Publication Date: November 1, 2012
A List Actor, Josh Blake, is cursed with vivid dreams that seem to predict the future. When he sees a woman that has featured heavily in those dreams in a bookstore in Los Angeles, he can’t help but follow her to a park. The young woman is Dr. Maria Conti. Maria is fresh off of the plane from England and running from the painful loss of her parents and a cheating fiancé. Josh knows, courtesy of the dreams, that Maria is his future. Can he convince the love-shy Maria?
The author, I.C. Camilleri provided me with a copy of this novel in exchange for a review.
Maria Conti is kind of a bitch. Word of warning, ladies, if you marry a guy you don’t trust there will be conflict every time someone looks at him sideways. Maria, however, takes it a step further. If her spouse says black she’s going to think white because whatever he says must be wrong. Josh isn’t a lot better. He’s creepy and obsessive. Before meeting Maria he took “man-whore” as a divine calling even partner swapping with his cousin when they double dated. He had never had a relationship that lasted more than a night and often made sure that his housekeeper cleared conquests out of his home in the morning (rich actor so why bring them home at all? Why not rent a room?). As much as Maria didn’t trust him, how stupid is she not to make sure his whole body was wrapped in a protective coating before allowing him to touch her?
THE BLAKE SOUL is a paranormal romance. The vivid dreams that Josh has do indeed tell the future, and in some cases those dreams are downright dark and devastating. He can plan for the events, but he can’t seem to stop them. The inevitability of fate has to make everything Josh faces harder, and Camilleri plays the feeling of helplessness in the hands of fate well.
I do wonder, as I did previously with E.L. Lindley’s Business As Usual, why Camilleri chose to set the story as much in L.A. as she did. The story is interlaced with purely English idioms. Freddie and Josh are the children of wealthy folks and likely spent a lot of time internationally so their usage is easily excused. Maria, of course, is English and would use certain words and phrases that one would not hear in the U.S. In the scene in which Josh and Maria meet, Camilleri has L.A. gangbangers attack Maria. When Josh intervenes said gangbangers say to him, “What is a rich toff like you doing here anyway?” Perhaps if one uses gangbangers straight from central casting at a British film studio but not so much something one would hear in a park located in a bad area of L.A. There are other examples and often the dialogue is very stiff and formal and almost seems to have been written from a technical writing standpoint and not in the way people actually speak.
THE BLAKE SOUL has nothing but five star reviews on Amazon. In the romance novel genre THE BLAKE SOUL is grittier than a lot of novels I’ve read. Camilleri is a risk taker. She may keep some of what happens “off-screen” but her baddie is an adversary who will stop at nothing to attain the ultimate goal that defies all logic. Aren’t the best baddies the ones that are simply crazy beyond all comprehension?
If the description of this novel appeals to you, pick it up and let me know what you think. Despite its flaws, THE BLAKE SOUL contains solid gems for romance readers. Two novels have been released in the series since THE BLAKE SOUL. The Blake Curse and The Blake Mistake seem to center around the couple’s son, Ben. To order this book or any of the sequels simply click through the image or titles in this review to be routed to Amazon.com. Links to Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk are below.
For more information about I.C. Camilleri and the Blake series, follow the link below: