Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Amazon Paperback Bonanza!

All my Kindle ebooks are now available as paperbacks at Amazon at very good prices - the link is this one and is also as below:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0034PAO0Y

This is the range of books you can find on Amazon in paperback (as well as Kindle versions):

London thrillers (A Dangerous Man, Maloney's Law and The Bones of Summer)

Romantic fiction (Pink Champagne and Apple Juice, The Old Bags' Sex Club, How To Marry Your Husband)

Crime fiction (Thorn in The Flesh, The Gangster's Wife)

Literary fiction (The Apple Picker's Daughter)

Fantasy fiction (The Gifting, Hallsfoot's Battle, The Executioner's Cane - AKA The Gathandrian Trilogy - and The Taming of The Hawk)

Gay fiction (The Hit List, The Dangerous Delaneys and Me, The Beginning of Knowledge, The Paranormal Detection Agency, Where You Hurt The Most, and a host of others)

Religious fiction (The Prayer Seeker)

Short story collections (Dancing with Lions, The Singing Road)

Prayer book (Dear God It's All Gone Horribly Wrong)

Poetry collections (A Stranger's Table, Salt and Gold)

Non-fiction (A Year in The Allotment, Tales from The Typeface)

Children's fiction (The Origami Nun, Queen of the Fluffy Pens - both under my pseudonym, Lori Olding)

Happy browsing!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Trilogy Site
Biblical Fiction Site
Lori Olding


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holding by Graham Norton: old-fashioned charm in a page-turning read

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn't always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn't always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn't always felt that her life was a total waste.
So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke - a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.
Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.
My review:

A well written and interesting debut novel from Graham Norton. The characters are well portrayed and very sympathetic, and the small village setting is beautifully described. There's an old-fashioned feel about it - particularly in the way that setting tends to be described before we get to the character in each chapter - but that itself has charm and doesn't negate the page-turning quality of the story. The ending was very satisfying indeed.

Anne Brooke Books

Monday, December 26, 2016

Clariel by Garth Nix: one for the children

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid to the sinister Guildmaster Kilip. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all.

My review:

This is the first (and I think only) book by Garth Nix that I've read, or will read. It came across very much as a children's fantasy book and not really that engaging for adults. That's absolutely fine of course, but I wish I'd known this before I started. The beginning is very slow so it was a relief to get to the middle where the plot started to kick in.

Then a lot of things (murder! journeys! danger!) happen all at once which is great, but then it got a bit out of hand and there was way too much happening by the end so I lost interest and started skipping. It was odd because I started off really liking Clariel, but when she began to actually do something, I couldn't work out her reasoning so found her rather facile. Oh, and I hated the pesky cat. We really didn't need it - a bit of a 'MacGuffin". So, all in all, an okay read for the young, but not for me.

Anne Brooke Books

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh: a poetic and powerful story

The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.
Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
The Language of Flowers is a heartbreaking and redemptive novel from author Vanessa Diffenbaugh, about the meaning of flowers, the meaning of family, and the meaning of love.

My review:

This is a powerful and poetic story about a young woman trying to find her place in life. Victoria's relationship with flowers is a fabulous metaphor for how she sees the world and the people in it. The exquisite prose and the sympathetic main character drive the story along and the time-shift scenes between then and now are superbly done. The only reason it didn't get 5 stars was because I thought the ending was too weak and it was too obvious that a lesson was being learnt - whereas I'd have preferred the character's fantastic voice to remain as gripping as it had been up until the final chapter. Still, a great novel and I shall look out for more from this author.

Anne Brooke

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Sunshine on a Rainy Day by Bryony Fraser: Worst Heroine Ever Alert!

Blurb: It’s Zoe and Jack’s first wedding anniversary party. They’ve got an announcement! They’re getting divorced…
Marriage isn’t for everyone – something that Zoe and Jack discovered only after they’d walked down the aisle. Bad timing, huh? So now they’re stuck together in their once harmonious marital home, neither one of them willing to move out of their lovely house.
With Zoe’s three sisters always wanting a say, and Jack’s best friend trying his best to fix things between them, misunderstandings arise. Tempers flare. ‘Accidents’ happen…
Zoe and Jack are going to be lucky if they’re still alive when the twelve months are up. But maybe things aren’t quite as final as they seem?
Review: This book could have had a lot going for it, but unfortunately the main character Zoe was very poorly written and simply came across as being very immature and selfish. Not to mention thoroughly annoying. I actually had no idea why her new husband Jack was with her - he could do a lot better.

