Category Archives: Romance

Review of “Typewriter in the sky”

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Book Review – “Typewriter in the Sky” eBook was published in 1995 (yep, that is the date on Amazon, but I think it was more like 2015. The original paper edition was published in 1951 and was written by L. Ron Hubbard (http://www.lronhubbard.org). Mr. Hubbard published 29 novels and numerous short stories.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. While the beginning and end are contemporary, most of the action takes place in the Caribbean of the 1640’s. The primary character is Michael de Wolf, a musician.

Through an unexplained quirk in time, he gets transported to the 1640s in the form of a Spanish Admiral sent to wipe away the French and English. This Admiral is one of the characters in his friends new Fiction novel. From time to time Wolf hears typewriter sounds from the sky (hence the title).

As it turns out he is the villain of the story, pitted against an Englishman who is trying to drive off the Spanish. And of course there is a beautiful, young English woman that has won the hearts of both men to give it a touch of Romance.

Wolf struggles to survive, surprised that he has the skills and knowledge to do so. He also suffers through rewrites where the past is ripped away and his history takes another path.

I thought that this was an interesting read of 2.5 hours. I’m not sure whether to classify this as Science Fiction or Fantasy. Surprisingly, the fact that the novel is more than 65 years old was not overly apparent. Wolf tries to move the story towards a happy conclusion for himself, but he is constantly challenged. The cover art is well chosen for the novel. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer for “Before I Fall”

Not sure if I should classify “Before I Fall” as a Science Fiction film or just Fiction. The movie is based upon the best selling Young Adult book by the same name. Much like “Groundhog Day”, the primary character of this story, Samantha Kingston (played by Maria Maggenti), finds herself in a time loop, living the same day over and over.

The brief overview of the plot says “February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s in danger of losing.” There is certainly a Romance angle to the story, but the time loop theme may offer some interesting story twists. We will all know when the film opens in March of 2017.

Review of “Shadows of the Stone Benders”

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Book Review – “Shadows of the Stone Benders” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by K. Patrick Donoghue (http://www.kpatrickdonoghue.com). This is Mr. Donoghue’s first novel.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the US in contemporary times. The primary character is Anlon Cully, a Silicon Valley millionaire. When his archaeologist uncle Devlin Wilson dies from a suspicious fall, he heads east from California to handle the estate.

He, his friend Pebbles McCarver and local police detective Jennifer Stevens are drawn into a mystery. They soon discover that Wilson had discovered unusual artifacts that have power and which support his theories of a early Earth civilization.

They are not the only ones after the artifacts. They find themselves in one harrowing situation after another as they fight to retain control of the artifacts and discover who was behind Wilson’s death.

I enjoyed the near 9 hours I spent with this 316 page Fantasy (maybe it should be Science Fiction) Thriller. There is a Romance angle, though it was not concluded. It was not the best Thriller I had read, but it was a good first novel and I would would read sequels. The cover art was nice, but I am not sure what it has to do with the story. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Fall of Fair Isle”

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Book Review – “The Fall of Fair Isle” eBook was published in 2015 (an omnibus edition with the three books “Broken Vows”, “Dark Dreams” and “Desperate Alliances” originally printed 1999 to 2002) was written by Rowena Cory Daniells (http://www.rowena-cory-daniells.com). Ms. Daniells has published a dozen novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in a mythical medieval world. There are three main characters in the series. The nation of Ghebite invades Fair Isle under the command of 30 year old General Tulkhan, and soon falls to their military might.

The young 17 year old T’En woman T’Imoshen becomes one of the last of the royal line as her family have all fallen in battle defending Fair Isle. She surrenders to Tulkhan rather than see more of her people killed. Prince Reothe, also with T’En heritage, slips away into hiding and fosters a rebel resistance to the Ghebites.

What evolves is a triangle between these three as they vie for power and love. Both men love T’Imoshen. She is also the key to the support of the Fair Isle people. T’Imoshen agrees to ‘bond’ (marry) Tulkhan for political reasons, but comes to love him. The young king of Ghebite, Tulkhan’s half brother, turns on him as he resents and fears his popularity. Tulkhan and T’Imoshen must unite to fight him.

