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on 20 October 2014
Its ok
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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2011
First off I would like to say thank you to the author for sending this book to me for free to review. I did read it all and this review has not been influenced by anyone and these are my own thoughts and opinions.

Maybe it was just me but I really didn't like the main character of Jenny. When I first started reading it I liked her but her character got worse throughout the book. She was whiny, annoying, jumped to conclusions all over the place and to be honest she didn't treat Eduardo very well, in fact she was a right cow towards him. And for me all of these things made her extremely unlikeable.
I did actually like Eduardo and you could understand why he would think what he thought because its probably what most people would think. He wasn't the character Jenny kept painting him out to be and I didnt understand why they had to keep things a secret from everyone...i dont know a lot about politicians but am quite certain they are allowed girlfriends.

The suspense for me wasn't there either. It started off quite promising but by the end I had almost forgotten about the mystery letters. It wasn't consistent and when explained at the end why the letters were being sent, it felt very flat and I wasn't satisfied with the reasoning behind them.

The whole story in the end didn't flow right for me, it kept jumping around. In one scene she is saying how much she needs to get away and in the next paragraph its morning and she has woken up in his bed....then before I knew it, 3 years had passed. I think when the time skips forward like this it needs to say ".... years later" it makes it easier and less confusing.

Now I am not saying there is not potential with this author but because of these things I just couldnt enjoy the story the way I wanted to but I wouldn't give up with this author just yet, I would still try something else from them in the future.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 17 June 2011
Of the responses that I got to my recent 'avid reader seeks books in return for review', this was probably the one that appealed to me most: intrigue, romance and hot steamy sex. I've never (to the best of my knowledge) read anything with sex or romance in it by a male author, and had I not known beforehand that the author was male, I wouldn't have guessed. I read this in about 3hrs, and barely noticed time flying, as the novel flowed: lots of action, no stilted conversations, and nothing that was too outlandish, i.e. all was entirely believable.

This to me was a romance by modern standards: not the fluffy, gushy stuff that traditional romance novels might be, but a sexual attraction, a battle of the sexes, act-on-it-and-deal-with-the-consequences-stuff, as the attraction between the leads was there from the minute they met, when sparks began to fly. At times it was like watching a ping-pong match and waiting for the next action+reaction. The style of dialogue/repartee reminded me very much of the Carole Mortimer and Charlotte Lamb Mills and Boon novels from the late 70's/early 80's, featuring a powerful, arrogant, rich Mediterrean male, and a feisty female; true Battle Of The Sexes stuff. I mean this as a compliment, as I was a big fan of those authors (until CM sold out and de-sexed her books when AIDS/HIV hit the headlines, though CL remained true until she died in 2000). It's not 100% my type of romantic novel, as I wasn't sure that Eduardo and Jenny could actually have a HEA, given the deception by Jenny, her succumbing to another guy despite having admitted her love for Eduardo, and the fact that the book did not have a firm ending. I was interested enough to check out the author's website, and if I am not mistaken, his April 2011 release is connected to this one, and I hope to find out about what has happened to the leads from this tale.

It had intrigue to it, but not what I personally would call suspense, as there wasn't anything threatening, but the intrigue itself was well done. The intensity/vehemence of certain conversations at the start of the book that did not initially make sense to me were revealed at the very last minute, keeping the mystery intact. I liked that things didn't all very conveniently unravel too quickly and easily and end with an anticlimax (unlike the 2 recent alleged rom susp books that I've read and reviewed this week).

I also kind of liked that none of the main characters were perfect, as their flaws made them more believable, if not necessarily, IMHO, likeable. I'm of Asian descent, but can't stand Bollywood-style sugary-sweet, rose-tinted spectacle denouements that I find in so many novels, so I found this quite refreshing. And maybe that's where a guy's perspective is different to a woman's.

Overall, this was a really decent read, and yes, I'd read more by this author.
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on 20 October 2008
The main character is Jenny Bucknall, who is recovering from a car crash when she discovers she has inherited half of La Finca Piedra from a Spanish artist, Juan Garcia. The mystery is that she didn't know her benefactor and nobody seems able or willing to help her get to the bottom of it. When she's well enough, she visits the finca and is stunned to find a great deal of the place is familiar, yet she'd never been there... Worse, she finds hanging on the wall a nude portrait of her - executed by the dead Juan.

While there is no great villain of the piece, there is an unpleasant writer of anonymous letters who seems to know more than Jenny about Juan's past and possibly hers too.

The co-owner of the finca is Eduardo, the younger half-brother of Juan. Attractive and used to getting his own way, Eduardo is in politics and doesn't want Jenny there. He's determined to buy her out. She stubbornly refuses, drawn by the mystery of the finca. This stubbornness and independence causes her much grief as, like a moth to the flame, Jenny is drawn to Eduardo...

The blurb suggests that some aspects of the book are racy; in fact, they're erotic, and well done. Indeed, this is an adult bittersweet romance with an intriguing mystery at its core.

Barnett has infused these two main characters with life. Like other accomplished novelists, Barnett has made his characters live with the reader and inhabit your mind during the reading process. His familiarity with Spain and the people is evident and lends authenticity to Jenny's emotional journey of discovery; discovery of self and the long concealed past.

There are no easy answers, it seems; I found this to be a satisfying well-written novel.
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on 17 October 2008
Have you ever desired someone you really don't like? Set in the magnificent hills of the northern Costa Blanca, this story covers a sweeping range of emotions. Intrigue, deception, disappointment, anger and passion - they are all here, simmering beneath a surface a self control, as the leading characters' mutual distrust turns into lust and even fear.
A riveting and racy read.
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on 7 February 2012
a superbly written romantic novel, with great conflict between the characters. well composed, just the right length, excellent location, realistic characters and a believable storyline. easy to get into and hard to put down.
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on 1 July 2008
What a great find and what a debut.
Finished Mr. Barnetts book in just one day. I cant say fairer than that. The book is a real page turner. Jenny at once captures you and what makes this more appealing is the fact that the lead character is a woman and the book was written by a man. A spellbinding, sympathetic novel by a welcomed new writer.
Wheres the next Mr. Barnett
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on 18 July 2011
what a wonderful book, i just couldn't put it down. Very raunchy in places. i'm looking forward to reading other books by the same author.
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on 26 April 2008
I enjoyed this book tremendously, though didn't get the ending I desired. I look forward to the next instalment as I understand there will be a follow-up to this novel.
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