This may sound funny coming from a romance author…
But contemporary romances are not usually my thing.
Now, mind you, that doesn’t mean I completely avoid them; after all, I did write one. (Should be out sometime this winter.) It’s just that, given a choice, I prefer literature that has a more surreal (or even bizarre) feel to it. However, I have read a number of contemporary romances over the years that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and I always try to keep an open mind in regards to them.
At the end of the day, I know that I am just as likely to enjoy a contemporary romance as I am any other book. The trick, however, lies in getting me to pick it up in the first place! There’s gotta be some kind of hook, some interesting angle that makes the book grab my attention.
Callie Carmen (of Black Velvet Seductions Publishing) managed to pull it off…
Her novel Patrick features a serial killer. (To me, that’s like waving a bag of crack in front of a junkie. Seriously…) Now, I would’ve thought that this would make the book a ‘thriller’, but it doesn’t; Patrick is a rock-solid romance, with the emphasis ever remaining upon the characters and their interactions with one another.
The killer is pretty twisted, and even helps narrate the story (which is rather unnerving). Callie did a phenomenal job of balancing the dark side of her tale with the budding romance between the heroine Jaq and her love-interest, Patrick. It was obviously a fine line to walk, too. Had Callie ‘gone for broke’ on the morbid side, romance publishers would have told her to go kick rocks and horror publishers would have told her that the story was too sappy. (I’d have ROYALLY flubbed that one! My manuscript would’ve been as disturbing as all hell.) Patrick required a certain amount of finesse to write, and even more so to market; a ‘horror chick’ could never have pulled it off.
I loved the nuances of the characters. Frankly, I frowned upon Jaq’s dating four guys at once before she met Patrick. That just seemed kinda… well, mean. On the other hand, Jaq was also a fairly innocent woman, certainly not someone who could be labeled ‘cheap’ or ‘easy’. Her father, while described as an alcoholic and an embarrassment to his family, is also portrayed as a kind man who was a decent person when he was sober.
Then there’s Patrick. I strongly suspect that culture comes into play when evaluating Patrick’s character. I would imagine that many readers from ‘progressive’ regions (such as the American Northeast and West Coast) might describe Patrick as ‘possessive’, or even ‘controlling’. I, however, was born and raised in the American South, where the ‘alpha male’ is the norm and not the exception. (Even our ladies often refer to passive or overly-solicitous men as ‘weenies’.) So how you view Patrick’s character depends on where you come from, I think, and what social expectations you’ve been bred to hold.
Notice I didn’t really say anything about the serial killer, other than there is one. And I ain’t gonna, either…
Don’t wanna spoil it for you, ya know?
Patrick, by Callie Carmen. Go read it! You’ll be glad you did.
Cheers! – Virginia
(P.S – Callie’s next novel, Joshua, will be available soon. She will also be appearing in a cowboy-themed anthology later this winter, alongside yours truly. I’m deeply honored!)
TO ORDER CALLIE’S NOVEL FROM AMAZON, CLICK HERE: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=callie+carmen+risking+love&ref=nb_sb_noss
FROM BARNES AND NOBLE, CLICK HERE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/callie+carmen+risking+love?_requestid=51677
TO FOLLOW CALLIE’S WEBSITE (page contains links for all major social media platforms): https://www.calliecarmen.com/
15 thoughts on “‘Patrick’, by Callie Carmen: A Review”
As always your blogs are special. I love how you bring us closer to who you are with each new blog. Your review of Patrick is wonderful and yes it is a fine line one needs to walk when putting a stalker or serial killer in a romance novel. I am thrilled that you believe I pulled off with the right mix of romance and suspense.
I can’t wait to read your fantasy romance in the upcoming Desire Me Again novel. It’s almost publication day for you. How exciting!
What a great review, very insightful. I loved the Patrick story a great introduction to all the characters in the series
Thank you. I loved Virginia’s review too.
Yes, all six of the best friends are included in book one and are carried on through book six that I am working on right now Michael.
I’m so excited that JOSHUA hits preorder on Nov. 1.
Great review. I loved this book and have been slowly making it through her entire box set. Well worth it!
It is exciting to hear that you are reading the first four in the Risking Love series. I can’t wait to hear which one you liked the most.
Loved Patrick. Yes. The serial killer was a great touch. I was able to appreciate his deviousness, but also able to focus on the blossoming love between Jaq and Patrick. That shows what a great writer Callie is.
That is so sweet of you. I’m so glad the serial killer wasn’t a turn off for you. Of course, that would be hard to do to the queen of dark romance.
Wonderful review of Patrick. I just finished Anthony. Thanks for your assessment of Patrick. I’ll have to move it further up my list of TBR.
Thank you for reading Anthony. I hope you liked Anthony.
A wonderful blog, Virginia! I read Patrick and loved it – I’m a fan of steamy romantic thrillers.
Thank you, Estelle.
I loved Virginia’s review and your review for Patrick.
Great blog Virginia! I loved Patrick – yes including the killer!
I loved the blog too. Thank you so much Alice. I’m glad you didn’t mind the killing.
THANK you everyone for your kind words! And Callie… thanks so much for playing Hostess today as I was plugging away at the day job. Much appreciated! 😉
I so agree! The narrative being told by the serial killer too was GREAT! I dunno, it added that extra spice you didn’t know you needed 😁.