Novel Review: The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

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On February 7, 2017, the fourth book in the Victorian Rebel Series, “The Duke,” will be available for purchase from your favorite booksellers.  If you haven’t done so already, you should consider placing a copy on reserve now.  I’d also suggest you mark your calendars for an extended reading retreat, as I know, you will want to abscond into your favorite literary nook with this sinfully hot romance.  I tell you this from experience, my dear readers.  I was fortunate to be selected as a reader of Kerrigan Byrne’s latest novel in exchange for my honest review of her story.  Without a doubt, I’d read this again and again.

Ms. Byrne has a delectable way with words and a flair for passion.  Her characters are realistic, complex, and raw.  In, “The Duke, she penned the rags-to-riches story of Imogene Pritchard.  Readers will laugh, cry and root for Imogene, aka Ginny.  From the pits of a brothel to life lived in a majestic mansion readers will be riveted by her story.  Not-to-mention, nervous about her safety.  There is a serial killer on the loose and he has set his sights on the blonde-haired beauty.  After one night of sexual pleasure bought and paid for by Colin Talmege, Duke of Trewyth, they were torn apart by the perils of life.

Colin, aka Cole, would walk through fire to reunite with the mysterious Ginny.  After scoring the globe, becoming a prisoner of war and losing a limb, Cole is no longer the handsome, kind and considerate gentleman that captured Imogene’s heart.  In his stead, is a hard, ruthless, and tantalizingly dangers man.  Will Imogene be able to tame the beast?  I’ll let you find out.  Happy reading!

Novel Review: Reckless by Anne Stuart

7715163I’m guilty of having a little shopping addiction when it comes to buying books.  Recently, I discovered a copy of “Reckless,” written by Anne Stuart collecting dust in by bookcase. If you enjoy highly sexual, mysterious, and interesting erotic romance, than do not make the same mistake I did waiting to read this captivating story. 

In “Reckless,” Ms. Stuart takes the reader into the dark, erotic world of the Heavenly Host where awkward, innocent, Charlotte Spencer, is introduced to the pleasures of the flesh by notorious rake, Adrian Alistar Rohan.

I highly recommend this read to lovers of independent, strong-willed women characters. Anne Stuart’s ability to maintain Charlotte’s honor while exposing her secret insecurities was brilliant! Readers will relate to the arrogant Adrian who often appears as a cad when verbally sparring with Charlotte. Much to his surprise and dislike, Adrian finds himself drawn to the unspoken vulnerability of Charlotte Spencer. The addition of an evil cousins vengeance, a sexy ex-priest’s presence, a misunderstood aunt’s protectiveness, and a charismatic friend in the mix and a splendid story was sure to unfold. Oh….lets not forget murder!  Happy Reading!

Olivia Jayne Eldridge – From The Mind Of An Introvert: Ponderings

LabelA dirty five letter word used in this tense to define the category that one belongs in.  Also, being thought of as black or white, a label doesn’t always make room for the grey.  But, my experience, or lack thereof, leads me to believe that most things tends to lean towards various shades of grey.

So, the question becomes – how does an aspiring author brand their work?  Where do they fit in in this enormously large volume of literary classifications?  Recently, I addressed these very questions.  Without a doubt, I’m a contemporary romance writer.  I knew that much, at least.  But, when I wanted to define the sub-genre I write in, that’s where the lines began to blur.  Swallowing my pride, I nervously typed the question into a social media discussion platform featuring other authors at various stages in their careers and hit send.  What kind of novelist doesn’t know if they write spicy or erotic?  I certainly will need to know when I market my novel.  I was relieved to discover my question was not so silly, after all.  The consensus was that I am a writer of contemporary erotic romance.  This distinction is not to be confused with erotica, itself, as erotica does not have to have a happy ending or focus on an exclusive relationship.  These wonderful writers were kind enough to suggest internet resources, along with their own opinions on the topic which I will be forever grateful for.

With the growing number of self-published authors, now more than ever, the sub-categories are crossing a line.  As with life, it’s complicated.

Olivia Jayne Eldridge: From The Mind Of An Introvert: Novel Review

The Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

10818853With the much-anticipated movie release of “Fifty Shades Darker,” the second installment in the dark erotic trilogy written by E.L. James next month, I thought it was time to revisit the captivating story that caught the world on fire. By now, even if you have never read a line or viewed a scene from the first movie, I believe it’s safe to assume that somewhere you’ve heard about this controversial novel.

Book one, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” provides an introduction into the unique, if not, dysfunctional, world of Anastasia (Ana) Steele and Christian Grey. Both of their worlds were turned upside down, when innocent literary student, Ana, interviewed the business mogul as a favor for her best-friend, Kate, who was at home with the flu. This chance sexually charged meeting ignited the sizzling sensual exploration into hidden dark erotic pleasures that turns to love between Christian and Ana.  The series also features book two, “Fifty Shades Darker” and book three, “Fifty Shades Freed.”  Each novel brings a unique perspective to the couples growing romance.

In my humble opinion, this expertly crafted trilogy offers way more than meets the eye. As I re-read the pages, I find I’m now more than ever mesmerized by the dynamic partnership of two lost souls. I can honestly say, my love for Christian and Ana has grown deeper the second time around. Perhaps, I am too involved with these fictional characters but they resonate with me. So much so that I wrote a term paper for a writing class that I attended. I believe that we must look beyond the black and white and this novel states that before you even turn a page. Innocent Ana may be naive in the realm of life experience but at her core, she is a strong woman who needed to meet a man who challenged her to become all that she could possibly be. Remember her last name is Steele. She saved Christian from himself. Ana brought him into the light, taught him to laugh, to trust, and most importantly, to love. It’s no coincidence that Grey is Christian’s last name. Black and white doesn’t sum him up. He’s complicated and cannot be defined. In fact, when he says he is fifty shades of fucked-up he spoke the truth. But, aren’t most of us really broken in some way, shape or form? If we’re lucky, we’ll find our own hero or heroine as Christin did in Ana. Lastly, I do find it ironic that his name is Christian. After all, he does tend to dabble in what many would refer to as sinful pleasures.

