Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review: 'Saving Scarlett' by Emily Bishop

Oregon author Emily Bishop originally from Seattle, Washington attending the University of Washington as a history student soon found a passion for words and stories. Graduating with a degree in creative writing, Emily fell in love and moved away to a quiet little town in Oregon where she is now a full time writer. She has published five books this year, all in the Chick Lit genre. SAVING SCARLETT is her newest book.

Emily provides an Introduction that is high erotica. When she begins her story she tames the language and we begin to see a writer with a fine style. This tie she provides an important Prologue before launching into the story - ‘I’m dead – ten seconds from it, at least. This guy’s going to kill me. My legs pump. My thigh muscles scream, and I ignore them. Rough denim chafes my skin, and my blouse sticks to my sweaty chest. A red curl falls into my face, but I can’t be bothered to brush it aside. My feet pound against the pavement. This can’t be it. This cannot be the end. I’m only twenty-six years old. I am not going to die chased down by some guy in a ski mask. My chest heaves but my lungs are already filled to capacity, splitting with pain. I have to press on. I have to keep running. I look over my shoulder. He’s at end of the alley, loping after me. I’ve gotta shake him. Who is he? I turn a corner and slam into a chain link fence. Great. Just great. I dig my fingers into the gaps in the ice-cold chain-link metal and claw my way up. I scale until I reach the top and flip over, plummeting down to the other side. I glance back for a fraction of a second, my body desperate for a moment’s rest. It’s a bad idea. The man clinks against the chainmail and climbs behind me. I sprint off again, hyperaware of the scrape of his boots on the concrete. ‘Become a journalist,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said. I curse the last few months of my life and every bit of information I discovered. In truth, though, journalism – finding out information the bad guys want to stay hidden – has been my life’s dream since I can remember. If I die tonight, I’ll never regret the decisions I made to bring me to this point. I don’t care if they torture me. I trip on a soda can, fall, and skid across the ground, the skin on my palms screaming as I slide along frozen concrete, my blood hot against the freezing ground. I roll onto my back, my palms pressed into the pavement, and stare up at my attacker. He doesn’t stop. He doesn’t hesitate. He swings his arm back, the knuckles of his fist facing me. The back of his hand whacks into my cheek. My head crashes into the pavement, adding to the excruciating pain that is now pulsing through my skull. I’m ready to die. I hope he makes it quick. Instead, I fly into the air. My midsection slams against his shoulder, releasing any air I had left. He’s carrying me somewhere. Why won’t he get it over with? I consider asking him as much, but I’m having a hard enough time as it is finding my breath. He walks on, carrying the body of a future dead girl. Can I escape? …’ Enter Isaac.

The terror finally opens into resolution as we encounter Isaac – ‘I'll find the jerk who did this to her! Fighting fires is my true love. Tried marriage once. That didn't work. Single for life is my new motto. Until I find my neighbor, Scarlett, unconscious. Smoke clogging the air, fire crackling all around. So fragile. So beautiful. Seeing her broken unleashes the animal inside. My desire to protect her is in overdrive. Now, I have a new fire to put out. I'll save her. And destroy the guy who did this.’

Just the right balance of mystery and steamy erotica built into a story with multiple levels of meaning. This is a fine young artist to watch – and read! And she gives us more to read at the end – BACHELOR’S SECRET, MR. ANYTHING, and WET DREAMS – making this particular book a ‘real deal’. Grady Harp, December 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.