Indeed this is one of the mysteries of this shaky romance - Zoe is surrounded by an absolute bevy of totally charming friends and family who are very generous, kind and patient with her rank stupidity and downright cruelty. I would much rather the main character could have been someone - anyone! - else.

That said, the premise of a newly wedded couple opting for divorce is an interesting one, but poorly executed here. Such a shame.

Anne Brooke Books

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty: fabulous and gripping read

This is a brilliant piece of women's fiction and I absolutely loved it. I've not read any Moriarty's novels before but once I started this one I couldn't put it down. Yes, the time between Cecilia discovering THAT letter and actually opening it might be a tad too long for my taste, but I kept on reading, particularly because I was getting to know the other characters well too. There are some wonderful twists and turns in this book, and it includes moments of comedy and moments of great sadness.

The contrast between the terrible tragedy from the past and how people simply have to keep living their lives and dealing with all the hundred and one everyday situations which keep cropping up is excellently described, and I really felt for all the characters. In fact I was thinking about this book and the people in it even when I wasn't reading it - which in my view is always the mark of a great novel. Other things I enjoyed were the voice of Janie (the deceased daughter) and how her story weaves in and out of the present day crises. How the situation is understood and resolved by all the characters is both gripping and moving, and the section at the end where we see onward into people's lives and how characters have turned out is simply wonderful and I very much appreciated this unexpected epilogue.

Yes, this book is very good indeed and I highly recommend it. I'm looking forward to my next Moriarty novel already.

Anne Brooke Books

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: a flawed work of genius

This is a very powerful story and very powerful writing, with a good range of character viewpoints - almost Dickensian in fact, although the focus is purely on the rich and talented. The trouble with it is that it's about 150 pages or so too long - a lot of Jude's (terribly tragic) story needed to be cut as it has too much repetition and misery in it which weakens the tragic effect. Indeed, after a while, Jude's utter refusal to get professional help for his very understandable mental health problems becomes selfish and irritating. It was also unfortunate that the too intense focus on Jude means we lose out on the delight of the other characters' voices - I missed the middle years of JB and Malcolm especially.

There are however some achingly lovely turning points, and I was particularly struck by the negative and positive balance of the 'what if' scenario, i.e. what if we'd never met the horrible person who hurt us, as set against what if we'd never met the wonderful person who loves us - a good philosophy to ponder. So, in spite of obvious flaws, this book is still in my opinion a work of genius and I doubt I'll read anything better this year.

9 out of 10

Anne Brooke Books

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Origami Nun by Lori Olding

Children's novella The Origami Nun by Lori Olding is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

Seven-year old Ruth can't speak, but that doesn't mean she can't think. She knows her birthday is going to be good as her beloved great-aunt has exciting plans for her. What she doesn't expect is a magical paper nun, an encounter with a bully who may not be what she seems or a school day to remember. Because, before her special day is over, Ruth is in for some very big surprises.

Reviews:

"What a delightfully written book! This is one I plan to share with my daughter at some point because I think she would like it, too! I love the fact that the author featured a mute heroine, and magic is infused in such a wonderful way. In addition to that, it deals with a subject with which our youth are very familiar - bullying! … I connected with the character, the story, and I enjoyed the magical nature of the story … I hope the author writes several sequels!" [From a 5-star review at My Devotional Thoughts]

"I really enjoyed reading this shorter story. The author portrayed the characters well and had a great story line … This is a terrifically inspirational and uplifting story for children and adults alike." [From a review at The Cover Books]

"This is the most touching children's book I have read. I absolutely LOVED it … I highly recommend this book to children in the age range of 8+. However, I think adults would like this book too." [From a 5-star review at Goodreads]

"There is a wonderful life lesson in the story and I have read it to my own grandchildren with great enthusiasm. They adored it!" [From a 5-star review at Goodreads]

"Magic is in the air. Come see how Ruth and others learn the importance of respect for each other even though they are different and that each person has a different story or reason for being different. I recommend this book for ages 6 and up." [From a 4.5 star review at Fire and Ice Reviews]

Lori Olding Children's Author

Queen of the Fluffy Pens by Lori Olding

I'm happy to say that children's story Queen of the Fluffy Pens is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

Queen of the Fluffy Pens, Queenie, is keen to move her beloved brood across their owner's kitchen to be nearer the window. Life will be wonderful there as they'll have lots of space and sunshine to enjoy. First, however, Queenie has to learn how to fly. Once she's mastered that skill, she and her two friends, Betsy and Tanya, set out on their epic journey.

