Author: Robert Thier

In the Eye of the Storm by Robert Thier

In the Eye of the Storm by Robert ThierIn the Eye of the Storm by Robert Thier
Series: Storm and Silence #2
Published by Robert Thier on June 6th 2016
Pages: 252
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four-stars

Egypt... land of romance, mystery, and exploding camels. Lilly Linton thought she'd be ready for anything after one month of working for her boss - cold, calculating businessman Rikkard Ambrose. But when they embark on a perilous hunt through the desert, she has to face dangers beyond anything she has encountered before: deadly storms, marauding bandits, and worst of all, a wedding ring!
Can the desert's heat truly be enough to melt the cold heart of Britain's richest financier?
With additional chapters from the perspective of Mr Rikkard Ambrose.

A grand adventure in Egypt, complete with bandits, a mysterious search for an enemy who seems to have a huge underworld of connections in his hand and an epic sandstorm bring Lilly and Ambrose ever closer. As always, Robert Thier’s special brand of humour is the storytelling’s prominent feature and never more so does ‘In the Eye of the Storm’ feel like a filmic narrative that’s like ‘The Mummy’ minus the paranormal bits. Instead, those are replaced by epic rides through the desert, endless kisses (though this are apparently done in under pretence and out of necessity) and several ridiculous, laugh-out-loud scenes that definitely require the suspension of disbelief.

I’ve come to think of Lilly/Ambrose as an ongoing TV ‘ship’ because it defies conventional romance pairing development at every turn, seeing as there seems to be no ending yet when it comes to the very interesting – but exhausting and frustrating – love-hate relationship that has developed between them. Where the sniping and insults do amusingly provide a convenient cover (and source of humour) for how they feel about each other, the tug of attraction between this pair is never quite admitted to, with both Lilly and Ambrose still very deep in denial as they attempt to rationalise away their smitten behaviour through increasingly hysterical mental reminders that they will never be attracted to someone they apparently despise.

The return to status-quo at the end of the book disappointed me however, with a resolution that went nowhere, especially with the ridiculous notion that Lilly would have been escorted back to England by a soldier who never questioned her inopportune appearances in Egypt and the lies he must have known she was telling. That Lilly and Ambrose returned to work in the ending chapter as though nothing had taken place left me equally dissatisfied with an ending worthy only of drama serials: to be continued.

four-stars

Storm and Silence by Robert Thier

Storm and Silence by Robert ThierStorm and Silence by Robert Thier
Series: Storm and Silence, #1
Published by Robert Thier on March 19th 2016
Pages: 596
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three-stars

Freedom – that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much!But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end – until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever...
Enter the world of Mr Rikkard Ambrose, where the only rule is: Knowledge is power is time is money!

An accidental meeting gets Lilly Linton a job as a secretary to the richest and probably most miserly man in England. It’s the start of an adventure for a woman ahead of her time, as she’s pulled into the current of the very mysterious, the very obsessed and the very attractive Rikkard Ambrose, whose strange but icy ways taunt her as much as they turn her on. Much of the plot continues in this vein: a wilful, headstrong feminist who thinks she knows all that the world can offer pitching herself against a chauvinist of sorts (but no more than the usual behaviour of men in Victorian times).

This book has stumped me and stumped me good. Considering ‘Storm and Silence’ was initially written as a weekly serial on Wattpad, its wince-inducing length is no surprise but the cliffhanger is. How could a story numbering 700+ pages in my e-reader be so engagingly full of adventure and humour but so lacking in character depth?

In short, it’s a book that’s full of contradictions, equally worthy of the effusive praise it has received, yet deserving of the scepticism that others felt about it. I was as much charmed as I was frustrated by a story that is by far from a perfect read, yet has parts that do come close to perfection. Its numerous comedic moments – helped along by several anachronistic expressions and hollywood-like funnies – have given me hours of amusement, yet the unceasing levity makes it difficult to take any of the actions scenes and the characters seriously at times.

And as much as I loved Robert Thier’s imprinting the contemporary woman’s mindset on Lilly Linton, her gumption and determination to be by Ambrose’s side grated on my nerves as well, when her naïveté plunges her into TSTL territory when it becomes clear she is so out of her element but continues to insist otherwise. Distracting subplots that I wasn’t entirely too interested in contributed to its mind-boggling length; the lack of character growth and a slow, slow burn between Lilly and Ambrose that never even came close to resolving the build up of sexual tension frustrated me to no end. By the time I’d gone three-quarters of the way through, I wondered if there was even going to be a time when Lilly would admit that falling in love didn’t mean a compromise of her ideals, as much as I wondered if I was ever going to know more about Ambrose beyond his stony, granite demeanour and his unflappable mien despite my reading so much between the lines.

That said, ‘Storm and Silence’ is a breath of fresh air and seeing as the saga continues quite enthusiastically, I’m cautiously joining its ranks.

three-stars