Romance to Horror – a handful of book reviews

I’ve been reading a lot of books over the past months, so I thought I might as well tell you about a few of them. After all, it’s windy and rainy and ugly outside, thus the time of the season for curling up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

Curtain Call by C.H. Clepitt 

Here’s what the blurb says:

When an assistant to the director role turns into P.A. to her favourite film star, Jen can’t believe her luck. Eleanor Francis is charming, kind and funny, but she has a secret, and when tragedy strikes, things threaten to unravel at an uncontrollable pace. Despite being out of her depth Jen has to adapt to her new role quickly, to protect Eleanor, with whom she is rapidly falling in love.

Here’s what I say:

If there’s anything negative to say about this, it’s that it’s too short. I’m not saying that the story lacks details, it’s just that you get sucked into the characters’ lives so thoroughly, you’re loathe to leave them again so quickly. Based on a rather simple premise – average girl meets favorite actress and falls in love – it quickly evolves into more: an astonishingly pointed portray of human relationships, respect and self-respect, and mutual acceptance, warts and all. I suppose it’s romance, but I didn’t come across cheesiness or unnecessary clichés, so that’s okay.

Single to Edinburgh by Diane M. Dickson 

Here’s what the blurb says:

After losing her baby, Katherine has struggled with life, and her increasingly estranged husband. She decides to take off to Edinburgh, where she meets a man who showers her with kindness. Despite his tenderness, however, Katherine resolves to rescue her marriage. But when this is met by her partner Bill’s indifference…

Here’s what I say:

This is the story of a woman trapped in a grief she can’t comprehend. Starting out rather innocently, a bout of impulse shopping suddenly sees her on a train to Edinburgh, where random kindness showed to her by perfect strangers bit by bit cracks the shell she so carefully built around herself, or maybe the wall between herself and her past, or herself and reality, until the brittle core and a heart-rending secret emerge. I don’t know why this is classified as romance. Yes, she finds love, but that’s only a side effect.

Hitchhike by Pat Black 

Here’s what the blurb says:

It’s cold. The snow’s thick on the ground. Beth’s just trying to get home for Christmas, but she’s all alone out here… except for the Smiler.
He’s been haunting the motorways for years, looking for someone just like Beth. Someone he can brighten up with a nice, bright, red, smile.
Help is at hand – a cosy truck, with a friendly face behind the wheel.
But out here in the lonely places, who can she trust? And can they trust her?
Blood will be spilled before she finds out…

Here’s what I say:

This is the second book of the ShortSharpShocks series that I’ve read. While it didn’t give me as many nightmares as Sleepover, it’s still not something you should read when you’re home alone. Depicting a really scary scene in a movie, where you can use sudden camera switches or whatnot, is one thing, doing the same in a book is something else entirely, and Pat Black has that down to an art, complete with believable characters and thoroughly unexpected twists.

All three of these books are novellas, means perfect companions for a cozy night, or a train ride. Hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.


About angelikarust

My name is Angelika Rust. I was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, I live in Germany, with my husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, I now make a living knowing English. No, I haven’t yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I write the occasional book.
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1 Response to Romance to Horror – a handful of book reviews

  1. Pingback: P.R. Black: The Family | Angelika Rust

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