Tag: Rose Anderson

Guest Review: Dreamscape by Rose Anderson.

Posted September 3, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Judith’s review of Dreamscape by Rose Anderson.

Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing-he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man. Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn’t be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.

This is the second novel by Rose Anderson I have read and reviewed and once again I think Ms Anderson has written a novel that is intriguing by its aura of mystery, a combination Victorian/contemporary ghost story, and at the core, a very erotic love story. There is not doubt in my mind that this is one heck of a novel, one that had me introspective and thoughtful when I finished, a kind of wonder that someone could have crafted such a wonderful book. That same sense of wonder is with me whenever I come out of the theater after watching one of those movies that seems to grab me by the shirt front and hold me captive throughout. That is the same feeling I had when I finished this tale.

All that being said, this is a story that tells of a heroine whose own early years were filled with hurt, emotional wounds caused by the neglect of a drunken mother and the derision of an uncaring community. The stately Victorian mansion seemed to inspire her to dream of a world of tradition, family, affluence, and romance. The stories of the ghost who lived in the shuttered environs of the Bowen mansion also piqued her interest, especially after she began to dream about the young boy who lived there, whose mother had died when he was young and whose father had been killed in a freak accident. The dreams continued off and on throughout her growing up years but were especially intense after Lanie purchased the Bowen mansion, spending her small inheritance to refurbish the old house and its yard, gardens, and fountains. She then began the construction of a new free clinic. She was a doctor and the free clinic was one of her most insistent goals. In fact, in the dream life she enjoyed with Jason Bowen, her ghostly dream lover who was also a physician, Lanie was a woman ahead of her time in that she was a doctor also. But Jason was a ghost who had been murdered by his wife of four months in order to gain his extensive wealth. Now as a ghost, mourning the fact that he had not real future with Lanie, he needed to find out how he died. In their dream life together they were seeking not only the facts of Jason’s death, but ways to possibly change the future by preventing his death.

Throughout this story there is the tension Jason feels as he falls in love with this real woman, dealing with his feelings and the awareness that there was no future for them. He also had to face the need to remove himself from her awareness and through her friend he tried to do that. Lanie, nevertheless, always seemed to have the sense that she and Jason not only had a limit to their time in the present world but that when he died in her dream life, he would be gone there as well. So the reader is kept on the edge as these two parallel lives unfold for Lanie and Jason as well as for her friend Lexie and those who are alive in her dreams but who have been dead for over a century.

There are twists and turns and surprises galore in this novel, not the least of which is the ending which absolutely flipped me on my head and left me with my mouth hanging open. Certainly not what I expected. It was a more than satisfactory resolution, but to say I was shocked is to put it mildly. Suffice it to say that throughout the novel the reader has the sense that this century-old horror is going to repeat itself, that there seems no possible way that Lanie and Jason can realize a happy ending together short of Lanie’s death, or that the evil perpetrated by Jason’s wife and relatives is inevitable. I had the feeling that I was reading a Greek tragedy where things begin as they go on . . . worse and worse. Yet the author has come up with a resolution that is not only surprising in the extreme but absolutely perfect for the story.

This story will perplex and stretch the reader’s belief in the power of love, and while we all know that death is final there remains that remnant of belief that somehow we’ll find a way to reach across the Great Divide of death with the power of love. Perhaps that is the winsome hope upon which this novel is predicated as well as the fact that there are those who believe in re-incarnation, the reality of dreams or the possibility that dreams can reveal deep truths about ourselves we would otherwise miss. Whatever the truth may be or wherever it lies in regards to life and death, this story will feed that hope that somehow death is not quite so final. There is beauty here, with the joy of mutual discovery between Jason and Lanie, the frustration of the heart that can often twist a person’s spirit, the evil that grows out of the love of wealth, the kindness and gentleness which can come from friendship and deep respect, and hope that deep and authentic loving can keep alive under any set of circumstances. It is all here and Ms Anderson has woven it all into a novel that is beautifully written, well-edited, and put together so that the parts of the story flow together seamlessly. It is a novel I have no difficulty calling a work of art.

