SWEET GREETINGS FROM CARTHAGE

TITLE: SWEET GREETINGS FROM CARTHAGE
BY: MICHAEL J. MOLLOY
PUBLISHED BY: Independently published by Amazon, February 7, 2021
ISBN: 9798705975495
Review copy provided by author
Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is no ordinary romance. It’s set in the present, without the Corona or Covid 19 virus, or whatever the hell they’re calling it now, to spoil the fun. A nice widowed lady named Cassandra Cortez DeMaio, Cassie to her friends, runs into an old high school friend at her uncle’s funeral. Doctor Kevin Berrigan, dentist, with a practice in Long Island, has been divorced long enough to be comfortable with the way his life is now. But meeting Cassie again after all these years makes the strings of his heart go zing!

Cassie, whose late husband left her with enough good memories to make her less than eager to replace him, suddenly sees her old friend in a new light, especially after Claire, one of her female friends, makes a snippy remark about his divorce; obviously she’s on the ex-wife’s side. Cassie, whose own memories of the ex-wife are less than fond, decides Kevin deserves a second chance. So she gives him her email and they end up video chatting each other almost every night. She always begins her emails with “Sweet greetings from Carthage!” (the village in Jefferson County, upstate New York, where she lives) and their long distance romance eventually turns into the real thing, with romantic dates and overnight sleepovers.

Next thing you know, Kevin pops the question in a romantic Italian restaurant, presenting her with a nice diamond ring before the entrée. Cassie accepts happily and agrees to move to Long Island, selling her share of the hobby shop she owns, along with her house, so they can be together. But just when the future is looking so bright, it begins to darken. Shortly after moving into Kevin’s house, Cassie starts getting headaches and forgetting things, like her own brother’s name when it appears on her phone’s screen. Unable to decide whether this is the natural result of aging (both lovers are 50+) or symptoms of a more serious problem, she agrees to see a neurosurgeon. The diagnosis: Cassie is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Panic ensues as Cassie imagines herself deteriorating into a senile old woman, rejected by Kevin, an object of pity to her family and friends. After calling her mother with the news, she collapses into a tearful heap in a closet at Kevin’s house, leaving her mother to call Kevin with the news. Kevin, understandably upset at not getting the news from Cassie first, leaves work early and comes home to find her hiding in the closet, still weeping. After coaxing her out, he tries to comfort her but it turns into an argument over whether they should still get married. He’s still willing, but she’s afraid of becoming a burden on him. It ends with him storming out of the house and driving to a friend’s house in the rain, while she calls her friend Claire, who quickly arrives to comfort her while saying “I told you so” between supportive sentences, believing Kevin to be abandoning her friend the same way he did his ex-wife (who, by the way, has already remarried and had children, so he didn’t exactly ruin her life).

Kevin arrives at his friend Peter’s house, the same guy he invited to be his best man. But instead of being sympathetic to Cassie’s plight, Peter urges him to dump her because she’s damaged goods. He’s only thinking of how Cassie’s Alzheimer’s will affect Kevin, but this insensitive advice almost gets him a knuckle sandwich. Fortunately, Peter’s wife Kate intervenes and manages to calm things down, informing them that a great many medical advances have been made in the last few years so that Alzheimer’s is no longer the slow death sentence it used to be. Peter realizes how insensitive he’s been and apologizes to Kevin, who decides to stick by Cassie no matter what. He returns home to find Cassie being comforted by Claire, who glares at him, expecting him to reject her friend. But he embraces her instead, reassuring both Cassie and Claire that he does love her enough to go through with the wedding.

And so, with a great deal of support from friends and family, as well as prescriptions and dietary suggestions from Cassie’s doctor, the wedding is still on. As the lovers join hands at St. Rose of Lima Church during the Memorial Day weekend, Cassie is relieved and comforted to know that Kevin will always stand by her in the days to come, no matter how dark they get. Isn’t that what every woman hopes for from the man she loves? Even if she doesn’t have a potentially fatal disease. Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is no ordinary romance. Despite the happy ending being shadowed by the prospect of a long, downhill slide into forgetfulness, Cassie can be sure that Kevin will never forget her or cease to love and care for her.

