Tag: Escape Publishing

Guest Review: Find Her by Elisabeth Rose

Posted May 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Find Her by Elisabeth RoseReviewer: Tracy
Find Her by Elisabeth Rose
Published by Escape Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 140
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

A chance sighting leads to second chances – for hope, for family, and for love.

Five years ago, teenager Antonia disappeared. With no compelling evidence, the police eventually called her a run-away, and dropped the case. Her teacher, Jax, has always regretted not speaking up about the rumours she heard circling the school that day, but a random sighting at a train station raises the possibility that Antonia is still alive – and not too far away.

Antonia’s father, Connor has never given up hope that his daughter will be found and returned to her family. When her old teacher, Jax, calls him with a small spark of a lead, he seizes it with both hands, determined to chase it down.

But there’s more at play than simple teenage rebellion and the path Jax and Connor travel rapidly becomes more dangerous than either could have imagined, and opens up new possibilities that neither could have expected.

Jax is a teacher at a school in a town where Antonia, a student of hers, disappeared 5 years ago.  There wee rumors at the time with a couple of her friends but Jax didn’t pay much attention to them at the time.  When she’s on her way back from a vacation she happens to look across the train platform and she sees Antonia.  She’s so sure it’s actually the missing girl that she contacts Antonia’s father, Connor and tells him what she saw.

Connor never believed that his daughter was dead and never stopped looking for her.  He and his wife separated and then divorced as their lives changed after Antonia disappeared.  He’s so excited to hear of her sighting that he heads to the train stops and hands out flyers with his daughter’s picture on it asking questions.  He finds someone who recognizes her but can’t find her after that.

Jax decides to finally follow up on the rumors she heard about Antonia and finds out that Antonia was pregnant and looking to terminate the pregnancy – because of this they find a lead and eventually figure out what happened.  Getting Antonia back from her abductor, however, will threaten everyone’s lives.

This was a lovely story with a pretty darned good suspense story.  I have to say I was pretty much on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened to Antonia.  The way that the author crafted the story was creative and I really liked the different ins and outs of the story.

This was also a romance  with  Jax and Connor becoming closer while searching for Antonia and falling in love.  I wish I could say that it was sweet and romantic but the circumstances just didn’t call for that.  Connor was a bit of a stubborn ass at times but both he and Jax worked out well together.  It wasn’t that strong of a romance, unfortunately.  I almost wish that it had been a suspense story only but that’s just my humble opinion.

Overall it was a good suspense story and one I enjoyed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Risky Business by Amy Andrews

Posted July 3, 2014 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Risky BusinessJen’s review of Risky Business by Amy Andrews

Samantha Evans’s life is going to hell. Not only has she rage-quit her beloved, high-powered job, but she is suddenly afflicted by hormones, free time, and an unavoidable, unignorable, undeniably gorgeous irritant in the form of Nick Hawke, her extreme sports star neighbour, who has come home to take over the reins of his grandmother’s second-hand bookshop. Sam needs something to keep her from begging for her old job back until she’s good and sure her boss understands how wrong he was, and taking a low-risk, low-stress job helping Nick at the bookstore might be just the thing.

After all, it’s not like Nick is the right guy to help her with her hormones. He’ll just be fun to look at while she searches for the one.

Nick has six months to get over an injury before Everest and a big, fat contract beckon. That means no sports, no danger and, above all else, no risks. It means playing it safe. And Nick Hawke doesn’t do safe. So he’s going to need something to stave off the boredom while selling books he doesn’t read to people who wouldn’t know a carabineer from a crochet hook. What could be safer than hiring a cranky, unemployed accountant to help run the bookstore? Sam is efficient and methodical and messing up her neat, post-it note world could be a fun way to pass the time….

Risky Business mixes the classic romance of Philadelphia Story, the humour and wit of When Harry Met Sally, and a strong, contemporary Australian setting to create a delightful, irresistible, utterly satisfying treat of a novel.