On the way, they encounter a very strange fly indeed, a friendly bee and a frightening hornet. They also learn something very important about the value of friendship. Can they survive their great adventure, and will their new home be all they've hoped for?

Recommended for ages 6-9.

Review:

"If you're after some adventure, a tiny bit of danger, and lots of friendship you've come to the right book!" (From a review at Nayu's Reading Corner)

Lori Olding Children's Fiction

Life after Church by Brian Sanders: a narrow view of God

This is all very worthy, but only really speaks to evangelical or charismatic Christians. For those of us who are neither of these, this book is unhelpful at best and damaging at worst. Sanders has a rather judgemental attitude that I definitely didn't warm to, and I suspect his vision of God might be far too narrow. Read it if you must, but take any advice it offers with a large pinch of salt!

Anne Brooke Books

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante: a Dull and Longwinded Tale

brilliant-friend
I had high hopes of this book which were sadly dashed. I should have been warned by the list of characters at the beginning of the book - as if an author needs to have a list of characters, then they're really not doing their job correctly in bringing them to life for us in the text. And there are so many of them and they all sounded the same! I certainly couldn't keep track and wasn't interested enough to refer back to the list .. I found the main characters irritating as well, which didn't help matters. I wouldn't have been friends with either of them, LOL!
Anyway, the story is long and ambling and ends up in blind alleyways far too many times - it seems to be written in a very clunky and flat style, and focuses on the dullest parts of a scene rather than the most exciting ones. It's certainly no Dickens! There's a moment or two of excitement when Lena goes away to an island somewhere and has a few interesting experiences, but then she returns to the homeland (sadly) and her life falls back into its dull routine. The ending is abrupt and made no sense at all to me. Surely even in a series, a novel can't just stop for no apparent reason, but there has to be some kind of closure even though strands are left open for the next book.
As an aside, I really hated the cover - it's quite horrid. That said, the story idea is a good one (and deserving of 2 stars out of 5) but someone should write it properly.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor: a bleak but incisive novel

mrs-palfrey
A subtly written book that’s very sharp about human nature. I was however hoping for something more light-hearted and vibrant, but those sections were few and far between. The picture of advancing age, vulnerability and approaching death, as well as the small but significant betrayals of family and friends, is essentially a grim one. It left me feeling very bleak.
3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Petition to Stop the Church of England Discriminating against Gay Clergy

I'm happy to announce that the petition to stop the Church of England discriminating against gay clergy with partners has now gone public. I would be most grateful if you could consider signing this if you live in the UK, thank you.

You can find the petition here: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/166216

Many thanks

Anne Brooke

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I See You by Clare Mackintosh: Gripping Crime Thriller

This novel has excellent pace and very good tension throughout. The female characters are very well rounded, and there is good development during the story. I also loved the fact that the violence was not centre-stage, but the focus was on the psychology of crime. The ending is totally fabulous and I really enjoyed THAT twist.

The only down sides to this book were the fact that the men weren't very well developed, and also the general cliche of women being victims of sexual crime - surely there are other crimes to explore! Anyway, that aside, this is a gripping read and I will be putting this author on my list.

Anne Brooke Books

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter: an average pot-boiler

Aspects of this novel which I enjoyed were: the fast pace; the strong women characters, the sections with the dead father; and the poignant ending.

Aspects I disliked were: the level of violence was ridiculously melodramatic and on occasions laughable (sorry!) - this is no Silence of the Lambs, that's for sure. The plot was highly unlikely, and also sometimes made me giggle with disbelief. The villain was very cliched and one-dimensional, and there were far too many coincidences.

On the whole then, not a great success and basically an average crime genre pot-boiler.

3 out of 5 stars.

Anne Brooke Books

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Petition against Gay Clergy Discrimination: Update 1

A brief update on the petition against discriminating against gay clergy in the Church of England - enough people have now signed it so the Government are checking it before it goes public, thank you. Here is the link for further details at this stage:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/166216/moderation-info


Many thanks indeed.

Anne Brooke

Message to the Church of England: Stop bullying gay people!

