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AnneBrooke

Anne Brooke: fiction writer

Contemporary gay romance and fantasy writer. Also loves flowers and bakes the occasional cake. Sometimes they're edible ...

Dancing with Lions and Other Stories

 

Short story collection, Dancing with Lions and Other Stories is now available at Amazon for just 99p!

Relationships, whether contemporary, fantastical or those lost in biblical history, can make or break us all. When love falls in a place you least expect it, the consequences can be life-affirming, life-destroying or even, on occasions, funny. Discover what happens when an artist falls in love with his model; when something as simple as fruit leads to passion; when marriage provides unexpected opportunities for lust or despair; and even when a dictionary encounters love. The results are guaranteed to surprise you!



Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books

The Old Bags' Sex Club: Erotic Romance

 

Erotic romance, The Old Bags' Sex Club, is now available on the Kindle for only 99p!

Four Old Bags and four Old Bag Problems: Annabel lost her husband two years ago and is looking for another man. Jackie is recovering from her husband Alan's infidelity and wants to have sex with someone else. Karen is a career woman and doesn't want a relationship, or does she? Finally there's me, Terri: I'm between men right now but I'm going to spice up my life, and that of my three good friends or beat myself to a pulp with the nearest whip if I fail. My idea is this: we all have to have an affair in the next month or forfeit our right to be part of The Old Bags' Sex Club. Let the fun begin!

You can find out more about The Old Bags' Sex Club at Amazon. Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books

Sunday Haiku

 

My poetry collection, Sunday Haiku, is now available at Amazon for only 99p.

Sunday Haiku is a series of rich and meditative haikus designed to get you through your year positively.

The publisher's blurb: These short poems are Anne Brooke's meditations on life, publishing, nature and herself. They are simply brilliant and beautiful.

Next to the dawn sky
the coins on my palm sparkle
a far poorer gold.

Buy the ebook at Amazon! Happy reading.


Anne Brooke Books

Unrealistic romance

Sugar and Spice - Angela Britnell

A rather irritating book with a neanderthal hero and a too girly heroine. The writing's not great, although I had lined it up to be a 3-star read, mainly for being such a good idea for a novel, until the totally ridiculous scene of violent threat in the restaurant between Lily and her ex. Um, no, just no - no woman would leave with a man who did that to her, certainly not in a public place where she could so easily call for help! The novel became really annoying after this, and I gave up caring about any of it. Oh well.

What Have I Done? - Amanda Prowse

A sometimes grim story of one woman's journey from domestic abuse to self-fulfilment. Occasionally rather too melodramatic (especially the ending) and her relationship with her children appears unrealistic. Thought-provoking however. Oh, and the title is rubbish - why not call it something like "Background Music" which is a theme of this story?..

— feeling confused
Changing Places - Colette Caddle

Average women's fiction with no great surprises. The women characters get a little irritating after a while but it's easy reading.

Going Home - Harriet Evans

A below-average chick lit novel. The heroine starts off well enough but very soon gets irritating, as does her whole family. I liked the on-off boyfriend Jaden but I had no idea what he was doing with Lizzie. It's all rather ridiculous and she ends up with the wrong man who isn't very nice at all. Not recommended.

The Heart's Greater Silence: Gay Erotic Romance

— feeling happy

 

 
 
Gay erotic romance The Heart's Greater Silence is now available on Kindle for only 99p or FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Here's the blurb:

Mark isn't sure he believes in love, especially when he's torn between two very different men: his reliable boyfriend, Craig, and his illicit lover and priest, Richard. Mark knows what he should do, but he can't bring himself to give Richard up. The sex with Richard is unlike anything he's ever known with Craig, and he hungers for it as much as - if not more than - the truer intimacy he finds in his boyfriend's arms. 

When Craig discovers his betrayal, Mark is forced to look at his life more closely, but the path to self-knowledge is never an easy one. Richard seeks the way back to God, but Mark finds no solace there. Can he ever discover the truth of his own soul, or is he too afraid of what he will - or won't - find inside his heart? 

