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Thursday, December 11, 2008


Venture by Bill Newman
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Review by Camellia

In her hometown of Sydney, Australia, bio-chemist and DNA expert, Lydia meets John, a British scientist working on a top secret navy project. After an intense couple of weeks together, he is called back home, and learns he has been fired.

Lydia persuades John to return to Sydney to develop a radical new invention of his. She helps him get his invention working. Life seems sweet until she discovers she must contend with his former girlfriend and a shady Russian outfit posing as venture capitalists who are trying to steal the invention.

When the Russians play hardball, Lydia realizes she must literally put her life on the line to save everything they have built for themselves.

VENTURE is a plot driven story with lots of characters that takes the reader to England and Australia as mercenaries headed by an ex KGB agent, operating as Smolensk Security, Inc., do whatever it takes to obtain their goal. They are being paid big money to obtain John’s invention.

John Day, the hero, employed by the English Navy on a special project, has a project of his own that Smolensk wants. John’s science intellect is of genius caliber but his emotional development seems stunted. His rather shallow relationships with women becomes a weak spot that Smolensk exploits.

Lydia Newton, the heroine, is also highly intelligent scientifically but parties looking for the “right man” without much success. Her friends try to help. She works for Rexx Pharm in Australia as a drug tester where she rather accidently makes a discovery about a decongestant that sets her on a path of doing her own research on the side.

When John goes on vacation in Australia, he meets Lydia and their lives become entwined. As the story unfolds, they’re both targeted by Smolensk. Mr. Newton uses their scientific genius to whet the reader’s interests in “what if” areas of inventions and discoveries. At times, the reader is kept at a distance by the story being told rather than shown, probably for the sake of moving the story along.

An unusual sense of humor throughout the story creates relief from the intensity of danger and killings making for interesting reading. Also, undercurrents at the parties, the sexual encounters, and among friends add subtexts that are not seen in many romance stories.

VENTURE is not a story that explores the many levels of love but takes the reader into sexual encounters, adventures, action, and suspenseful situations. But Lydia and John get a happy-ever-after that seems perfect for their temperament.