Well, I’ve finally gone and put my 'money' where my mouth is and made a petition – will you sign it?
My petition: Make it illegal for the C of E to discriminate against gay non-celibate clergy
The Anglican Church insists that gay clergy with partners live a celibate life if they wish to continue working as priests or bishops. This is an unfair burden on gay clergy as well as being discriminatory within the 21st century workplace.
I was moved to make this petition as a result of today's news that the Bishop of Grantham has said publicly that he is gay - which is great news indeed. However, in order to continue being a bishop, he has to tell the Church of England authorities that he is also celibate, even though he has been with his partner for a very long time. He may or may not be celibate, but frankly I don't care and it doesn't matter. This is grossly unfair, and nobody should be made to divulge any of their sexual practices in order to continue in their job.
After all, I don't attend a job interview and expect to be asked about my sex life. If I was, I would immediately walk out of the interview and report the company to the relevant authorities. Why should having a job in the Church of England be treated any differently? Yes, it's a vocation, but in the eyes of God, all our jobs are vocations, so we should either all be asked about our sex lives to see if we're suitable for any job, or none of us should be!
This is the 21st century, and we should protest against such arcane practices. It is not a crime, nor a sin, to be gay, in love and in a relationship. The sooner the Church of England understand this, the better.
Thank you.
Anne Brooke

Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Emergency Poet: An Anti-Stress Poetry Anthology


The Blurb: 

A brilliant new anthology of poems that will help you to overcome stress, depression and other anxieties. 

Arranged by spiritual ailment, the sections include a range of verse, new and old, which may be of comfort to those in need of a pick-me-up for the soul. 
The collection has been carefully compiled by Deborah Alma, the world's first and only emergency poet, who travels to schools, libraries, festivals and other events in her 1970s' ambulance to offer consultations and prescribe poems as cures for various maladies. This collection is designed to lift your mood and offers poetic help whenever it may be required.

My review:
This is a gorgeous selection of poetry and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some poems were old friends and it was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with them; other poems were totally new and I am adding these poets to my reading list. I love the way the poems are gathered into key themes as this is very helpful if you want something for a particular crisis occasion. I thoroughly recommend this book.

Anne Brooke Books

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Romantic comedy How To Marry Your Husband

Romantic comedy How To Marry Your Husband is now available as an ebook at Amazon for only £1.99!

Most romantic novels end with a kiss. This one starts with one. When Olivia asks Kieran to marry her on Leap Year Day, the answer isn't quite what she's expecting. Still, even reluctant fianc├ęs will eventually understand what's best for them, and Olivia is plunged into a summer of scary dress shops, mad mothers and bad hair days. VERY bad hair days. 

Will Olivia be able to negotiate her way through the marriage minefield whilst keeping her sanity almost intact, and can she ever be truly prepared for the perfect day of her dreams?

It will shortly also be available as a paperback. I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books


Friday, August 26, 2016

Taking A Chance: Gay Comic Romance with a Twist!

Gay comic romance Taking A Chance is now published at Amazon for only 99p!


The moment model and part-time actor Benjamin spots the sexually alluring David outside his local restaurant one night, he's determined to get to know him better. Much better. So he takes a chance and pretends to be Timothy, the blind date David is waiting for. 

When David asks him about submission, safe words and spanking, Benjamin knows the sensible thing to do is to make his apologies and leave. Funny then how his body keeps telling him something different, and instead he finds himself strangely eager to know more. Will it be a date to remember, and if David discovers his deceit, could he ever be persuaded to take any kind of a chance on Benjamin? 

Reviews: 

"This is the first book I've read by Anne Brooke. It will not be the last! The author captures the essence of sensuality in so few pages. The way David dominated Benjamin with zero cruelty and played his body in ways Benjamin had never been played was just oh so sexy. I tore through this book on my lunch break. If you're looking for something quick and sexy that will leave a huge smile on your face, take a chance on this one!" (From a 4-star review at MM Good Book Reviews) 

"A good coupling with a sure, sophisticated, caring lover and passionate, willing partner. I also like that it was a forty something and a thirty something in the lead. Not that I suppose it matters, but it's just good for a change. There is a very slight twist at the end, I knew there would be, but not what I was thinking … so go, Anne Brooke. Terrific, sexy and quick reading with a couple of nice characters and a good ending." (From a 4-star review at On Top Down Under Reviews) 

"I very much enjoyed this cheeky story which managed to be blistering hot whilst retaining a lighthearted tone … this is definitely worth reading, especially if you are a fan of BDSM romance books." (From a review, graded Excellent, at Well Read Reviews)

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Mad About You by Sinead Moriarty: mishmash novel with some sparky sections

The plot involving the mad nanny really needs to be put to sleep now, on a permanent basis - it's very 1980s and very dull. And actually, I have no idea why it appears as such a main item in this book as it doesn't need it - I had the feeling that Moriarty was trying too hard to jazz the chick lit genre up a little, but adding a (boring) thriller element to it just isn't the answer.

