!, True Stories Behind Famous Art, Literature, Music, and Film, Maria Bukhonina

Inspired!, True Stories Behind Famous Art, Literature, Music, and Film,  Maria Bukhonina

Inspired!: True Stories Behind Famous Art, Literature, Music, and Film by [Bukhonina, Maria]

Genre:   Biographies and memoirs

I love the stories about who, why and how inspiration brought about paintings, stories and relationships so this was a fun read.

I’m a bit of a wiki addict and this was very much like reading that, but in a bit more depth.
There’s some fascinating stories here, and I was absorbed reading about them. I didn’t read right through, but picked up and put down absorbing individual stories, rather than info-dumping with too much.
My husband brought me some paperback about individual artists a few years back and some of this overlapped but there was also much more that I didn’t know, which let me onto a fact finding mission via the internet for more details.

I’m always pondering how and what inspired works, and thinking if things were different, if people hadn’t met in that way, or perhaps not at all, if their families had been more or less supportive, it makes me wonder just how things evolve.
In my own case it was being suddenly disabled and retired from work that led me down the art path – if things had been different would I have taken that journey or gone a different way. so much of our lives interacts with what we do that there are many possible different ways unfolding over the years.

If you like not only looking at paintings, reading books, watching films and going to theatre but researching how these things came about you’ll find this a fascinating read.
I have it as a kindle file and its ok like that but its one of the few books that I feel are best appreciated in traditional prints format.

Stars: Four, an interesting and absorbing read.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Ethan’s Heart, Vickie King

Ethan’s Heart,  Vickie King

Ethan's Heart by [King, Vickie]

Genre:   Romance,

A step back in time here. back to the 1800’s and we meet Annie and Ethan.
Circumstances have brought them together and I thought it sounded like a book I’d really enjoy but…though it was OK it wasn’t one to set me on fire.

I had a few issues, the main one being the timing.
Ethan’s only been widowed six months, and I just couldn’t see how he went from grieving, heartbroken widower, desperately missing his beloved Elizabeth to falling for Annie within such a short time.
Equally the children – Mollie hates Annie, but within a month adores her.
Then there’s Annie herself. After all that had happened, after what she was risking, could she just get swept off her feet in such a short time? Especially given they began with Ethan telling her he’d had a “real” wife and only needed her for the children, and she being so scared she’d slip and reveal her secret. They barely spoke, definitely kept out of each others way so its not as if they even had a full month to fall in love.

There were a few other niggles I can’t explain without giving too much away but where I could have loved this story had they been addressed and the timespan much much longer as it is I just felt this was on OK, one off read.
Stars: Three, an OK read.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

The Husband Who Refused to Die, Andrea Darby

The Husband Who Refused to Die,  Andrea Darby

The Husband Who Refused to Die by [Darby, Andrea]

Genre:   General Fiction

Its a strange book in many ways but it covers so much ground; the science of Cryogenics, the ethics of rich people and what they do with their money  v charities and the need for funds, the stress of a bereavement on families, the way upbringing impacts on adults, and of course learning to live again and try romance after the death of a loved one.
Its not a story I’d reread, but it was one I really enjoyed reading.

I so felt for Carrie, Dan having chosen to be frozen left her feeling weird, he was dead, but then was he really? Can you be considered dead when you’re frozen?
It all makes the grieving process so much harder for her, and having lost my own lovely husband of 40 years this year I so felt for her.
Then there’s their daughter too, just at the age when teen years strike and life is hard to deal with anyway, she’s got something more difficult to contend with. Its inevitable that some of the kids will tease and taunt, and that was awful for her.
Carrie’s sister in law, Sunny, is a strange lady, full of natural remedies, healing stones and crystals, oils and potions, massages and positive thoughts.
Sunny and Dan were brought up by sixties hippy parents and that’s come out in a big way in Sunny and her life.
Sometimes Carrie feels she’s blaming her for not being into Cryogenics as Dan was, not being open minded enough.
Eleanor, the daughter, poor kid. Its hard to lose a parent, but she’s also got the issues Carrie has, is Dan really dead? And of course the taunts from her school friends every now and then when the press dig up the story to link with something else.

Carrie and Eleanor are kind of drifting along when the story hits the press yet again, and brings up all the old grudges.
This time someone has leaked that Dan “donated” £200,000 to be frozen, and there’s angry letter about the ethics, about living people needing that money, about how wrong and selfish it is to choose that when others are starving…all the stuff that comes up every now and then. Odd how these characters ( in reality ) never want to cut their own lifestyles, donate their own money, but are happy to condemn others choices.
Carrie starts getting hate mail, dropped and silent calls and more threatening incidences. Its so unfair – its not as if it was her choice and yet she’s copping the blame, while still struggling to cope with the decision herself.