Book Review: Mortal Temptations

Mortal Temptations
By Allyson James
Published by: Berkley Trade
ISBN-13: 978-0425223697
MSRP: $15.00

Reviewed by Tissie

This review originally appeared at 3 Girl Group.

Patrica Lake’s world is turned upside down when she finds a winged, demi-god unconscious on the floor of her antique store. Her unexpected visitor is Nico, a powerful deity cursed by Hera to be a slave to female sexual desire. As punishment for chasing after one of Hera’s priestesses, he is sentenced to an eternity of heartbreak as he is used by one female after another and tossed aside along with his partner in crime and demi-god Andreas. Patrica, of course, holds the key to ending their enchantment…

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Josei Review: Object of Desire

Object of Desire
Story and art by Tomoko Noguchi
Published by Luv Luv Press, imprint of Aurora Publishing
ISBN-10:  1934496499
ISBN-13:  9781934496497

Review by Jilly Gee

Object of Desire is a collection of five, short love stories for ladies; six, if you count the two-chapter one as two. Five different, unrelated stories, five different leading ladies, three of which are a little ditzy. For the lucky ladies who weren’t ditzy, the guys turned out to be cheaters. Actually, all of them were cheaters with the except of one. I suppose the theme of this graphic novel should be “boyfriends who are jerks”.

Kako wants a guy to admit that he only wants to have sex with her instead of going through the motions of being her boyfriend and trying to hurry their dates along so they can go to a hotel. She finally meets that guy! They have sex, they actually have an amazing date, he tells her about his girlfriend…

Atsushi is constantly sleeping around with women other than Atsuko, she’s even caught him at it, and yet she still clings to him and obsessively texts him. The conclusion may have been sweet, but the premise of this story just doesn’t make any sense. She has threatened to break up with him if he cheats on her, and he actually tries to hide this cheating from her despite the fact that he thinks she is annoying and doesn’t want to be her boyfriend in the first place.

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Josei Review: Make More Love and Peace

Make More Love and Peace
Story and Art: Takane Yonetani
Published by the Luv Luv Press Imprint of Aurora Publishing, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1934496529
ISBN-13: 978-1934496527

Review by Kris

The adventures in and out of the bedroom for Ayame and Koichi continue in Make More Love and Peace. This time around things are a bit more rocky from Ayame’s point of view. After catching a girl shoplifting at a grocery store Ayame invites the girl over for dinner (the girl claimed she hadn’t eaten for two days.) But a surprise is in store for Ayame. The girl, Nono, is just a common trouble making delinquent who had been taken in to the police while Koichi was working. Nono is just looking for attention and plays Ayame for a fool. Because Ayame is such a sweetheart she can’t refuse when Nono begs to tag along on Ayame and Koichi’s date. Nono plants seeds of doubt within Ayame that her kindness is just a front and that Ayame is just a fake.
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Book Review: One Last Dance

One Last Dance: It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love
Written by Mardo Williams with his daughters, Kay & Jerri
Published by Calliope Press
ISBN10: 0964924145
ISBN13: 9780964924147

Review by Linda Yau

Finding love is never an easy thing to do. But what happens if you are 89 and walk into a women, ten years your junior? Insults, broken cakes, and bruised self esteems were the impression that Morgan and Dixie was left with from their first meeting. However as the plot forms, eventually these two seniors started to date Morgan moves in with Dixie, and her elderly dog Jiggs. These two seniors attempt to settle into some domestic normalcy, with much protests from Morgan on his part of doing household chores. The past eventually catches up with Morgan though. Now then how would the two deal with Morgan’s estranged grandson? Continue reading “Book Review: One Last Dance”

Book Review: Seize The Night

Seize The Night
Written by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks Imprint of Macmillan
ISBN10: 0312992432
ISBN13: 9780312992439

Review by Linda Yau

In a world that reminds me of various vampire series, Seize The Night is book seven in Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. This book features Tabitha Deveraux, a human who lives in New Orleans and owns a sex shop. By night, she is a experienced hunter of vampires and Damions.
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