The Rescuer By Eric Huffbind Review!

Image result for eric huffbind the rescuer

 

 

 

The Rescuer (2017) by Eric Huffbind is a wonderfully romantic and very beautiful novel.

 

The novel, which is the debut novel by the author, follows the story of Christopter Parker and Jason Calhoun. Christopher books into Watermeadow Rehabilitation Center and at this time he is at his lowest ebb trying to recreate a future for himself after getting hooked on alcohol in a midst of figures in his life letting him down and depression setting in in his life. There he meets Jason who is his social worker and feelings begin to simmer beneath the surface while they both maintain the professional agreement between them both.

 

In a way they become each other’s rescuer throughout the book. Although Jason is Christopher’s official rescuer from his depths of his despair and he expresses how he has often being attracted to the role of rescuer, it seems to me as a reader that they rescued each other from loneliness and a lack of trust in men and finding their perfect prince. Oh, it’s so gorgeously romantic!

 

This book touches on so many important issues. Depression is so close to my heart as people I have loved dearly have been affected by it and I commend the author for tackling this issue in such an authentic and compassionate way. Although I have never experienced depression from a first person perspective, I felt Christopher’s story and how he felt resembled very closely the feelings of pain and hopelessness that people who experience depression feel. The writer didn’t go for either the ‘Christopher can handle this completely’ or the ‘Christopher couldn’t handle it at all’ approach and somewhere in that gray place from my outside place is the truth of someone suffering from depression. He could get through but he needed Jason to not judge and to believe in him and his progress. Another very important topic dealt with in this book is the area of people selling themselves and their bodies to get on and make their lives better. There is often so much judgement in this aspect. Look being straight with you all, I don’t agree with it. Maybe I’m a bit old school that way. But judging a person for selling their body and saying I wouldn’t do it is two different things. I do understand that we are all different and we respond to situations where someone else is in power in very different ways. Christopher sold his body in this book to Sam Barron who is quite a nasty piece of work. Possibly by the end, he has a heart but I don’t want to give too much away. But in the early stages he did use his power and it contributes, among other things, to the situation Christopher finds himself in when he arrives at Watermeadow. I found myself as a reader quite protective of Christopher. I know that countless people have found themselves in situations where they feel their bodies are the only currency to offer even though they have so much more to offer the world. And yes, it warmed my heart greatly that Jason could see he had so many qualities to offer and encouraged him to do that. Just as a last word on that topic, I think it is someone’s free will to sell their body if they want to. It’s their body to do what they wish with. And it’s also their free will to not like doing so and feel guilt about doing so which I equally respect. The part which affected me, in a thought-provoking way, was the way the power games were at play. The fact that Christopher felt pressurised into this by so many aspects of his life and especially by Sam. How many people, especially younger people, feel this in so many different situations?

 

Without giving too much away this book also deals with suicide. There is a situation in Christopher’s past which brings this topic up. Obviously it’s a topic which many people face and is often, like the situation in the book shows, brought on by the perception other  people have and pure fear one has about what people will think and what will happen from there. If you are out there and you read this, no matter what, you are valued and please, please keep strong.

 

The book also deals with prejudice and highlights many of the issues faced in and out of work people face for being a sexuality other than straight. Being pansexual, I could totally understand the strain put on people who don’t conform to the straight narrative. One thing that is highlighted is that assumptive nature of assuming someone is straight before you know. I think the author highlighted very well the heteronormativity and heterosexism at play in our society. Susan, while sweet in many aspects, I didn’t like because she seemed happy enough to display this kind of prejudice and felt nothing about it. Mr. Branson did display it but he apologised. Christopher was recovering from his own self-confidence issues so I think the scene where he admits to Mr. Branson that he has a boyfriend is written very realistically. He hasn’t quite got to the stage where he can accept the man is apologising for reacting in a prejudiced asshole way. We all have things we aren’t proud of and I hoped Christopher would let the man ease his mind of his guilt about his cruelness. My hope for Christopher is that further along his journey he could say ‘That’s cool. Thanks for your apology. Much appreciated.’ instead of pampering and saying it was understandable. But I understood he wasn’t quite there yet and he was still thinking of straight as superior. As him an and Jason are around my age I just can’t see him responding the way he did without feeling like that. Can happen as we’re all different but it’s rare. And if someone usually does, they don’t usually in our generation believe what they are saying. But he seemed to so I think it was because he still had a few issues he had to resolve. And I was like babe, be yourself. Don’t be scared to be honest. Go further on your journey. You have come so far.

