Review: Cassandra By Starlight by Susan MacNicol

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Cassandra by Starlight

Falling in love makes Cassie Wallace’s everyday and normal life much more complicated that she?d ever thought it could be.

Being an independent and somewhat unconventional woman, she’d never intended to fall head over heels for a handsome, charming and younger man, one who lived a life she?d only ever imagined before on the big screen.

But Bennett Saville, up and coming star of theatre and film and filthy rich to boot, was one such man. From the tips of his shiny Armani loafers to the auburn curls on his head, he turns Cassie?s world upside down. From their initial tragic meeting to the dangers that threaten them both as their relationship grows more intense, Cassie finds herself a willing participant in Bennett?s world. She learns about a life in show business and living with a man who is constantly on show to the world ? not to mention having to face the fact that women throw themselves at him with regular abandon.

Cassie embraces the challenges as only she can, in her usual feisty fashion, lending humour and compassion to their developing relationship. And when violence and fear comes calling for them both, it takes the two of them to hold the dangers at bay and face the events together.

Published by Burroughs Publishing Group.

Review: 5 out of 5 Stars

by Sophie Sansregret

Susan Mac Nicol’s Cassandra by Starlight is the first in what I am sure will be an excellent series. The story is not a simple one. Cassandra by Starlight begins darkly with the suicide (did he jump or was he pushed?) of our hero Bennett’s brother. His horrifying death brings our lovers together, among other things. The narrative bifurcates variously onto the path of tremendous joy (and some lovely sexy scenes), or wends its way into the dark world of a stalker, or mobsters looking to settle a debt. The victim here is not our plucky heroine Cassandra but her love interest: the delicious Bennett. In my opinion, Ms. Mac Nicol gets points for tackling some very serious issues in this novel, and doing so deftly. And yet in no way does she skimp on the sensual romance of Cassandra by Starlight. Kudos to her!

The love story between actor Bennett and Cassandra (oh me oh my, a ten-years-older curvy woman who is eminently desirable to our sexy Bennett) takes place over approximately 18 months. It is rewarding to read a book which goes beyond the initial lip and limb tangle of the first few weeks of scorching sex scenes and overly requited lust. This is a novel which takes you beyond that, into the world of lovers quarrels (but they do make up, yum), difficult relatives (no one reading this can identify with THAT), and what I hope no one reading this review will ever experience: the sociopathic stalker.

When one considers that Bennett is an extraordinarily good-looking actor well-known in his field, one should not be surprised that he would suffer some sort of stalker. For those readers more interested in this particular issue and the related assault suffered by Bennett, please read Susan Mac Nicol’s blog on this particular subject of female on male rape.

So indeed there is violence and sexual abuse, not just suffered by Bennett, but also by Cassie as she relives some of her childhood experiences being sexually abused.

Despite the ambitious nature of such a narrative, Cassandra by Starlight is superb. I can think of no flowery way to announce that Susan Mac Nicol writes beautifully. Her deftness is particularly welcomed when one considers very difficult topics are brought up in her story.

But enough of the downer. This is a love story after all and we are rewarded tremendously when we read about Bennett’s desire for Cassandra. And we are even more tremendously rewarded when Ms. Mac Nicol treats us with lovely details. She writes a good scene is all I’m going to say. Ah the vigour of a younger man!

Side characters are quickly drawn in and out of the narrative as needed. There are many side plots which may be a bit frustrating for those preferring a straightforward Boy-Meets-Girl tale. I believe these days of electronic texts and internet can make us less receptive to longer and more complex narratives. Those preferring a longer narrative will not be troubled by this whatsoever. I believe it’s details which can make a novel. Little touches like being stuck in traffic, turning one’s car off and one’s ereader on… perhaps one might say “traffic sucked” more easily… but it’s more fun to see Cassie read for a stretch of time in her car instead. Ms Mac Nicol has a way of making things very real, without being tedious.

As with all romances this book has a lovely ending but it is not without some heartache. I look forward to Ms. Mac Nicol’s future offerings. Her latest e-mail to me tells me that many good things are on our way. M/M fans take note!

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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About Susan Mac Nicol

Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when
she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives
in Essex. Her debut novel, Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a
trilogy, has recently been published by Boroughs Group Publishing in
the US.

Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would
see herself being a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological
thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something
very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.

Susan’s Social Links

Website: http://www.susanmacnicol.com/
Blog: http://susanmacnicol.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusanMacNicol7
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susiemax77
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/susiemax777/