Tag Archives: indie

Review: The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh

23rd January 2014

pg1*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Emily Crossley and Robert Drake would never be matched up on eharmony or match.com. Each is passionate about politics and his or her own key issues. Emily works for a nonprofit devoted to ridding the planet of gas-guzzling SUVs. Robert is a businessman whose business it is to market those same SUVs.

When they meet at an anti-SUV rally Emily hosts, sparks fly…but less from lust and more from a sense of righteousness. Robert follows up with a string of emails, and Emily is intrigued, asking him out before she loses her nerve. As Emily and Robert’s arguments grow more and more heated, so does their attraction.

But how do you reconcile an attraction to someone so inappropriate for you on paper? Emily and Robert both struggle with this, yet each is level headed and logical, able to articulate their stances in ways that aren’t offensive to the other. Plus, there’s more to each than politics. Robert loves astronomy. Emily loves to read. At one point, Emily even questions whether she uses her politics as a way to separate herself from others, a moment of brutal honesty. But it is each character’s openness with one another that allows them to fall in love until Robert’s demanding job overwhelms any chance they have of being together.

At first glance, The Drake Equation made me nervous. Not only is it a romance novel, but it’s also a novel involving two characters whose political beliefs are diametrically opposed. To be together, miraculously, neither Robert nor Emily suddenly changes his or her political beliefs. Neither one gives up a career for the other. That’s not to say that Robert and Emily don’t change or compromise, but so often in romance novels, one or the other of the characters in the couple makes a change that makes my skin crawl a bit. Heather Walsh avoids that and creates a cast of intelligent, thoughtful characters without unrealistic obstacles getting in the way of love, making The Drake Equation the perfect romance novel for people who hate romance novels.

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.

Review: No Hope for Gomez! by Graham Parke

12th June 2013

pg1

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Self-published through Outskirts Press.

 Gomez has a slight problem – ok, he has several problems. He’s absolute crap at managing the antique store his parents left him. The drug trial he entered for extra cash has left him unsure what is real and what may be drug-induced side effect, and he thinks he may or may not be in love with Dr. Hargrove, the lab assistant who administers his drugs each week. When another participant in the drug trial ends up dead, Gomez realizes he may be in much more trouble than he thought.

As part of his entry into the drug trial, Gomez must keep a blog and post about his experiences. As successive posts get stranger and stranger, both the reader and Gomez wonder if what is happening – his upstairs neighbor drilling holes into Gomez’s ceiling; Dr. Hargrove asking him to stalk her stalker; a customer at the antique store wanting to buy his tax documents – is actually real.

Yet what could easily become an unmanageable mess of a novel becomes a funny, human look at life and its idiosyncrasies in the hands of Graham Parke. Gomez creates tests to discover if he’s actually in love with Dr. Hargrove or if his feelings are just the result of the drug trial. He investigates the death of Joseph Miller, another drug trial participant. He attempts to assuage the eccentric behavior of his assistant Hicks, whose proclivities for order rival Gomez’s own increasingly chaotic life.

In the end, the truth about Gomez is much less interesting than what the reader begins to believe, but Parke is forgiven this as it is Gomez’s journey, and his truth that make the novel: What is and what isn’t? How much of what we see is perspective and belief, and how much is objective truth?

Add this to your Goodreads shelf (it looks like they’re hosting a giveaway until July 4!).