It was also strange that all the characters are dull, flat and whine a lot up until p242 (in my paperback copy) when something exciting and funny happens, hurrah! The scene here with new friend Poppy telling the gals how honest she's been with her new man is hysterical and very satisfying indeed - why can't Poppy be the main character? That would be a wonderful read for sure!

Anyway, after the marvellous page 242, it was as if the author suddenly woke up and starting giving us a decent story - well apart from the crazed nanny thing (yawn) and our super-shallow irritating heroine. More than that, the minor characters start to feel real for the first time and I even began to fall in love with the 'in your face' sister Babs, from a position of absolutely hating her at the beginning! Now, give me a novel with Poppy and Babs in and I'm definitely buying it ...

So, something of a mishmash but with some good characters in secondary roles, once the author got round to writing them.

5 out of 10.

Anne Brooke Books

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Conversations with God Book One by Neale Donald Walsch: New Age irritation

This has some interesting gems of wisdom, but on the whole it's New Age-type vagueness writ large. Sometimes it strays into dullness, and it needed a lot of editing to make it have any kind of impact for me.

Still, I'm glad the writing of it helped the author through a difficult time, but it's curiously irritating. I won't be rushing out for the sequel!

Anne Brooke Books

Friday, August 12, 2016

Gay romance Where You Hurt The Most

Gay romance Where You Hurt The Most is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

Adrian is more than happy as high-class escort for a number of regular clients. When his boss and dear friend asks him to entertain his nephew, Adrian readily agrees, but meeting Dan challenges him in ways he'd never imagined. Dan is scarred inside and out from an accident that destroyed a promising future. Despite Adrian's loveless lifestyle and Dan's withdrawal and anger, the two men forge a deep - if unnerving - connection. Soon they find themselves questioning the choices they've made and the futures they've mapped out for themselves. 

Yet even bright young men like Adrian and Dan fear the unknown and take comfort in the familiar. Neither may be strong enough to step away from the life they know and toward the one they dare not hope for. But while it's true that love can't heal all wounds, it is the surest balm for where you hurt the most. 

Reviews

"A story of seeing and sensing the pain and the promise that lies beneath the surface of the fragile and imperfect skin, of going beyond the physical and delving into places where the strength of the man, the truth of him, resides, until, finally, he is changed for the better. This is a short but truly gorgeous story, rich with the hope found in something new." [From a 5-star review at The Novel Approach] 

"Where You Hurt The Most demonstrates perfectly the harmony that emotional impact and intimate detail can have in well-done erotica … This is the type of writing I love, simple and sparse yet used to tenderly convey a connection of spirit that defies logic or explanation." [From a 5-cup review at A Book and a Short Latte Reviews] 

"Where You Hurt The Most is a beautifully written novelette from the first-person viewpoint of a British man who is an exclusive and highly paid escort … I am always glad to snap up the latest fiction from Anne Brooke because the writing is flawless - clean, crisp, minimalist, and elegant - and her insight into the interactions between people is profound. This story fulfills both expectations." [From a review at ARe Cafe Reviews]

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton: a wasted opportunity

The story is rather too full of cliche for me - 'woman in jeopardy', and partial 'environmental thriller' were both just a little dull here. The journey across the snow was also far too long and uninteresting and I did a lot of skipping. That said, Ruby (the daughter) has a very strong voice and is by far the most interesting character in the book. I particularly liked how Ruby describes words by taste and smell. The sign language is also well used as a key part of the plot.

I also enjoyed the mother/daughter relationship and tensions, but Matt (the father) was just far too flat and really very annoying. He appears directly in the book at far too late a stage, and then launches into a huge section of 'info dumping' concerning what exactly has gone on, which is very amateur. It would have been better if Matt could have had sections earlier so we discover things in the same timeframe as he does - this would have been far more exciting.

In general, this book could easily have been cut by a third, and I suspect the film will be far better than the novel. That said, the final scenes of drama are fun (though anything would be good after that dull trawl through the snow!), and the ending surprisingly delicate.

Anne Brooke Books

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Sweet Caress by William Boyd: an interesting failure

Key issues about this book:

1. The fiction in an autobiographical style was interesting, but not particularly attention-grabbing
2. No character grabbed me (apart from Amory's brother and sister, from whom I would have liked to have heard a lot more as they have more interesting lives) and they all seem distant. Amory was written in a very 'thin' manner, with no substance to her, which was disappointing.
3. Amory is defined by the men in her life and makes lots of really important decisions on a whim and for selfish reasons
4. The photographs in the novel are excruciatingly amateur and a waste of time
5. The story is packed with cliches - e.g. the lover's wife being in a wheelchair, the blackshirt riots, the war pieces, the hippy community crisis and the undeveloped incident with Marlene Dietrich
6. Boyd writes Amory's sex scenes as if she were a man, sigh ...

