Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Review: 'Where Lemons Bloom' by Blair McDowell

Canadian author Blair McDowell began her career as a musician and a teacher, studying in Hungary, Australia, Canada and the USA and teaching at the university level. Now she is an inveterate traveler, or as she expresses it ‘I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places -- Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have lectured in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well -- but variety is indeed the spice of my life.’ And spice is what she sprinkles liberally through her stories – she writes Romance stories that are rich in passion but also include adventure, suspense, and psychological character development.

Blair opens her book WHERE LEMONS BLOOM (a phrase borrowed from Goethe) with a lifesaving adventure from drowning that follows a significant 0and passionate) love scene that glues the reader to the story with promises of more to come.

Blair’s own synopsis distills the main points of the novel well: ‘When Eve Anderson meets Adamo de Leone on a ship bound for Europe, she has no idea of the dark secret that will endanger both their lives. She accompanies him to his home on Italy’s Amalfi Coast to open an inn left to him by his grandfather. But then she learns he spent five years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Could the man she loves be responsible for embezzling eighty million dollars from the investment firm he once owned? Adamo wants to hold Eve at arm’s length until he can clear his proud family name. But when there is an attempt on his life and Eve is terrorized by a gun-bearing thug, he realizes how much he wants her, and he must accept whatever help he can get to uncover the well-hidden trail of a six-year-old crime.’

This is a spicy thriller and a lusty romance blended with some superb prose and imagery. Blair McDowell takes advantage of her travels in knowing the various countries and interpersonal inclinations of their populace. A very solid book, this. Grady Harp, December 15

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.