When she picks up with an old boyfriend – well, I just didn’t like him. We knew their relationship had ended suddenly, badly, but not what has happened, and then Ashley comes up with – well to me a feeble excuse, but it seemed credible to Carrie.

The issue I had with the book was that several parts dragged, felt prolonged and not really adding to the story. Then the ending was a complete turnaround, so quick I felt whiplashed… and I didn’t really know how we got there. One page she’s…and the next it’s months on and all different.
I’d have liked more flow, more story there and less in other places, but of course that’s me and yet again I can see others love this book as it is.
Its an interesting read, full of things to ponder, question our own thoughts on what we’d do ( for example: would I want to wake up years on when everyone I knew and loved was dead? No, a definite no )  and one I enjoyed but as a one off only.

Stars: Four, an interesting read that posed many questions, made me think about what I would have done.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

This Is Our Song, Samantha Chase

This Is Our Song (The Shaughnessy Brothers Book 4) by [Chase, Samantha]



Genre:   Romance

I was sure I’ve read and loved some of Samantha’s novels before, her name seemed familiar and this novel is in one of my favourite tropes, the Rock-star one.

Well, its a decent read but not one to heat my blood, not the five star full of drama one I love😦 but still a warm, feel-good romance if thats what you want.

Its a good storyline, but everything just feels a little too pat for me, a bit predictable.
The characters were all so nice, no nasties to balance it out – maybe if I’d read earlier ones about the family, I hadn’t realised it was one of those family centred novels – I’d have known what to expect but…

Though everything was laid out well, plot wise,  there wasn’t a trail that made me want to see where it goes.
Like the difference between a hidden woodland path where you’re never sure whets round the next tree, and a municipal park where there are no surprises, it looks really neat and tidy but everything is there in front of you, labelled and made safe, no need to explore, no hidden possible dangers…that’s how I felt here.
It was things like the way he broke out of the writing slump, the song he chose at a certain point – I could see them coming a long way off. It worked well, but didn’t provide any real excitement.

I needed to have some doubt, some reason to believe that Riley and Savannah were going to have a crashing fall out, that there’s some almost insurmountable barrier to them being happy, and though there was a split of course, I didn’t feel it really was serious enough.

Loved the family, loved the idea of the interview with the reclusive, hiding, maybe out-for-the-count rock star but in practice it just became for me a sweet read, not the heart stopper I was hoping for.

Stars: three and a half, a good read, but no real surprises or dramas for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

Someone Like You, An Oxford Novel, Lauren Layne

Someone Like You, An Oxford Novel, Lauren Layne

Someone Like You: Oxford 3 by [Layne, Lauren]

Genre:   Romance,

I’ve read a couple of Lauren’s books, would love to read more but its that old conundrum, time and money – mostly the money side😦 I’d read one of the Oxford books, so the characters in this were familiar, and Oxford and Stiletto are series I’d definitely like to read more of…one day😉

The original characters from each book come up in all the books, along with new ones to the group. Each book is stand alone, but reading this way is like meeting a group of friends, and though I’d only read one of the books, they were “real” people, ones I could understand, like, want to be with.

Lincoln has the playboy rep but he’s hiding a huge secret, something really heart-breaking, and even his closest friends don’t know that his outward appearance is all a false front.
Then Daisy comes into his life, at her twin sisters wedding. He’s worked with her twin for some time, is a good friend to her and her new husband, but hasn’t met Daisy. He gets warned off her, her sister sees Daisy as Fragile, Damaged, in need of protection as she’s been through a bad divorce. Daisy has her own secrets though, and when she meets Lincoln she recognises his front, that his public persona is fake, because she’s doing exactly the same.

Its a shock to the others but Daisy and Lincoln become friends, though Daisy lives in a different state and its a text only friendship. They get along so well, make each other laugh and Daisy is the only person to know Lincoln’s secret. Somehow in the couple of days of the wedding they fast forwarded friendship to where he trusts her, and lets her know about his past and why he’s not as everyone thinks he is.
Then the guilt falls in, and Lincoln tails off the texts, poor Daisy is upset but understands. She really is a gem, a real Southern Lady, so kind, so always wanting the best for others, and though she’s feeling more than she ever expected for Lincoln she respects his decision and doesn’t text him. He never actually says anything, just lets time and distance do it. He’s got a kind of war going on internally about his feelings, so though its a cowardly way I do understand his actions.
Something big happens in his life that changes it, the secret comes out and its a time of rebuilding his life. His mind though and conscience are still troubled, he thinks he’s ok but really he’s not.
By chance he sees at first hand exactly what Daisy is hiding, and it makes him angry, makes him look at how he feels about it – and her….