Not one I'd recommend.

5 out of 10 stars

Anne Brooke Books

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Gay romance A Seasonal Reunion

Gay romance A Seasonal Reunion is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

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? 

Reviews

"If you have the ability to enjoy a story where one person has done the wrong thing but sets about bettering themselves. And if you can understand why someone might just love a person enough to give them a second chance, then this is a nice Christmas short about the power of love and forgiveness." (From a review at On Top Down Under Reviews) 

"If you're looking for a quickie to tide you over during your afternoon cuppa, then you don't need to look further. As the blurb states, there is cheating involved and Danny is a bit of an ass. He makes good though and over the course of a year gets his act together. He wants his man back. That's something I can get behind." [From a 4-star review at Because Two Men Are Better Than One Reviews] 

"What can happen when one is unfaithful is succinctly explored in A Seasonal Reunion. I was along for the journey from beginning to the particularly suitable end. Put this one on your to read list soon." [From a review at The Romance Studio Reviews]

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Beginning of Knowledge: gay BDSM romance

Gay BDSM romance The Beginning of Knowledge is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

When University administrator Alan Castleton meets temporary worker and talented pianist Luke Milton, he doesn't expect to become obsessed with the handsome young blond. But soon he is heavily involved in a passionate and angry affair, and exploring the dark shadows of his own personality in a way he's never encountered before. 

The more Alan tries to break free from his obsession, the deeper it entangles him. The dangerous split between his reason and his sexual desires threatens his peace of mind and, when the crisis point comes, he must decide once and for all the kind of life he should lead. 

Reviews

"I want more. The characterisations were terrific, the chemistry, for what it was, perfect, the sex was dark, nasty, erotic as sin … and I LOVED it. This is one of my favourite Anne Brooke reads. I loved the dark eroticism and the excellent development of the characters. In such a short word count I felt like I knew both men well." (From a 5 star review at On Top Down Under Reviews) 

"The writing here is superb. I felt as if I knew Alan intimately only a few pages into his first person narrative because for all that he's blind to what is going on he's starkly transparent. So I commend Anne for writing a story that is indeed knowledgeable, that is informative but at the same time seductively sexy. I think you should read this one just to see what you take from it." (From a 4 star review at The Armchair Reader) 

"A dark erotic short that isn't my usual type of read … So I started reading this with trepidation and, much to my surprise, I loved it … This is a really well written story about discovery of oneself written in a very sexy way." (From a 4 star review at World of Diversity Reviews)

I hope you enjoy the read.

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Friday, July 22, 2016

Gay Fantasy Romance: Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle

Gay fantasy romance Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

Whilst finishing up a good day’s work in the Earth Interplanetary Administration Office, Karlan Staithley is disturbed by the appearance of a strange alien called Tuluscan Six. Tuluscan tells him that in one year’s time, Earth will make contact with his people, the Lamarians, and unwittingly destroy them due to an anomaly in the planetary time lines. 

He himself has come back to warn Karlan, partly to save his people and partly as in the real time line Karlan and Tuluscan will become lovers. The two men join forces to try to save their futures, but can they in fact change time? And, if they do, how can their mutual passion ever survive? 

Reviews

"Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle by Anne Brooke is a short story with a light comic touch that may appeal to many readers, even those who tend to avoid science-fiction. The fast pace, comical details, and the single viewpoint from an appealing hero make for an immediately engaging reading experience." [From a review at ARe Cafe Reviews] 

“This short story is equal parts romantic comedy, with its snappy dialog, and space opera ... The fast pace, clear vivid writing, and light comic touch keep the reader engaged.” [From a 4.5 star review at Jessewave Reviews]

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Stranger's Touch: Gay Paranormal Romance

Gay paranormal romance A Stranger's Touch is now available on Amazon for only 99p!

Male prostitute, Red, is given an assignment by his pimp and lover, Robbie, with a very unusual client. Red meets the stranger in a darkened house in London and, during their sessions, he learns more than he ever knew about lust, love and his own personal history. 

How will his curious and life-enhancing encounters with the stranger affect his relationship with Robbie and his clients, and can love ever be part of a hooker's life at all? 



