Tuesday, 13 August 2013

K.C. Ball

Lifting up Veronica

I loved this cover it drew me in utterly. It was beautifully illustrated and spoke contemporary yet intrigue too. The title only enforced this belief, so when the blurb tells me it's suspense set in the 60s I'm a little surprised. But I can't take my eyes off that cover! Love it. I'd advise the author to have her name a little larger though because it's completely obscure.

The opening line in the blurb is powerful: The smaller the town, the bigger the drama. A great promo line for Twitter! I think the blurb is almost spot-on for pulling in readers, but this line Mix in an assistant looking for fame and a beautiful woman who longs to become a mother, and it's a recipe for disaster... is contemporary ie 'chatty'. What am I about to read?

The opening in the look inside bit was disappointing. An epilogue is usually obscure, but it IS meant to intrigue a reader and draw them in. I wasn't drawn, at all.  Chapter one was better and I began to get to know the characters and the mean lead, Michael Kovac. He's come to West Virginia to film a documentary about a Christian sect and their handling of venomous snakes in their sermons. On this basis, I bought the book.

It's very atmospheric with the era wonderfully drawn. I could visualize myself in 1960 West Virginia, such was the strength of the writing, but, and it's a big 'but' Lifting up Veronica has a lot of characters and many with their own POV. It becomes even more confusing when the author uses their first and then the last name to identify them--and then there are the nicknames. 

Michael and Irene's attraction seemed a little sudden, but maybe I missed a bit. I'm finding I'm skipping pages to get the main points in the book. It's a slow burner, for sure, and might appeal more to fans of literary fiction.

I'm afraid I only got as far as chapter six. I didn't find any of the characters appealing enough to make me want to stay with them. It's a shame, and I don't think it has anything to do with the writing it's just one of those things because the genre isn't for me.

I haven't starred the book because I haven't read the book fully.

The smaller the town, the bigger the drama. In the summer of 1960, sociologist Michael Kovac travels to an old acquaintance's hometown in rural West Virginia to shoot footage for a documentary about Signs Followers — a Christian sect best known for their practice of handling venomous snakes. When money changes hands and the church elders are divided, Michael's involvement could lead to jail or worse. Mix in an assistant looking for fame and a beautiful woman who longs to become a mother, and it's a recipe for disaster...

Saturday, 3 August 2013

K. D Mclean

The Story of Rachel
Book 1, Tales of Pandora


The title is boring and tells me nothing other that this is a story about a woman called Rachel. The cover is raunchy and because of the blindfold I'm thinking erotica. Eeek! 

I've not read an erotic book before so this could be interesting. I found the cover sexy and I'm expecting lots of hot stuff inside.

I move to the blurb. It's long-winded and could easily be cut--the first two paragraphs, in fact. B
ut I realise this book will have more depth than 'just a story about sex'. If I were a type of reader who wanted pure titillation I may have been put off.

The 'look inside' introduces me to the main lead, Rachel, as she waits for her blind date. It's a disastrous one, and slightly humorous.  There was an awful back story where Rachel had a conversation with her reflection over her lack of luck with men, which seemed to be there just in order to get the information 

From the first chapter I learn that Rachel is a journalist for Canada Weekly and she's been assigned to write about an erotic artist and heads to the gallery to see his work for her article. Michael Evens, keen in BDSM, is there viewing and they meet, chat and feel a spark for one another.

You'd think it'd be pure sex from here on, but it's a story of romance, as well. Michael takes Rachel under his wing and tells her all there is to know about BDSM for her article. It's obvious to Rachel that he's heavily into BDSM himself, but this only excites her.

Fetishes aside, Michael seems a nice, well-rounded character and very well drawn. I realise that the title is a little misleading because I felt the book was as much his story as it was Rachel's. I was surprised by both their ages, though (Rachel was 36, and Michael 42). Rachel, especially, seemed very naive and immature.

Michael becomes Rachel's 'dom' (dominex) and Rachel finds she enjoys being his submissive. It's all very tasteful and romantic in a kinky sort of way. Nothing hardcore, although the Pandora club, where Michael takes Rachel is pretty steamy (Rachel and Michael are just spectators).

Their relationships builds and seems too good to be true, and for Rachel it is because due to past issues Michael is scared of falling in love and puts a stop on their budding romance. This is where the story falls down, in my opinion, there are a lot of tedious chapters with both him and Rachel moping about until Michael realises he can't live without her and then his past problems are just swept under the rug as they declare undying love and live happily ever after.

I do wonder if the continuing books (this book has no cliffhanger, and therefore can be read as a stand-alone read) will be about Rachel and Michael's adventures into the Pandora club (where the BDSM takes place) and become hotter still.

Editing wise, the book had a few problems. Mainly the classic 'I said': 'Please let me go.' She said. And also a lot of over-writing, but apart from that, clean.

If you're new to erotica this book may be the one to ease you in. I would be interested in reading the next instalment and seeing what becomes of Rachel and Michael.

Rachel Collins is praying. And not for world peace. Thirty six years old and single, her prayer is self-centered. "Kill me now, Lord," she pleads during her latest attempt to meet Mr. Right via the internet.

She’s not hoping for a billionaire or even a millionaire, just a guy who can strike a spark to her tinder! Is she asking too much? She's a great gal! Just ask her parents! She might be a bit naive about some things, but capable enough- she's a correspondent for a major magazine, after all. So there! 

On assignment she meets Michael, 42 years old, also a writer. The attraction is immediate and intense. Rachel, who sees vanilla as only a baking ingredient, enchants him. Michael can whip up some pretty hot delights himself, outside of the kitchen. He introduces a curious Rachel to powerful experiences of sensuality. Her sense of propriety engages in a running battle with her now sparked desires. 

Michael is an excellent cook and knows how to turn up the heat. Sampling the flavors offered, Rachel experiences humorous hiccups. On a date, Michael ramps up the risque, resulting in a memorable skirt swirling salsa dance. Rachel's "What the hell, I ain't getting any younger" attitude spurs Michael to take her to the exclusive, adults only club Pandora's. Here, Rachel witnesses even more variations of earthly delights, and begins a lifelong friendship with another guest. 

Michael is a realist, convinced that within 90 days, his affair with Rachel will be but another painful memory of loss. He is neither willing nor able to yell 'Geronimo' and fall for her. He can't, and that's that. 

Maybe he should just get a damn dog. 

This modern, urban, grown up love story is a recipe –three cups romance and one cup of slapdash humor. Blend in spices of eroticism, and beat until smooth.