Intriguing and well-crafted but frustratingly slow.

RESONANCE

From the Resonance series , Vol. 1

A young woman skilled in astral projection falls in love while a secret war brews in this urban paranormal fantasy novel.  

Sophia Walsh, 25, is in her fourth year as an “astral projection specialist” at San Diego Consulting Corporation in the Psi Solutions Division. She uses her paranormal abilities mostly for government clients, to help collect intelligence, rescue hostages, and find missing persons. Sophia also has some telepathy and occasional precognitive dreams, though it’s her twin brother, Thomas, who’s the real telepath. A new employee at SDCC is Nate Barclay, best friend of Sophia’s ex-fiance. The two soon feel a strong mutual attraction that becomes deep and passionate. Meanwhile, though, tragedy strikes when Sophia’s mentor is murdered. Disturbing evidence arises that someone has been interfering with Sophia’s and other psychics’ precognitive abilities while also placing them under electronic surveillance; suspicion falls on John, boyfriend to Sophia’s best friend and co-worker, Diana. Telepathic and other investigation reveals John had disguised his true identity and is part of a mysterious organization. A confrontation with him yields explosive information about a secret worldwide power struggle brewing among psychics—but are Sophia and friends on the right side of it, and can John be trusted? In her debut novel, Greenhall combines steamy, well-written romance with intelligently handled paranormal and thriller elements. Scenes of Sophia at work are especially effective, giving readers insight into the several ways her gift provides essential information. It makes sense that other, shadowy forces might be arrayed against official government contractors, and Greenhall sets several factors into play: An innovative gamma-ray headset, for example, could prove vital. But, perhaps because future books in the series are planned, many pages are spent on inessential details. Also, despite their abilities, Sophia and Nate are cut from the standard romantic cloth: two hot young people hot for each other with conventional obstacles (she’s guarded; he’s quick to be jealous). Their erotic relationship is the book’s centerpiece but far less interesting than the barely-getting-started thriller plot.

Intriguing and well-crafted but frustratingly slow.

Pub Date: March 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9998166-0-8

Page Count: 329

Publisher: Forward Progress Media, Inc.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2018

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The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with...

SUMMER ISLAND

Talk-show queen takes tumble as millions jeer.

Nora Bridges is a wildly popular radio spokesperson for family-first virtues, but her loyal listeners don't know that she walked out on her husband and teenaged daughters years ago and didn't look back. Now that a former lover has sold racy pix of naked Nora and horny himself to a national tabloid, her estranged daughter Ruby, an unsuccessful stand-up comic in Los Angeles, has been approached to pen a tell-all. Greedy for the fat fee she's been promised, Ruby agrees and heads for the San Juan Islands, eager to get reacquainted with the mom she plans to betray. Once in the family homestead, nasty Ruby alternately sulks and glares at her mother, who is temporarily wheelchair-bound as a result of a post-scandal car crash. Uncaring, Ruby begins writing her side of the story when she's not strolling on the beach with former sweetheart Dean Sloan, the son of wealthy socialites who basically ignored him and his gay brother Eric. Eric, now dying of cancer and also in a wheelchair, has returned to the island. This dismal threesome catch up on old times, recalling their childhood idylls on the island. After Ruby's perfect big sister Caroline shows up, there's another round of heartfelt talk. Nora gradually reveals the truth about her unloving husband and her late father's alcoholism, which led her to seek the approval of others at the cost of her own peace of mind. And so on. Ruby is aghast to discover that she doesn't know everything after all, but Dean offers her subdued comfort. Happy endings await almost everyone—except for readers of this nobly preachy snifflefest.

The best-selling author of tearjerkers like Angel Falls (2000) serves up yet another mountain of mush, topped off with syrupy platitudes about life and love.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-609-60737-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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TRUE BETRAYALS

Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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