Reviews

"A Stranger's Touch was a deeply affecting, elegantly written, ethereal wisp of a story. It haunted me." [From a 5 star review at Hearts on Fire Reviews] 

“This is most definitely a story that will leave you wondering, with a different and intriguing premise encapsulated in a short, well-written tale. After reading this, I will definitely be looking for other stories by Brooke.” [From a review on the Three Dollar Bill Reviews site]

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Sunday, July 10, 2016

School for Doms: gay BDSM romance

Gay BDSM romance School for Doms is now available on Amazon for only 99p!

Long-term submissive Christopher is more than happy with his rather quirky career teaching dominants how to succeed in the BDSM world. However, when he meets Joseph in one of his beginners' classes, he begins to wonder if he's taken on rather more than he can chew … 

Reviews

"Anne Brooke's School for Doms was one hot number. Told from the POV of a sub teaching a class for newbie doms, it focused on the more psychological and sexy elements, and promised a HFN with some staying power." [From a 4.5 star review at Jessewave Reviews] 

"One very hot bdsm story. Think screen melting hot and very sexy with a touch of serious." [From a 5-star review at Rarely Dusty Books]

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Gay erotica: The Rain Maker

Gay erotic story The Rain Maker is published at Amazon for only 99p!

A man stand alone in a deserted pub courtyard. His boyfriend has left him and his relationship is truly over but, in the midst of his loneliness, a stranger arrives. A stranger who won't allow himself to be seen, but who has a deep affinity with the rain and offers irresistible comfort. Can one night of passion change everything? 

Review

"Interesting yet very sexy short story. Having sex in the rain out in the open where anyone can see adds to the spice of the story. Great read." [From a 4-star review at MM Good Book Reviews]

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Gay Office Romance Who Moved My Holepunch?

Gay office romance Who Moved My Holepunch? is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

Darren Fording works as a Senior Timetabling Officer for his local college. When Max Sheldon arrives to take over as Acting Registrar, Darren finds himself consumed by lust for his new boss and making the kind of decisions he as a stuck-in-his-ways administrator has never made before. 

When Darren initiates a full-on kiss during a meeting with Max, the enthusiasm of the Registrar's response takes him by surprise. Max is reluctant to pursue a relationship with an employee, but Darren is equally determined not to take no for an answer. Can he prove his worth to the man he's beginning to love and show him he's a dab hand at educational politics as well? 

Reviews

"I found this book a breath of fresh air; it was funny, witty and very cute. I loved Darren; he was just perfect as the insecure (well, at the beginning) quirky administrator … His two assistants, the chatty, gossipy Miranda, and the quiet sensible Stewart were well written as well, and the aloof Max was simply adorable. … I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you want to laugh, giggle and smile as you turn every page then this book is perfect." (From a 5-star Recommended review at Mrs Condit Reads Books) 

"It was a fascinating read. I laughed. I gasped. And I felt the exquisite chemistry this author achieved between her characters. The world they were put into was not something I anticipated, but even college administrative jobs can be fascinating with a creative mind. A lovely novella not to be missed." (From a review at MM Good Book Reviews) 

"This book is fun and funny, and Darren is wonderful. Max is right, Darren isn't like everyone else. These two must survive the hot mess that is the inspection through some creative thinking. A light funny read with great characters." (From a review at Hearts On Fire Reviews)

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Gay BDSM romance Give and Take

Gay BDSM romance Give and Take is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

David has spent two years grieving for the loss of his partner to cancer. When he decides to move on, he visits a gay bar for the sole purpose of hooking up with someone – in spite of his concerns that, as he’s in his mid-forties, he might be too old. There he meets Jeff, a young barman, and realises that Jeff is in fact the one he wants to take home most of all. 

During their evening together, David discovers a side of himself that he never knew existed but, when the morning comes, can he persuade Jeff that it could be more than a simple one night stand? 



Reviews

“The beauty of this story is watching David evolve to be free of his demons. I truly cared about David and wanted to see him love again. Jeff is older than his years suggest and is perfect for David. Their love will make you laugh, cry and want more of them. I definitely did.” [From a 5 star review at TwoLips Reviews] 

"This was a nice short, light BDSM story. I liked that David got to give up his control, because he spent so much time being the decision maker for most things in his life … The author possesses a skill to tell an entire life story with just a few pages, and only leaving you with the feeling of just wanting more. I wanted more, just to see beyond the night that David and Jeff share." (From a review at Pants Off Reviews) 

“This was such a great little story. I liked David, liked that he had taken the initiative to move on with his life. I also sympathised with his complete weariness at the responsibilities in his life and his longing to relinquish control ... a well written story with an unusual theme of the younger man being the dominant partner.” [From a review (graded "Excellent") at The Well Read Book Blog]

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gay Romance The Paranormal Detection Agency

Gay romance The Paranormal Detection Agency is now available from Amazon for only 99p!

