- Books Release Day Review: Červenà by Louise Lyons
Release Day Review: Červenà by Louise Lyons
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CC Cat Clontz
About the Author
I live a few miles outside the city of Peterborough in the UK, about a hundred miles north of London. I moved to this area in 2010, having left my home town of Grimsby, a fishing port eighty miles north on the east coast of England in 2006 and taken a four-year detour to the steel town of Scunthorpe. I share my home with several much-loved pets, including a mad Dobermann named Trojan, two aquariums of tropical fish and several tarantulas.
I have a full time job with an insurance broker, and have many interests besides my writing and pets. I’ve always enjoyed keeping fit with cycling, swimming and horse-riding, and a few years ago I started running too. Very short slow trots gradually morphed into my first 5k race and by then I’d caught the running bug. I completed 5 half-marathons between 2011 and 2014, running the 2012 race dressed as a fairy to raise money for Cancer Research, and I’m starting to train for a triathlon for 2016.
The outdoors has always been a big draw for me and I love hiking and camping, particularly in the Lake District in the north-west of the UK.
I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and regularly attend car shows as a member of an owners’ club with my sport Mitsubishi. I also enjoy riding my motorcycle which I use for commuting the short distance to work, and riding for fun on the weekends.
And finally… as if that isn’t enough, I love to cook and experiment with new recipes, and I squeeze in as much cross stitch embroidery and reading as time will allow.
July 22, 2016
Read the excerpt at Dreamspinner Press.
When Joel Jones finds homeless Russian Sasha outside his gay nightclub in Prague, he cannot find it in his heart to turn him away, so he offers him a home and a job as a dancer and stripper.
Despite a fifteen-year age gap, romance develops between them but is interrupted when Joel has to return to England for many weeks to deal with a death in the family.
Upon Joel’s return, he is horrified to discover his business partner, Karel, has gambled away the club’s money and put them all at risk. Joel buys him out of the club, but when Karel continues to gamble, the people he owes pursue Joel for the debt instead—and they’ll stop at nothing to get paid.
Suddenly Joel and those he cares about—especially Sasha—are in danger, and Joel finds himself with no choice but to seek the help of known criminal, Vincenc Jankovic. Ensuring a happy future for himself and Sasha will mean a struggle and some difficult decisions, but Joel is determined to protect what they’ve built together.
Lovely Story of Empathy and New Beginnings
This book was absolutely nothing like I expected it to be! Englishman Joel is an entrepreneur who has made a very fine life for himself in Prague as the owner of several condos and Červenà, a dance club with very strict rules set in place for the protection of the dancers. When noises coming from the outside the back door of his club lead him to a very bedraggled and homeless Sasha, the bleeding heart that business partner Karel is always teasing Joel about makes an appearance. He brings the young man into the club and sends him up to the private studio residences of the dancers for a shower and clean clothes. What reappears is a stunning Sasha that Joel is instantly attracted to. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to go swimmingly for long, and all sorts of drama ensues.
I absolutely adored this book. I kept waiting for it to go over the top, because I could see what was happening with Karel and his issues. However, it never did, and for that I was thrilled! Reality melded with fantasy here to create a world and group of characters that are flawed, mesmerizing, and categorically honest. It isn’t a roses and champagne book. When things go sour, the staff doesn’t instantly rally around their beloved Joel. They face reality and look out for themselves, and I appreciated the gritty pragmatism that Ms. Lyons wrote into the characters.
The plot is satisfying, and there are subtle subplots to keep things interesting. The pacing bogs down just a hair here and there as details are given, but not enough to keep you from enjoying the story overall. The main characters are artfully crafted, and the peripheral characters add another dimension of loveliness to the whole, even the characters who are relatively smarmy! The chemistry between the two main characters is super sweet, almost puppy love sweet, but it builds into serious connection that is enjoyable to read. I enjoyed the turn the book takes for the finish. Since most of the book’s plot is given away in the summary, it was nice to see something happen that wasn’t already disclosed.
Červenà is a wonderful example of Louise Lyons’ ability as a writer. I highly recommend checking out this four and a half star read!!
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