The T’En are different from regular humans with red eyes, silver hair, six fingers on each hand and varying degrees of the ‘gift’. The ‘gift’ is the ability to sense and control other minds. Reothe has experience with the gift, but T’Imoshen has not had her abilities refined.

T’Imoshen, though betrothed to Reothe, breaks her promise to wed Tulkhan. She discovers that she loves both Tulkhan and Reothe, but is committed to her vows with Tulkhan. Reothe is constantly after T’Imoshen to run away with him and oppose the General. There is constant intrigue, political infighting and betrayal as the three vie for power. The love the three share is offset by distrust.

Though the Ghebite king is initially defeated, he comes back threatening Fair Isle with a new army. T’Imoshen, Tulkhan and Reothe must join forces to defeat the new invaders.

I thought I would never finish this book! I spent 32.5 hours reading the 1000 page eBook. I liked the story and the abilities that the T’En had. I wish I had first read the “Outcast Chronicles” trilogy which told the story of how the T’En got to Fair Isle, but this book read well on its own.

The story is a rich mix of personal desires, strong wills and distrust. I like that the T’En are both revered and feared. I think the book cover art was well chosen. While the Romance thread of this Fantasy novel was more than I usually like, I did thoroughly enjoy the book. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Lying Planet”

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Book Review – “The Lying Planet” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Carol Riggs (http://www.carolriggs.com). This is Ms. Riggs’ third novel.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as barely ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set at some time in the future after humanity has begun to colonize planets around other stars. The main character is 17 year old Jay Lawton.

Humanity is struggling to survive after a civil war tore their civilization apart. Now as teens reach their 18th birthday, they are evaluated and either sent on to Promise City for the chance at a better life, or they are banished into with wilderness. At least that is the story that Lawton and his friends have grown up with.

Lawton is in a serious relationship with girlfriend Aubrie. They both expect high scores when tested in the coming weeks. Then they will be able to begin a new life together in Promise City. Lawton though stumbles upon a discovery that completely turns his world upside down.

He finds that the colony is secretly being run by aliens and the lives of himself and all the other kids are at risk. Lawton must find a way to escape, then rescue Aubrie, his sisters, and all of the other kids. He also finds himself torn between feelings for Aubrie and growing feelings for Peyton.

This was an entertaining read of 7+ hours for the 285 page novel. The story moves along well enough, but the plot is a little thin to me even for a Romantic Young Adult Science Fiction novel. The cover art is colorful and sort of relates to the story. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Programmed to Please”

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Book Reviews – “Programmed to Please” eBook was published in 2013 and was written by Jenna Ives (http://www.jennaives.com). Ms. Ives has published five novels, with this being the first of her “The Tau Cetus Chronicles” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as a very definite ‘R’ because it contains Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set on the world of Tau Cetus in a future where robots have advanced to the point that they can almost pass for humans. The primary character is Tau Cetus police officer Jai Turner.

In an effort to gather evidence on well known arms dealer Marque Callex, Turner must go under cover. Only this assignment is more than she bargained for. She is to play the role of a Beautiful Dolls sex robot in order to get information on Callex. Callex is invited into the Beautiful Dolls offices for five one hour sessions to “try out” their newest and most realistic sex robot.

Turner is made over to look like the robot Callex has requested. Her skin is coated with a compound to give her the feel of a robot. She must carry out her role as a willing and skilled sex robot, letting Callex use her. While reluctant to portray a sex robot, Turner is determined to find evidence linking Callex with the death of another undercover officer, and discover who is trying to upset the peace on Tau Cetus. What she did not expect was to develop feelings for Callex.

