4 out of 4 stars
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A Long Dark Rainbow, by Michael Tappenden, is a romance novel that follows the story of two intriguing characters, Alex James and Samantha “Sam” Reagan. It is a romance story that is 40 years in the making and begins when Alex meets Sam, just for a moment, at her and her husband's dinner party. They meet again 40 years later in a charity shop where Sam works, but this time, Samantha is divorced. One date becomes two, then three, and they begin to fill a void in each other's lives. However, physical, emotional, mental, and sexual connections hardly ever come without complications.
Picking up this book, I must admit that I had a lot of questions about how the relationship between Alex and Samantha as older people would work out, especially seeing that this is an erotic novel. However, Michael Tappenden created an exciting story that kept me asking for more until the end. I firmly believe that this book deserves the maximum rating of 4 out of 4.
The author's slow-paced, in-depth, and poetic style of descriptive writing, especially in the erotic scenes, was the first thing I was drawn to in this book. Michael attempts to give the reader enough time to soak in the perfect pictures of emotions, events, and places he paints. He also gives us the occasional peek at the main characters' thoughts. This made relating to the main characters very easy, as I could understand them individually and feel how they felt. It set the stage for the fantastic character development that was maintained throughout the book.
While erotic novels usually focus mostly on explicit sexual interactions, A Long Dark Rainbow goes deep into the personalities of Alex and Samantha. It was engaging seeing them learn more about themselves, including their past lives, ways they have grown over the years, and their secrets. The level of suspense that accompanied revealing secrets was also interesting to experience. Readers will also get to learn a lot from their insightful conversations. One conversation that stood out to me centered around the comparison between the words “f**k” and “love,” which detailed how the former is more exciting and versatile, and the latter brings things to a hazy conclusion.
Furthermore, I delved into the artistic side of Alex, and just like Samantha, I was curious to learn more from Alex's wealth of knowledge on art. It was apparent that a lot of research was put into this part of the book. Readers will encounter Twombly paintings, the “Jimson Weed / White Flower No.1,” and many other beautiful pieces of art. I found Alex's interpretations of these works of art very interesting.
I also found A Long Dark Rainbow to be exceptionally well-edited. While I found one minor error, my reading flow was maintained throughout. The story comes together perfectly with a nice twist at the end. I can also say that there was nothing I disliked about the book. I would recommend this book to lovers of romance novels. The erotic scenes and profane words included in the book means that it won't be suitable for a younger audience.
A Long Dark Rainbow
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