In all truth, while I loved the story idea and characters, I didn't feel Dead Reality reflected my best work. A fact which seemed supported by the amount of revision my editors and I had to put in to get it ready for publication.
I'd always hoped that Sanctuary would get reviewed, I honestly want to know what people (who aren't my friends and family, as much as I love them all!) think about the concept of angels and demons in space. When the weeks went by after Sanctuary came out and no review was forthcoming, I gave up on that idea and started hoping that maybe Severance would get reviewed when it came out.
I hardly gave the idea of Dead Reality being reviewed a thought. There are a bazillion other romantic suspense out there, and more coming out every week. And since I didn't think Dead Reality would stand out from the crowd, I never expected it to be picked up for review.
So, hearing the news that it had been reviewed was a surprise enough in itself. But, for it to then go on and get a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, I couldn't believe it.
And to make the dream-come-true complete, the reviewer said a few things I'd always wanted to hear about my work. That the sexual tensions was "excellent" and the action "zips along".
Best of all, and the one thing I wanted to hear, the one thing I want readers to be saying when they read one of my books? That they couldn't put it down. To have a reviewer state this, in my first review no less, was the icing on the cake (mmm... cake. Think I might do some baking).
Of course, I'm realistic enough to know that one day I will get mediocre reviews, likely even bad reviews. But, with such a good review starting me off, hopefully I'll never let the less-than-impressive reviews get me down.
Here's the review in full:
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewer: Patrizia Murray
FBI Special Agent Ella Waverly is wrapping up one last assignment before heading off on her first holiday in five years. But thoughts of flip-flops and cocktails are the last thing on her mind when she meets the new team leader, Special Agent Bryce Lain, and finds out her long-planned-for holiday is being scuttled for an undercover assignment.
Agent Lain is gorgeous, the kind of gorgeous that guarantees he's an arrogant jerk. The news that he'll be her partner in the dangerous mission is almost enough to make her head explode. Before the day is out, Ella finds herself at Little Palm Island Resort in Florida, masquerading as a contestant on the latest reality TV show—Lord Bachelor. The bachelor in question, a disgraced British peer, is suspected of raping and murdering several women back in London.
Though Ella knows it safer where her heart’s concerned to deny it, the longer she's stuck with Bryce, the more she sees there could be a man worth loving beneath the impossibly good-looking exterior.
As humidity frizzes her hair beyond the help of any type of de-frizzing, smoothing, glossing product, Ella works against nineteen husband-hungry bimbos, one suspected serial killer, and one seriously hot agent who's trying everything he can to get under her skin.
I love a good mystery and this one has lots of action while steering you off in directions other than toward the culprit here. However, in the end, because there are only two people who can possibly be the murderer, it is relatively easy to figure out whodunit. But the action is pretty good, and the sexual tension is excellent.
Lain wants Ella, but he can’t seem to wrap his mind around why he wants her for more than a short roll in the hay. Ella quickly realizes she is in love with him, but won’t allow him to get near, because she fears being a one night stand and also what that one night stand could do to her well fought way to the top of her career..
The goals, motivations and conflicts are well developed and the characters are well-rounded. Both main characters were easy to like, just as Vanessa is easy to hate and the Lord is easy to misunderstand.
There could have been a bit more of Lain’s background shown, which would show more of why he is afraid of commitments, but that is a minor point. The action fairly zips along and Dead Reality is hard to put down.
And here's the link, just in case you want to see the page anyway:
And now I've got to get back to Nick and Madi's story, still untitled. I've just passed the 33,000 word mark and am looking to put in a big weekend of writing. If I can get it up over 40,000 words by tomorrow night, I'll be happy.