I loved them both, such a lovely couple, get on so well, but with those secrets hidden in their pasts they have a couple of huge barriers to overcome.
I really felt for Daisy, she’s such a lovely lady and to have that happen….well, sadly its not uncommon, and I understood how her confidence had plummeted.
Lincoln, when we first meet him he’s almost a stereotypical gay, at least a very Metrosexual man, well dressed, chats easily with the ladies, happy to wear pink, loves frou-frou sweet drinks, had a tiny fluff-ball Maltese terrier who he loves….but he’s not, far from it, and he’s carefully cultivated that image as a kind of protective front it seems to me.
When we learned what he was hiding I was gutted for him, really didn’t know if or how he could get past that. Its a terrible thing to have that in your life, and an unusual storyline that was really heart wrenching.
When they were on-off-on with the contact, the texts, well before they got into a physical relationship I could see problems ahead, and then as the story moved on you just knew it was all going to blow up and in a big way.
Poor Daisy, I was so upset for her, she really didn’t deserve that and yet I understood Lincoln’s feelings.

Its one of those situations where Life happens, no-one is at fault, and even though they seem a couple perfect for each other you wonder if they can ever actually get there…I love that kind of drama, love some angst and heartbreak, as when it all gels and comes right it feels so much more sweeter.

Its a perfect read, a little shorter than I’d like, but still pack a huge punch and is one I’d be happy to reread.

Stars: Five, one to keep, to savour rereading and one day to read the rest of the series…
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

The Forgotten Tale, The Accidental Turn Series Book 2, J.M. Frey

The Forgotten Tale, The Accidental Turn Series Book 2,  J.M. Frey

The Forgotten Tale (The Accidental Turn Book 2) by [Frey, J.M.]

Genre:  LGBTQIA, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Well, I loved book one and it had a proper ending – so how could there be a book two I wondered, and would it live up the the fantastic magics and world building of book one? Well, Book two is a complete one once again ( hurrah) and yes it does live up the the first one😉

Once more we meet all the old favourite characters, but two years or so on, so baby Alis had been born to Forsyth and Pip.
They’re living in our world. I hesitate to say the Real world, because even though it came from stories the world Forsyth was born into is very real too.
Forsyth and Pip have settled into a routine, she’s teaching and loves it, Forsyth works from home and looks after baby Alis.
He’s an amazing man, made the best of an awful upbringing in the world of the Tales, forever under Kintyre’s shadow, yet he became a great man to those who lived in his district, set up so many schemes to better peoples daily lives, educate the children, ensure people had homes, and behind all that he worked as the King’s Shadow Hand, a kind of Turnshire MI5 leader….Now in Pip’s world he performing the same kind of role, having taught himself computer skills and working as a kind of super hacker……all very mysterious much like his last role. Then disaster strikes….

Forsyth notices that books are missing, not just from his home but from shops, libraries and the internet, and most importantly they’re gone from peoples memories! How come he’s the only one that recalls them – then Alis gives indications she can too and he’s so relived. He feared moving worlds had damaged him, or that he was going mad, becoming like his father.
What’s behind it though and how can he convince Pip its really happening, as she has no memory of the books? Before he really gets a chance to do more than make a few lists the three are whisked back to Turn Hall.

It was great to see old friends, to see the changes in Kintyre and Bevel, to meet Sheriff Pointe again.
There are references to many things that happened in book one, and you’d find it difficult I think to understand this without reading that one.
Kintyre now has a 15 year old son, Wyndham, living with them, his mother was a Pirate leader and dropped him off to live at Turn Hall for a while.
He’s a great lad, but as would happen if this were real, he’s confused, resentful, feels just wrong there.
Kintyre is shocked, didn’t know he was a father and Wyndham just wants the old adventuring person he’d heard about, not this new version, who’s too full of responsibilities to go adventuring. He resents Bevel too, even though the poor man is trying far more than Kintyre (IMO) to be a father to him.

Its another magic filled story, cleverly building on book one and the events that happened there, and pulling Forsyth, Pip, Alis, Kintyre and Bev into another Quest.
Not only do they want to return home, but strange things are happening in this world too, much like the missing books. Forsyth isn’t one to let things like that slide.