 

Now, this book hits on so many important things but it also has so much romance, so much backstory for the main characters, so many fun. I loved George. I could relate a lot to Nurse Judy and in parts to both the main characters. I found myself very much rooting for Christopher and Jason which is always a great sign for a romance. They seemed so well suited and what each other needed. I loved that Jason wasn’t this totally together social worker and that he had his own issues in his life. I lost my father at 18 and Jason lost his father at 17 in the story. My Dad died of heart trouble so the circumstances are tremendously different but what I could relate to was the feeling of losing your Dad so young and the effect it has on your life and when I read it, I will say it made me almost quite emotional. Not too often do you read in fiction about someone losing their Dad around that age. It’s often as a child or older than your teens and I give kudos to the author for addressing the feelings of losing your Dad at a point in your life when you are transferring from teen years to adulthood. I give kudos also for not making Jason into a caricature that he is perfect with no hurt in his life as social worker or not, we all do.

 

I think this is a stunning book with so much heart. The two main characters drive on a gorgeous story of love and the fight to be with the person you love. The writer is extremely talented. There is a bit of everything in this book. And a message that love is the most important thing in the world. I loved it. A must read.

 

To purchase The Rescuer by Eric Huffbind go to:

 

For more information about Eric Huffbind and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16464839.Eric_Huffbind

Advertisements

My Book Black Coat Is Now Available On Amazon!

Image result for writing

 

My book Black Coat is now available on Amazon. It is a murder mystery set in London and follows my main character Olly whose life is turned upside down when his husband Alex shoots a rent man collecting near their home and Olly realises that it was himself who was the intended target. After all the rent man has a similar black coat to Olly.

I enjoyed writing the book. I loved Olly and many of the other characters but my favourite was James who is Olly’s best friend and possibly more. 🙂

I got the idea from a writing prompt on Friday Fictioneers here on WordPress by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields from Addicted to Purple and from a photograph supplied by Sandra Crook from Castelsarrasin. So thank you so much to Rochelle and Sandra for the inspiration for the story.

The story is 99c to buy but is free to read with Kindle Unlimited. If you choose to read it, thank you so so much in advance and I hope you will find it a good read.

To get your copy of Black Coat go to:

Incubus Rake By Olivia Helling Review!

Image result for olivia helling incubus rake amazon

 

Incubus Rake (2014) is the second book in the Damon Snow series of five books. I loved the first book and this second outing certainly didn’t disappoint.

In this book, we see a lot more of Damon’s vulnerability when the love of his life Byrne doesn’t want to see him when he visits and this does not suit Damon one bit. Though it’s hard for him to admit to himself, it hurts him and he misses spending time with Byrne because he’s head over heels in love with him. Something else the love cynic struggles to admit. My hope that Damon and Rogers might end together faded because the way Damon seems to feel about Byrne is so far removed from how he feels about Rogers. Gradually though, I quite got to like the partnership of Damon with Byrne. I loved the way Damon still loved him so much even when he didn’t want to see him. Even through the hurt he felt, his feelings for Byrne remained which was very romantic.

Now most good books need a bit of drama. So enter Frost who is an incubus like Damon who encourages Damon to use his incubus powers to seduce men. Damon begins a relationship with Frost and gradually we get to know Frost’s complete manner more and more. In short, not a very nice chap.