I was all set to like this book. The blurb sounded right up my alley (two people who think they want something else realize that they were wrong all along). Plus, it’s set in Brisbane, Australia, which I like. While there were some good things about the book, overall the execution left something to be desired.

I did indeed like the set up. Samantha (Sam) is a young professional who’s always been focused on building her lucrative accounting career. Suddenly, though, she realizes she not only wants a high powered career but also a baby, because her “clock is ticking,” naturally. When she temporarily loses her job because of her jerky boss, she decides to focus on finding a guy with whom she can start a family, rather than one of the losers she usually dates. At the same time, Nick has returned to Brisbane both to take over his beloved grandmother’s romance bookstore and to recover from an injury sustained while mountain climbing. (He’s supposedly a very highly paid “extreme sports star,” though what exactly that entails isn’t quite clear.) He hires Sam to help out in the store until she can get her old job back. The two are majorly attracted but since Nick is basically a nomad who doesn’t believe in relationships, they both realize he wouldn’t fit into her plan, so he offers to help her find a man who can.

So what didn’t I like?

Oh, the cliches! The biggest one is Sam and her ticking clock. She constantly refers to her clock and her “cheeping” eggs. She is basically powerless to resist the pull of her ovaries. Wanting to have a baby was a fine, if not unique, goal for her, but I got so tired of hearing about her anthropomorphic eggs on every other page. And in case you think I’m exaggerating, I searched and found well over 100 mentions of “eggs” in the book, and none of them referring to a breakfast food! Her plan to have a baby is also ridiculous–in the handful of months before she expects to gets her old job back (itself a pretty convenient plot device), she’s going to find an older guy who wants to settle and have babies, get pregnant with him, and then go back to her high powered job. There’s no real consideration for the guy or what he might want, and no real acknowledgment of why she wants a baby other than her “eggs.” The plan makes Sam sound immature and selfish.

There is a ton of weird body image stuff in the book, too. Sam has some major issues with her looks. Again, that can be an interesting conflict to explore, but it’s not really dealt with in a serious way. Instead, Sam is sort of an ugly duckling character. She of course thinks she’s a fat cow, but everyone around her sees her as curvy, voluptuous, and gorgeous. Guys, and gals, can’t keep their eyes off her and are always hitting on her, but she’s repeatedly “shocked” when Nick clues her in. She’s forever disparaging herself and comparing herself to other women, usually putting them down in the process, too. It made her seem very petty and juvenile, and it quickly got frustrating. Worst of all, it’s only Nick’s horniness that eventually (and very abruptly) convinces her she’s not a horrible, ugly beast. I wanted to see some genuine growth and personal transformation, not just “the hot guy thinks I’m hot so I must be!”

The romance bookstore setting was also a little twee and self indulgent. Sure, the store sounds like the kind of place most of us romance readers would adore, but it made no sense why Nick would have taken over his grandmother’s store (he admits he’s never read a romance, seems to know little about running a business, and has his own career already), why he would bother doing a renovation on it, why he would hire Sam when it’s just a tiny shop he could easily staff himself, etc. To be honest, I could have overlooked the setting since it really did sound like a fun fantasy place, but combined with the rest of the cliches it was just too much.

There were moments of potential. For instance, the first time Sam and Nick attempt to have sex, she ends up psyching herself out because of all her insecurities and runs away in the middle. I thought that was actually fairly realistic, and it was kind of refreshing to see sex in a romance novel that wasn’t immediately earth shattering. Nick and Sam also take months to get to know each other before they start their sexual relationship, which made their affection more believable. I also have to give an honorable mention to one of the better typos I’ve seen in a romance novel. At one point Sam is imagining the pattern of her wallpaper looks like “baron velvet uteruses.” Someone please write a romance novel featuring THAT Baron!