I really enjoyed it once more, loved the way Pip works out where they should be and what should happen, and “lazy world-building” she says of the author every now and then, when she feels he’s being predictable or not working hard enough for a solution.
I was a bit confused by Solina at first and how she played into what was happening, but that became clear once the story moved forward.

I think you have to be in the right mind-set to read these stories, and I had to wait a few days til I felt in the mood for a pure fantasy escape, as its so unrelated to reality, so full of magic, superpower swords, spells, talking dragons, red cap gnomes etc that its not good starting unless you’re feeling ready to believe in all these things, to suspend reality for a few hours and let the magic of the stories take you over.

To me both these books are those that are suitable for any age from good YA readers up to those like me far older. A good story appeals to all ages.

Stars: Five, another winning read.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

In the Ring, (Boxer 1), Rie Warren

In the Ring, (Boxer 1), Rie Warren.  

N.B. Special publication price and also on KU

In the Ring (BOXER Book 1) by [Warren, Rie]

Genre:   Romance, LGBTQIA

I’ve read a few of Rie’s books now, some I loved, some not so much but I do enjoy a well written LGBTQIA, with the emphasis on the romance.
I know from past reads Rie always has the balance of story v sex right, giving a read that’s totally engrossing.
Some artists have a style so you can pick out their work from others easily, whether its the way they use colour, the brushstrokes, something that makes the painting “theirs”, and I’ve noticed some writers are like that too. They write in a way that as soon as I begin reading I’d know it was one of their books simply by the writing style, the type of story, its as if they have a certain “voice” and Rie’s books are like that to me. Even those I didn’t totally get along with I still loved the way they were written, its just that particular story that didn’t cut it. So starting a new book I’m not quite sure whether its going to be a love/like/OK read…

We wade straight in, and its a very dialogue based read which always works for me. We get much of the main character, Liam’s, thoughts. That’s something I enjoy too in novels, I like to know what the characters are thinking, feeling, the why, when and how decisions are reached. Rie uses that format often, and it lets me feel as if I really know the character from their thoughts.

Liam, ah Liam. Poor man, he’s from a very traditional Catholic background, found his niche in cage fighting and beyond, working his way to stardom in that field, along with substantial money, which his mum and siblings badly need.
Dad’s a deadbeat drunk, typical stereotype of a Catholic ranter, drink, beat up the wife and/or kids, repent after and reset to normal. Agghh that’s what I hate about religion, though he’s one of those religious in name only, church and the teachings he doesn’t like get ignored, only the part that supports his wants and ideas counts. Sadly there’s far too many religious – any religion – people like that.

It makes it tough for Liam though, growing up trying to protect his family from his dad. That’s where he learned to use his fists, his strength, and it got honed on the streets. No-one knows he’s gay, life is tough enough without owning that, it would only lead to more beatings, more ridicule. Now he’s at the top of a “Real Man’s” sport, and to come out could mean disaster, ridicule, a loss of all he’s worked so hard for, a financial hit he can’t afford as he’s supporting the family.
Its something that happens so much in sports – especially those that are seen as Male preserve, boxing, football, rugby,  racing car drivers, it’s as if its a crime to be gay if you’re in one of those sports. Yet its impossible they don’t have gay people there….laws of averages mean there must be some. I wonder how many are like Liam, denying what they are, hiding their true face, unable to have the relationships they deserve. Sad isn’t it that we are, or are perceived to be, so judgemental. Who cares about the sex ( or race, religion, colour etc) of someone you love, its the love that’s important, not the sex of the other person.
The tide is turning slowly, but its got a long way to go. At least we’ve moved on from criminalising same sex relationships. Alan Turig, hero of WW2, which would have lasted far longer without him, and yet due to bigots after the war he was jailed, chemically castrated and committed suicide at just 42. It was only recently he was awarded posthumously the medals the other code breakers got. Yep, that’s how we treat(ed) heroes here in the UK. Its OK to be gay so long as you  hide it and we need you for something😦

Aaannd, off my soapbox and back to the book. Liam has a real crush on his trainer Michael, but a) he’s not out and b) Michael is, and c) he has a long term boyfriend. Its hard though ( very much so!!) when the job means Michael has his hands all over Liam, many times each day…
I got a bit cross at Michael at times as he almost seemed to be taunting Liam, as if he suspected he liked what he was doing ( in truth he did and had a difficult job hiding it ). I didn’t think that was fair when he could guess from his knowledge of the sport why Liam wasn’t out – if he was Gay as he suspected – especially given that Michael wasn’t in a position to do anything without cheating on Wade, his boyfriend. I don’t like cheating – hate it, so was irritated at Michael’s not-so-subtle flirting.
Poor Liam was confused, did Michael return his feelings or not. Just when it seemed he did he’d blow cold again. Then once things moved on – gah, Michael!
I so felt for poor Liam, he really was in a tough place. And so alone except for Anya, his for-the-public possible girlfriend, but who’s really just a good friend and game of thrones addict too, and Gideon, his new gay friend. He was a great character, and I’d like to know more about him.