I hope you fall in love many times over as you delight into the excessive, sultry, and intoxicating world of this trilogy. Happy Reading!

Olivia Jayne Eldridge: From The Mind Of An Introvert

An Intimate Reflection From An Aspiring Author:

My metamorphosis from a voracious reader into an aspiring romance author, didn’t evolve overnight.  Instead, this marvelous conception is a process which develops more each day.  This literary rhythmic dance intrigues me.  I’m a student, an artist, and admirer of the written words that grace the page.  In awe, I find myself enmeshed with the plethora of emotions they inflict deep within my core.  How wonderful it would be to share a few moments of this delicious intimacy with my readers.  To touch them in some way, shape or form and for a few moments bring them unbridled joy or peace.

Having been born on April 30, the last day of the fourth month of the calendar year, I was not on the cusp of another astrological sign.  I am a Taurean through and through.  Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, is my ruler.  From birth, I have been ensnared in her web of sensual delight.  Well-renowned for her reputation with sex, fertility, and victory, it is no wonder that I’m enslaved by love.  Romance is by inherent nature the key to my heart.

Olivia Jayne Eldridge: From The Mind Of An Introvert: Novel Review

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In earnest, I perused the aisle.  I feel at home, welcome as I wander over the dull-brown surface below my feet.  I have a date – a date with destiny.  My vigilance has become a sacred ritual.  I know that this is where I’ll discover hidden passion, erotic intrigue, and life-long love.  I’ll never find disappointment here.  My fingers reach out in anticipation, but then it happens.  As if a whisper on the wind, it speaks to me.  I glance up and I see it.  Alone.  Featured in all its glory from the endcap across the room.  A non-romance.  A thriller no less.  Its multi-colored façade stimulates my sense.  Why is the white lettering portrayed as a mirage?  More importantly, who is this girl on the train and why should I care about her?  Unable to resist, I pick it up and then I take it home.

From time-to-time, a novel seems to find a way to creep itself onto my bookshelf.  So was the case with “Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins.  This first-time novelist penned a mind-blowing adrenaline rush that I highly recommend.  Ms. Hawkins  is an addictive journey into one woman’s obsessive involvement with a married couple she watches daily from her seat on the commuter train.  Her delusional fascination with the couple is altered when she discovers that their lives may not be perfect, after all.  The sight of another man who could possibly compromise the joy of the happy couple triggers past demons as she struggles with her own sanity.

It may be a stretch but this thriller did teeter with a romantic story line.  It highlighted the darker side of love.  A love gone terribly wrong and the horrors that could result.  Happy Reading!

Olivia Jayne Eldridge: From The Mind of An Introvert – Monthly Pondering

January 2017

As today marks the cessation of the first full week of the New Year, I find myself oddly at peace.  Unlike in years past, I refuse to prescribe to a list of arduous aspirations in which I’m to overcome during the next twelve months.  Now, I do realize that at first this lack of allegiance may appear as a quitter’s approach.  After all, why even try if you might fail?  I assure you, my dear readers, this is not the case.

I prescribe to the idea that each day is New Year’s Day where perhaps, the only real equality in existence is the dawning of a new day.  We all wake up, God willing, of course, to 24 glorious hours – no more – no less.  Imagine that.  Each one of us, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or even personal bias, has been gifted with the same amount of time to squander or to soar.  It’s your choice.  It’s your decision on how you fill those hours, minutes and seconds that meld together to comprise your day, your week, your year, your life.  I, like each one of you, is on borrowed time.   I’ve experienced the disappointment, outrage, and despair.  I’ve stumbled and I’ve fallen.  But, I dust myself off and I rise again. 

As this blog is devoted to my passionate romance with the written word, I would be remiss not to admit I have many goals.  With each passing day, I realize how little I know.  There is so much to learn and so many improvements to make, both personally and professionally.  I’m at the very beginning of my venture into a literary career.  I realize that goals are an essential catalyst for my success.  Each one of us should have a dream that we hold dear to our hearts.  As you know, I have a vision for my life.  But, I refuse to measure my successes by a list of ideals.  It is not my mind-set to do so because if I only see the big picture, I’ll miss the education that is life.  Embrace it.  Learn from it.  Anything is possible.  Just remember resolutions are simply a birth.  It takes many moments of time, effort and commitment to reach the goal.  My resolution will be born one day at a time.

Olivia Jayne Eldridge – From The Mind Of An Introvert: Book Review

Letter’s at Christmas by Amber Lin

51r6n0kejilIf you’re looking for a tidbit of historical Christmas romance than “Letters at Christmas” is for you.  I was positively giddy as I turned each page with wild abandon.  Captain Hale Martin has returned to marry his best-friend’s sister, the only woman he has ever loved.  The only problem is Sidony Harbeck had been dreading his return.  After three years without even one word, how can she believe that he is truly in love with her? 

In a mere sixty pages, Amber Lin captured my heart.  This short story was filled with heated sexual tension beautifully blended within feelings of sorrow, betrayal, and remorse.  Set in 1815 England, this historical romance is the perfect present. 

Happy Reading!