Tia Silverthorne Bach is an avid reader, sometimes runner, involved wife and mother, and rabid grammar hound in addition to being a multi-genre writer. Her three daughters were born in Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore; and she feels fortunate to have called many places home. She's the award-winning co-author of Depression Cookies, a coming of age story written with her mother. Tia's office is wherever her laptop takes her and any place that's conducive to allowing a wild imagination like hers to flourish.
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Smashwords book reviews by Tia Bach
- The Royal Sheikh
on Feb. 11, 2012
Beautiful scenery and an enjoyable romance are the basis for The Royal Sheikh. Clare McKay is focused on her career as an architect, working long hours and ignoring her personal life. A chance meeting brings Sheikh Rafiq Al Kahil into her life, and neither one of them can ignore the sparks.
Rafiq is used to getting what he wants and thinks Clare will be no exception. He lures her in but is surprised by her commitment to her career and her initial refusal to give into him. He’s intrigued, but it’s more than that.
Both Clare’s boss and best friend, Louise, caution her against falling hard and fast for the Playboy Prince, but she’s too far gone. The beautiful setting of Rafiq’s home country and his charm further cement her budding feelings.
Rafiq and Clare dig in their heels when a series of misunderstandings occur. The reader sees two strong-willed people fighting the overwhelming feelings taking over. Rafiq isn’t just a playboy, he’s a son with lots of responsibility who has been burned one too many times by people looking out for their own needs.
At times, I wanted Clare to be stronger, play hard to get a little more. But I appreciated Clare’s stand in the end; it proved the Sheikh’s worth and commitment while also strengthening her character.
The Royal Sheikh doesn’t really stray from the romance novel formula, but it’s a quick read and engaging story. For those who love a romantic tale with interesting lead characters, pick up The Royal Sheikh and prepare to be swept away.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Note: I’m being a bit nit-picky with my 3.5 versus 4, but there were some sections with awkward dialogue and prose that kept me from committing to a full 4 (although it will show as a 4 on Amazon, thanks to rounding up).
- Roses Are Red
on Feb. 24, 2012
If you are looking for clever, captivating, character-driven horror, look no more. You've found it!
The first story in this collection, A Long Distance Relationship, grabbed my attention with the opening line: “I don’t care. You killed a man. I’m going to call the cops.” Margaret’s conscience spells her doom, but Allan’s not off the hook. Just as he thinks he’s escaped his fate free and clear, his actions haunt him. This story reminded me of my favorite Edgar Allen Poe tale, The Tell-Tale Heart. I can’t think of a higher compliment to give it.
My favorite piece was the second story, A Lucky Human. I love a story that takes you places you never suspect. To top it off, my favorite character was completely unexpected: a computer with feelings and desires. The story begins with a young man, Evans, who wants to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime—travelling on a space cruise ship. Captain Paul Gan sees the boy as his ticket to freedom.
From there, it’s a game of cat and mouse, but with a computer and humans. The whole story played like a Twilight Zone episode in my head. Kudos to the author for such a clever story.
The final story, Cash Only, pits criminal versus bounty hunter. The interesting part: I was drawn to the criminal, even felt sorry for her. The bounty hunter was so focused on the “job” that he lost touch with his human side. But it was “the easiest money that he’d ever made.” My heart went out to Tina. Again, the author managed to create an interesting, sympathetic character in very few words.
Thanks to intriguing plots, well-developed characters, and captivating writing these three short stories gave the same satisfaction as three novels. Not to say I didn’t want more, because I did. But I say that even at the end of a good novel, no matter how long it is.
Readers who love science fiction and horror will particularly love this collection, but anyone who enjoys getting lost in a good story built around interesting characters will appreciate it as well.
- Bookended By Beauty Queens
on March 14, 2012
"A journey rich in emotions and characters."
Can you imagine growing up sandwiched between beauty queen sisters? Angie learned to define herself by intelligence and toughness as the middle of three girls, especially since her older and younger sisters were beauty queens. But that’s just the beginning of the story.
Angie’s built a fence around her life, determined to keep out any entanglements. No men, no friends. Then her grandmother moves in after her home is devastated by a fire, she meets a drag queen on the subway, and an unexpected man catches her eye. The walls she’s so carefully built start tumbling down.
Every time I thought I had figured out where this book was going, it took a turn. I say this as a compliment. I was invested in the characters, particularly Angie and her grandmother, but just when I feared it would get tired or follow a too-obvious path, something unexpected would happen.
The author does an excellent job weaving many story elements into a fine fabric of action, romance, courtroom drama, social issues, and female relationships. There’s a little something for everyone.
I commend the author for taking on the controversial subject matter. Don’t be worried about preaching, though. The story focuses on the journey to opening up your heart.
Overall, the quality of the writing outweighed the grammar and punctuation errors I found. The more I read this book, the more I liked the multi-layered story and complex characters. Don’t make up your mind too soon in the story. Let your heart be your guide.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. The opinion expressed is my own.
- Lust on the Rocks
on March 27, 2012
Samantha is a focused career woman angling to make partner, and Vic is a man bent on revenge. They come together with a combined goal, and heat and desire soon follow. Steamy love scenes and sexy scenery abound.
Thanks to the title, I expected sexy and steamy, and I was not disappointed. What I did not expect were such well-developed and interesting characters. There is nothing one-dimensional about this story.
The author builds the main characters by showing us their other relationships. Vic and his family were devastated by loss, one that defines the man he is now. Then there’s Samantha and her college-aged sister, Jessica. A story within a story is created when Jessica shows up on Samantha’s doorstep pregnant and not sure what to do.
I must admit… I hope there’s a story involving Jessica in the author’s pipeline. She’s young and damaged, but strong. However, I can see where readers could part ways on the pro-life versus pro-choice debate that ensues, even though I thought both sides were represented.
A guilty pleasure with the bonus of character development, I highly recommend it to readers who appreciate both romantic heat and story. Those readers who prefer a more straight-forward and light romance novel might need to skim through the moments of heavier material.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.