Liam’s manager Dev, someone who’s known him a long while, is the only one who knows he’s gay but he’s not at all supportive, conscious all the while of his financial interest, not wanting Liam’s star to fall, and take away the money he makes.
Does he care that Liam’s unhappy? Short answer, no. He’s one of those who seem to think if they dangle ladies before a gay man at some point they must take the bait, and all will be “normal” again.

Its a fun story, great and very real characters, genuinely emotional at times, heart-breaking thinking this is reality for many people, just because of old fashioned bigoted perceptions. terrific ending, which had me cheering for Liam, happy at what he did, the choices he made, the way he handled Dev.

Stars: Five,a great read, full of real issues and a perfect HEA..

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

101 Nights Box Set, S.E. Reign

101 Nights Box Set, S.E. Reign
An erotic American Cinderella story

101 Nights Complete Box Set: Billionaire Prince Erotic Romance by [Reign, SE]

Genre:   Romance, Erotica

Sometimes I like a read that’s pure escapist fantasy, the rich guy and the struggling girl kind of thing. This sounded like that and fun, I expected lots of sex as its labelled erotica. In reality though it was a kind of train wreck read, I had to keep reading just to see what was coming. Parts were so off the wall that I wasn’t sure just what would happen next.

Elijah, AKA EJ, is a complete jerk when we meet him. Sex obsessed, selfish, misogynistic, he treats women like whores, doesn’t care what they think, what they feel so long as he gets his way. Oddly for such an obnoxious man he’s got some bery loyal and good freineds, clearly there’s something good buried in him, deeply buried though🙂
Then his dad, the King, throws a spanner in the playboy lifestyle, and he needs a fiancée. He doesn’t want one in reality, just as a bluff to stop his cousin inheriting the throne.
They’re a dangerous family, death runs through them in a very non accidental accidents way. Bit like the UK historical monarchs then….

Natalie comes along just at the right time. She wants him to save her apartment block from demolition, he agrees so long as she gives him three months as his fiancée, and of course lets him use her body however and whenever he wants.
There’s two big niggles for me right there, the minor one being the apartment block she wants saved houses ten thousand people. Really? A thousand I could accept but ten thousand? The town where I live has a population of around six and a half thousand, and its hard to imagine them and more crammed into one block….maybe its different in US to UK but that just seems a bit too weird to me. If I’m wrong and its common, then sorry but…
My really, really big issue is this though – EJ “I don’t use condoms. You on birth control?”  Then a couple of pages on  – Natalie “I’ve never slept with a stranger before” EJ – “its easier than you think. I do it all the time”…… “I’ve had more one night stands than anything else, sometimes with two women at once. I have no second thoughts about Fu king a stranger, and I don’t care whether she does or not either. Sex is sex.”
So, he doesn’t use condoms yet has sex with anyone and everyone it seems. What a lovely message to pass on, he’s a walking talking STD magnet.
I just find that kind of thing irresponsible writing. Plus of course the pregnancy issue. He doesn’t want kids, and yet is so careless. With that attitude he ought to have a string of them, not least because with his billions there’s be any number of women willing to get pregnant just to get money out of him. Its sad but there’s many like that, and ones that will have sex with a stranger will have lots of them.

