Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha: unhappy families writ large

This is definitely a book where unhappy families are the name of the game. We begin with the murder of our heroine Irene's son and things are really pretty dang grim from there on in. The writing is both gripping and powerful, but there are quite a few occasions where it strays rather too much into the melodramatic. The middle of the book is also too long, and we did by then need to get to the point of the story.

The great mystery is what really happened when Shep (the son) died, and the events that led up to this and immediately away from it. I have to say that I guessed what was going on by Page 10, but it didn't take away my enjoyment - as Irene didn't have a clue and it's always good to have a clueless heroine, when the reader knows so much more.

That said, I thought the reasons behind the murder were appallingly old-fashioned - did people really think in that way in mid-90s rural America??!? Then again, at last, we in rural UK have something to be proud of, as surely we got over all that kind of nonsense in the 1970s. Hey ho.

The ending is spot-on, however, and I loved the way the family came to some kind of resolution with their past, and with some kind of hope for the future too. It left me with a good feeling, which is always to be desired in any book.

Verdict: 3.5 stars. Gripping but a little melodramatic

Half-price and FREE books - today only!

To celebrate Earth Day, for today only ALL my books at All Romance Ebooks are half-price and some are FREE! Click the link for more details! -  http://bit.ly/U7dju3

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pink Champagne Cake for a Pink Champagne girl

A recipe for Pink Champagne cake. Ideal for Angie & Philippe in Pink Champagne and Apple Juice!

See the recipe here: http://bit.ly/1njyZVw 

Discover more about that sexy French waiter here! -  http://bit.ly/12IZqJr

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pink Champagne and Apple Juice: the show starts here!...

Roll up! Roll up! The Pink Champagne and Apple Juice show starts here! Click the link for romance, drama and sheer excitement! There are some dang good cocktails too!...


Pink Champagne and Apple Juice: the cocktail of choice!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold: beautiful but oh so grim

I have to say this is a gorgeously written book, but I didn't warm to any of the characters or indeed the plot. The beginning scenes with Helen's mother after death are really very nasty and I found myself skipping over them in order to get back to some kind of normality. If normality can be found here … I also skipped over some of the rather more difficult scenes later on, though I did get the gist of it all.

When it comes down to it, Helen's family situation is pretty awful and perhaps on occasions rather unbelievable. To the point that, here and there, I found myself almost sympathising with the quite dreadful mother, or at least feeling as if she might have a point. I did like Helen's father, though, and I wished we'd had more of him. All in all, Helen does have a better relationship with the men in her life. The relationship with her ex-husband is also very tenderly depicted, and I liked Jake. I could see why he'd left though, oh yes.

Overall, the first half of the book is perhaps a tad too slow, but it gets more into gear when the police come on the scene, and Helen has to make more and more interesting decisions. Sadly, however, the ending isn't as good as it should have been as the last paragraph is, frankly, ridiculous, and should have been dropped very early on in the editing process. It would have been a far stronger book if it had stopped at that glorious penultimate paragraph.

So, the story is grim and so are the characters. But, still, it's beautifully written.

Verdict: Beautiful but grim. 3 Stars.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Romantic comedy: Pink Champagne and Apple Juice out today!

Romantic comedy Pink Champagne and Apple Juice is now available at a 1st week 35% discount at Amber Quill Press!

Here's the blurb:
Angie Howard has one ambition - to escape from her home in the idyllic Essex countryside and set up her own cafe in London. Once there, she seeks out her long-lost Uncle John, whose lifestyle is not at all what she expected.
Before she can achieve her goal, she has to juggle the needs of a sexy French waiter, a grouchy German chef and her exuberant, transvestite uncle. What's more, if she manages to keep the lid on all that, what will she do about the other hidden secrets of her family?

And here's one review:

"As I started reading this with my good ol’ cuppa joe on a lovely Saturday morning, Pink Champagne and Apple Juice was probably the first ebook that had me chuckling every two minutes. Anne Brooke must be a comedian at heart because right from the start you have the main girl, Angie Howard, running from her own mother to get on the train to find her Uncle John. Trouble and mishaps followed her nonstop. Angie’s character is so easy to like and anyone can relate to her because all she wants is to have her freedom and live life to the fullest. She really does when she finally arrives at her Uncle John’s home, which is rather a racy nightclub with cross dressers and gay people relaxing and being themselves ... Pink Champagne and Apple Juice was a great, laid back story with many twists to keep you laughing. The fast paced flow of the wacky story was undeniably fun. I say that if on a rainy day or just when you need to laugh in a ‘The Birdcage’ feel, this book is for you ... Rated 5 Delightful Divas & Recommended Read." (From a 5 Diva review at Dark Diva Reviews)

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Seasonal Reunion: gay romance cover art

Here's the cover art for upcoming gay romance, A Seasonal Reunion. I have to say I love it!

Danny Brigson makes a serious mistake when he sleeps with Marty, an old boyfriend at an ill-advised reunion. He tries to cover it up, but Marty tells all, and the love of Danny's life, Jake, throws him out.
Over the next year, Danny tries to sort his life out, determined to stop relying on drugs and drink to get him through. Can he even dare to hope that one day Jake might give him the chance to put things right?