Book Review: The Shouting Man by Fiona McShane

Book Review- The Shouting Man Contemporary Romance

Love, Mystery and Guilt in an Irish Coastal Town

The Shouting Man by Fiona McShane

Fey O’Brien is a young woman driven by a passion to write. Shortly after she and her husband move to a small harbor town in rural Ireland, Fey discovers another passion: Alec, a man accused of murdering his own parents, who is shunned and called crazy by the rest of the townspeople. Both Fey and Alec are married, but when both of their spouses die, they find that shame, guilt and fear are bigger obstacles to love than they realized.

McShane’s “The Shouting Man” is both a dark, tragic romance and a mystery that is reminiscent of classics like Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca.” Its setting, the Irish town of Port Dubh, is integral to the love story, almost as though it is another character, and the author’s descriptions of the Irish coast and rural life are poetic and evocative. The story is complex and explores the ways in which societal expectations, combined with our own emotions get in the way of what we truly want.

Though set in contemporary Ireland, “The Shouting Man” feels very much like an old fashioned novel that takes its time describing its settings and its characters’ inner lives. Filled with unexpected twists and mysteries to be solved before the two lovers can be together, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read that lovers of epic romance will find especially satisfying.

From the Book Description:

Grief is difficult enough when it is pure and simple; it is even more difficult when it is tainted by guilt.

Fey O’Brien has been in love with Alec Cusack, a farmer and fisherman, from the moment she moved to the coastal village of Port Dubh. She was in love with him long before her husband died – so much so that she paid no heed to the rumours. Maybe Alec’s father killed his mother and then himself; that is, after all, what the inquest decided. Or could what the locals say be true: did Alec Cusack kill at least one of his parents?

After the death of Alec’s wife, suspicion follows Alec once again. As he and Fey are growing closer, guilt takes over, and Fey leaves Port Dubh. She begins a relationship with Shane Wilde, an artist. Shane is rich, handsome, and liked by all. But Fey cannot get Alec Cusack off her mind.

She returns to the coast, and embarks on a trip to Ewes’ Rest, the island where Alec’s parents met their deaths. Will Fey’s time on the island finally reveal the truth? Or will it bring new and unexpected dangers her way?


About the Author

Fiona McShane lives in (very) rural Ireland with a husband, a cat and a dog.  She spends most of her time writing, but every now and then takes a break for a cup of coffee.
The Shouting Man is her first work of fiction. Since its release, she has also published Book One of the Wolf Land Series; the second in that series will be out this September.  Feel free to connect with Fiona on Twitter or Goodreads.
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Book Review – We Could Fall

We Could Fall Literary Romance

A Literary Romance About Mid-Life Choices

We Could Fall, by Kate Moschandreas

Emmy is a 42-year old psychotherapist. Married. A mom. We Could Fall is the story of one pivotal month in her life. A month in which she learns that her husband doesn’t want the divorce Emmy thought they had agreed to, the famous actor who is her psychotherapy client is in love with her, and, surprisingly, she may be in love with him. Yet this is not a romance novel in the traditional sense.  Though the story line follows the end of one relationship and the beginning of another, throughout the novel,  author Kate Moschandreas is as concerned with portraying Emmy’s inner life as she is with the romantic details. On one level, the tension in the story comes from the choice between two men that Emmy must make, but on another, more satisfying level, it is about the heroine’s choice between the life she is leading and the one she thinks she may be able to have. Will Emmy allow her self-doubt and fears about the consequences of her actions paralyze her into staying in an unhappy but familiar situation or will she take a leap of faith into the Emmy that could be?

The creation of three-dimensional, complex characters who remain real in the reader’s mind long after the book is finished is one of the more mysterious aspects of writing fiction. Author Cory Doctorow has said, about creating his characters, “they become people, and writing them feels more like you’re recounting something that happened than something you’re making up.” Moschandreas is a first-time author who, in her biography, relates the story of a snippet of dialogue that popped into her head one day and eventually morphed into an entire story and then a novel, almost as though the characters already existed and just needed their story told. That is how the characters here feel – engaging, relatable and real. We Could Fall shows Kate Moschandreas’ remarkable ability to tell the stories of her characters’ complex emotions imaginatively and beautifully.

We Could Fall by Kate Moschandreas

a Story of Summers by Sophia Scarlet

Erotic Romance With a Deeper Meaning

a Story of Summers by Sophia Scarlet

Georgiana Phillips has it all: beauty and brains and money. And a carefully built network of friends that help shield her from the loneliness of having lost her entire family as a teenager.

