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Friday, October 30, 2009

Summer Wine by Helen Ravell

Summer Wine by Helen Ravell
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Length: Short (108 pages)
Genre: Contemporary
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

He was hot and charming. She fell for him hard and fast. They were on the way from Australia to the US to meet the mother-in-law from Hell, the jobs they had lined up didn't pay well, and her engagement ring was cheap, flashy bling, because that was all they could afford.

What did it matter? They had each other, and poor but honest is the stuff of fairytales.

Then Sam admitted he wasn't poor, which meant he hadn't been honest either. Things suddenly looked a whole lot grimmer. A different fairytale all together. The ring Claire thought was fake was real, and the man she thought was real was... well she'd just have to find out.

Take Claire Graham, a heroine who comes from a secure and loving family and and place her in the same space as Sam Bennett, with the mother-from-hell, mix in some humour and a lots of human frailty and you have an explosive mix. Under Ms Ravell's guidance, you feel you are 'there' in the story. Involved and wanting Claire and Sam to make it, and wondering whether Claire's prejudices will come back to haunt her. Of course they will, but it is how Helen takes Claire through those consequences that grabs and hold her reader's attentions.

Claire, at times, comes across as unforgiving and small minded, but by the end of the story she has met another character, whose appearance is brief, but his impact is profound enough to change Claire's attitude and give her another chance to put right some of the major wrongs she's guilty of. Claire comes through these lessons with flying colors and wins the justified respect of those around her and the man who matters most to her.

Sam has a secret which will come back to bite him and take his future to the edge of a black abyss of despair. He's strong minded, opinionated and in some aspects, a slow learner. When he sees his future going 'pear-shaped', he has to face up to the reality that his assumptions about people may not be as solid as he assumed. Fortunately, he has a good friend when he needs one most. But is he too late?

Ms Ravell offers conflict and attraction on the first pages and the pace and sensuality continues through to the end. This is an enjoyable read, which both exasperates and stimulates the readers' emotions.