Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sonnets for Heidi by Melissa Bowersock


AMAZON US
I love the eclectic nature of Bowersock’s books. She's an author who produces quality whatever the genre. And on the subject of quality, the package is always complete with absolutely spot-on editing…the icing on an outstanding cake. 

This is an emotionally charged tale of forbidden love.  Aunt Heidi has few living relatives, and the only one willing to take on the responsibility of her care, when Alzheimer’s disease dictates the need for residential care, is her niece, Trish Munroe.  In the time leading up to Heidi’s sudden death, Trish shares some tender moments with an elderly lady who swings from clarity to confusion at the snap of the fingers. Her endeavours to keep Heidi's memory alive lead not only to the revelation of family secrets but to Trish’s own enlightenment: an unburdening of her own past and clarity for her future.

This was a story based on more than one ‘difficult’, sometimes not-talked-about subject, but handled oh-so-professionally by Bowersock. I found the characters ready-developed: you walk into their lives instantly. You know them instantly. You empathise instantly. They’re real-life people right from the start.

This is a novel with a warm glow. It’s professional, it’s classy. Sheer pleasure from start to finish.



Read more

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel


Although all the plot threads were satisfactorily tied up by the end, for me, the book threw up a number of unanswered questions.



Lane returns to the wealthy Roanoke family home after her mother, Camilla, dies. It's where she spends a summer and where she discovers that beneath the have-it-all façade there lies a seriously dysfunctional family…one she has no desire to be part of. But when her closest ally, her cousin Allegra, goes missing eleven years later, Lane is forced to return.

The book is disturbing and aims to shock…the topic (sexual abuse and incest) is extremely unpleasant…but I became more irritated than shocked by the fact that not one of abusees…and let’s face it, charismatic Grandad ‘has’ just about every female member of the family whatever their ages or generation…reports it or tells anyone else…because Grandad loves them all, they’re all so special. That just didn’t wash with me.

However, despite the chilling and uneasy subject, it is without doubt compelling, riveting and extremely well written. I’ve never read any books by Engel, but her writing is powerful and emotional, and I really enjoyed her style.

Dark, unsettling, a little haunting, sad, twisted, but despite my few niggles, an intense page turner.




Read more

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I had no idea this existed until I realised there was a movie with the same title. I have a golden rule of never watching a movie until I’ve read the book, so decided to get that out of the way. With a host of good reviews on Amazon, I really wanted to see for myself if it lived up to its popularity.



I’m sure it’s fairly widely known that the story features two terminally ill teenagers (Hazel and Augustus), who meet at a cancer support group. It’s an instant attraction, both mental and physical, and the encounter impacts their (short) lives.

Despite the fact that it’s a little hard to believe the dialogue is coming out of the mouths of sixteen/seventeen-year-olds, the rather excessive use of Capitalized Phrases To Make a Point, and the plot stretching the imagination just a little too far, I really loved this book.

It’s easy to get into and easy to love the characters without feeling pity for them. It’s a love story, sprinkled with deep sadness and poignancy, but the writing is razor-sharp, witty, humorous, and engaging. I found it hard to put down, hard to accept that it had finished (note to self: read more John Green!) and can’t wait to see the movie.


Read more

Kiss of Night by K. S. Brooks

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
Kathrin Night is a special agent. Or rather…she was. She is reluctantly…and a little resentfully…forced to relinquish her special-agent duties by an injury. But a gutsy, no-nonsense, rather complex character isn’t the type of person to settle easily into a more relaxed lifestyle. With no choice in the matter, she is landed with a Russian bodyguard. A rather handsome, hunky, chunky, hockey-playing one, at that. How is he going to help her adapt to her new life?

I devoured this book rather quickly. It’s short, yes, but it’s so, so easy to get sucked into Kathrin’s life. It was my first encounter with her, and I like her a lot. The book is a sort of prequel and scene-setter for Night Undone, which follows. We learn how she acquired her injury, how she became a special agent, why she had to give it up and all neatly done in just over a hundred and twenty pages. Brooks writes very engagingly with wit and humour, and it was with no difficulty at all that I rushed eagerly over to Night Undone. I wasn’t going to let her go easily.

An excellent and compelling read.


