Tag Archive | Review

Ebook Romance Stories: “Coming Undone” Review


Coming Undone Final 1-15-2014Reviewed by:  Writing in Purple

If you’ve ever searched for love, been afraid to love, or lost someone you love, you will love Coming Undone.

This is the story of Ben, living his life free of the responsibilities and problems that come with commitment, haunted by a past that causes him to fear giving his heart to another. But life throws him an unexpected curve, and he finds himself beginning to unravel. Uncertain why he feels drawn to her, he seeks the guidance of the attractive hospice social worker who seems to possess the quiet strength and perseverance he desperately needs but does not know how to find.

This is the story of Kathryn, the young woman with all aspects of her life neatly in place. She has a job she loves, a nice apartment, great friends and a deep faith in the God she serves. And yet, the greatest longing of her heart goes unsatisfied, a man to love and cherish her the way she sees him in her dreams. She wonders sometimes if God has given her this yearning as a lesson in patience or does He have a greater plan about to be unveiled?

When Ben meets Kathryn amidst the storms raging in their individual lives, each feels inexplicably drawn to the other, even against their better judgment. Pushing their doubts aside to pursue a friendship both exhilarating and frightening in ways they never expected, will they find only disappointment or does God have something else in mind?

Staci’s gift of writing both points of view, allowing us to see inside the heart and soul of both Kathryn and Ben as they yearn for what will fill their aching hearts and search for the happiness that eludes them is remarkable. The depth of feeling, intensity of emotion and gripping drama will pull you into the hearts and souls of her characters in a way that keeps you turning the pages of Coming Undone long after bedtime.

Have a box of tissue nearby and let Staci melt your heart, strengthen your faith and inspire your imagination as you experience Coming Undone. It is truly an expression of emotion that will remain in your heart long after the final page is read.

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Ebook Romance Stories: Review “Dreams by Starlight”


Dreams by Starlight Final 1-17-2014Review of “Dreams by Starlight”

If you pictured in your mind the stereotype wallflower, she would be named Camille Wright. Seventeen years old, a senior in high school and just about totally invisible to her classmates, she thinks. When her career counselor insists that Camille needs to expand her class schedule to include something less studious, in order to improve her chances for a good university entrance, she chooses drama as the lesser of two evils.

Meeting Nick McGee in drama class is the beginning of change in Camilles life. He pulls her into the warmth of his friendship without ever giving her a chance to think about backing out. Two minutes after that her best girlfriend Lexxie and Nick fall for each other, and at first sight. The object of Camilles interest, on the other hand, is Jaylon Quinn and she worships him from afar, knowing that he doesnt even notice she is anywhere near, even though they have drama class together. It takes an amazing experiment to have the two really begin to see the other, the self-consciousness, the hurt, the pain that teenagers might feel, on the verge of entering a new phase in their lives. They begin to realize and understand what the other is like; how similar they are inside, and appreciate what governs the others emotions.

The author has captured so vividly the feeling of what theatre work must be like and I was really fascinated by the descriptive environment used to make a play come to life. What techniques are used by an actor to give his or her role life, to make it real. As the characters grow into the roles theyve been assigned, the emotional growth in their private lives blossoms parallel and is so heart warming and vividly portrayed to the reader. An extra note: Ms. Stallings brings so to life Jaylons theatre group for children that I felt as if I was sitting there among them watching him perform. This novel is a beautifully written, truly wonderful story.

Overall rating:
Sensuality rating: Sweet

Reviewer: Glenda K. Bauerle


Dreams by Starlight Final 1-17-2014Buy “Dreams by Starlight”

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Character Insight: Rick’s Review


Dreams by Starlight Final 1-17-2014A fictional review of the play “Don’t Listen to the Fates” in “Dreams by Starlight.”

Rick’s Reviews

Normally I don’t review high school productions.  First of all, they are rarely, if ever, what I would call even mildly entertaining.  Usually mind-numbingly awful, incredibly boring, and a complete waste of time are far closer. For the most part, they feature a few kids scrambling for lines and forgetting their cues.  And who other than parents and teachers wants to endure that?

That’s not to say there is not a time and place for high school productions. They are very worthy for training up our next set of entertainers, but for me and this column, they are normally persona non grata.

I suppose that’s why I’m so surprised to be writing this particular column today.  It was not on my schedule.  I had no plans to write this review last week, and my editor may be somewhat surprised as well when I turn this in.

However, I must give credit where it’s due.  Over the weekend, I went (okay, I was dragged) to my niece’s high school play, “Don’t Listen to the Fates.”  Said niece had a small part, but my sister is a big part of my life, so I went, preparing to suffer through the evening and not much more.

What I found instead was a fully-engaging experience that I still can’t quite get out of my head.  The entire cast was magnificent, but I give special kudos to the leads.  Jaylon Quinn and Camille Wright were perfectly cast as the lovers that fate can’t quite figure out what to do with.

The premise of the three-act was boilerplate at best.  Hot girl dumps guy.  Guy wants to get even.  Guy asks out hot girl’s shy and quiet sister, and then finds said sister much more to his liking.  As plots go, not exactly my style, but less-than-horrible I suppose if you’re into the romance genre of entertainment.

But what grabbed at least this viewer’s attention was the depth and feeling Quinn and Wright brought to their scenes–especially when they were on stage together.  In fact, in a real way, this viewer forgot this was a play, on a stage, in a musty auditorium.  Maybe that’s sappy, but the truth is, I was caught up, feeling for Hawk (Quinn’s character) as he moved from selfish egotist to compassionate, caring friend, unveiling as he went a depth to the character not even the playwright could full have captured without this particular actor embodying the part.

And Wright… I don’t even know where to begin to capture the brilliance of her shining light on the stage.  Show-stealer is an understatement. Those who have been reading these reviews for very long know I don’t go for silly sentimental hogwash that portends to tug at our heartstrings when in reality it tugs our lunch back up, but Wright as Lauren had me cheering from my seat when she dumped Hawk for using her.  Moreover, she had me wiping a tear when she reappeared on stage, alone, and distraught after the break-up.

There was a part of me, (maybe it’s the new dad of a baby girl thing who can ever tell?) that wanted to go up and hug her–right after knocking Hawk’s block off for hurting her like that.

Suffice it to say, this reviewer was very impressed with the acting chops displayed by these marvelously talented young thespians.  I will tell you this much:  I have thought about and relived scenes from that play in my heart and in my head more over this past weekend than I have any movie I have seen in quite some time.

Maybe it was my mood.  Maybe it was the night.  Maybe no one else thought it was at all remarkable. Who knows?  But for one small moment in time I literally held my breath for the final kiss.

And it did not disappoint.


Dreams by Starlight Final 1-17-2014Buy “Dreams by Starlight”

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Ebook Romance Stories: Review of “Lucky”


Lucky New 2-2014Review by Tammy

“Lucky” by Staci Stallings

Excellent love story. It is a great reminder that we should never settle for less than we deserve. God has a plan for each of us and it is often better than the one we dreamed for ourselves; it just may not come in the package we always thought it would.

About Lucky:

Kalin Lane had his dream in hand. Then, on the cusp of mega-stardom, Kalin’s world crashed down around him in a hail of stupid choices. Five years later, Kalin is back, reaching for his dream once again; however, time hasn’t erased his past. Will the lessons of the past be enough to save him from himself this time around?

Danae Scott thought she was headed toward the future every girl wants. However, in one night that belief is ripped into unrecognizable shreads. Devastated and confused, Danae is an anguished mess when an angel trips over her. Does this angel have the answers she didn’t even know she needed?

One man,
One woman,
One night that changes everything.

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Ebook Romance Stories: Review of “Cowboy”


Cowboy New 2-2014Cowboy by Staci Stallings

Reviewed By:  Michelle Sutton

Wow! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a single mom, working your tail off to make ends meet,and then in walks Garth Brooks into your dumpy little restaurant on a slow, rainy night? He’s dressed casually and he asks you for a simple cup of coffee…but he needs a whole lot more. He’s down in the dumps and feels like nothing will make him want to keep on living.

Since you’re not a fan of country music and your job as a waitress and parenting your five-year-old is your entire life, you don’t recognize him. Okay, well maybe not someone as famous as Garth, but hey, I don’t know what most of the country superstars look like so it’s possible. 🙂

Anyway, you don’t recognize him and the guy is so depressed he throws caution to the wind and shares his heart with you, but he gives you his real name because he’s sick of the superstar treatment. You connect on a deep level. One that’s from the heart because you’re not star-struck by him…Remember, you don’t realize he’s famous. Then he asks for your phone number so you can keep in touch and as a sister in Christ you give it to him because you really do want to minister to the guy. You feel his pain. You’ve experienced the same loss when your spouse died.

Well he starts calling you and you strike up a pretty profound friendship based on mutual respect and the human need to be valued for who you really are, not what people see you as on the outside (a famous singer or waitress.) Your friendship deepens and he sees his need for God, but resists like most people do at first. Are you with me yet? Okay, the waitress is Charlize Theron and the singer is Garth Brooks.

I can SO see this as a movie it gives me the goose bumps. Staci’s novel Cowboy had me SO captivated that I read it every chance I got. I cared so much about the characters that I hated for the story to end. The pacing was excellent, and Staci does something neat that you don’t see often in books. She sometimes changes points of view on a frequent basis, but the breaks are obvious when the view changes, so it’s not head hopping. I found that technique highly effective in her story. It literally swept me away.

As far as romance themes go, it was one of the strongest I’ve read. My heart ached and I longed for them to be together, to make it work. And the singer’s relationship with the waitresses’ daughter will bring tears to your eyes. It did mine. This was the most fabulous Cinderella type story I’ve ever read and it was totally unique. Nothing stereotypical or cliche whatsoever.

Did I mention this story was fabulous? You’re probably thinking I like everything. NOT so. In fact, I read a lot of books you never see my post because I can’t rave about them. This story I was obsessed with. Truly. And the honesty in their relationship when it came to physical attraction and temptation was refreshingly real. They were both married before and lost their spouses. Of COURSE they would be tempted. The author showed this with tact, but real emotion and I felt like I was right there with them. The author’s ability to make you care about the characters is right up there with Lori Wick (in my mind anyway.) So, that said…if you don’t read Cowboy you are truly missing out on one of the most gripping contemporary romances I’ve read in the past three years.

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