Book Reviews

These are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Stolen Life by Charmaine Pauls

Spring is trying to get a foothold here in Pennsylvania, but those cold wintery evenings and early spring frosts are still holding on. I’m getting antsy, waiting to get out and get my vegetable garden planted.

            Things have been hectic here. My manuscript is with the publisher. Hopefully, it will be ready and available to purchase in the next few months. I can’t wait for you all to meet Alex and Natalie.

            Another fun thing that happened is my son, George, and I were featured on a local news station yesterday (Mother’s Day). They did a story on our recent graduation with our master’s degrees from SNHU. It was really fun and a very special memory to share with my son. Check it out: https://fox56.com/news/local/scranton-mother-and-son-graduate-together

            On to my book review…

            Stolen Life is Paul’s second book in the Beauty in the Stolen Series. The story picks up right where book one left off—Ian is collecting Cas to bring her back to his safe house in Zimbabwe with him. This move causes all sorts of issues with Ruben and Leon, the other two members of Ian’s gang. They are rightfully distrustful of a newcomer and fear she is working with the police to turn them all in.

            Throughout the story, Ian and Cas dance around their feelings for one another. Neither wants to admit they are falling for the other nor do they want to examine with that means on a more personal level. Cas especially is torn between being the good girl, like she’s always been, or allowing herself to fall in love with a criminal and thus being an accomplice for his criminal acts.

            While she stays at his safe house, which is more like a safe community, she begins to acclimate herself to the region and the people. This, to me, is the most beautiful part of the story. Cas’s acclimation to the community Ian has built is natural and authentic and only adds to her character’s charm.

            Meanwhile, there’s a storm brewing. Not everyone is happy she’s there, and forces are at play to break them up.

            Aside from the characters and the storyline, I was entranced reading such detailed descriptions about the African landscape and the African people. It felt as though I were immersed in their community. Paul’s calls on her knowledge of Africa when writing the book. Her descriptions are life-like. In a time when travel has been halted because of the global pandemic, this book not only brings you into Ian and Cas’s story it also brings the reader right into their world. Africa was never on my travel bucket list, but now I’m left with a yearning to see the African animals in their native habitat and experience Victoria Falls in all their splendor.

            Back to the story….just when you think the plot can’t get any thicker, it does! There’s a twist that blew me away and had me scratching my head, wondering why? What the backstory there might be.

 Do you want to know what that twist is? Then pre-order your copy of Stolen Life from Amazon today. The book is set to release on May 18.

            I’ll be making a Facebook group soon so readers can keep up on my publishing journey with Submitting to Him. I hope you’ll all join me on Facebook. As my release date nears, I’ll be looking for ARC readers. https://www.facebook.com/TaraLConradAuthor You can also follow me on Twitter @TLConrad1 and Instagram T.L. Conrad. 

Until next time. Happy Reading ~Tara