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Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Healing Properties of Love: A Review of "Flawed Perfection"

TODAY we think about romance once again, and the healing properties of love in the face of adversity or error. I gave my review 4 stars.



An interesting anthology of romance novellas just perfect for curling up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fireplace, and losing oneself in a universe where good things happen at the end to flawed women. There are six stories, and my favorite was saved till the last, "The Chase" by Marnie Cate, which ends with a romantic winter evening and snow falling on a bench, my favorite quote from Shakespeare, and emotional healing with love.
As someone who was brought up with innuendos in romance rather than graphic detail, some of the descriptions of sex seemed superfluous to me in a couple of the stories, which detracted rather than added to romance for this reader. This could be a selling feature for some readers, though, and I understand that romance novels are a distraction from the mundane, a "feel good" experience for those seeking escapism, and in this case, a vindication of hope in the form of romantic love. These tales sprang from a desire on the part of the authors to celebrate a woman's strength in the face of adversity or error, and the healing properties of love. I think the placement of the stories in "Flawed Perfection" was well thought out. 
Flawed Perfection: A Collection of Winter Wishes by [Ouvrard, Jude, Beaudelaire, Simone, Northup, Julie, Morgan, Savannah, Dawn, Taylor, Cate, Marnie]
Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Warm and Fuzzy Christmas Story -- A Review

A Millionaire's Christmas by Brian Porter

My 5 star review

Christmas being less than two months away, and the unfortunate results of an unprecedentedly vicious US election behind us, I yearned for a cozy, warm and fuzzy story that would personify the meaning of love and charity at this holy season, and leave me with a feeling of peace on Earth.
I was not disappointed. This very short book by Brian Porter is Biblical in some of its references and a miracle that took place between a dying man and a dying small boy, and what might be called synchronicity rather than coincidence. There is no coincidence in miracles nor in Porter's mind, I'm sure. 
A great hunger exists in the world today for beauty, love, charity, truth, and peace. Who can be blamed for wanting to stop the world and get off the merry-go-round, at times? This book is just the right length for reading in ten minutes or less. Porter has presented a Dickens-like heart for the suffering in the world and the futility of a life devoted exclusively to commerce. I loved the Greek names!

Thursday, November 10, 2016


I just reviewed a book of war poetry by Brian Porter, British author. It's a gritty and realistic portrayal of war from a British viewpoint. Porter doesn't sugarcoat war nor does he glorify it. 



War poetry for the history afficionado told from a British point of view -- my favorite poems in this collection are Postcard from Stalingrad and Letter to a Loved One, both of which bring into the pale light of afteryears a woman's perspective. I know there were many brave women who joined each conflict, and were conscripted during WWII as WRNs and WAAF and so on in England, but they are not included in this gritty collection of war stories. I especially noted the inclusion of German young soldiers and airmen, who, like the Allieds, had no choice but to fight and perhaps die for their country's call. As someone whose father served in WW II and returned to Canada with PTSD or "shell shock" as it was called back then, I can appreciate the realism of the bloody mess that war is, and Porter has not tried to sugarcoat nor glorify war. It's a unique collection of snapshots of war that presents the reality and comradeship, necessity and ultimate futility of the battle. For American readers, the Vietnam War was a uniquely American conflict and not represented in this collection. The Royal Navy and RAF are heavily represented and bomb demolition experts, as well as, interestingly, one poem written from a Japanese point of view, a Kamikaze pilot who survived with lifelong guilt for surviving. The letters home are particularly well done, I thought. Something to remember on this evening of November 11, when some of us wear poppies and many still mourn for loved ones or comrades lost in yet another senseless war, as Porter points out, fought by young men and women and orchestrated like chess pieces by old generals. Some real gems in this collection -- which rhymes!
Lest We Forget: An Anthology Of Remembrance by [Porter, Brian L.]