After the man she thinks she wants chooses another woman, she finds herself involved in a relationship with a stranger who she met on a run in the park. Finn Hayden – the stranger from the park – is confident and always in control and wants more from Georgiana than she is sure she can give, both emotionally and sexually.

Rose_Petal_by_Halo_Junkya Story of Summers is a surprising romantic novel. Its description calls it a “contemporary erotic romance with light BDSM.” Which it is. It is also well written and much more insightful about love and relationships than most romance novels, certainly more so than most in the “erotic/alpha male/bdsm” category.  The author, Sophia Scarlet, explores the relationship between loss and the need for emotional control and the larger issue of how much control we must give up in order to be in a romantic relationship. In one sense, the BDSM aspect of this novel is used as a metaphor for other forms of control.

On another level, there is explicit sex in a Story of Summers, as well as the accepted formula for romance novels: 2 people want to be together but there is an obstacle. But author Sophia Scarlet uses this convention in a more interesting and three dimensional way than most, creating a book about love and sex and also about the emotional complications of both. Rose_Petals_by_Halo_Junky


Click.Date.Repeat. by K.J. Farnham

A Delightful Look at Online Romance, Circa 2003

click date artBased on the author’s real-life experiences with online dating (through which she met her husband) Click. Date. Repeat. is a look at internet dating in its early days – 2003. The novel opens with the text of Chloe’s online profile and moves swiftly from there. It follows Chloe, a teacher in her mid-twenties living in the Midwest, who is certain that she can use a system to find the right man efficiently. With all of the men available on the internet, how can she possibly fail? Inevitably, she fails. Men do not live up to her expectations, she doesn’t live up to theirs and some dates who seemed perfect online turn out to be hilariously less than perfect in person.  Meanwhile, there is an ex-boyfriend who is making himself available and, as the story progresses and Chloe’s dating experiences go from bad to worse, he becomes more and more of a temptation.

Though the focus is online dating, the story highlights the problems of any dating experience – awkward first dates, expectations not met, and the way so many of us overlook glaring issues with the people we’re dating, in the interest of “making it work.”

Farnham has created a funny and charming look at relationships that rings true, and even though this is a comic romantic novel, the story reveals many truths about how the need for a relationship often blinds women to their own value and the lack of value in the men they are with.  There are touching scenes as well as comic ones here, all driven by the characters, who are three dimensional and who are the real power of this novel. The character of Chloe is one that any woman who has ever wanted to fall in love will identify with – and root for.  click date repeat contemporary romance

If you are a fan of contemporary romance that is well-written, fast-paced and that makes you smile continually, you will love Click.Date.Repeat. It is impossible not to enjoy this winning romp through virtual romance, seen through the eyes of an every-woman heroine as she slogs through frog after frog on the way to finding her prince.

About the Author

100_3301A native of suburban Milwaukee, K.J. Farnham worked as a teacher for 12 years before becoming a freelance writer, in 2012. She is working on a sequel to Click Date Repeat and will publish her next novel, “Don’t Call Me Kit Kat,” in the spring of 2015.

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“There’s Always Love” by Joycie Russ


There's Always Love by Joycie Russ Featured on ReadersWritersJournal

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In There’s Always Love, Joycie Russ brings the reader into the life of Jade Simmons, a young homicide detective. After having a recurring dream, she reopens a cold case as a favor to a friend. The deeper she digs the further she finds herself from the answers she desires. Will she be able to find the killer before the killer finds her?

After drawing us into Jade’s life of mystery and secrets, Russ maintains interest in the struggles of the characters as they experience loss, love and build relationships. There’s Always Love is just the beginning of Jade’s journey. This debut promises to make readers hunger for more.


A Richmond, Virginia Native, Joycie Russ has written BUY NOW ON BOOKCOUNTRYseveral short stories. She loves to write and stopped when she became a wife and mother. She feels like she has returned to her first love. Ms. Russ currently lives in North Chesterfield just outside of Richmond Virginia. She is working on the sequel: There’s Always Adventures in Love.


BUY NOW ON AMAZON“There’s Always Love by Joycie Russ is an excellent combination of both a romance and mystery novel. Readers will love her beautifully told story as the plot continues to unwrap.”

“The beginnings of this book have me craving for more.”

“This story caught my interest on the first page and I liked Jade Simmons as a young homicide detective working to make her mark in her chosen field.” BUY NOW ON SMASHWORDS



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“Test Of The Heart: Tragedy Brought Them Closer ” by Julia Katz

Contemporary Romance About the Power of Love

Test of the Heart by Julia Katz on AmazonJulia Katz’s “Test of the Heart” is a very real story about the complications of long-term relationships and the obstacles that couples in love face. It is also the moving story of how a family deals with various losses – the loss of a son and the possible loss of a marriage.

When Andrea’s son drowns in the family swimming pool, the stresses present in her family relationships come to a head, particularly the contentious relationship she has with her mother-in-law, Gabriella.  Andrea’s husband, Matt, is very much in love with his wife but also very much under the control of his mother.  As the tragedy of a child’s death hits Andrea, she begins to reassess her relationship with her husband…and question its value.

“Test of the Heart” is ultimately a reaffirmation of the power of ldownload test nowove, even in the face of unspeakable pain and loss.  Though it is romantic and even erotic, its real message is about the power of love to overcome any obstacle and pull us through any challenge.  Well written and engaging, with characters that are multi-layered and realistic and who are struggling with real-life issues, this is a book that will appeal to fans of contemporary romance fiction that features strong characters and a genuine look at a passionate relationship between 2 people.


 Praise for “Test Of The Heart: Tragedy Brought Them Closer”

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“Another Cinderella Story ” by Magus Tor and Carrie Lynn Weniger

A Fairytale Re-told, With an LGBT Twist

Another Cinderella Story on Amazon

The second in the “True Love Comedy” book series.

A retelling of a familiar fairytale, with a LGBT twist.  This is a charming, inventive and engaging book that is filled with humor and affection for the original Cinderella story.

Insecure Cindy has had self-image problems since childhood.  Things are finally looking up when she lands her dream job as in-house counsel at Storyteller Cosmetics right after law school.  When she is wooed by the desirable Tom Cooper, Deputy CEO and son of the company’s CEO, she thinks her life is about to completely turn around.  But she finds herself wavering and struggling with doubts.  “How can he love me when I don’t even love myself?” Cindy has a secret…one that she believes she can never share with anyone, least of all Tom.  It is this secret that is at the root of her self-confidence issues, and one she believes will destroy her if it ever becomes public.

Doubts and half-truths complicate the budding romance between Cindy and Tom and, as the story progresses the complications become more humorous and touching. Ultimately, though, this is a love story about acceptance of self and others. Full of unexpected twists and turns, “Another Cinderella Story” is a thoroughly engaging tale of love’s obstacles, told in a thoroughly modern way.

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 MTAbout the Authors

Born and raised in Singapore, Magus Tor is a Freelance Medical Doctor (M.D.) by day, and a witty, thought provoking writer and game designer by night. He is the author of several novels, including  “Life Bank,” “The Phantom of Misery Sea,” and “Dream Killing.”

clwCarrie Lynn Weniger is originally from Chicago and currently lives in Arizona. A stay-at-home mother of four and office worker, Weniger decided to follow her dream of writing professionally. She is inspired by authors Dean Koontz and John Saul.

Other Books by Magus Tor and Carrie Lynn Weniger 

 love triangle xx Love triangle xy

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Magus Tor Author Page // Carrie Lynn Weniger Author Page // Facebook // Website

“Seduction 6” Book 6 in the Strong Young Women Series, by Joyce Jordan

Romance With a Relatable, Real Heroine


Seduction Book Six on AmazonThe last in the “Strong Young Women” series of erotic romance novels by Joyce Jordan, “Seduction Book 6” shares many of the same traits with others in the series: it is absorbing, fast-paced and filled with real characters who it is easy to sympathize with and root for. They are classic romances but, in some ways, also have the feel of a mystery or thriller because the plots are so filled with twists and turns and surprises. Readers will love the romance and erotic charge, but will also find themselves excited to see what new plot twist is in store next.

The story begins with a wedding, always a romantic start, and takes off from there. Many characters and couples from earlier in the series appear here, and avid fans of the “Strong Young Women” novels will be pleased to find old favorites and see how some stories resolve.

As with the entire series and, indeed, all of the romance novels by Joyce Jordan, it is characterization that sets this novel apart. The author has a gift for creating characters.  They are well written and fully formed, real people with both good and bad traits. They are, just like real people, complicated and multi-faceted and that is what makes them so engaging.  In particular, the women characters featured here are different from so many in traditional romance novels.  Smart, assertive and modern, these are not passive women waiting for life to happen to them.  And it is this fact that makes “Seduction 6″such a standout: real women.  Readers who enjoy romance but also crave relatable female characters who reflect real people will thoroughly enjoy this novel.


Strong Young Women by Joyce Jordan Series

About the Author

Joyce JordanA lifelong reader since childhood, Joyce Jordan enjoyed mystery and suspense books and, as a teenager, added romance novels to her list of favorites. She dreamed of being a writer but was uncertain that she could achieve her dream.

One day she fell across a book that mentioned the possibility of self publishing. She read several more books on the subject and gained enough courage to write her first book,  “Seduction-book 1″ in September of 2013. Since then, she has been encouraged by fans and has continued writing. She is the author of the”Strong Young Women” ‘ series, the “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” series,  and the “Miami Heat” Series.


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“Protect My Soul Zenith Elite Book 1,” by M.J. Herald

Love, Souls and Angels in New Paranormal Romance Series

Protect My Soul Book 1 of the Zenith Elite Series on Amazon“Protect My Soul” starts with an interesting juxtaposition: a quote by C.S. Lewis, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body,” followed by a scene of a heartless murder.

So begins a new paranormal romance series about saving souls, love and redemption that focuses on the spiritual rather than the temporal.  A group called the Zenith Elite protect the earth from evil.  Created by the archangels and led by Gideon, the story follows several paths, including the battle against evil and saving of souls, and the love between Gideon and a human girl, Ren, who has been spiritually lost since her mother abandoned her as a child.

Gideon’s entire existence is full of meaning: he exists only to combat evil.  He has appeared throughout time in various forms, sometimes human, to combat the evil of humans and to combat the malicious Azrael. When he meets Ren, he reassures her that she is where she needs to be. On one level, he gives her the meaning she has been looking for all of her life.  As the story develops, however, it becomes clear that nothing is quite so simple and that Ren may be the one who saves Gideon’s soul.

This is a very unusual, thoughtful and thought-provoking look at the meaning of love and how love gives our lives purpose.  It is also an absorbing adventure story about the battle between Gideon and Azrael and so can be read on two levels. It is equally enjoyable for the romance and adventure story and for the meditation on the power of love to save and protect.

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“Victoria and Drake” by Joyce Jordan

A Modern Tale of the Obstacles to Love

Victoria and Drake by Joyce Jordan on AmazonThe fifth entry in the “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” series, “Victoria and Drake” tells a story of steamy modern romance, and of how secrets, fears and uncertainty can keep lovers apart.

Tori is a woman who has been waiting for Mr. Right for a long time. After a series of failed relationships she concludes that she has a talent for finding Mr. Wrong. Tori decides to move on to another one of her dreams, having a child and starting the white picket fence life, on her own. But when she meets the handsome, charming and rich Drake, her plans get thrown into a tailspin. Lacking trust, she tries to avoid his advances, but the chemistry is too strong.  And Drake is used to getting what he wants: he will not be denied the woman he has seen and become entranced with.  At the wedding of a mutual friend, the chemistry gets the better of them, but now Tori is pregnant and unsure of what to do. How will Drake react? And can she trust that his love is forever and not just for now? And what will Drake do when he finds out about her past?

This is a classic tale of romance and undeniable attraction, filled both with the complications of romantic love and the pleasures of physical love.  At the center of the conflict lie Tori’s fears about acceptance and rejection, fears that plague most of us to some extent. For that reason, and because the characters here are so well done and three dimensional, readers will be able to relate to Tori’s dilemma and to her as a person. From the outset it is clear that Tori and Drake should be together, but fear, pride, secrets and misunderstanding conspire to keep them apart. This is a real-world romantic story that doesn’t shy away from exploring modern issues in relationships. Or from exploring the role sexual attraction plays in romantic love. Well written, with unusually complex characters for the romance genre, this is a thoroughly enjoyable tale of love, lust and the modern obstacles to the “happily ever after” ending.Age Ain't Nothing But a Number Series

About the Author

Joyce JordanA lifelong reader since childhood, Joyce Jordan enjoyed mystery and suspense books and, as a teenager, added romance novels to her list of favorites. She dreamed of being a writer but was uncertain that she could achieve her dream.

One day she fell across a book that mentioned the possibility of self publishing. She read several more books on the subject and gained enough courage to write her first book,  “Seduction-book 1″ in September of 2013. Since then, she has been encouraged by fans and has continued writing. She is the author of the”Strong Young Women” ‘ series, the “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” series,  and the “Miami Heat” Series.


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