Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Review – Following Destiny © Rebecca Vickery

Title: Following Destiny

Author: Rebecca J. Vickery

Publisher: Self Published (Smashword) (Amazon/Kindle) (Createspace)

Main Characters: Mason Keeler & Andrea Duncan

Down on her luck, Andrea Duncan inherits a house and a very special ring from her grandmother. Suddenly she is hearing voices and discovers the ring opens a portal allowing her ancestors to speak to her. A friendly local Sheriff and a mutt named Heidi bring laughter and love into her life. But then she crosses paths with a serial killer. Must Andrea die in order to follow her destiny?

 

Andrea sat up in bed, her struggle for sleep futile. She pushed back the heavy fall of hair from her face. A strange glow came from the small antique box on top of the dresser. What in the world...? Drawn by the light in the otherwise dark room, she slid out of bed to approach the wooden box.
Staying at arm’s length with trembling hands, Andrea touched the ill-fitting lid of the box with the tip of one finger. The soft blue glow escaped from the cracks around the lid changing to an intense yellow as her finger connected with the wood. Wanting to run, yet oddly driven, she quickly flipped the box open. She gasped and drew back. A blinding white beam filled the room with light.

Her eyes closed then blinked rapidly in response to the intense light. As they adjusted and she could see again, she crept closer. Andrea stared at the delicate, hand-tooled, silver ring lying on the blood-red interior of the box. The odd blue stone, so plain when she first discovered the ring, emitted a brilliant light. A beam stronger than any flashlight emanated from the stone and streaked to the ceiling, lighting the entire room. She fought a losing battle against the urge welling up within her to touch the ring.
Slowly she touched the edge of the ring. The metal felt warm, even inviting. Andrea jerked her finger away. Nothing changed. The stone in the ring continued to glow; the blinding white light stayed the same. The need to touch the ring grew even more compelling. At last she gave in to the demand, cautiously lifting the ring from the box. She slid it onto her left index finger.
Once settled on her finger the light from the ring changed. It swirled around her in an amazing display of rainbow-like colors. Andrea watched the dancing, swirling light show with a wondrous sense of awe and disbelief. Surely I’m dreaming. This is not real. It’s just not possible.
She sank to her knees on the floor, her legs refusing to support her any longer. The lights slowed then suddenly disappeared into the stone of the ring. The room grew dark.
Andrea was unprepared for the whispers. They sounded eerily like a soft wind blowing through the room. The whispers grew louder then became several voices talking excitedly over each other. The stone in the ring pulsed with a deep blue glow.
“No, oh God, no,” she whimpered. Terrified, she struggled to jerk the ring from her finger, but one voice became separate and clearer than the others.


“Nay, my Lady. You must trust in your heritage. Trust in the ring and heed our voices. We will guide you in times of trouble. Keep us with you always. Let Destiny guide your path.”

The gentle, but firm, female voice faded back into the unintelligible whispers then they stopped.
The glow faded and the ring once again held a plain blue stone in a dark silver setting.
Andrea found the sudden quiet and the darkness unnerving. Still kneeling on the floor, she shook her head trying to wake from the dream she felt trapped within. The pinch she gave herself hurt but didn’t help at all. Rising on shaky legs, she walked to the bedroom door and reached for the light switch

Light filled the room from the elaborate overhead fixture. Andie leaned weakly against the wall and took deep breaths in an effort to calm down. For the hundredth time, she wished her grandmother hadn’t left her anything. Even though the house seemed grand, the furnishings mostly antiques, and the town inviting, she began to think the gift came with a price she might not be willing to pay

Following Destiny © Rebecca Vickery

 

Review

Andrea Duncan has come into an inheritance at a most opportune time in her life. She was down on her  luck, couple that  with the worst year that you would not wish on even your dog and she was at the end of her tethers. To find out that you had a grandmother that you knew nothing about but also that you have inherited a house and a few other things in the bargain as well was a mixed bag of blessing for Andrea.

One of the things that came as apart of the inheritance along with a pile of stacked up paper work was a ring. This ring was unlike anything that Andrea has ever known or heard about and thank god she was not the type that jump a mile when things goes bump in the night – because there were voices coming from that ring. Andrea is rightly concerned about the ring and it’s strange power or confusion in this case, but the benefits of small town living, a roof over her head and now she finds out that the local Sheriff actually made house call, she has no problem regulating the ring to the background of her life.

Sheriff Mason Keeler  day is long enough as it is with goings on in town without adding a personal beef to his agenda, but he was not a happy bunny. Andrea’s grandmother Rose was a friend of the sheriff and for  all the time he had known Rose, there was no granddaughter in the picture -  now one had presented herself as soon as she died – he was not happy. Mason’s is objective if nothing else and is prepared to hear Andrea’s side of the story – but what he was not expecting to do was to perk up from sexual interest as soon as he met her – that was definitely new.

Few things happens right from the moment Andrea and Mason shook hands and it only gets worst. Firstly the ring chose that moment to let her know it’s opinion of the sheriff and the voice’s were liking him – alot.