Meanwhile Rogers is trying to seduce Damon, although without the use of incubus powers he’s not having much luck. Does anything happen between them at all? Don’t want to give too much away. Possibly.

A huge theme in this story is who will be there for you when you need them most? It shows the wonderful relationships that Damon has in different ways with Byrne and Rogers. Like the first book, the characters in this book are so well-rounded and have distinct personalities that jump off the page. The reader will know who is talking before even reading who it is. The writing is also brilliant, very natural and to the point and I really like that style of writing.

This book, like the first, is hard to put down. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next and that’s a very good sign. Really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

The first book in the series is free on it’s own. My review of book one and details on where to get your free copy can be found here:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/nocturnal-lessons-by-olivia-helling-review/

While the first four books in the series together are 30% cheaper than the three other books on their own. To get the boxset go here:

Or to purchase Incubus Rake by Olivia Helling only go to:

And for more on Olivia Helling’s work go to:

http://oliviahelling.com/

Spaceship Broken By Russell Nohelty Review!

Image result for spaceship broken russell nohelty

 

 

Spaceship Broken (2016) by Russell Nohelty is an interesting and stunningly written story about the ups and downs of life, forgiveness and family.

 

The book follows the story of a young boy, our protagonist Sammy. The story is told from Sammy’s point of view. Sammy has had a difficult start in life and has seen more pain already than most people see in a lifetime. His father has abused his mother on countless occasions and his mother decides to get Sammy and herself away from him. Eventually after running out of money and fears arising about Sammy’s terminal lung condition, they go and stay with her father and Sammy’s grandfather. Soon Sammy meets a young girl called Yva and a young boy called Frank. The three become friends and Yva soon confides to Sammy that she has started building a spaceship to get back to her planet. For the first time in his young life, Sammy has fell in love with his new alien friend Yva and the feeling is mutual and he becomes hell-bent on helping her get back to her planet even though he really doesn’t want her to go.

While the book is part sci-fi, it also deals a lot with more earthly aspects as well like family dynamics, first love, friendship and the run-of-the-mill aspects of daily life like school in Sammy’s case and his mother with work as she tries to hold life together for her son amidst her drug addiction.

There is a realness and grittiness in the writing. At no point is the story sugar-coated which can make it sometimes hard and emotional to read but that truth adds so much to the story. You can tell that the writer really cares about the characters. Scattered in parts of the book is much humour too.

A quirky, real and wonderful read.

To purchase Spaceship Broken by Russell Nohelty go to:

 

For more information about Russell Nohelty go to:

http://www.russellnohelty.com/

 

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap By Paulette Mahurin Review!

Image result for the persecution of mildred dunlap dog book

 

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (2012) by Paulette Mahurin is an intriguing and thought-provoking book which is written excellently by the author.

Set in the 1800s in a small town in Nevada, the story follows the love story of Mildred Dunlap and her cousin Edra. Following Oscar Wilde’s conviction in Britain, we see how the various people in the town react to the news and how their reactions affect the lives of Mildred and Edra. It’s a beautiful yet often sad story that shows just terrible human rights were back then and shows just how far we’ve come. Some of it would pull your heart to pieces. Reading the stress and fear these women are going through in the novel shows the kind of high levels of persecution people who weren’t straight faced in those days. Being pansexual, I felt angry at parts at how utterly cruel and prejudiced some of the characters were and I was glad that even though things are still not perfect today that I and many, many other people don’t have to live with those high levels of persecution and be feeling pretty powerless against it.

There is very rounded characters. Each with their own personality and journey in the book. Mildred and Edra are a wonderful couple who show so much strength in the face of adversity. They show that two ordinary women when pushed to do so will fight together to weather the storm. But it’s always nice to have people who care about you and thankfully in this book, there is Gus and Charley. Both of these chaps go on very different journeys in the book but are both very kind, non-prejudiced people.

