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Seventh Review: Shawna Hill

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In Between Lies 

By Shawna Hill

Synopsis:

After a devastating break up with her cheating fiancé, Savannah Summers delves into her work as the Assistant to the VP of Production in a marketing/production company. Finding refuge in work and her best friends, she finally decides to try her hand at love one more time. Wanting more than ever to close the wounds of lost love and against her better judgment, she falls for Kevin Styles. This time around she vows to not give her whole self as before and keep her heart closer and guarded more than ever before. 

Kevin Styles, a smooth, handsome Meteorologist at a local news station is somewhat a local celebrity in his own right. When it comes to women and playing the field, he holds all the cards. Being suave, having the right timing and patience is his game and forte and he is just the man to wine and dine her. However, a known player to his heart in his not so distant past, he’s looking for the right woman to tame his wild player ways.  

Just when things are going perfect, Naomi Sanders, a now tarnished blast from Kevin’s past hits the scene. Naomi, now a revamped diva and budding actress, creates an entry into Kevin’s life and bed, reigniting a first unwanted and secret rendezvous that threatens his budding relationship with Savannah. For a short while, Kevin delights in having his cake and eating it too until Naomi decides that she wants more. Spurned, Naomi stops at nothing to stake her claim on what was once hers, bringing lies, destruction, and deceit, even if it means death.  Naomi is bent on a sweet revenge targeted at Kevin and anyone that lies within his reach. Shattered trust and betrayal is inevitable. Can Kevin and Savannahs’ blooming relationship withstand Naomi’s tactics, or should Savannah cut her losses and run?

Overall:

This book definitely spoke out to me on every level imaginable i.e., it’s smooth in rhythm and style. Shawna has definitely gone up, over, and beyond the typical slush pile of self-published writers who want an honest attention. Not once have I felt that the book was more about plot than the elements of erotica (that’s a pet peeve of mine, writing more about the sex than the plot itself, yucky). The character’s voice through Savannah’s internal conflicts can be heard from over a mile away and the best part is that I can always relate to her. Who hasn’t had girl trouble? The best part about this book is that I can also relate to the area of Chicago because I just visited the place a few months back. Amazing!

 The Good:

 Unlike your average ‘Indie’ author, Shawna has achieved an excellent opening by not using the entire paragraph as a weather report. Time after time, I constantly find authors trying to woo my interests by telling me about the weather, can anyone say boring? Not so with Shawna, she tosses a morning workout and mixes this with the weather outside in the most subtle fashion and that’s a plus. Secondly, the character introduction is gradual to some extent i.e., there are no overwhelming feelings of trying to know the who’s who at first through the first couple of pages. It really revolves only the four main characters of Savannah, Dre, Styles, and Jasmine.

 The Really Good:

Like I said earlier about sexuality, I like that it’s not the entire focus of the book. Relationships between the sexes are great, especially the funny analogies that come from the thoughts of a woman and what exactly runs through their minds. However, there are always the complications that result directly from it. I can definitely relate to some of the tensions whenever I pursue relationships, especially when it comes to wanting to get married. I strongly feel that fidelity is one of the major themes that Shawna deals with throughout her entire book. Well done.

Tweaks:

 There are just a couple of slight downfalls that I believe Shawna has dealt with which I am going to sparingly touch. Grammar blunders are one of them, especially the need to punctuate and spell things correctly. Apart from that general problem, I think it would be best to tone down on the sexual innuendos and cussing that happens in the book. I know there has to be an effect to the writing style, but using too much of it detracts readers because they will view these terms another set of modifiers and adjectives that really deter the reader from moving onward. Secondly, these words can cross the boundaries of redundancy where the words are far too often repeated.

Some parts of the book had been skimmed because of poor formatting. There really is no need to use italics for each and every word that you want to bring into focus. Some pages had bad paragraph indentations and breaks where it was not really needed. If there was one other thing that needs to be discussed it is this: SHE DOESN’T NEED TO GIVE HERSELF AWAY. I know she has swept me up beyond the first ten pages, but don’t go telling me the ending of the book. Let me make that determination for myself.

As for the book cover, you might want to consult a professional. I do not really think you are going to get anywhere with using sexuality in the book itself. I know that the book can be classified as a romance, but I think using the flowers on the desk scene (from Dre/Kevin Styles) as part of the book cover will make a better selection. The choice is up to you. 

Parker’s Overall Grade:

A

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