Monday, 17 February 2014

Review-The Final Witness by James Scott Bell

Book Blurb

Young, idealistic law clerk Rachel Ybarra has just been handed a career-making opportunity--helping in the prosecution of an infamous leader of the Russian Mafia. But when the star witness turns up dead, Rachel discovers the case is not merely a battle for the truth--it's a battle for her life.


I put my hand up at the beginning to say I am not a fan of inspirational fiction, but the author wove the main character, Rachel’s religious beliefs into the plot very well in that she has the courage of her convictions and quotes the scriptures to a dodgy defence lawyer to great effect. Can a good Prosecution lawyer be a Christian too? Interesting.

But already I digress - the story opens with Rachel’s interview at the law firm which employs her as a paralegal, asking a pivotal question as to whether her faith would be an obstruction to her job. This is followed by her having a serious panic attack at the pool, giving the reader some good insight into what drives her and her private demons, which include an alcoholic father and her relationship with her grandmother.

Then comes a rather gruesome murder of a drug baron – and here the plot gets really interesting when it turns out the Russian Mafia, who make the Cosa Nostra look like shoplifters, are involved.

Rachel’s boss, Alan Lakewood is prosecuting Jaroslav Supevsky for murder, but the situation, not to mention who is guilty and who isn’t, is not a simple as it first appears. Inevitably, Rachel gets deeply, and personally involved with an FBI agents as well as the witnesses and as a result is threatened.

I find that some crime stories tend to get bogged down with the intricacies of court procedure, but there was just enough here to keep up the excitement without tempting me to skip pages. The masterly plot was only slightly let down by the predictable ending, however the excellent characterisation kept me engaged throughout and I wasn’t disappointed.

I received an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Review of Cupcakes and Chardonnay

I don't drink Chardonnay and I shouldn't eat cupcakes, but nevertheless this title by Julie Gabriel jumped out at me. If you are in the mood for a sweet romance with an unusual premise with an engaging heroine, this could be ideal. It's an in front of the fire, one-session novella with a cup of hot chocolate beside you. Enjoy....

Book Blurb

A sweet story about two people given a second chance at love ... a nicely satisfying read that leaves the reader craving some cupcakes!"— InD'Tale Magazine

Anita's Review

This story opens with an usual premise, with the heroine’s ex-boyfriend swanning into her life with a proposal. Marry me so I can inherit the family vineyard and I’ll give you two million dollars when my mother dies.

An offer not many would have to think about in most situations, but Suzanne remembers Daryle [with an ‘e’!] as a spoiled rich boy who glides through life cushioned by the family fortune and too lazy to wash his clothes so he bought new ones!

If that wasn’t sand under the toenails enough to put any hard working girl off, he calls her Suzy Q. If it were me I would reject him on that premise alone. But it isn’t me, and Suzanne could do with the money to expand her successful cupcake business. Despite the fact Daryle still sets her hackles up, he barges back into her life and orders her around – then throws her mobile phone out of his car window – seems he hasn’t matured much in the three years since they last met.

Suzanne is however fixed on the money, so goes through with the society wedding. However suffering pangs of shame and self-disappointment, the only person she knows who is invited to the wedding is her friend Brent, who pops up now and then as the – annoying – voice of reason.

There is an inevitability about this novella, but that doesn’t spoil the route the characters take to reach a mutually satisfactory goal. I enjoyed it.