Book Review. The Reunion by David Burnett.

THE REUNION
By David Burnett
Genre: Romance

The Reunion is a complicated love story between Michael and Allison who after years of marriage still love and adore each other. But unresolved issues from their past threaten to destroy their life together.
This Reunion poses the question, is true love enough to conquer personal insecurities, desires, and good and bad choices made?
Once a vivacious, outgoing, popular, and talented artist and runner, Michael chose to follow in his father’s footsteps becoming a successful, yet rather staid and dull Estate Lawyer. Now he works for clients he doesn’t necessarily like, jogs around the neighborhood, and can’t remember the last time he’s picked up his sketchpad.
Married for twenty-seven years to Allison, he has become everything she wants him to be. A partner in well established aw firm. Respected in the community, a good husband and provider to their strong-willed daughter Alicia. Much to Allison’s relief Michael’s art ambition dwindled to nothing.
Alicia thinks her Mom, is so tightly bound by her own rules and insistence at keeping them, she has bestowed her the nickname, St Allison. Control is an issue for Allison, and her teaching vocation demonstrates her need to keep everything under her reign.
Allison’s life operates according to the rules she has written for her and her family. Add to this, her need to conform to what she thinks society expects from her, and her strong Catholic faith. Pursuing passions, or living life to its full potential, are to Allison, just frivolous notions.
A letter arrives inviting them to attend Michael’s high school reunion. Allison is all in favor of going. Michael is reluctant to reconnect with people he hasn’t seen for twenty or so years. Allison’s powers of persuasion work, and they go.
The theme for the reunion is “Turn Back the Clock,” and as Michael’s old school pals, in particular Linda, recount the stories, a picture of a younger Michael emerges. He was fun, mischievous, popular, and a talented artist. A far cry from the self-described dull lawyer he has become.
A few days after the reunion Allison leaves to take her students on their annual week long Literary Tour. On the morning of her departure, Michael drops Allison off at school. While waving the bus off, he bumps into an old college friend, Stephanie. A keen runner, she is still in great shape, vivacious, and now an ambitious lawyer who has not forgotten the man who had years ago broken her heart.
Incidentally, Stephanie is married to Bill, a teacher at Allison’s school.
Inspired by the confidence of his old school friends, Michael decides to “pick up his sketch pad” again and rediscover his artistic talent. Stephanie, once his running arch rival convinces him to lace up his running shoes again.
Allison is aghast as to the changes her husband is making. After all what will the partners at the law firm think?
An opportunity arises for Michael to apply to attend Art School for one month in New York. Much to the horror of Allison, he applies and is accepted. As Michael rekindles his love of art and running, Allison shuns any real interest in supporting her husband.
Deep seeded insecurities drive Allison to the point of hurting those she loves the most. Her own frailties and lack of trust become her own worst enemies.
With her husband busy with his work, the gym or in his art studio. Allison immerses herself in work, and decides to attend a work conference. Held an eight-hour drive away from home, another teacher accompanies her for this life changing road trip.
I enjoyed The Reunion, in particular Michael’s character. He had the courage to rediscover his passion, and to live life. On the other hand, his wife was to a point his “wet blanket” letting her insecurities, high morals, and need to remain in control, almost threaten to destroy everything she holds so dear.
Allison had it all, but never seemed to be happy.
I found Bill and Stephanie to be totally deserving of each other. Bill is only motivated by self-interest, and his actions, in particular his anger outburst are totally reprehensible.
Set in the South, The Reunion reflects the intricacies’ and personality of the region.
The Reunion is more than a complicated love story. Readers will enjoy the journey into the artistic world, and the discovery of some of England’s most magnificent historic landmarks.

 

For the love of Chardonnay.

Wine, one sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise and taste.”
~ John Milton (1608-74)

Another fantastic weekend is on our doorstep. And if you are anything like me, it’s a great time to relax and unwind while enjoying a glass or two of your favorite wine.
Carla, our LOVE IN THE VINES Leading Lady likes nothing better than to drink a cool glass of Chardonnay.

Here’s an excerpt from Love in the Vines, Chapter 10, Chardonnay and Oysters where we discover Carla’s Chardonnay crush.

…..Studying the wine list, Matt was earnestly deliberately over the choices. I overhead you talking with the girls at work about your love affair with Chardonnay. They’ve got a number of great one’s listed here. How about we start with my Chardonnay?’ Chuckling he added, ‘even if it means that I’ll have to buy one of my own wines at restaurant prices! Then, for comparison we can move on to a French Chardonnay. I see they have a couple of beautiful delicate Pouilly-Fuissé (Pu-Yee Fwee-Say) wines here from Southern Burgundy. These are made entirely from Chardonnay fruit and they will be amazing to drink.’