Reviews

"Anne Brooke has written a somber and beautiful story of a man who had everything and lost it all because he coveted two very different men. It is dark and solemn and resonates with a sense of conflict and despair that wove the ideal atmosphere. It was moving and played beautifully against the knowledge that sometimes free will and human nature simply don't leave room for happy endings." (The Novel Approach) 

"This was an intense and moving story that caught me up from the very start … it does a wonderful job of poking at that line between love and lust as Mark gets caught up in his two different needs and sadly finds they can only be satisfied by two different people." (Joyfully Jay Reviews) 

"Anne Brooke is one of my favourites. I love the picture she always paints in her books - of a town, the people, the streets, the body language of the characters. Body language is an integral part of communication and not every writer can do this well, if at all. I like the fact that her writing is quirky, realistic and (I believe) comes from someone with keen observational skills … Short, realistic, terrific read." (On Top Down Under Book Reviews)

Find out more here. Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Gay thriller A Dangerous Man

— feeling big smile

Gay thriller A Dangerous Man

 
 
I'm happy to announce that gay thriller A Dangerous Man is now republished under my own imprint and available at Amazon for 99p only.


Michael Jones, a young gay artist and part-time hooker, will do anything to stage his first exhibition. When he falls in love with rich financier Jack Hutchinson, he seems set to achieve his goal. But as Michael becomes caught between the unforgiving territory of smoky-bar Hackney and the green-garden luxury of upper class London, the consequences of his uncompromising pursuit leave him having to fight for all he holds dear, and in the only way he knows how.


I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

Slow-burn literary romance

Book Lover - Jennifer Kaufman

An unusual book and one I really rather enjoyed, in no small measure for its difference from any other women's fiction/romance book I've read recently.

 

Dora is obsessed with books and uses them to both hide from and try to make sense of her rapidly disintegrating life. I found it hard to get into the book and the character at first, partly due to the sheer numbers of literary allusions in the beginning - but something sparky in the story kept me going and I'm very glad I did.

 

After a while, I warmed to Dora and was very glad when things began (slowly!) to turn round for her. Her relationship with her ex, Palmer, is absolutely charming, and I loved him. In the course of the novel, Dora grows and begins to deal with friends and family more effectively, and I was really rooting for her by the time the story ended. The ending is almost perfect, although - being me! - I would have preferred a wee bit more emotion in those closing pages but, on the other hand, the subtlety works very well.

 

So good stuff and a book I recommend.

Cliche City but I kept on reading

Good Husband Material - Trisha Ashley

This book promised much but delivered little in terms of character or plot. It's seriously overwritten and events take an absolute age to be described and dealt with. So much so that what I thought must surely be a time period of about six months turned out to be just a month, so the descriptions do drag themselves out to a painful extent.

 

The characters are also wearingly cliched - I didn't believe any husband would be as utterly appalling and without any good points at all as James was - it got to the stage when I just kept laughing in a resigned fashion and rolling my eyes at how horrid he was. Mind you, Tish is such a wet blanket and emotional dunderhead that part of me really couldn't blame him.

 

The romance between Tish and the rock star has no heat about it at all, and I cared not a hoot about whether they got together or not. Which is a bit of a downer in a romance novel, I have to say - they just weren't interesting enough.

 

However, with all that said, I do think that Ms Ashley's writing itself (if a good editor would just sort the descriptions out and cut the timeline nonsense) is pretty good - after all, it made me read to the end, even though I hated the people. So I suspect that this author would do a lot better with a sleeker story and less dull characters, so I may well try another of her books at some point.

 

 

Unexpectedly enjoyable

— feeling happy
Secret Diary of a Demented Housewife - Niamh Greene, Caroline Lennon

I picked this book up during a recent bout of illness, not expecting to enjoy it much, and was pleasantly surprised. The writing is very engaging indeed and I thought the family set up was good and well-described.

 

Perhaps it's not laugh out loud material, but it did raise a wry smile now and again and the ending was very satisfying. I also enjoyed the voice of the main character and the diary approach was fun.