Read more

Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs

READ EBOOK
DOWNLOAD

Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs

This was an original and surprisingly compelling story. Surprisingly to me, that is—the scientific element in the story had me a little worried. The sciences were not my strongest, or even favourite, subject at school, so I thought most of it would go over my head. It didn’t, and as a result I was able to enjoy a very unusual novel.

Five students team up for a science project, one they need to make a success of, as they want to secure their graduation marks. And so, they find a way to measure atmospheric energy to enable them to estimate the probability of the occurrence of events that are almost certain to be catastrophic. A life-changing incident involving one of the group halts the project. Four members of the team re-assemble nine years later, their memories very fresh still from the abrupt end to their undergraduate project. Each of them is older not just in years, but in wisdom, outlook and responsibility, the inexperience of their youth nine years earlier somewhat dissipated. Their regrouping, it seems, though strained, proves to be vital...if not life-saving.
Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs
I have to say that it did take me a while to work out to whom the first person POV belonged, and I wasn’t always sure when I was in the undergraduate time or the nine-year-later time. However, eventually, everything does fall into place very methodically.

 I enjoyed this book. The five students couldn’t be more unalike, but they’re cleverly juxtapositioned, a bit like an outfit with clashing colours that works well as a whole, and I loved that I really had no idea how this story would roll out. Add to that, intelligent and articulate writing AND—hoorah!!!—excellent editing, and you’ve got a different and top-quality read.


Read more

Monday, November 13, 2017

Alchemy by Mike Wood

ALCHEMY BY MIKE WOOD

Alchemy by Mike Wood


The author of this book states in his end 'Credits' that he 'doesn’t honestly like writing'. And yet, he persisted for 346 very long, tedious pages it seems. He also pays tribute to his editor's keen eye for detail. Really? Hmm...

‘I had just went…’

‘Why don’t you where your shoes?’

‘Must of called in sick’

‘By dinner time, I had made up my mind to just peddle over there…’

‘I might get a peak at the upstairs’


Aaargh!

…to quote just a few from the appallingly long list. There were missing quotation marks, bad grammar, characters starting nearly every sentence with ‘well’, inconsistent spellings. And...plurals are not formed with an apostrophe and an ‘s’. As for punctuation…not quite a ‘Let’s eat Grandma’ example but ‘Be sure to come right in Cammie’ wasn’t far off.

If a badly edited book really annoys you, don’t read any further. This book isn’t for you.

Editing aside, this book wasn’t for me simply because it was mind-numbingly boring. Al Newman is a fifteen-year-old teen, whose father left the family home one day and never returned. Refusing to believe he simply walked away, Al sets out to explore theories of abduction. He is helped by Cammie, staying in the area with her father for the summer period. Cammie is a beautiful young girl for whom Al falls hook, line and sinker.

This doesn’t actually get remotely interesting until Al finally learns the truth of his father's disappearance, which is over halfway through. The book could easily have been a hundred pages shorter. The first half overdoes the teenage angst thing while trying to hold your attention with the explanation of Newman Senior’s vanishing act (which I guessed early on).

Despite the fact that this practically put me to sleep every night, I stuck it out to the end. I liked Al. I liked his mother.  Although the writing isn’t prize-winning stuff, there’s a gentle humour and wit throughout. 
I got the feeling that a lot of the author was in Al...and Wood seems like a nice chap. So it does pain me to say that, regrettably, I can't recommend this.  I would recommend, however, an editorial overhaul. 
TAG:
- Alchemy by Mike Wood
- Alchemy by Mike Wood
- Alchemy by Mike Wood
- Alchemy by Mike Wood
Read more

Black Pomegranate by David W. Cowles

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Black Pomegranate by David W. Cowles


The plot of this book lacks the same sophistication as its cover, which doesn't scream 'read me', alas. 


And that's a bit of a shame, because the actual writing isn't at all bad. It's rather good, in fact. It’s articulate, fluid, expressive…which I think is what helped me limp along to the end of the book.

Thankfully, though, the plot doesn’t take itself too seriously… the reader shouldn’t either, and you can just about do that until about halfway, at which point, it really gets a little bit silly.

