Return to Intermezzo

Return to Intermezzo ISBN: 9781682940518, Desert Breeze Publishing, an e-book format by Nancy Kay.

Plot: MacKane (Kane) Maguire, a retired Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant had rented a cottage on the shores of Lake Erie for the month of August. Mylinda (Lyn) Oakes, also retired, had done the same. Through a rental agency error, both have rented the same cottage and the small town is overflowing with summer visitors so absolutely nothing else is available. Making matters worse is the mindset of each protagonist. Although a well-conditioned, quite handsome man in his fifties, and she an exceptionally beautiful woman of approximately the same age, neither was ‘looking for any romantic adventure’. Each was looking forward to simple ‘down time’ to relax and recharge. Lyn had had a well-paying responsible position and grown children with a man to whom she thought she had been happily married until suddenly he had left her for a much younger woman. Kane’s wife was the love of his life until suddenly dying and leaving him with two small children. His police officer status with strange hours along with other factors caused him to marry again creating a situation that ended badly and was saved only by help from his mother. Thus, although intensely annoyed, the two mature protagonists grudgingly make the intelligent decision and agree to share the cottage with assurances that other arrangements would be made as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done and days went by. Even further complications ensued when crime suddenly hit the small town and engulfed them in a situation that centered on their immediate area and intensified by the fact that Lyn had specifically selected Intermezzo because of remembrances from her childhood. Specifically, drug initiated murders occurred and surrounding evidence was associated with Lyn’s remembrances. Old and new friends of both protagonists, as well as their children, play an important role in the story’s development and an interesting sub-plot that includes a recovering drug addict and his son provides additional interest as the tale gradually unfolds into a dangerous situation for Lyn and leads to an emotional climax that mystery/romance devotees will love.

Discussion: Intermezzo is one of several books by this author I have reviewed and invariably reach the same conclusion. Nancy Kay writes creditable and enjoyable mystery stories and probably is the best portrayer of ‘mature’ romance writing today. Specifically, she provides an insightful picture of the thought and action patterns developed by these individuals who have encountered the annoying and often greatly distressing vicissitudes of life and have survived. And quite contrary to the long held belief that sexual desire disappears with youth, she emphasizes the understanding that only gradually is dawning on a more enlightened (?), intelligent (?) population that love is not the sex act per se. That this is an expression of the deeper, encompassing sense of togetherness that should, and can, exist between a man and woman.

5* Another, most enjoyable Nancy Kay mystery/romance.

Sweet Barbarian

Sweet Barbarian, a fantasy/romance including considerable erotic activity in e-book by Jayla Jasso.
Plot: Valamir Braga is a Visigoth warrior who has been wounded, captured and is in chains in the castle of opponent clan leader Jovimus in Gallia Aquitania in the year of 483. His brother Andaric has just been beheaded and he is next. The iron door opens and Glismoda, Jovimus’ wife enters and says she will free him if he swears fealty to her and when her husband is killed in his ridiculous wars, she will bring him back and they will rule supreme. He knows she is a cold, uncaring person who is sexually attracted to him, but with no choice agrees. She is a Druid High Priestess with enormous occult skills, mixes some of his blood with special oils, delivers an incantation and he disappears. He awakens on a mountain in snow and cold, gradually begins a descent and finally collapses near a cabin in 2015 Colorado. Karly, the cabin owner’s Chihuahua disturbers her by barking furiously. She investigates and discovers this huge, muscular, sparsely clothed man literally freezing to death. Reacting instinctively, she manages to drag him into the house and save his life. His education and ‘modernization’ follows along with a gradually increasing love for this hulk who simultaneously expresses the same feelings and is an impressively and unbelievably thoughtful and ‘caring’ individual. Unfortunately, Karly still cannot commit because of her bad treatment by Shawn, now a drug abuser, whom she met and married while both were in the service. His continued insistence she return to him causes him to take action which adds another element to the story, as do actions by her brother Josh, close friend Macy and a few others, AND another (expected) occult session.
Discussion: The author has presented a story with an interesting plot and characters that lovers of fantasy and romance should most readily enjoy – a hulk who is thoughtful, respectful, faithful and sexually fulfilling on mutually acceptable terms. The pace is good and the gradually evolving learning process is well handled. The amount of explicit sexual activity is a little repetitive, but no doubt will be acceptable to many.

5* for the fantasy/romance aficionado.