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Love by Premonition
Author: Holley Trent
Publisher: Musa Publishing

Release Date: May 2013
ISBN: 9781619375796

Book Genre: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Comedy

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Love by Premonition

104 people found the following review helpful

Book Reviewed by Rebecca (author,reviewer)

[ Review Posted: Sep 30, 2013 ] - See all my reviews
LOVE BY PREMONITION by Holley Trent is a contemporary romance with a generous splash of spiritualism, a shot of intrigue and some lively dialogue, police work and characters thrown in for good measure.

Marcia Andrews is a psychic graphologist; she can sense things such as thoughts and motivations from a person's handwriting. She is called in to help the Raleigh police track down the vigilante leader of a new gang called the Cardinals. These people are trying to mete out their own form of justice and leave behind strange symbols written in blood near their victims' bodies.

Marcia has to deal with other psychic assignments, a vindictive con artist and ghosts yelling at her in her sleep as well as an unsettling attraction to one of the detectives on the Cardinal case, sexy Scotsman Nat McCoy.

Marcia is a great, quirky and empathetic character. You quickly start rooting for her in spite of, or perhaps because of, her no-nonsense attitude and engaging grouchiness. The fact that she is a psychic who hates ghosts is an amusing contradiction and her psychic abilities are made very believable because they are presented as an ordinary and sometimes annoying part of her life. Marcia's satirical observations are very entertaining and really caught me smiling. For example, "The way she looked at me with so much concern in her nearly black eyes made me want to smother myself to death with Shane's old My Little Pony pillow." She is wary of Nat/Neil because of his reputation as a womaniser and because she has been hurt in the past. I liked the way their relationship developed and how they hectored/flirted with each other.

The humorous elements do make it a bit harder to take the darker aspects of the story seriously but I don't think this spoils the enjoyment for the reader. The dialogue between the characters is very witty and realistic. I like the relationship of loving exasperation that Marcia has with her grandmother "Ma" and the way she can speak her mind to her, e.g. "I don't know who's worse to deal with-—people like Jeannine, who have so much energy around her that it gives you a migraine, or the frauds hanging off her tits"! This is done so well that I would have liked it if the author had also brought in Marcia's parents as proper characters but this never happened.

I also found it a little odd that Ms Trent made us aware that Marcia's nasty ex-boyfriend Chris was back in the area but failed to use him as more than just a reason for Marcia's skepticism. He was never brought on the scene as a character and could have been used to create some conflict or drama.

Nat/Neil is presented very well as an attractive character who just oozes sex appeal. I like the way he is confident and charismatic without being too arrogant. As a reader, you are charmed by him along with Marcia, especially as he is so persistent (though when you later find out the reason for his persistence, it does make it a little less impressive). The chemistry between Marcia and Nat/Neil is tangible and strangely potent (for reasons that become clear). I like the way this is described and the author uses very unusual but effective metaphors. For example, "My face started to feel tingly, as if I had Novocain wearing off, and I couldn't tell where my skin ended and where Neil's began." The only thing that disappointed me was that this did not lead to an equally eloquently described sex scene.

There are enough hints dropped so that you are not surprised about what is revealed towards the end the story. While this does cause some angst between Neil/Nat and Marcia, I would have liked this to have caused more tension than it does, if only to give the story a bit more edginess. Even the murder side of the story and the conclusion to this lacks oomph. Having said this, I think this may be more a reflection of my tastes rather than any great failing on the part of the author. The whole feel of the book is one of zesty practicality and the strength of it lies in its scintillating humour and vivacious protagonists. I do think there is definitely potential for a sequel.

LOVE BY PREMONITION is not the book to choose if you want something really dark and mysterious. However, if you want to be entertained and charmed, then I would highly recommend it.
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Rhea Rhodan (author)
Thank you for the excellent review. It helped me to decide not only whether I want to read the book or not (I do), but also when (what mood I'm in).
[ Posted: 4 years ago ]
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  Rebecca (author,reviewer)
Thank you Rhea. So glad it helped.
[ Posted: 4 years ago ]

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