Friday, February 1, 2019
Book Review: 'Take My Heart' by J.J. Sorel
“I am more concerned that he’s using me as a weapon.”
Australian author J.J. Sorel is a professional dancer, flamenco being her specialty. She earned a certificate in Writing Romance with the Australian College of Journalism and began to follow her passion – writing steamy contemporary romance novels of the sort that entice those who love the Chick Lit genre.
One of the reasons JJ’s novel TAKE MY HEART is so successful is her fine tuned sense of mixing mystery and suspense with erotica. She creates characters that are wholly credible - a beautiful lusty female Ava whose entry into the story is her launching into a new job as a sitter and reader for an elderly, multi-faceted lady (Aggie - one of the better characters in contemporary literature!), her nebulous boyfriend Justin, and the alpha male erotic figure Bronson. The manner in which JJ interweaves these disparate types is what makes the novel ring true.
There is a hint of the classic, classy writing form JJ uses in Ava’s initial encounter with the bizarre Aggie – ‘All it took was one step into that beguiling, time-trapped room for an eerie sensation to flash through me. It was a feeling similar to déjà vu, or entering a museum filled with the pungency of decay. Not that the room stank; if anything, it smelled like roses.’ That is how JJ pulls open the proscenium curtain for this erotically charged mystery.
The synopsis is seductive – ‘After being arrested for a crime he didn't commit, Bronson, a dark, stormy figure, is driven to take revenge on the person responsible. Apart from clearing his name, his other mission is also to find his real parents. Ava is not only dating the guy responsible for Bronson's incarceration but is also employed by a wealthy loner, who has a heart trapped in secrets, some of which relate back to Bronson. Driven by revenge, Bronson seduces Ava, who, captivated by his considerable masculinity and brooding aura, finds herself unable to resist his charms. And while he attempts to quash desire, Bronson soon finds himself falling hard for the sassy-spirited Ava, which only complicates things considering that was never his intention. Adopted at the age of five, Bronson unravels hidden secrets about his beginnings stored away in a penthouse on Fifth Avenue guarded by Ava's eccentric employer. Conflict soon sets in, and a mystery starts to take shape, for it seems as though history's repeating itself. Is Ava and Bronson's connection a setup? The answer to this turns out to be far more complicated than either of them could have imagined. Just as Bronson surrenders to his heart's desire, he stumbles upon a gruesome clue to his birth hidden in a closet, which opens up all kinds of questions. Mainly... was his meeting Ava a coincidence, or a plot to lure him there in the first place?’
This is one finely scribed novel that is rich in steamy erotica and yet goes beyond the usual Chick Lit realm because of the fine mystery that ties it together. Recommended.
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.