Black Pomegranate by David W. Cowles

A beautiful, Hispanic student persuades a geeky, nerdy, lanky, unkempt computer lecturer to help her with her studies so that she can save her little South American republic, Granada Negra (Black Pomegranate), from the rebels seeking political power. They make a rather unlikely couple…but well, Beauty and the Beast made a pretty good story, I suppose. But then the detail overstretches the imagination somewhat and what could have been a quirky, albeit totally unlikely, little tale just gets rather ridiculous.

However, I can’t deny that I enjoyed the style of the writer and I was über, über impressed by the impeccable editing. And I don’t get to say that often about the books I read. I certainly won’t rule out another book by this author.


Read more

Monday, November 6, 2017

Circle in the Sand by Lia Fairchild Download

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I’m no stranger to Lia’s writing. She’s a multi-faceted writer who can turn her hand to contemporary fiction, crime thrillers, chick lit and short stories.

Circle in the Sand by Lia Fairchild Download


This was a story about four people, bound by a long-standing friendship, a friendship that's tight and unbreakable. Adulthood and circumstances has meant four very different paths have been followed, but the binds that tie can never be broken. The four are Jax, Sage and twins Emily and Ned. We catch up with them at a time when each has reached a turning point in his/her life: there are decisions to be made, lifestyles to examine, careers to change…and needs to be met.


What I liked about this novel was that while the skeleton of the story is unremarkable, Lia’s perspicacity and insight present four friends who bring the whole thing to life. Four very diverse characters, each likeable for different reasons. Each has depth and different perspectives on life. There’s a feeling of warmth throughout and you are cocooned in a glow as you read this is; no matter what happens or what gets in the way of bringing the four together, the bond of their friendship is unbreakable.

This is a feel-good and satisfying story, beautifully written.

See also:
A Hint of Murder: The Bouncer
A Hint of Murder: The Doctor
A Hint of Murder: The Writer
In Search of Lucy

Circle in the Sand by Lia Fairchild Download




Read more

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Ebook Don't Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Ebook Don't Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris


Thank goodness for authors like Laurie Boris. She reminds me that the indie-author world is, mercifully, populated by some topnotch authors (a recent read exasperated me somewhat!). Think of when you’ve had an absolutely rotten day at work, you’ve lost the heel off your shoe, a hideous journey home and it’s still only Monday, but you get home, put the fire on, put your feet up, pour a glass of wine and enjoy a TV dinner. That ghastly day you’ve had fades away, and all is good with the world once again.

That’s how I feel when I pick up a book by Laurie.  I get that 'aaaaaaah' feeling. Invariably, she ticks all the boxes:

I'm hooked on page one.

The characters are immaculately drawn and defined.



The story neatly structured.

Her writing is faultless.

The editing exemplary.

...all round excellence, in fact.

This book doesn’t stray from the path of superiority, I've become accustomed to with this author. It’s a story about a woman with a terminal illness. A woman whose two sons and daughter-in-law find out accidentally. Apart from the unanswered questions why they were not told earlier about this distressing news, the issue opens a Pandora’s box of secrets, lies and unspoken emotions. Three people whose lives were ambling along in an okayish, bordering on mediocre, way, suddenly find they’re walking on a tightrope of relationships. The tensions build as the reader learns whether the truth and revelations see them falling off or reaching the other side.

Along with the impeccable character portrayal and beautifully conceived story…poignant, sad, shocking even…Laurie manages to mix in a little, but perfectly balanced, humour. The result? A five-star book.

Ebook Don't Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris


Read more

Sliding Past Vertical by Laurie Boris

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Sliding Past Vertical by Laurie Boris


And another winner by Laurie Boris.

Who, out of Sarah, Emerson, and Rashid, will surface unscathed from their pools of unfortunate choices, wrong decisions, and tragedy?



If you’re thinking, goodness, am I going to enjoy a book which seems to be tinged with doom and gloom, let me assure you right now, yes, you will.

When Sarah finally fleas the evils of her latest unsuitable partner, she heads for the only place she knows she will find solace. Her dear friend, Emerson, whom she met at college, years before. They fell in love. She fell out of love. Or did she? Emerson, however, never stopped loving her and could only stand by while she made endless disastrous choices of subsequent partners. Good old Emerson. Always there for her, always supporting her, always Emerson. His mundane job in an old people’s home is supplemented by his writing of ‘those’ sorts of stories for a men’s magazine, which in turn supplements his aspirations to become a serious writer. If only Sarah could always be around.

Rashid is his housemate. A brilliant researcher from India, constrained by the rigours of his culture. A constraint which ultimately threatens to break the tenable link between the three.

Once again, Laurie throws every last drop of emotion and credibility into her characters. What emerge are people, not characters. They’re real. You want to reach out to them and say ‘No! Please! Don’t do that!’ You feel you know them, you care about them, and want to help them.

It’s an intense novel that sucks you in from the start and doesn’t let you go until the final word. Excellent.



Read more

Monday, October 9, 2017

After The Fire by Henning Mankell


I’m not a fan of translated novels…more often than not the text is a little stilted, as the translator is usually a native of the language from which the novel is being translated, English, therefore being the second language. This, from Swedish, wasn’t too bad, although the translator got into a pickle with the past tenses. However, the most annoying thing about this book was that every pronoun ‘I’ was in lower case, every word at the start of the sentence and many proper names didn't start with capital. Is this a Swedish thing? And why wasn’t it picked up by an editor? Five per cent in and I was seriously irked by this, but, as they say on Mastermind, I started so I finished.



I found this book rather dreary and lifeless…like most of the characters. Fredrik Welin is a disgraced retired doctor living alone on an island in the Swedish archipelago. His very mundane and routine life is dramatically overturned when his house is completely burnt down and he loses everything. When the police can find no cause, he is suspected of arson, not really considering that he’s lost his home (one that had been in his family for a number of generations) and just about all his possessions. With only the clothes he was standing in, he then has to deal with his terrible loss, the tragedy heightening his loneliness and purpose in life. Ultimately, of course, he wants to find out who set fire to his house and why. 

Fredrik is neither likable nor unlikable. He is bland, a bit feeble and devoid of any personality, so I found it very hard to feel sympathy...or anything...for him. Many of his neighbourhood islanders were the same. As for his daughter (who he’d only recently come to know), she was really rather obnoxious.

Mankell…I realised halfway through the book…was the author of the Wallander novels. I guess if you’re a fan of those, you might like this, the author’s final work before his death in 2015.

But this wasn’t for me…I found myself wanting to shake the characters to get some passion, a spark of life out of them.

Alas, this left me as cold as the icy sea Fredrik Welin swam in every morning.

Read more

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Queenie's Teapot by Carolyn Steele

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

A little bit of a departure, this one, from my usual preferred genres. I like to be adventurous, so why not a political satire? Steele isn’t an unfamiliar author to me…her non-fiction A Year on Planet Alzheimer was very enjoyable.

Brexit and Trump have probably caused the most discussions, arguments, fallouts of any political upheaval in recent history. But politics is always a divisive subject and a choice of leader is never a unanimous decision. Could the man in the street do a better job? How about choosing a group of people from any walk of life and letting them sit in parliament? All they have to do, guided by a team to steer them through it all, is serve for three years in the field for which they have been selected. The head of state is no less elite. An ex Tesco floor-staff employee is chosen for the job (much to husband Bert's disgust…). She’s well up for it, but her teapot and knitting must go with her everywhere.

An intriguing concept, isn’t it? But some things never change: unrest over change, demonstrations, disillusion…are still rife. It’s up to the new parliament to muddle through. 

The big question is, did I enjoy this ‘something completely different’? On the whole, yes. Queenie’s unworldliness is very appealing: she’s a very uncomplicated, honest, hardworking old soul who loves knitting…and tea. Her ingenuity endears her to many, the reader no less. The characters’ backgrounds are varied, but down-to-earth. My only reservations are that, for me, the story didn’t really get out of first gear until very late and suddenly went from 0 to 60 in the shortest time possible at the end. It was just a teensy bit farfetched and disjointed. I did like the fact that the characters’ ‘stories’ were neatly tidied up…but with enough openings left for a sequel, perhaps.

This was a fun romp into what-if.

See Also:

A Year On Planet Alzheimer



Read more

Friday, December 2, 2016

Which Half David by Mark W. Sasse

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

A compelling story of a man who falls off his good-missionary pedestal. Correction: an utterly compelling story. Tobin Matthews and his wife, Jane, live in Sulu, an island (fictitious) in southeast Asia. Revered for his actions when he plays an instrumental part in closing down a dreadful band of human traffickers and for defending the rights of a group of Sulu tribesmen, he is the man of the island, a man who can do no wrong. But when his ex-lover, Kendra, turns up, this saint, this saviour, falls under her evil seductress ways. Far from turning the other cheek, Tobin’s actions rock his marriage, his beliefs and strength of character.