New Story: Kat Carruthers Doesn't Get Married

— feeling happy

Comic romance Kat Carruthers Doesn't Get Married is now available on the Kindle for only 99p!

 

Kat Carruthers is preparing for her wedding day when her fiancé Brian rings her to say that the wedding is off. As an unhappy and furious Kat tries to come to terms with this shock news, there’s a knock on the door and it’s the boilerman, Mike, come to service the boiler a full month early. 

When Kat’s mother rings to say Brian has arrived at the church, got into a fight and the police have been called, Kat is faced with several interesting choices. What in the end will she decide?

Buy the ebook here!

Anne Brooke

Meandering with the occasional glimpse of greatness

— feeling confused
The Last Days of Dogtown - Anita Diamant

An okay read, and with enough interest to keep you going in the rather flabby middle. Still the character of Judy Rhines just about held it together, though she's not on the page as often as I would like.

 

Every now and again, the writing is strangely rather amateur, with different points of view introduced apparently at a whim, which meant I had to go back and reread to see who was talking now - rather irritating really.

 

However, the ending was very good, even though I took a while to get there - but it's still not the tour de force of The Red Tent. Then again, perhaps nothing ever will be ...

 

3 stars.

Book News: Gay romantic thriller The Bones of Summer

— feeling big smile

I have just republished gay romantic thriller The Bones of Summer on the Kindle for 99p only. It's the second in the Maloney crime series, but both books can be read as standalone stories.

 

Here's the blurb:

When Craig Robertson's religious fanatic father disappears, Craig is forced to return to the home he left behind after an underage affair in order to look for answers. He takes with him his new lover, private investigator Paul Maloney, who is more than willing to help solve the mystery. 

The search soon becomes an investigation into Craig's past, and, because of distressing gaps in his memory, he's terrified of the truths he might find. As Craig's obsession with uncovering clues grows, his fragile relationship with Paul begins to disintegrate. Haunted and stalked, Craig has to face down the horror of his memories if he wants to have any hope of a future at all. 

The Bones of Summer was awarded third place in the inaugural 2009 Rainbow Mystery Fiction Awards. 

Reviews

"All I can do is recommend that you read The Bones of Summer. Actually, this goes beyond recommendation to a plea - if you like mystery; if you like character driven books; if you like reading compulsively, unable to part with the story for even a short time; then you must read this book.” [From a 5+ star review at Jessewave Reviews] 

The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke is an exceptionally well written and thrilling mystery novel. This novel grabbed a hold of me almost immediately and would not let go. I found myself reading until the early morning hours. The last few chapters are especially chilling and will stay with me for a long time.” [From a 4.5 star review at Romance Junkies Reviews] 

"Well, Anne Brooke has done it to me again. I read the first book in the series (Maloney's Law) where Paul Maloney, a broken man, was the main character. At the end of the book, he met Craig Robertson and even though they didn't end up together, they established a connection. This is Craig's story. And what a story it is." [From a 4-star review at Mrs Condit Reviews]

Here's the buy link at Amazon for you: myBook.to/BonesBrooke

Every good wish for a great summer

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK

A book of two halves

Good in Bed - Jennifer Weiner

A curious novel, this one. It starts off very sharply indeed, but Cannie isn't at this point the strongest of heroines - in fact she does get rather wimpy after a while. However it's perfectly realistic until about half way through when she suddenly ends up being a total success in Hollywood. What??!!! The Hollywood sections are actually very poorly written and it's cliche after cliche, sadly. At this point, the book was heading rapidly downhill to a 2 star rating, whereas before it had hovered somewhere between 3 and even 4 stars.

 

Honestly, it's as if Weiner left the building and someone else - possibly her cat? - was writing this section for her. I can't really think of any other explanation … However, fear not, as all is not lost - the end sections when Cannie returns from pesky Hollywood (hurrah!) are just great and the ending and the eventual love interest are very good indeed.

 

As a result, it gains a 3 star rating, but no higher due to that soggy middle. It needed a far more talented editor, but it's interesting work.