Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for Resentment - Book Review


The two things I have the most difficulty reviewing are Romance novels – because I really don’t much care for the genre, even when it’s carefully couched in the well draped blanket of historical fiction, and work by writers I know personally – because whether I like them or not, and I DO this author, it’s just difficult to be objective when you know the writer.  You either want to dislike their work because you know but dislike them, or, as in this particular case, you want to write a rave review because you know and like the writer irrespective of his or her work.  It’s double jeopardy when it’s a writer you know and like writing in a genre you don’t particularly care for, and you try to be as objective and brutally honest as possible, which I do.
The writer in question is fellow Examiner Jesse V. Coffee, the Lexington Writing and Literature Examiner, CEO of Edin Road Publications, A.K.A. Red Haired Celt, my editor and publisher and my friend.  So I guess that makes all of this that rare triple play, and writing this review isn’t going to be easy.  And if 312 words can be taken as ‘long story short’, there you have it, and here I go.
I first read Jesse Coffey in a completely different setting for historical fiction, a delightful horror piece called A Wager of Blood.  Originally published in paperback by LBF Books and soon to be released E-book edition under her own banner of Edin Road Press, the author used the soon to be retired pseudonym of J.W. Coffey.  This was a pulse pounding read worthy of the pen of Stephen King when’s not busy covering Wooly Bully with his garage band and attending Red Sox games. But this is not about A Wager of Blood.  I’ll return to that when the e-book is released.
Let me tell you now about The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment.  The place and time are Edin-on-Norwich, England, 1567 A.D.  Stephan , the elder of Sir Douglas Cameron’s sons has been brought before Lord Joseph Turnbull, Baron of the shire, accused of the theft of silver from the shire’s church.  His accuser is Sarah Miller, with whom young Stephan is in love.  Lord Joseph is an evil megalomaniac with eyes set on wealth and power no matter how it is to be attained.  He has bribed young Sarah to falsely accuse Stephan.  As Baron of the Shire, Lord Joseph is jury, judge, and executioner by law.  One other thing.  He hates the Cameron family.  Stephan is stripped, whipped within an inch of his life by the soul-less Irish assassin known as Cieran, and left to die, or be found on the road to the Cameron estate.
Fast forward ten years.  William Cameron has returned from a lengthy tour of Europe, where he has seen the best and the worst civilization has to offer.  He returns to an Edin –on-Norwich which has changed little in his absence.  Lord Joseph is still the Baron, and if anything is even more evil and determined in his hatred of the Cameron family.  Here we meet the rest of our cast.  Mary, the young woman known by the Cameron family since she and William were wee ones.  The Lady Jessica is the recent ward of Lord Joseph, who has his eyes on her titles, lands, fortune, and, dare I say it, her innocence.  And through his willing henchman, Cieran, Joseph is not beneath murdering anyone who gets in his way.
The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment by J. V. Coffey is a rip snorting, swashbuckling whale of an adventure that far exceeds is intent of being a good romance.  It’s just plain a darn good read.  A splendid story, well told.  The only distraction I had was occasionally when Coffey, who  tells her story as third person narrative but from individual characters perspectives, loses me momentarily when she, with little more than an extra space between paragraphs, jumps back and forth in the linear setting of the tale.  Once you figure out where she is, it’s a smooth, if fast paced ride.
5 stars for The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment by J. V. Coffey, and Edin Road Press at Smashwords. Second edition © 2011 by Jesse V. Coffey   Originally published as The Brothers Campbell First edition copyright 2002 by J. W. Coffey First edition ISBN 978-0595261772
Tampa readers, and readers everywhere can find The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment by J. V. Coffey online at Smashwords.com in most popular e-book formats, and for their Kindle at Amazon.com
The Brothers Cameron – An Opportunity for Resentment is book one of the Brothers Cameron Trilogy.  Cover art ©2011 by Lorrieann Russell.
Interested Tampa readers can learn more about J. V. Coffey and her writing at Facebook and at the author’s web site.

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