The story is a modern-day version of the biblical King David. A bit lost on me…I’m not religious, or a Christian and haven’t read the Bible. This didn’t matter, as it was still a page-turner as you accompany Tobin in his struggles to fight temptation in his will-he/won’t-he battle. Tobin, despite wobbling off his pedestal, and Kendra (bitch is too nice a word for her) are both very strong characters in their own way, but beautifully balanced by the soft, gentle, patient, perhaps even a little flaky, Jane and Kendra’s almost puppy-dog-like, ineffective, bumbling, slightly wimpish husband. But, pay very special attention to both of these…

And excellent story, written with Sasse’s usual flair, that's intense, passionate and peppered with some I-never-expected-that little surprises.


See also:
Beauty Rising
If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story
Love Story for a Nation
The Reach of the Banyan Tree 
The Recluse Storyteller



Read more

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Tree of Everlasting Nolfi by Christine Nolfi

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I didn’t go past ‘Go’ when I selected this book. I just went straight to my TBR. I didn’t remind myself what it was about…I relied on my judgement that if it was on my list, there was a very good reason for it. And I’m pleased to say I can still rely on my judgement. This was an excellent book.

However…I’m totally and utterly confused. In slightly reverse order, having  read and enjoyed the book, I was a little curious to see what the ‘blurb’ said. And therein I find there’s a character I haven’t even heard of. I really thought, well, that’s it. I’ve finally qualified for men-in-white-coats-ville. Further confusion reigned when I realise the other characters and…more importantly the plot…are identical. In short, my main character—Ourania—morphed into ‘Rennie’. What on earth?

Anyway…confusion aside (and at least the character didn’t change name during the story) this was a Very Good Book.

Secrets can change lives. They changed Ourania’s, a competent electrician…and fosterparent…they changed Troy’s, the eldest son of a rich and powerful family and the strain of keeping secrets change the lives of two young children. Secrets that are held by a magnificent old oak tree.

This is a powerful drama with strong, solid characters in a robust plot. There are twists and turns, and although I guessed the major twist fairly early on, Nolfi writes with such passion and compassion, intelligently and articulately, and the story builds to such a dramatic climax, it really didn’t matter.

I will certainly be checking out more books by this author, and I really wouldn’t mind catching up with Ourania (Rennie, whatever she’s supposed to be called) and Troy.


Read more

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US


This is an absolutely delightful story about Ove, a man touching sixty, about to lose his job, who lives on his own with a cat and a Saab.

He is many things: grumpy, exasperating, pathetic, irritating, wise, pedantic, curmudgeonly, loyal, endearing, gentle, committed, generous even. He is complex and multi-layered. Oh, I don't know, maybe he isn't; maybe he's just very straightforward and uncomplicated. But, of all the things he is, every reader will recognise at least one of his or her own traits in him. Or in someone very close by. Whatever Ove is to you, whether you like him or not, he is compelling and utterly memorable.

This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry. Ove sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until the very end. Although he needs absolutely no help to keep you turning the pages (with a tissue from time to time), there is a wonderful array of colourful, original characters in the supporting cast.

Superbly written, it's probably my favourite book of the year. It’s heartwarming, touching and uplifting, and stays with you like the bloom of your favourite scent.

To anyone who hasn’t read it, I’d go as far as to say it’s obligatory.



Read more

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Love Story for a Nation by Mark W. Sasse

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
I've read four of Sasse’s novels…four very different novels, four very enjoyable reads. Naturally, I dived eagerly into what is now my fifth Sasse read. This is not only different from his other books, it’s also hugely different from anything I’ve read before. It’s quite extraordinary. It’s a rich tapestry of many different threads: history, politics, courage, determination, love, passion, compassion, commitment, loss, heartbreak, tragedy, death, friendship, grief, surprise, sadness, joy, perseverance, hardship, danger, hope. Phew! But I’m not lying. They’re all in there.