Never one to miss an opportunity to drink a Chardonnay, I told Matt how my relationship with this wine dated back a few years. ‘For every great one I’ve had the pleasure to drink, I’ve also suffered through my fair share of this wine masquerading as a paint stripper.

End.

So, paint-strippers aside, here’s a few reasons why Carla loves nothing more than chilling on a Saturday afternoon with a cool, crisp glass of Chardonnay.

  • Zing! Aroma’s of pink grapefruit, citrus blossom, and nectarine complement the sharp contrast of spicy lemon and green apple.
  • The surprise of a lingering hint of hazelnut.
  • While some Chardonnays pack a big, bold and buttery punch. Carla prefers her’s understated; rich and buttery with a hint of oak.
  • The exotic French Connection. The birthplace of Chardonnay is Burgundy in France.
  • Back in 2008 when Chardonnay sales slumped in Britain, blame the Bridget Jones Effect
  • Or, as this blogger laments: Did Kath and Kim kill Chardonnay?
  • Either way, Carla defied trends, a bottle or two of “Chardie” always was top of her weekly shopping list.

Love in the Vines is a contemporary romance e-book set in the intoxicating world of wine and food. Out Now $2.99 on Amazon Kindle.
Food, wine, love and betrayal. Like wine, love begins in the vines.
Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.

My Latest Book Review for K.A. Krisko’s STOLEN. A Science Fantasy Unfolds…

Before I go any further I have to be honest. I never venture into the fantasy genre. Well, I’m glad I did.
K.A. Krisko’s STOLEN has opened up a whole new world for me.
The opening paragraph drew me into the world of Lefollah “who in the day resembled the trees of the forest in which they grew.”
From that point I was drawn into Stolen. A civilization built upon a foundation of the tradition of the Council of Sorcerers, and a multi-dimensional array of cleverly crafted Skills. Many of these Skills were accepted by the Council, and had successfully been incorporated to add diverse and practical value into the functioning of everyday life.
It was the forbidden skills that had me the most excited. Their collective powers were masterfully described, and brilliantly crafted. Shape-shifting, mind-bending, viewing, and more. All brilliant.
As a young girl, Rioletta was abducted by the Tree People. Years later while attending a life changing meeting of the Council of Sorcerers, Rioletta learned of her destiny. “Your task.” Mosse said slowly, “is to solve the mystery of your life.” From here, the story of Stolen begins in earnest. Traversing a dynamic, well crafted fantasy world of dramatic landscapes, civilizations, might, power, Skill, and the complexity and frailty of relationships.
Rioletta is placed in numerous threatening situations and is pitted against people who are unknown to her world. It is during these times Rioletta has to make tough decisions. As her chosen course of action will not only affect her, it will also impact her community, and reverberate throughout the rest of civilization as she knows it.
The backbone of the story is skilfully crafted upon the sense of what is right and wrong, the moral strength of the value of community, the importance of caring for the environment, and in turn protecting the legacy of our future. Personal relationships interweave throughout the story adding warmth, empathy, understanding, and an admiration at the tenacity of the human spirit.
Perhaps it is my lack of experience with reading science fantasy, at times I did get lost, and confused with the different locations, character names, and the numerous Skills employed. I felt at times, the pace of the story was too fast, and in my opinion could have benefited from a slower more descriptive pace to concentrate the reader focus on all that was unfolding.
At times I felt I needed more depth to allow me time to grasp everything that was happening in the storyline.
If fantasy is your genre, Stolen is a very worthwhile read. If you are like me, and don’t tend to read fantasy, Stolen is a book worth exploring.

LINKS FOR STOLEN
Goodreads
Amazon
K.A. Krisko Website

A Big Shout Out. Thank You.

A big hearty shout out to say THANK YOU to everyone who downloaded their free copy of my new contemporary romance e-book LOVE IN THE VINES.


As a KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select first timer, I was both nervous and excited to be offering LOVE IN THE VINES  as a giveaway. Not knowing what to expect, I was chuffed so many people downloaded a copy.

I’ve since learned that some people are avid freebie enthusiasts and religiously trawl through the lists looking for the latest free kindle goodies. Good on them.

I’m sure there’s more than a handful of readers who will actually sit down with a glass of wine and enjoy reading LOVE IN THE VINES. I’m holding onto this hope otherwise, devastation will set in.

Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about….Love in the Vines is a contemporary romance e-book set in the intoxicating world of wine and food.

Food, wine, love and betrayal. Like wine, love begins in the vines. Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.

Once again, thank you for your on-going support. It means the world to me. And if you’ve read LOVE IN THE VINES and would like to write and post an honest review. Good or bad, so long as it’s the truth. And, or give it the thumbs up by clicking LIKE, please click here.

A blog about my Kindle Direct Publishing experience and the results of the free promotion is in the works.