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Profile for Doug Carlyle > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Doug Carlyle (Utopia-Tarpley)

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Selling Dreams (The Riviera Romance Series Book 1)
Selling Dreams (The Riviera Romance Series Book 1)
Price: £2.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Room with a View!, 23 Dec. 2014
I’ve seen one Broadway play. That was “Noises Off” back in 1984 or thereabouts. It was a remarkable show. If you’ve never seen it, the play alternates scenes from what is going on that the audience sees on stage, then the stage flips and one gets to see the drama behind the stage (while the show is continuing out front).

Such is Selling Dreams. Susan O’Leary has an incredible talent that enables her to weave multiple stories into one. And why not? The more drama the better, right?

Having said that, nothing but drama would be absolutely boring. Rest easy. O’Leary takes you along with her characters to wonderful restaurants, pristine beaches, winding roads, and marvelous cliffside villas overlooking the Mediterranean off the coast of France. You are there every step of the way as romance blossoms anew for some, and old romance struggles for others.

It’s a wild ride that is certain to appeal to the romantic and adventurous alike.

Hot Pursuit  (The Kerry Series Book 3)
Hot Pursuit (The Kerry Series Book 3)
Price: £2.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Hat Trick, 30 May 2014
Susanne O'Leary hooked me with her "Virtual" duet. I had high expectations for her "Hot" series. She exceeded those expectations. Though not really a series, she brings some characters, themes, and her beautifully written settings from book to book, culminating in what is her best book yet, Hot Pursuit.

O'Leary's writing easily let's you step into the mind of her characters. You feel their emotions. You route for them. You cry with them. You cheer when they win. And then there are her not so subtle sex scenes - tasteful, erotic, and very real.

As a world-traveler, I love her ability to describe a setting in Europe to a T. I can read one of her books and enjoy a beech, a tavern, and a mountain from the comfort of my chair.

It's a rare author who has such a gift of the pen that you know her next book will be a hit. O'Leary is one such author. I look forward to her next project.

Ms. O'Leary gave me a pre-release copy of her novel for me to read and review.

Hot Gossip  (The Kerry Series Book 2)
Hot Gossip (The Kerry Series Book 2)
Price: £2.55

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conde Nast, 15 Feb. 2014
I am well-traveled, but I haven't been on the road much in recent years. To satisfy my cravings for the other side of the Atlantic, I subscribe to Conde Nast Traveler magazine and I read Susanne O'Leary's novels. Each of them take me to another place, or rather, many places. Hot Gossip is no exception.

O'Leary paints a landscape with every chapter then glosses it with colorful characters and a plot that pulls you in. This is a novel you have to finish in order to see experience its value. As with many of her novels, she writes with a duality of time and setting. This adds a touch of mystery along with multi-faceted romance. Tastefully steamy in places. I highly recommend this author and I look forward to her next novel!

The Virtual Detective Series
The Virtual Detective Series
Price: £4.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtually Perfect, 21 Aug. 2013
Every once in a while, the perfect gift comes along. Whether it's for yourself or someone else, The Virtual Detective Series is one such gift. Virtual Strangers had me nervously looking over my shoulder as I read it several years ago. The scenes and dialogue are what each of us experience as we communicate via social media. There are fights, pontification, pseudo-relationships, even love affairs. Yes, we've all been there and done that. Now it's a book. Now two people die. It's not a stretch of one's imagination to see this take place. O'Leary and Zaltin nail it. A must read for anyone involved with social media, and a warning for those who are not.

Then, the authors come out with a sequel, Virtual Suspects. Several of the main characters pop up once again. We already know some of the relationships. They're almost friends to us at this point. As you already suspect, mayhem and death aren't far behind.

This is truly a wonderful set of reads. They could stand on their own merits, but why read just one?

I read both as e-books sent to me by O'Leary. Our relationship is keenly professional and honest. If I thought these books were anything less than some of her greatest work, I would tell you and her.

Virtual Suspects
Virtual Suspects
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another Virtual Hit!, 12 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Virtual Suspects (Kindle Edition)
Susanne O'Leary and Ola Zaltin have done it again with their latest gotcha-novel, Virtual Suspects. Although to get the full benefit of this novel one should read their first collaborative effort, Virtual Strangers, the novels stand well on their own.

Multiple murders once again confront Annika and Seabee. As with their on-again, off-again relationship, they struggle to work together to uncover who is behind these latest felonies. The story is written in what one must imagine is the manner in which O'Leary and Zaltin worked together to come up with this delicious novel. Though written in the first-person point of view, the story is seen from the perspective of both central characters giving the reader glimpses of hints toward solving the mystery in an entertaining and dynamic fashion.

The book is laced from cover to cover with humor. O'leary and Zaltin clearly depict all of the characters in luscious detail. Yet it's the battle of wit versus hormones that keeps the reader glued to the pages.

The dual perspective the authors use in this novel may not be for everyone. This allows the reader to witness through different eyes the interactions by the characters as the plot develops. I personally find this to be one of the most interesting facets of this novel. I give it a solid 4-stars.

I downloaded this novel to my Kindle.

Virtual Strangers
Virtual Strangers
Price: £0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cyberspace Violated!!, 30 July 2011
This review is from: Virtual Strangers (Kindle Edition)
If you're like me, you've likely spent part of the last 24 hours on one or more internet forums. And if you've always considered this time of your day as sanctuary, don't read Virtual Strangers by Susanne O'Leary and Ola Zaltin. It will forever change your comfort zone.

Yes, the book is a bit of a re-hash of Strangers on a Train. As such there are all the plot turns and twists, and suspense, one might expect from a Hitchcock knockoff. But this book is so much more. Ol' Alfred would be stroking his chin right about now wondering, "How can I turn this into a movie?"

O'Leary and Zaltin expose a digital sub-culture within which many of us dwell. The forum. The blog. The web. Call it what you want. We are all emboldened to be everything that we are in person, but on steroids. Be honest, now. Are you at all disingenuous at the keyboard? Are you better looking? Smarter? Richer? Are you a doctor, when in reality you are a pervert with an 8th-grade education, and barely that?! What are we? Who are we?

O'Leary and Zaltin use what all of us suspect, and make it threatening at a personal level. What's more, they are spectacular at doing so. I couldn't help but wonder if they were watching over my shoulder, or gazing at me from across the lake through binoculars as I read in my underwear at the kitchen table. Their dialog is dead on. The characters, frighteningly real. The plot, plain damn Tom Clancy possible.

Everyone who lives in the virtual world should read this novel. Keep the lights on. Change your password. Don't use your real picture. Protect your loved ones. Use a pseudonym. Be sure your avatar is not a reflection of you that someone might be able to use to identify who you are. And never give out personal information on the internet. Ooops. Too late. They already own you.

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