How on earth can a story encompass all that? you may ask. Well, it does, uniquely…this tapestry is very cleverly woven and blended. You are drawn compellingly into Gerald Sanpatri’s simple, meagre lifethat he lives without rancour or resentmentunder the tyrannical rule of an evil dictator. It’s virtually impossible not to be smitten with this gentle, humble, compassionate and tolerant man, who fell in love with the perfect woman when he least expected it. And when tragedy strikes in a cruel way—in many ways, in fact—his quiet and gentle determination never wavers as he strives to fulfil his hopes and dreams...for himself and his country. 

There are many surprises in this book tucked into the each of its many layers. It started out as a ten-minute sketch, the author tells us, but he was encouraged to develop it, and so was born a novel of some sixty thousand words. 

A unique novel that is as heart-rending as it is heart-warming.

See Also:
Beauty Rising
If Love is a Crime: A Christmas Story
The Reach of the Banyan Tree 
The Recluse Storyteller


Read more

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Satchfield Hall by Pauline Barclay

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
I really enjoyed this...my second outing with the author, Pauline Barclay. It’s quite a story, spanning forty-four years, starting just before the end of the second world war. 

If ever there was a nasty, power-hungry, vicious, egotistic character, then Henry Bryant-Smythe was one. What a vile man. You can imagine, then, that when his young only daughter finds herself ‘in the family way’, the lengths he goes to are extreme, to the point of inhuman, to make sure she understands the consequences of such disgrace for a family of such standing. There isn’t a soul who doesn’t fear this hideous man…his own wife included. But he never entertains the possibility that he could be underestimating her. His domineering, vulgarity and bullying are as unbearable as are endearing her quiet sagacity, forbearance and gentleness. But pay he must for ruining the lives of those nearest to him.

Barclay overdoses us, wrings us out with oceans of wide-ranging emotions in this book. She does it skilfully, subtly, poignantly. The story is utterly compelling. 

This is a book which has been loitering around my Kindle for a while now and after reading it, I understand why. Every time I saw the title, it just didn’t scream ‘read me’. It’s not about Satchfield Hall at all: that’s just an address and really doesn’t play a part of any importance. The title of the book written by one of the characters is what screams at me as the perfect title. I was also a little at sea with the dates. The story is divided into two parts, but with untitled chapters it was hard to know exactly where we were.

For those reasons, I can’t elevate it into the five-star category, not least because of the bad editing (no editing?). So many spelling/grammatical errors was annoying.

However, I did manage to overlook those faults and ultimately, am glad I finally answered the book’s call to ‘read me, already!

See Also:
Magnolia House


Read more

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Sudden Gust of Gravity by Laurie Boris

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I don’t hesitate for one single nano-second when it comes to a new novel by Laurie Boris. And I start it with lip-licking relish and always finish it with a satisfied ‘Wow, that was good’. And this certainly did deserve a ‘Wow, that was excellent’. 

I’ve never read a book set in the world of abracadabra, so I found this rather unique.

Christina Davenport’s obsession with magic….and becoming a respected magician…is hardly surprising when her magician father nurtured her interest. But it’s a man’s world. So, when the opportunity to become a street magician’s assistant arises, she jumps at the chance, despite Reynaldo the Magnificent being a smug and arrogant (albeit rather irresistible) so and so. However, she works hard to please, but more importantly to learn and gain confidence…which doesn’t come without a few bumps and bruises when you’re perfecting your juggling and disappearing techniques. Bruises which do not escape one particular member of the street audience, Dr Devon Park, who becomes mesmerised not just by those rather worrying bruises but also by their owner: a petite, attractive assistant.

An unlikely tug-of-war for the affections of a pretty girl ensues. Who’s going to be the victor? The confident, brash, good-looking, cocky and resolute Reynaldo, who wants to win, whatever it takes, or the gentle, caring, kind, slightly baggage-laden doctor with some demons he needs to lay to rest.

Boris can turn her hand as adeptly to a tale of romantic suspense as she can to one of humour (The Joke’s on Me) or heart-wrenching poignancy (Drawing Breath). Meticulously researched, set in the fascinating world of magic, with engaging characters and brilliantly written.

Yes. Boris certainly has pulled a rabbit out of the hat with this one.

See also:

Read more