Tim loves Naomi Wong from Hong Kong. He just didn’t realise it until now.
When Naomi returns home for her sister’s wedding, it finally dawns on Tim that his feelings for her run deeper than friendship. He starts to have a recurring dream. Unfortunately, he can never seem to remember the exact details, but he knows it’s telling him something very important.
Then the ghostly apparition of a blurred-face woman starts to haunt his waking world.
This novella is a quick, entertaining read with romance, comedy, and a shocking supernatural threat. It begins like a rom-com with a pair of best friends, Tim and Naomi, coming to terms with previously unacknowledged feelings when Naomi flies home to Hong Kong for her sister’s wedding. Then Tim has a disturbing dream and the story veers into creepy horror as his dreams come true in the worst way. This wishy-washy slacker has to find his inner hero to save the woman he loves … from herself.
I enjoyed Tim and Naomi’s easygoing friendship and banter. They know each other well and have their own language. It was no surprise that they had feelings for each other, and also no surprise that they were reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. The supernatural threat was shocking and spooky. I like that the ending was hopeful without being completely resolved.
Romance, monsters, and magic … for grownups? Yes, please!
It’s a treat to find a good fantasy novel aimed at adult readers. Sparks is just such a book. Nothing against YA, which I love, but I like the idea of someone with life experience and responsibilities encountering magic in the midst of an otherwise ordinary life. I also enjoyed the setting: contemporary West Coast farm country, not the usual venue for tales of monsters and magic.
Rosie, a widow in her late 30s, owns a ranch where she boards horses and offers riding lessons. She loves her life but she’s deep in debt. She has plans to train five mustangs, which will help pay the bills. But first she needs to build a round pen, and the only good place for it is occupied by a century-old cowshed. A cowshed that does not want to be torn down. Things are complicated further by the arrival of Patrick, a handsome stranger with a beautiful horse and a mysterious past. Skeptical, unsuperstitious Rosie has a big adjustment to make as genuine magic enters her life, and not only from the cowshed.
The book has a nice balance of humor, romance, and suspense as Rosie and Patrick team up to figure out what is in the cowshed and how to get rid of it. Things get worse before they get better—much worse for some characters—until the surprising, satisfying conclusion. Recommended for fans of fantasy romance, mythical creatures, and horses.
My novel Daughter of Magic released on May 22, 2018 from Not a Pipe Publishing, which accepted Kamila Shamsie’s challenge to make 2018 The Year of Publishing Women and will publish nine books by seven women this year. They are also accepting submissions of short stories by women to be published weekly online.
When Master Ordahn spoke those words, his apprentice thought he meant home would feel too tame, or the wizard would be too changed for home to seem like home anymore.
He didn’t know it meant home would cease to exist.
The young wizard glanced at the dripping sky, then pulled his hood forward and sank onto a fallen log with a dejected sigh. “Now what?”
He called himself The Crane, a name he’d given himself as a boy—the last of many. He didn’t remember what his mother called him. Both his parents had died when he was very small. They had died here. He wasn’t sure he could even find their graves.