Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hemphill Towers by Leona Pence


Riley Saunders has her dream job. As an art director at a leading advertising agency, she works every day with her two best friends, Stella and Birdie. All three have been assigned to ensure that the Grand Opening of the Peterson Art Museum is nothing short of a success.

When a girl’s night out at a hot new Italian restaurant ends with a spilled bottle of wine, it sets in motion a series of events that leaves Stella and Birdie caught up in whirlwind romances, and Riley fearing for her life at the hands of a deranged stalker. But, when the handsome museum curator, Trent Peterson, learns of her situation, he vows to keep her safe.

In a quick-paced tale of fine art, wine forgery, and the Russian Mafia, Riley and her friends soon discover their pursuit of love will require them to expose a crime, thwart a murder, and trust the one thing that has never failed them…their friendship.


Hemphill Towers was a fast-paced book that kept me on the edge of my seat as three friends’ lives are changed in one night.  Stella, who I believe is the Creative Director at an ad agency is hopelessly in love with the owner, J. B. Edwards, who has never noticed her as anything but the competent executive she is. Birdie’s position is never fully described. Riley is the Art Director, and the three are best friends. When they decide to try a new Italian restaurant, they have no idea J. B. is there with an old friend, who falls for Birdie the moment he sees her across the room.  J. B. finally notices Stella when wine spills on her, and Riley falls into the lap of wheel-chair-bound Dierk Rosenthal, who asks her out.  She agrees to the date, a day-trip to Chicago’s Art Institute.

The date with Rosenthal does not go well. First they take a side-trip to a doctor’s office where Riley overhears part of an apparent argument ending with the doctor telling Rosenthal not to return. Then, when he leaves her at the museum to use the restroom, a man comments on a painting she’s admiring, and tells her he’s the artist’s son. Rosenthal accuses her of flirting with the man and expresses contempt for art, sending up red flags in Riley’s opinion of him. She decides not to continue dating Rosenthal, who does not take no for an answer and becomes a dangerous stalker. The man from the museum turns out to be Trent Peterson, a client of the ad agency.

Tensions build as Birdie encounters the Russian mafia in Italy, and Rosenthal’s anger grows. He blames all of his problems on Riley and finally decides to take his ultimate revenge on her. She has to die.

Finally, there was a prologue that went nowhere. At first, I thought maybe Riley was the girl in the prologue, and her stalker had caught up with her. Then I thought the girl in the prologue would somehow figure in the stalker’s end. Neither was true. It didn’t even introduce Dierk Rosenthal as the stalker.

In the rest of the book, the tension built up beautifully, but the end was tepid at best. I was extremely disappointed. I would have loved to have given this book at least four roses, but it barely rates three.

Length: 190 Pages

Price:  $5.50

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book Publisher.com and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting. RIW

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