So readers who love erotic romance wrapped in the mists of dream and fantasy and time-travel will find this to be a delightful reading experience, an entertaining way to spend some time, and an exercise of the mind and imagination. This novel is already on my favorites list as well as my “to read again” list.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place

This book is available from Siren Publishing. You can buy it here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Hermes Online by Rose Anderson

Posted July 9, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Imagine if you will a story begun in the halls of Mount Olympus long before this modern tale was conceived. It was a time when the god Hermes flew on his winged sandals and carried messages from the gods to the mortals below. And between that time and this, couriers became postmen and handwritten letters became bytes. It is said the gods still speak to those who listen… 

Left bruised and brokenhearted after a cruel breakup, Vivienne Bennet finds herself mired in a world of self-doubt. To her surprise, she receives an email that challenges her to rediscover the sensual woman she once was. Together Vivienne and the enigmatic man known only as S embark upon the world of anonymous Internet communication where suggestive emails lead to erotic chat, where cybersex leads to Skype, and C2C sends both into the arms of a love they’d believed lost forever.

Does it feel too far fetched to think of today’s connections through the internet as messages from the gods?  Certainly it is now possible to get email from the farthest reaches of the planet in a matter of seconds.  Perhaps it is our contemporary connection to the long-forgotten gods and their messenger Hermes.  No more far fetched than some of the sci-fi fantasies that have become reality in just the past three or four decades.  That being said, it certainly felt like a message from some benevolent god when Vivienne began experiencing the positive responses to an erotic short story that she posted on the net.  She had been a different person when she wrote it, and even though she posted it with no expectation that anyone would pay much attention, she was especially drawn to comments by the illusive “S” whose response seemed to be more personal and self-affirming than the others.  Even the words he used to address her as “V” began to call to a person within her that she had begun to believe had been crushed to death by the disregard and cruelty of her ex who had walked out on her, dumped her even as he blamed her dullness for his infidelity.
Now don’t get the wrong idea that Vivienne was a gullible gussy and a woman who was so hungry for affirmation that she put herself carelessly in the clutches of an internet scumbag.  As carefully as possible, Vivienne began to respond to S, limiting her comments so that he would have to reveal himself as much as he was asking her to do so.  Little by little they expanded their comments to become erotic encounters, all of them slowly but surely peeling away the layers of self-doubt, hurt, unhealed wounds and the persona of a frightened and apologetic woman she had assumed.  As their encounters became more and more personal, Vivienne experienced a kind of self-expression that even amazed her, and as she and S became more and more comfortable with one another, she agreed to opportunities for reveal herself, even to the point of meeting S halfway between their locations.
This is a story that is not necessarily intended to laud the romance possibilities of meeting someone online.  I don’t think any considerate person would be unaware that such opportunities should be carefully explored with an eye to the many cases of fraud and crime against women and teens that have become all too commonplace.  Rather, I think this story is more about the way that the kindness and warm expressions of appreciation for Vivienne’s writing and verbal skills began to unfreeze her from a self-imposed tomb of pain and self-doubt.  That it slowly began to morph into a series of was almost more than she could have expected, but that it brought out the best in her, helped her to re-connect with the sensual woman she was, turned out to be a result she could never have expected.
Vivienne is like so many who have become the walking wounded and this story brings that to life in this character.  Told in a poetic and creative way, this series of encounters seemed to tap into not only my love for a great romance and happy endings, but I was enthralled with the writing itself.  Ms Anderson brings such a spirit of inventive thinking to this story and it reminded me that I had truly enjoyed her first book which I read some months ago.  Once again she has envisioned a story that might not have been real, but may indeed be the kind of “romance” many would view as a fulfillment of a long-charished fantasy. 
I have to admit that I would never have thought of internet email and chat as metaphors for messages from the gods.   But for this character and for millions of others, email can bring a serious connection to people who feel disconnected from people around them.  In Vivienne’s case, it was a life-changing experience.  And it is a testimony to the power of words that can arouse the true self as it did with her.  Even those of us who are incredibly invested in the print media forget the power of words to hurt and destroy as they can do just the opposite.  It was words that slowly tore Vivienne away from connection with her true self just as it was S’s kind, loving, complimentary, and erotic words that gave Vivienne a new lease on herself, on love in general, and ultimately on S in particular.
This is unlike any story I have ever read and I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book.  I admit to being just a little concerned for Vivienne when she began this exchange with S, worrying that she was getting herself into a situation with this man that would further hurt her.  I suppose that is the cynacism that has become the norm for many of us relative to the internet.  But I was most pleasantly surprised and found the story one of those “feel good” kinds of reading experiences.  I think romance fans will find this a creatively different and most enjoyable read.  I highly recommend it.

I give this novel a 4.5 out 5 rating.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.
This book is available from Siren Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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