First Review of THE ONLY THING, BOOK TWO: GANI & SEAN

4.0 out of 5 stars Two Women Vs A Drug Cartel, September 27, 2014
This review is from: The Only Thing: Book Two: Gani & Sean (Paperback)
The Only Thing is a sequel to the author’s previous book, Gani and Sean. Gani doesn’t appear quite as much in this book, for obvious reasons (obvious only if you’ve read the first one).

The story pretty much picks up where the first one ended, and to be truthful, I had to go back and peruse the last few pages of Gani and Sean to remind myself exactly what happened. Marian Watts has headed toward Mexico with a few kilos of Kristoff Koczella’s pure “product.” Sean LePen heads back to Chicago to pick up a “package” and then heads toward Mexico, herself.

We are introduced to a couple new characters as the story shifts to Mexico. Grandmama Maria owns a little shop in Oaxaca de Juarez, called “The Laughing Bowl.” Her grandson, Alberto, helps her run the shop. There is also a man named Paulo, who runs a nearby restaurant called “The Fighting Chicken.” All of the businesses in that town are terrorized by local thugs who work for the Los Zetas drug cartel. They come around periodically to collect “protection money.” But Grandmama Maria refuses to pay. They break her shop windows, along with some of the merchandise, and then they break Alberto’s arm. Maria heads to Mexico City to hire an assassin.

Sean happens to be in Mexico City and observes Maria attempting to hire an assassin, but the man will not take the job. He doesn’t want anything to do with the cartel. Sean introduces herself to Maria, and our new plot begins to take shape. Sean and Maria eventually meet up, and team up against the cartel, along with Maria, Alberto, and Paulo.

It’s an entertaining story and plot with interesting characters. Along the way, we get a little back story about the relationship between Gani and Marian, which we don’t know about in the first book. The ending is satisfying. Will there be more? Only Ms. Evans knows.

Review of AFTER JEWEL

4.0 out of 5 stars After Jewel, A Tale of Two “Jewels.”, March 1, 2014
This review is from: After Jewel (Paperback)
After Jewel is the author’s fourth book. To be totally honest, it is my least favorite of the four. That being said, I still liked it, as it frequently reminded me of Grapes of Wrath. There is, in some of the chapters, a great portrayal of a simpler time. A time when children were required to be stronger; a time when automobiles were the exception, rather than the rule; a time when eight grades of school met in one classroom.As Jewel begins, it is apparent that something odd is going on. We find Jules under the house with her Grandpa, “Pop,” watching him fix some plumbing. Her Grandmother, Jewel, died when she was around eight months old (I believe). But even at the age of five years old, Jules (nickname for Julia Lynn), hears an odd voice inside her head; a voice that, at times, can be rather intrusive.As the story unfolds, we get a few chapters of Jewel’s (the grandmother) life, beginning with her childhood. It is in these portions of the book that I’m reminded of Grapes, especially when Jewel, her husband, and her son, decided to move to Texas for work during the depression. Then we get a few chapters of the life of Jules, always being distracted by this voice in her head.

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel, but I don’t like Jewel (the grandmother, not the book), at least the Jewel that is inside Jules’s head. She is selfish and demanding. Almost mean at times. I do like Jules (the granddaughter), and have to say that I was mildly disappointed at the ending, which I will not spoil here.

After Jewel is a good read, but, as I said earlier, not my favorite of this author’s work.