Having got that off my chest, onto the story.
Well, it lurches from crisis to drama, to hysteria and back again.
Every time something goes wrong they have sex, every time someone’s in danger they have sex, on the way to a night out they have sex. Its anywhere and everywhere and just dominated the story, and given the drama in it that’s a tough thing to manage!
I love an erotic read, but filling your story with endless sex doesn’t make it an erotic book, just a boring one for me ,and I skipped most of the sex scenes after the first few as they were so repetitive. They just didn’t feel real to me, but put in so that the book could carry the Erotic tag.
On one occasion they have sex in the limo ( well on lots of occasions but I’m thinking of one in particular). She’s an anal virgin, and yet he takes her there, no lube, no condom, just thrusts in…and she orgasms from it!
Please….a little credibility here. That can’t have been comfortable, the floor of a limo isn’t exactly a great situation for your first time, and with no lube or lubed condom it must have hurt. Especially as we’re always being told how generously sized he is😉

Its that drama filled storyline that kept me reading, despite the unreality of the story, I had to keep reading just to see what the author would throw in next! That’s why it gets 2.5 stars, because although I didn’t like it and I wouldn’t read it again, though I skipped over so much of the sex, and skimmed the padded out parts I DID keep reading. Thats where the train wreck tag fits for me, its like when you just can’t look away even though you know you won’t like what you see….

It could have been a book I enjoyed, the potential was there but there would have to be lots of changes.
Still, its great for others as it is, and that’s fine. Horses for courses and all that. If you like it I’m glad, its just not one for me.

Edit: that 10,000 in a development kept bugging me so had a quick Wiki peek around. “ More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 328 public housing developments across the City’s five boroughs.” Thats what Wiki says… that averages 1,200 or so in each development. Sounds more reasonable doesn’t it?

Stars:two and a half, a train wreck read….

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Bend, (Vegas Heat Book1), Molly McLain

Bend, (Vegas Heat Book1),  Molly McLain

Bend (Vegas Heat Book 1) by [McLain, Molly]

Genre:   Romance,

Well, this proved to be shorter than I’d expected, and one of the reasons I don’t often read novellas was played out exactly here.
They just don’t allow the reader to really get to know the characters and the issues. There simply isn’t the space to do that and deliver the story, and for me knowing the characters and what’s going on in depth is essential.

Still, its a quick, fun read and though I really didn’t like either of the characters much at first, when I knew a bit more of them I enjoyed their story and understood their actions more.
Its got lots of hot and steamy sections, and if you want a short, hot and sensual read, and aren’t too bothered about knowing details and back stories then this is perfect. For me though the size limitations of just 1,777 kindle locations, around 100 pages I’d guess, made it just an OK read.
I felt the story itself was a little thin, and was really only there to let the hot sex between Kinsey and Trent form into a novel. Its so just OK -ish for me that I actually had to go and look up Trent’s name, from only reading this last night I’d forgotten it….

Stars: Three, it may be a five star if you like a very quick steamy read, but three for me as I need more story, more length.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Architect Of Love, John Charles

Architect Of Love,  John Charles
Architect Of Love (Fated Soulmates Book 2) by [Charles, John]

Genre:  m/m Gay Fiction / Contemporary Romance

Well, I don’t often read novellas, as I find they just don’t go into enough depth to let me really get a feel for the characters and story.
A few authors can do it and I’ve mostly found them in the M/M romance genre ? Dunno why..there’s no reason why these should be any different than general romance .

Anyway I’d read John’s free book, ( links on his website) so I knew I liked his style of writing and agreed to review this one.
I really enjoyed it even though its short – 1420 kindle locations, that usually works out at about 120-130 ish pages.  Its got characters I felt I could know, that felt real, from Lance and Forrest to Lance’s mum and his friend Dale, Forrest’s friend Rachelle and his employees, who treated him as a friend as much as a boss. I need to feel characters and situations could be real to enjoy a story.

The plot too was realistic, with Lance being a furniture restorer and helping his mum in her estate sale business, and Forrest having worked his way up from nothing, to a very respected and well known architect with his own firm.

I understood in a way how Lance felt, its hard when you see such material differences between you and the person you love, and yet as Forrest tried to convince him that didn’t matter, it was only a part of him, he’s come from the same background as Lance and they had so many other things in common.
I really felt the emotion in them both and poor Forrest – what could he do? He shouldn’t change because Lance couldn’t deal, that would have made him resentful and yet how else could he repair things?
Alongside that there’s issues with Forrest’s work, with the firm growing rapidly, winning new contracts outside their current experience, and feeling a backlash as a result of one close to home. A real tough time for Forrest.
I did feel angry at Lance for his pig-headedness, but we feel as we do inside, logic doesn’t always come into it. I wasn’t so happy about the Dale issue….but that’s me🙂 and it did provide that extra barrier to get past.

Its a fun read, a good story, realistic with characters I could get behind, and a sensible mix of story v sex.
Too often novellas focus on sex and the story is just backup, and that’s what many readers want – but for me it needs to be as this one is, story first and sex second.

Stars: Four, a great read with realistic storyline.

ARC supplied by author

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