Despite the potential, this story just felt a little too formulaic for me to really enjoy it.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

This title is available from Escape Publishing. You can purchase it here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Excerpt (+ Giveaway): Evidence of Love by Elisabeth Rose

Posted April 21, 2014 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Today we’re giving away one e-copy of Evidence of Love by Elisabeth Rose. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

She survived years as a gangland wife, sacrificing everything to the family. But now they’re threatening the one thing that she will never, ever give up — her child.

When Maja’s abusive gang boss husband Tony is murdered, she takes the opportunity to flee, change her name, and leave her criminal family and her past behind. As Lara Moore, she and her toddler son Petey live quietly in suburban Sydney. Then, one act of kindness threatens to reveal her secrets and unravel the threads of her new life. But Detective Nick is dedicated and determined, the antithesis of everything she was brought up to believe about the police. Slowly, Maja finds herself drawn out of her shell and into his protective embrace.

Investigating Detective Nick Lawson doesn’t know what it is about the prickly, reclusive young

9780857991546mother that attracts and intrigues him, but as the facts about her crime-steeped family emerge, Nick doubts whether his career would survive this relationship, even if she were interested.

Then, to Lara’s horror, her past meets her present, and thoughts of love and a future are lost as the fight for her child begins.

Excerpt:

No sign of Branko but he couldn’t be far behind her. He wouldn’t know she didn’t have a car so he may not try to follow. Was she panicking unnecessarily? But she couldn’t let him know where she lived. If he discovered that she’d have to sell up and move. Go to another city. Start again. If she had to, she would.
A white car slowed beside her and a voice called through the open passenger window, ‘Get in.’
Lara paused for a split second then flung the door open and collapsed into the front seat.
Nick accelerated. Lara turned for a quick look back and saw Branko, hands on hips, staring at the traffic. Had he seen her?
‘Care to tell me what that was about?’ Nick didn’t sound angry, more curious.
‘No.’ She closed her eyes, head back. ‘Not yet.’
‘Seatbelt,’ he said.
She clipped it obediently. ‘Thanks.’
‘No worries.’
‘Where are we going? Hairdresser?’
‘No. Home. I…fibbed.’ She bit her lip, hesitated. ‘I don’t want him to know where I live.’
‘He doesn’t know?’
‘No. No-one does. From before.’
‘Your family?’
She nodded. ‘I had to get away.’ She owed him at least that much information but he’d have to be satisfied with a crumb.
‘Okay. What about your bike?’
‘I’ll bus over tomorrow and get it.’
He didn’t ask any more questions. The lights were red at Parramatta Road.
‘Are you taking me to the police station?’ Lara asked. ‘Do I really need to make another statement?’
‘No. I fibbed,’ he said.

Nick took a circuitous route to Lara’s house, checking the rear-view mirror constantly to see if they were followed. He pulled up in the driveway, positive no-one had been on their tail. Lara sat in silence beside him. The incident had obviously shaken her, frightened her more than she cared to admit to him, but from that first moment he knew she was in trouble. No way was he walking away and leaving her at the mercy of that scumbag, old friend or not.
‘All clear,’ he said.
Lara exhaled heavily. She unclipped her seatbelt then suddenly leaned across and pressed soft lips against his cheek for the briefest of moments. ‘Thank you,’ she murmured.
Before he could react or recover the door closed and she was gone, leaving a waft of perfume and the memory of her lips to tease him.

Giveaway: Use the Rafflecpoter widget below to enter to win a digital copy of Evidence of Love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

elisabeth rose

About the Author:

Elisabeth Rose lives in Australia’s capital, Canberra. She completed a performance degree on clarinet, travelled Europe with her musician husband and returned to Canberra to raise two children. Twenty years ago she began practising Tai Chi and now teaches classes in that as well as teaching and playing clarinet. Reading has been a life long love, writing romance a more recent delight.

Visit her at: http://www.elisabethrose.com.au/

 

Evidence of Love is available now. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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