One of the wonderful things about being an editorial reviewer in the "Indie" publishing world, is the incredible variety of books you get offered to read. One day you're reading a fantasy adventure complete with werewolves and other weird creatures, the next, a historical romance and the next day, a children's book. The variety and talent in the "indie" world really has to be seen to be believed. I know reading all these fine authors has improved my own writing a hundred-fold. For a change, today, I found myself reading a wonderful romance, by Mary Crawford.
Until the Stars Fall From the Sky makes no pretensions as to what it is; it is a soppy, beautiful, and at times heart-rending romance. I had read an earlier book by Mary Crawford and had enjoyed it so much, I jumped at the opportunity to read this one. What I particularly like about Crawford's style is they way in which she develops her characters and how we are drawn into her character's lives.
Until the Stars Fall From the Sky is romance with a slight twist. We meet the two main characters; Jeff and Kiera, who both bring to this relationship issues that need to be dealt with. Jeff, an African American with childhood insecurities and Kiera, a paraplegic, redhead, are destined to meet and fall in love, facing all the difficulties inherent in a relationship that crosses cultural and physical boundaries.
Crawford deals with the central issue of Kiera's disability exceptionally well. What I particularly like about this book is it's not about conflict, it's not about race and it's not even about disability; what it is, is a celebration of love, romance, and friendship. I don't think I can be accused of being a "soppy bugger", but I think every so often, it's really nice to read a sweet story, with a happy ending and the promise of more to come. Mary Crawford's book fills that role admirably. I love her style and I'm also thrilled to see she has a whole plethora of books, each one focusing on a different set of characters from this story. I am certainly tempted to read more in this series.
An excellent read and one that makes you sigh and say: "ahhhh, yes," and I think we all need to do that from time to time. Thank you, Mary Crawford, for a truly enjoyable read.
I have read several of Gascoigne's books now and I will hold my hand up and admit I am a real fan of hers. There are just a few authors whose books I would seek out the moment they come onto the market and Gascoigne is now in that illustrious company on my list.
There is nothing startling about her stories or her style. She writes simple, romances about real people that grab and pull at your consciousness. There is a quirkiness and a cadence to her writing that, for me anyway, simply draws me in and makes me totally identify with her characters. Her heroes and heroines are not always the most beautiful, the most hunky or the most sexy characters (although in this book they do appear to be) but what they are is; real, identifiable and invariably a little flawed or weighed down with baggage from previous relationships.
The Seasons of our Love is so typical of the quality work that Gascoigne turns out in every book she writes. At 158 pages on Kindle, it is not a long read, but it is an extremely satisfying one. We meet Rosie, who to escape an abusive relationship just jumps on a bus to "anywhere" but where she is - which turns out to be Shrove, where she meets and falls in love with Danny, the proprietor of the pub cum restaurant. Danny's aged and dementia suffering aunt Maggie is also an integral part of this relationship and Rosie finds herself quickly drawn into this family. The problems they face, as a couple, are exactly the problems many of us face in our own relationships and this is why it is so easy to identify and empathise with her characters. It is clear from reading her past work that Gascoigne has a fascination with ghosts and spirits, so it was hardly surprising to see just a little of the supernatural creep into this story also. It added to and expanded the plot, which was all okay for me.
I really enjoyed this story and was so invested in the characters that I was thrilled to see Gascoigne plans more adventures with Danny and Rosie - Roll on the Sequel, I say. A wonderful story and one I would highly recommend to any reader who likes a good, sweet, romance with real people and real problems. Gascoigne has a real niche here and I hope she continues to fill it, for the benefit of her readers and fans, of which I am proudly one
This is the second iteration of the Ayesha story, of the fashion designing husband and wife team. Whilst I enjoyed Ayesha, I absolutely loved the sequel Ayesha: To Break A Promise.
One of the nicest things to note in part two was the author's growth as a writer. Renehan has injected Ayesha part two with a burst of action, suspense and some great twists that I didn't see coming. I also felt this particular book flowed better and tied the disparate scenes and arcs together better than the first. One of the issues I had with the original Ayesha was some of the stilted dialogue. This still isn't perfect in part two, but it is vastly improved. What was exceptional was the way Renehan was able to link all the disparate characters she introduced into the story and mesh them together, surprising me on more than one occasion. This is still a romance at heart and the love between the two principal characters Ayesha and Ger is what carries the heart and soul of this book, but there is plenty of action, mystery, and suspense to keep the most die-hard of fans interested.
I was thrilled when it was clear by the end of the book that there would be a part three. The book does, however, stand well on its own feet as a stand-alone story and again Renehan has to be congratulated on her development as an author.
This is one of the true joys of reading indie authors - watching their growth from book to book.
If you are a romantic soul, but you also like action and thrills, then I have to highly recommend you to read Ayesha: To Break a Promise Part 2. I loved it and am gleefully looking forward to the final book in this series.
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME