Title: Change Of Heart
Author: Liliana Rose
Length: 60 pages
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Rating: 2 Stars
Vickie wants spice in her life, but her husband George is more interested in his work as a doctor. As a Victorian lady she is struggling to find her place in the world. An outbreak of a mysterious illness threatens the ordered world of Vickie and George. George becomes ill, and Vickie is left to care for him, keep him safe, as well as trying to work out the cause of the mysterious illness. Vickie must take charge in her world in order to survive. -Goodreads
All opinions found in this review are predicated upon the following.
First, this work is being marketed as a novella per the publisher.
Secondly, this work is also being marketed as erotica per the publisher.
Lastly, this work is being marketed as the introduction to a mystery series per the book cover.
Change Of Heart starts out really well with Vickie Wenderlen playing the very pampered, but equally lonely work widow of one Dr. George Wenderlen.
George, much to his credit, is very aware that things in his marriage are headed south in a big way. In a rather grand gesture of reconciliatory promise; he has an old airship (The Queen) restored, and presents it to Vickie as a gift.
While George risks life, limb, and even his marriage to solve the mystery of the killer illness before it's too late.
The stage on which this drama takes place is very well set.
The descriptions of all things Victorian and their steam powered conveniences, help to make the story's Steampunk world very real to the reader.
The feelings of love, as well as those of loneliness and guilt between George and Vickie, are also very well conveyed.
What the story lacks however is the attention to detail needed to make it complete.
Cases In Point
1. Readers are never given a full description of any of the players in this saga. With the exception of Vickie's being white and Matt's bulging. (Wink!)
2. The "erotic scenes" are far tamer than those found in any mainstream historical romance. Unless one is intended to become excessively hot and bothered by the referencing of Vickie's vagina as a "pussy".
3. The mystery illness that becomes increasingly important to the story as things progress, is never given a name or definitive symptoms.
4. The conclusion is very rushed and unfinished.
This novella has all the makings of a great story. In much the same way that crushed tomatoes, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and assorted meats have the makings of a great sauce. If...that is, all of these wonderful ingredients are allowed time to simmer, develop, and mature.
As it is. This novella is still a work in progress. Which, much like the raw ingredients in the afore mentioned sauce, is full of unrealized depth and flavor that needs to be reworked and expanded upon. In order to allow the brilliant drama to fully unfold as intended.