The Review by Annette Mori.The Review by Annette Mori is a suspenseful romance about life giving you a second chance at love.

Silver Lining, a lesbian writer, has been drifting in a haze of grief since the sudden and untimely death of her wife Naomi. Through her writing, Silver has built a tentative online friendship with Jasmine, and despite herself Silver feels a growing attraction to Jasmine she cannot ignore. So, Silver decides to launch a competition on Facebook she feels sure Jasmine will win… and the prize is time together.

Jasmine is currently off in a long-term on-off relationship with Dara. When she sees the competition her favourite author (and secret crush) Silver Lining launches on Facebook, she knows she has to win. And win she does. Jasmine jets off across the country to claim her prize. And hopefully the heart of a certain author.

Silver and Jasmine connect and the spark grows. But so does the suspense as Silver has a stalker who increasingly threatens to end the relationship before it even really begins. Can Silver protect Jasmine from harm? Will Silver let her wife go and move on with Jasmine? And will the stalker ever be caught? A terrific story about second chances, with a stalker thrown in for good measure, The Review is another Annette Mori novel you will love.

The Characters

The main characters of Jasmine and Silver are so well filled out. Jasmine is a newly single nearly 40-year-old with not much of anything going for her, except for an online friendship with her favourite lesbian author, Silver Lining. Jasmine has spent almost her entire adult life in and out of a dead-end relationship with her ex Dara, and Annette Mori has perfectly captured the insecurity and uncertainty that a long-term relationship with a cheating partner leaves behind.

Silver is a widow in her mid-40’s still struggling with the altered reality suddenly losing her wife Naomi has left her. Silvers growing romantic feelings for Jasmine, and her stuttering attempts to come to terms with what they mean for her (and Naomi’s memory) squeeze your heart in all the right ways. I found myself torn between feeling her grief and knowing I would struggle with the same things if I lost my wife, and having a growing kernel of hope in the pit of my stomach that Silver and Jasmine would find their happily ever after, proving that second chances can happen. Silver is such a likeable character. You sense she is the kind of woman who throws everything she has into a relationship, and it is so fulfilling to see someone over 40 portrayed like that.

The other characters in this book are typical Mori. I found myself recognizing traits I have seen in real life in each of the characters, particularly in Dara and Preston. Pretty Preston is genius. We first meet Preston during Jasmine’s anxiety-ridden flight to stay with Silver, and Preston is the stereotypical drama queen who wants to live vicariously through Jasmine’s relationship with Silver. His character is the perfect antithesis for Jasmine, all blustering confidence and risk-taking when it comes to Jasmines relationship with Silver, and submissively sweet when partnered with Bruce.

The Writing Style

As always, Annette Mori has perfectly paced this book. I spent the entire book reading “just one more chapter” until 2 am arrived and I literally could read no more… then picked it up again at 6am when I got up! And as usual, Mori had me guessing, chopping and changing my mind until the last few pages… the suspense (and lack of sleep!) nearly killed me.

The Pros

The characters in this book are likeable, familiar and so well written. And I loved that they were “older”… which I use in a liberal sense as really they are barely middle-aged in my view. Mori’s sensitive approach to the development of Silver’s feelings for Jasmine and the way in which her grief evolved was perfect… had me reaching for a tissue more than once.

The Cons

I was hoping for a bit more thriller and a little less romance when I first picked this up, but honestly, not disappointed at all. Definitely a romantic suspense novel rather than a thriller with a hint of romance. Or as Mori terms it… romash.

The Conclusion

This is such a heartwarming story of second chances, with a darker side of suspense than a normal romance provides. Annette Mori always writes such wonderfully complex and full characters, and this ensemble is no exception. A really great suspenseful romance that is well worth a read.

Excerpt from The Review by Annette Mori

Jasmine had jumped on the challenge the moment Silver had put it on Facebook. She’d never admit it to anyone, but she’d fallen in love, lust, or something else she couldn’t quite name with Silver the first time she’d laid eyes on her at the Lesbian Literary Society conference. Silver’s first book was good, but since then she’d only gotten better, and now she was a well-known author with her own loyal fan base.

Silver tended to weave her words and characters in a way that sucked a reader in and took them for a wild ride all the way to the inevitable happy conclusion. No book was the same, and the emotions Jasmine felt each time she absorbed Silver’s words were nothing short of a miracle. No other author had touched Jasmine as Silver had. If a book could make love to you, Silver’s books would and did.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9780908351954
  • Publisher: Affinity E-Book Press NZ

Annette Mori Online 

Note: I received a free review copy of The Review by Annette Mori. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.

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About the author

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Married mum of two from New Zealand with a love for reading that surpasses her need for sleep.  Love reading books that are exciting, puzzling, twisty and suspenseful.  Always willing to try new authors and take recommendations, and open to discussion about great books with great people.