When paranormal investigator Jack Atkinson meets new client Aaron Riley, he doesn't expect the attraction he feels for the man. Neither does he expect the haunting Aaron describes and which Jack is determined to solve. 

After their first meeting, the two men begin a passionate affair, which Jack is keen to continue. However, Aaron's attentions are focused on the need to rid himself of his ghosts and soon Jack discovers family secrets can run deeper than even he imagined. Will the truth destroy Jack and Aaron's budding relationship, or are they strong enough to survive it? 

Reviews

"The characters are fun. They are well developed, and you get to like them. They are as believable as a paranormal investigator and the man who falls for him can be. And I have to say the suspense of the book, the drama, finding the answers to the questions the haunting brings about is fun, and well done in the tradition of some of the mystery writers of our time. I really enjoyed The Paranormal Detection Agency, and recommend it for a quick, fun read that is not just like everything else. You will like it!" (From a review at GGR Reviews) 

"Anne Brooke created an amazing cast of characters for The Paranormal Detection Agency. Each had their own particular brand of snark. At the same time, they were each quite capable when the going got tough. The ending was unexpected but the finale was glorious. Take in The Paranormal Detection Agency by Anne Brooke and see for yourself." (From a review at Sensual Reads) 

"The Paranormal Detection Agency is an entertaining read. Ghost, crazy family, and handsome men; what paranormal fan could pass it up? … I love the relationship between Jack and Aaron. I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Brooke." (From a review at Coffee Time Romance)

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Brady's Choice: Gay Romance

Gay romance Brady's Choice is now available at Amazon for only 99p!

Thirty-six year old potter Brady Treherne is shocked to come face-to-face with his ex-lover, Philip, during what appears to be a simple job interview. Philip was both the love of his life and the man who got away and seeing him now catapults Brady into revisiting memories he’d hoped he’d left behind. 

Later that evening, Philip calls on him at home, and Brady finds himself having to make a choice between the man he used to love, and the new relationship he has just begun with another man. Which will he choose and can Brady reconcile his past with his future at all? 




Reviews

Although this is only a short it's packed with an emotional intensity and contains a very flawed first person narrator in Brady ... Overall a great read with strong characterisation and fluid writing. Grade: Excellent.” [From a review at Well Read Reviews] 

“Brooke excels in short story format and this offering has all the hallmarks I’ve come to expect: good writing, developed characters, a tense situation, sensuality over explicit sex, and an unusual ending. Basically this short hits all the high points and is very entertaining to read ... Easily recommended for contemporary romance fans.” [From a review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews]

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Monday, May 30, 2016

I'm invisible ...

Invisible me
Am greatly amused that when I ask for the rights back for a short story of mine, the publisher tells me he's never heard of me, LOL! I replied with the link for the story on his site - perhaps that will help him to track me down ... Good to be so memorable, eh! 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tommy's Blind Date: Gay BDSM Romance

Gay BDSM romance Tommy's Blind Date is now available on the Kindle at only 99p!

Thirty-two year old Tommy Godolphin has been on a series of blind dates, as he doesn’t want to be single any more. However, none of them really hits the spot and the latest one has proved a complete, if amusing, disaster. 

When he recounts what happened to his best friend, Jacob, he expects Jacob to laugh with him as usual, but this time he doesn’t. Instead, Jacob challenges Tommy to go out on a blind date with him, to see what, if anything, he might be doing wrong. If Tommy accepts, how will their friendship survive? 




Reviews: 

"Witty, sweet AND steamy - believe me when I say I felt the passion reaching out and grabbing me solidly - in all the right places, from my Kindle." (From a review at On Top Down Under Reviews) 

"A delightful and steamy short story that is close to perfection. It’s a quick, delicious bite with an incredibly hot sex scene, wonderful tension, and characters that are by turns funny and interesting. The unique British flair to Brooke’s writing is always an added bonus and this is easily one of my favorites from an author with a considerable short story backlist.” (From a review at Three Dollar Bill Reviews) 

"These two men are a delight to read about, I am sure Ms. Brooke had a blast writing about them, it came through in the writing very clearly. The subtle joking, the colorful way the characters describe each other and themselves. The plain fun that goes into Tommy getting ready for this all important date had me laughing until I was crying. The way that Jacob took charge when Tommy got to the restaurant late and kept it through the rest of the date; had me panting to be his date …" (From Lyssa Reviews)

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK