Righteous Exposure – A K James

Now if I was to tell you this book was written by the same author as one of our recent frothy reads: A Stitch In Time, you might not believe me, for this has a different look to it, it’s more of a conventional thriller and the heroine is an American doctor from a latino family. The strange thing is, it also works as chick lit for there’s a strong female lead, a touch of romance, some family drama and it’s unputdownable.

Dr Alita Ramirez is thirty years old and works in a Houston hospital, her busy schedule helping to distract her from commitment issues and increasingly recurring nightmares about a blue-eyed man. When her father is hospitalised for a kidney transplant, her mother Liliana confesses her darkest secret to Alita, who realises that those weren’t nightmares, they were flashbacks to an event that would forever affect both her and her mother. In her darkest hour Alita comes up with a desperate plan to exact her revenge on the man who shares her own strange blue eyes.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Although the story is mainly about Alita, there are some great three dimensional characters, in particular twelve year-old Jackson and his mother Joanne, both of whom show surprising strength under pressure. Tony, Alita’s persistent ex-boyfriend is extremely understanding of her scheming, and is supportive in the background. The bad guy, Robson, is horribly evil and fully deserving of the troubles that come his way.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Alita is a modern, intelligent and capable woman, the first in her family to achieve such a prestigious post as a doctor. So it is quite a surprise when her revenge plan turns out to be a serious crime potentially punishable by prison time. This doesn’t come out of nowhere though, the increasing nightmares have taken their toll and Alita has to do something. Fortunately she thinks it through and plans for most contingencies.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– There is great atmosphere to this book, I really got a feel for the fierce Texan heat, the vast distances, the relief of the beach.

Evaluation of your eBook?– The story is well plotted and paced, a good tense page-turner. It also didn’t go quite where I expected it to, let’s just say some outside influences livened things up! It’s a brave thing for an author to write for a character of different nationality and heritage, it seems to work (although Americans could tell me if I’m right, the language seemed standard English) but Alita seems a little more mature than her thirty-odd years. Definitely worth a look for something a little different with a satisfying ending; everybody got what they deserved, good or bad! Especially if you love a good revenge tale as I do.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.99.

US: Amazon for $2.99.

A Stitch In Time – Amanda James

Sarah has suffered a double betrayal: Despite delaying their own baby-making for seven years, her husband Neil has accidentally knocked up her beautiful best friend Karen during a one night stand. Eighteen months later, Sarah is divorced and going about her everyday life as a history teacher when she has a visitation from the kind and mysterious John. Long story short, she is required to make three trips back in time to ‘stitch a hole’ and save three people, who will go on to make three more people (one of whom will be of historical significance) etc, hence the title. Once Sarah’s established that she’s not hallucinating, she is catapulted back to 1940 where her instincts and knowledge help her save a man from the Sheffield blitz. As Sarah’s success as a stitch continues (via the suffragette movement in London and the old American west), her relationship with John upsets the powers that be, and she is asked to complete one extra, highly important mission.

Kooks for your Kindle?– An abundance of varied characters here, from the Downton Abbey style domestic staff in frightful Lady Attwood’s 1913 London home, to the desperate farmers in 1870s Kansas, fighting a plague of locusts. Many of the characters in Sarah’s real life are truly horrible, including one of her fellow teachers, one of her pupils, her ex-husband, her ex-friend and someone she meets through John. But there are plenty of kindly folks and all jump off the page and stick in your head. John is a strong leading man, kind and attractive, although he comes across as being about ten years more mature than he really is, but so does Sarah.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Sarah has been hurt in the past in the worst way, and it does cause her to give up on love at one point, thankfully she doesn’t wallow, and soon gets back into the action. She’s a take charge heroine whose quick thinking saves the day on her missions, paired with her historic knowledge this makes her a great stitch.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The best aspect of the story- the trips back in time- are not large sections of the book, but they are vividly related, right down to the smells and the smallest detail that take you there. My favourite was when Sarah jumped into the extended family trying to make a living and stake their claim in Kansas, just after the civil war. The author has a clear love of history and brings it to life, especially the terror of delivering a baby there.

Evaluation of your eBook?– If you like your romance with a hint of time-travel, or your Quantum Leap with a hint of romance (something I don’t recall Sam Beckett and Al ever having!), there’s something for everyone here, and if you like your fiction to be firmly set in the real world I think you’ll still love it. The author does a fabulous job of taking you wherever Sarah goes, and it’s hard to put it down. The tone was humorous at times, Sarah was at her funniest when a little stressed and unhinged. It was nice to have a few chapters from John’s point of view, he does a good job of concisely explaining the inexplicable without getting tangled up in paradoxes or bothering the space-time continuum.

Frothy Ranking: 4.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for only £1.97, sometimes on special for 99p, click the first price to check.

US: Amazon for only $2.99.