Sunny Reviews Everything Pales in Comparison by Rebecca Swartz

I picked up a copy of this e-book when I saw that it was a finalist for a 2013 GCLS Goldie Award for Best Debut Author. I was not sorry. I found it to be quite a page-turner and not your typical ‘cop saves victim, victim falls for cop’ story. There are enough twists and turns that allow it, in my opinion, to escape that formula. I found the characters very interesting and likeable, flaws and all, and I really enjoyed their story.

To set up the story, which is set in Winnipeg, Canada, I’ll quote from the book’s promotional blurb:

“Constable Emma Kirby isn’t minding her latest assignment in the least. Security detail for a rising country music sensation’s concert is easy on the eyes and ears—until a deadly explosion tears open the night.”

The music sensation is Daina Buchanan, a gifted musician and a spitfire of a woman who is severely injured in the blast. It’s been pointed out to me since reading that some of the medical stuff is not quite accurate, but I didn’t really take issue with that while reading and it’s obviously not something that bothered me enough to put down the book.

Also, if you’re not a fan of country music, don’t let the blurb and the cover throw you off – the music (at least the country part) is not really a huge part of the book, so no worries there.

The book is really half-romance, half-thriller, so it can satisfy many tastes. There is maiming for those who like that sort of thing, there’s some mystery and intrigue, but there are also some really sweet scenes that readers who like romance will love.

The author’s blog (which can be found through her website at unapologetically refers to an Amazon reviewer who took major issue with the sex scene or what that reviewer considered lack thereof. That was actually one of the things I liked about the book. There was a sex scene, but it wasn’t graphic and didn’t seem that it was thrown in just to be titillating. I’ll be honest, I’d much rather see a fade-to-black approach to sex scenes than have to read a super-graphic scene that makes me scratch my head to try and figure out who’s doing what to whom. This one does not fade-to-black, but I thought it was handled quite appropriately for the characters and was very much in-keeping with the rest of the book.

All in all, I’d say this was a well-written, great debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Ms. Swartz.

Click here to download a sample or purchase Everything Pales in Comparison

Forever by Rebecca Swartz

They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. Well that’s what Oscar Wilde thought! I usually stay away from all online stories that give any indication that the author will not fulfil my wish to see a happy couple ride off into the sunset. *Spoiler warning* – this time I was tricked – Rebecca Swartz promised forever and how was I to know that forever could be a relative term?

Consider yourself warned – if you do choose to follow the link – you are in for a quality read along one of the well proven romantic storylines … best friends, one harbouring a BIG crush on the other, but is never ever going to tell, as this might just destroy the close friendship.

When I read stories like this, I can’t help but wonder if it’s really possible to be the “best friend”, and not let your feelings be known. If you hide something like this from your best friend, how close are you really? Sorry went off on a tangent there, this is online fiction, not real life, so who cares if it’s believable, as long as it’s romantic. And I think that this writer is able to get the romance going and convey the feelings of the girls as they move towards common ground.

This is not a long story, so don’t expect a fully developed storyline or an extensive characterisation of the women involved, and don’t complain if you have to shed a tear at the end – consider yourself warned.

Enjoy!  (Kissed by Venus is no more)