The writer got the claustrophobic feeling of a small town spot-on with her descriptions of life in Red River Pass. The gossiping, the running down of anyone perceived to be ‘different’ in some way. And the absolute glee the people gossiping, especially Josie, feel in running another down and trying to make their life harder.

I have to admit, it threw me a little bit that Mildred and Edra were cousins. I think in modern times we tend to be thrown a bit by cousins falling in love with each other but putting things in context, back in the time this book was set, it probably wouldn’t have been uncommon. When you take out of the equation the fact they are cousins, they actually make a very beautiful, loving couple and you find yourself as a reader rooting for them, their love and their future.

This is a wonderful book, gorgeously written and it also has a wonderful cause that the profits from it’s sales are going to. All profits from the book are going to the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center in Ventura County, CA which is the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County.

To purchase The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin and help the shelter go to:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Persecution-Mildred-Dunlap-Paulette-Mahurin/dp/097718661X

For more information about Paulette Mahurin:

https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

For more information about the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center go to:

http://www.santapaulaarc.org/

 

My New Book In The Name of Allah Is Now Available On Amazon!

Related image

 

My new book In The Name of Allah is now available on Amazon. It follows the story of two couples living in London, Calvin and Amir and Shane and Imran. Shane, Imran and Calvin are friends for years and then Calvin meets Amir who secretly has terrorist tendencies.

It is the hardest book I have ever written. With the subject matter being so dark, it was very difficult and emotionally-draining at times. The topic is so sensitive so I researched a lot for the story. While I love Calvin and Imran too, my favourite character was Shane. I just took to him very early on in the story.

This story as you can imagine is sad and hard-hitting but it was a book I felt that I had to write because terrorism and Radical Islam are sadly topics we hear about in terrible tragic circumstances far too often in our times and I feel a writer has a duty to write about the things that are happening in the world.

If you do purchase the book, thank you. 🙂

To purchase In The Name of Allah go to:

Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes By Kent Wayne Review!

Image result for echo volume 2 the taste of ashes

 

Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes (2016) by Kent Wayne is the second installment in the Echo trilogy. It is a slightly more introspective book with more focus given to the action but is just as intriguing as the first outing.

Now first thing’s first, you will need to have read the first book in the trilogy before this one to understand what is happening in this book so that’s definitely something I’d recommend because otherwise you might be lost. Our protagonist Atriya continues his introspective, spiritual journey as he heads into the Wastes which is a dangerous area where murderers, rapists, gangs and cannibals are lurking around. The book is very detailed and gives the reader a real sense of what war must be like. It’s a very visual book.

One of the scenes which sticks with me is the murder of the homeless man near the beginning of the book. It’s very horrifying and shows the dangers of been in the wrong place at the wrong time. The book very much shows the good and evil in society throughout in a very real way. The reader also gets a great inside into Atrya’s mind through his introspection and all the conflicts he faces in the various situations he finds himself in.

The entire book is set in one day. From a writer’s perspective, I have to say that it shows remarkable talent to be able to fill so much detail and scenes into just 24 hours. Kent does an excellent job of that in this book. The writing has a great sense of cohesiveness. This book is very gritty and violent and it shows how fragile life is and how to some people other peoples’ lives aren’t worth much. And this is one of the many things that cause Atriya so much conflict in his head. From someone who has never been to war, and has no plans to go, it gives you a sense of what it must be like from afar and instills in the reader even more admiration for the people who do go to war in real-life because there’s a lot of braveness in that even if one’s a pacifist.

Yet again, another stunningly crafted book. Lots of action and yet lots of drama and human aspects too. Loved it and looking forward to book 3!

To purchase Echo Volume 2: The Taste of Ashes by Kent Wayne go to:

To read my review on Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter and get details on where to purchase it go to:

https://culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/echo-volume-1-approaching-shatter-by-kent-wayne-review/

And for more information on Kent Wayne’s work go to: