The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


I've had some bad reviews in my time, none more hurtful than my first one star critique. It was brutal, and I questioned every single word I'd written. Five years down the line, I'm a lot more thick skinned. I will admit when a criticism is valid and sometimes I'll even revel in it. (Sorry, about Sympathy for the Devil reader - someone was going to come off worse and it was always going to be West. That's life!)

And then came a review on An Art To It. The reviewer didn't understand British slang, they skimmed through pages of it, and they had zero interest in reading about people at college. Well, to be clear only one of them was at university, and the other was still at secondary school. And I went straight back to questioning myself - for a brief moment. Until the lovely members of my Facebook page told me "No, baby, no."

So, just in case someone missed it - I am British. London born African. My experiences are going to be decidedly different from an author who grew up in either Downtown LA or the suburbs of Paris. I cannot overstate how important education is to the people of the African continent, or how education is the gateway to all those dreams advertised on TV in the UK. How can you afford Waitrose (upscale supermarket that lists creme brulee as an 'essential') if you don't get a single A-Level?

We speak a different language. Say "peng" to a North London teenager, and they'll know what you're talking about. Tweet "canny" to a Geordie (someone from Newcastle) and to a Glaswegian and they mean two different things entirely. American English and London English are different languages - ask Word. Search A-Levels and teenagers, and just see the sheer numbers of them crying about having no sleep, wasting time watching Family Guy when they could be revising, or having a joyous night out with friends, because they've been let off the hook by their parents.

Granted, I wouldn't go through that again for love nor money. I've done more studying than God intended me to do - and I'm still sodding doing it! But I wanted to write that story. Because after university, life gets seriously responsible. If it's not holding down a job you probably hate, it's paying bills, it's putting that dress from Zara back down because you can't afford it this month, it's saving for a holiday because you've only got two weeks left, seeing as you used half your allowance on sick days, drinking cheap prosecco at your friend's wedding. It's praying you win the lottery by wishful thinking so you don't have to live with anyone else. All that stuff that honestly makes you long for the days when the worst thing you had to worry about was turning up to school on time.

These stories are first and foremost escapism. What I write in any case, I don't deign to speak for other authors. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - no one is going to like everything I write. Take time to read the blurb, to read a sample, see what you're getting. If paranormal's not for you - you're not going to enjoy Addicted to Witch or Remains. If reading about teenagers getting their parents to pay for holidays while talking in slang is not your jolly, allow An Art To It, or Sympathy for the Devil. Even @Last features younger characters, who will not assess a situation in the same way as a thirty year old would.

Look, if Shelly Laurenston wrote a factual book on The Kennedys tomorrow, I'd leave it. It's not my thing. No offence and I doubt she'd take it as such. Although, if she wrote a romantic fiction based on Leninism in 19th Century Russia, I'd be all over that. History still is one of my favourite subjects.
Don't take a chance on the premise that because it's me you'll love it. Why do that to yourself? It's not for you, and that's okay. I've written others that are.

I've got the list to the right that includes everything I've written in the right genre. But just to make sure, I'm separating things into age groups, just so you know, my sweet spot is around my own age, or a little older. But I do everyone. I don't discriminate. Besides, Hot Muse Hank wouldn't let me. He's planning a Cougar Future for me. Don't ask...

Italian Knights Series

Late 20s Early 30s
On Caristo’s Watch

The Claim
Best Laid Plans
Murano (coming soon)

Verde Bianco Rosso

A Life Sublime


Said the Demon to Little Miss Eva
Angel’s Baby (sequel to Said the Demon)
Put Out the Zombie
Playing Dead
Shibah’s Monster
Addicted To Witch

Late 30s - Early 40s
Nights of Roshan


Late Teens
An Art To It

Early 20s
@Last (Young Adult)
Sympathy for the Devil (Young Adult)

Late 20s - Early 30s
Kissing the Canvas

An Old Cake Tale
Army of You and Me
Sweet Child of Mine

Late 30s - Early 40s
The Baby Gift
Camera’s Gaze (coming soon)

Coming Around Again

Flash Fiction

Christmas Connection
At Midnight
Starting Over
On Set Vintage Pleasures


Lifespan of all ages 
Fairytales of Christmas
Season of Love, Vol One

Season of Love, Vol Two


  1. Although i don't quite understand a bunch of the lingo that your characters say, or do, I can get most of what's going on in terms of life. I can completely relate to the struggle Art and Patricia were going through with grades, classes, and THE LIFE outside of school! Although the lingo wasn't completely familiar, the setting, and the life example was pretty much the same! I hate it when people read works of authors who aren't from the same country and expect for them to write about stuff that is relevant to their own culture....IT DOESN'T WORK PEOPLE! I actually love your little notes before/after that explains what your characters are saying or talking gives me another reason to read the books again hehehehe :) You keep doing you!!! :D

    1. Thank you Tiara! Staying true to me and staying me in my own voice is so important - even more than trying not to write the same thing! I appreciate you sticking with me, even if I do confuse you a little!

  2. Lady, let me tell you straight: If you stop writing in your unique voice to adapt to some stupid, uneducated mass, I will stop purchasing your work!. Basta!. I LOVE, ADORE, GO CRAZY for your British-ness. You also provide enough explanation in the content for any high-school educated to get the connotation. Soooooo.......
    At first, I was a little embarrassed while reading about such young people. I felt a bit perverted initially, but my goodness, I got so caught up in the way you weaved it, that I completely forgot that I was reading about such a young love and found myself connecting with them. As long as you continue to write contemporary romance(not a fan of any para-normal), I will continue to one-click you. Thank you for being one of my favo(u)rite authors of the I/R genre!. Schöne Grüsse aus der Schweiz!


    1. Foosrock! You never fail to uplift me just when I need it! I promise I will never lose the essence of me and I will always catch up on contemporary after a paranormal. Thank you for sticking with me!