This was an interesting, but short read of 3.5 hours for this 170 page novel. The Science Fiction was there, but the book was much more of an Erotic Romance. The story moved along well. There was a reasonable plot beyond the sex. The cover shows Turner in disguise as the sex robot, and was a good choice. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Security”

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“Security” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Gina Wohlsdorf (http://www.ginawohlsdorf.com). This is Ms. Wohlsdof’s first novel.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set at a new hotel-resort in a remote area of the California coast.

The final touches are being made to the hotel before it opens. A skeleton staff is there working throughout the hotel. A mysterious killer begins to hunt the staff, taking them one-by-one and leaving their bodies. By the time that those who remain realize that they are under attack, there are few left alive.

The main character of the story is Tessa who is a Personal Assistant and Designer. She has been working closely with the resort developer to see that everything is perfect for the opening. Her attention is distracted by the sudden arrival of her estranged step brother. Strong feelings for him soon give way to terror as she finds the bodies of co-workers and must herself evade the killer.

I thought that this was an interesting 8+ hour read of 241 pages. I liked the characters in the novel, and the overall plot. I also think that the unusual point of view of the narrator was innovative. While this was clearly a Thriller, it also has strong Romance threads. In many respects it gave me the feeling of the ‘disaster’ movies and novels from the 1980’s, and a hint of something written by Dean Koontz. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Arena”

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“Arena” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Holly Jennings (http://www.authorhollyjennings.com). This is Ms. Jennings first full novel.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. This Science Fiction Young Adult Romance is set in 2054 Los Angeles, California.

The primary character is Kali Ling. She, and four others in their early twenties, make up the team Defiance which is competing in the RAGE Tournaments. These are immersive Virtual Reality gaming competitions. The games are 5 on 5 bloody fights to the death with axes swords and similar weapons. The contestants feel the pain as they are hacked or stabbed. They all have ‘died’ in the game many times.

Ling and her teammates are now in the National championship competition. Winning will net them riches and world wide celebrity status. Just as they begin the playoffs, Ling’s lover and team mate, Nathan Saunders, dies of a drug overdose. The circumstances though are covered up in the press.

Naturally Ling is distraught. Her anxiety is heightened when she is unexpectedly named the team captain and must work hard to integrate a new player, James Rooke, into the team. Now that he is dead, the team owner, the gaming league and the press act as if Saunders never existed.

For Ling it is a battle on many fronts: Can she lead her team to victory in the championship; Can she make the public remember Saunders; Can she bring to light the excesses and pressures on the players; Can she overcome her own substance abuses; and Can she deal with her growing feelings for Rooke.

This was an interesting 7+ hour read of the 335 page novel. It was more romance than I typically like, but the story was engaging. The concept of competitive gaming was far from unbelievable, given the current state of technology and interest. I did have a problem with the concept of avatars being limited to the physical abilities of the actual players. I certainly liked that aspect of the story, but in a universe where the drug tests were routinely being spoofed, how hard would it be to fudge the skills of a player? I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “A Calculated Risk”

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“A Calculated Risk” eBook was published in 2015 (originally published on paper in 1992) and was written by Katherine Neville (http://www.katherineneville.com). Ms. Neville has written four novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. This Thriller novel is primarily set in California and on an island between Greece and Turkey.

Verity Banks is a brilliant computer scientist with strong ties to the financial community. While she has a high position in the World Bank, she clearly will proceed no further. The executives of the bank seem fully willing to keep her ‘in her place’ and seem to have no concern over the lack of cyber security safeguards.

She decides to show the bank how vulnerable they are by ‘borrowing’ funds. She consults with long time friend and mentor Dr. Zoltan Tor. One thing leads to another and she soon finds herself competing in a bet with Tor on who can ‘borrow’ the most funds over a three month period.

They each race to see who can twist the banking systems allowing them to capture funds. Before long though, their efforts are threatened by an unexpected adversary.

I spent 9+ hours with this 354 page novel. It was interesting as it dealt with computer security (or the lack there of) back in the 80s and 90s, as well as banking procedures. This wasn’t much of a Thriller and had a significant thread of Romance. I find it hard to judge this novel with more than a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).