Andrea pushed open the screen door extending her right hand, “It’s nice to meet you,
Sheriff.” Catching a quick glimpse of the stone in the ring on her index finger, she saw it begin
to glow just before her small hand became engulfed by his large one. She heard the whispers
begin. Closing her eyes, she silently prayed for them to stop. Instead, they grew louder and she
actually understood what they said.

A gruff male voice said, “He is a valiant knight.”
“He will help you meet your destiny,” whispered a husky voice sounding neither male nor
female, but somewhere in between.
“You shall trust him with your life. He will be important to us all,” said the female voice

Andrea remembered from the night before.
Andrea jerked her hand free of the sheriff’s and grabbed the door facing in an effort to steady
her trembling body. Taking several deep breaths, she wished she was anywhere but here.

Following Destiny © Rebecca Vickery

From there on in Andrea’s time in town become her happiest as well as the scariest of her life, not only does she find something with Mason that she never knew she had the chance of finding, but a serial killer was on the hunt and after being foiled in his latest attempt his eyes are set firmly on Andrea and that is one thing Mason nor the voices will allow.

Along with a serial murderer, nosey neighbours, a ugly dog as well as a new job, Andreas new life in town was moving on whether she wanted it to or not. Some she deals with in classic Andrea style but some she has no choice but to lean on Mason and Mason was strong enough to bear all of Andrea’s burdens.

I must admit writing this review has been a little difficult for me – for the mere reason that it’s one of those books that it’s hard to sum up without giving away the plot. It’s also had a multitude of story line that should make this book a convoluted mess – but it is clear that Ms. Vickery is fastly becoming very skilled at putting the pieces of a puzzle together and creating a stunning body of work.

 

Highlights

Right from about fifteen pages into FOLLOWING DESTINY I was caught up in this story – I didn't know where it was going, but with little descriptive words, the right protags, coupled with some some less than savoury goings on – I was not letting go of this book until I was finished. 

The main protags were protags that you could like – right from the first meeting they were solid, no nonsense characters. They were well developed and everything about them was destined for great things, because anything less and there would be dire consequences.

Once of the big pluses of this book for me was the whole small-town set up – I found this to be one of the stronger points of the books. The insulation of small-town living gave this book that extra boost – the character that are part and parcel of the set up, the stuff they take for granted and the fact that nothing is private but par for the course and if truth be told, looks to be the national past time.

This is my third book by this author and without a doubt, Ms. Vickery’s strongest strength as an author is her ability to put the pieces of an elaborate puzzle together and create a mystery that makes my hair stand on end – very, very well done.

There are a number of story lines running through this book - that without a doubt should have been convoluted at best and ridiculous at worst, but Ms. Vickery weaves her magic and everything falls into place. With timely changing of scenes, interlinking the plot lines and giving the individual storyline’s there chance to run it’s course – the meatier section of FOLLOWING DESTINY was well played out.

I must mention the dialogue in this book. It was a mix bag, but it stands out very clearly. There is the spirit in the ring with there confusing repetitious voices that just gave me the shivers,  then there was the nosey conspiracy dialogue of small town locals and off course Andrea and Mason’s two step dance around their increasing attraction.

I love romance suspense more than any other genre, no matter what else I read I always come back back to it, FOLLOWING DESTINY had a lot of time invested into it. From the town setting, to the details of the serial killer and his mindset along with how a community close rank and protect their own – this was Ms. Vickery at her best.

The flow of the book was spot on-  I would like to say it was rushed to complement the serial killing plot line, but it wasn’t. It was an ever increasing pace that ended with a bang that was just right and tied up alot of loose ends that would have niggled me otherwise.

The supernatural element in this book was well timed and well played as well. The ring and all it represents was like an aide more than actually a being so the book felt very real. It was always in the background and like any psychic ability only shines when danger is around… I liked that aspect of this book as it allowed me to enjoy the book without concentrating on “the ring” and all it’s possibility.

There was a nice balance to this book. Despite the dark underbelly of what was happening in the dead of night, there was little beams of sunrays in the pleasure people took in their neighbours, the fact that animals and kids were treasured, the elderly was not forgotten and even the less than likable characters were given there day to shine.  

There is a solid ending to this book, not a two pages rush job that will leave you unfulfilled. With the numerous characters as well independent story lines, it was nice to see where they all were before I closed this book.

 

Look Out for

I refuse to say Lowlights in regards to this book, because there wasn’t any. It wasn’t full of high octane drama or over the top emotional drama  and if you are not a fan of this genre FOLLOWING DESTINY wont work for you.

One thing I would caution about in this book is the strength of the support characters, they are so well developed, so defined that some come with their own little satellite of story possibilities, that I was really pushed not to have the hump when the scenes moved on and I was left wondering.

 

Bottom Line..

A bloody difficult review for me to write but I think I got all the main points. This book was not perfection by no means, but FOLLLOWING DESTINY stood out because of small things, the supernatural element being only one, others were so wonderfully crafty that I can easily say that I most definitely recommend this book as a must read.

 

2 Speak To Me:

Blodeuedd on 18 November 2009 at 14:29 said...

I think I know what you mean, and it sounds good.

Erotic Horizon on 18 November 2009 at 21:22 said...

@Blodeuedd..

This book is wonderful - The small town along with the characters made this a winner for me...

E.H>