Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Devil’s Lake, (Bittersweet Hollow, Book 1),” by Author, Aaron Paul Lazar

book reviews

Title: Devil’s Lake (Bittersweet Hollow, Book 1)

Amazon Author Page: Aaron Paul Lazar

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Formats: Paperback, Kindle, Audible – unabridged

FREE Kindle & FREE Audible

Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance

Goodreads

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“After two years of brutal captivity, Portia Lamont has escaped and returned to her family’s Vermont horse farm—only to find her parents gone to New York to try an experimental treatment for her mother’s cancer, and her childhood friend Boone Hawke running the farm.

The man Boone has become frightens her to near paralysis, but she’s too traumatized and physically devastated to put up a fight. Like the rest of her family, Boone has never given up hope that Portia would return. But when she turns up battered, skinny as a twelve-year-old boy, afraid of everything and unable to talk about what happened, he does the only thing he can—try to help her heal.

He summons the town doctor and Portia’s parents and sets out to put this beautiful, broken woman back together again. Through her family’s love and Boone’s gentle affection, Portia gradually comes back to herself and starts to fall for her old friend in a whole new way.

But one thing threatens her fragile hopes for recovery: The man who took her promised that if she ever escaped, he’d kill her. Slowly. And someone is definitely watching her…waiting to make a deadly move.”
NOTE: This book contains explicit sexual content. For adults only!

Bittersweet Hollow (Romantic Suspense Series)

Book 1: Devil’s Lake
Book 2: Devil’s Creek
Book 3: Devil’s Spring

MY RECOMMENDATION:

This isn’t my favorite genre, and I really recoiled when I read the book blurb. However, I had promised the author that I would read and review this book which I won in a Facebook contest.

Guess what? I couldn’t put the book down! I won’t lie, it was difficult reading about Portia’s kidnapping and the psychological terror she withstood at the hands of a madman.

However, Lazar balances the horror and suspense in such a way that I didn’t cringe at every page turn. He chooses his descriptions carefully as if he had Portia’s feelings in mind as he wrote.

The introduction of Boone, her childhood friend, softens the harsh edges of the story. Immediately, you can feel the connection between the two characters even though Portia is nowhere near ready to become involved in a relationship.

Portia’s sister Grace, who has her own problems and issues to deal with, displays an inner strength and fortitude in the face of danger that I found admirable. The two sisters are direct opposites who play off each other’s personalities all the way to the explosive ending.

If you’re in the mood for something different, Devil’s Lake will deliver in the mystery and suspense department. The story is creative and I couldn’t predict what would happen next. But beware. There is explicit sexual content. I didn’t find anything offensive so don’t let that put you off.

I’m interested in the rest of the series as I would like to see where this author’s creativity takes the characters and the continuing story.

The Kindle book and the Audible version are listed as FREE. For a few hours of great entertainment, you can’t go wrong.

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

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Author, Aaron Paul Lazar

About the Author:

Aaron Paul Lazar is obsessed with writing. He’s completed twenty-seven books to date and has earned twenty literary book awards. He writes mysteries, suspense, love stories, and more. You’ll usually find him writing his heart out in the early hours of the day – preferably in the dark, quiet hours when no one else is awake in his bustling household. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com to sign up for a free book and to learn about future deals.

GET YOUR FREE COPY OF DEVIL’S LAKE AT WWW.LAZARBOOKS.COM!

READ MORE: 

Aaron Paul Lazar wasn’t always a mystery writer. It wasn’t until eight members of his family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. “When my father died, I lost it. I needed an outlet, and writing provided the kind of solace I couldn’t find elsewhere.”

Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ, a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like Lazar’s father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a “Renaissance man caught in the 21st century.” There are twelve books to date in this series.

The creation of the series lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he now lives, breathes, and dreams about his characters, and has written eleven LeGarde mysteries in addition to four other series.

One day while rototilling his gardens, Lazar unearthed a green cat’s eye marble, which prompted the paranormal mystery series featuring Sam Moore, retired country doctor and passionate gardener. The green marble, a powerful talisman, connects all three of the books in the series, whisking Sam back in time to uncover his brother’s dreadful fate fifty years earlier. (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BILLY MOORE, TERROR COMES KNOCKING, and FOR KEEPS)

Lazar’s books feature breathless chase scenes, nasty villains, and taut suspense, but are also intensely human stories, replete with kids, dogs, horses, food, romance, and humor. The author calls them, “country mysteries,” although reviewers have dubbed them “literary mysteries.”

“It seems as though every image ever impressed upon my brain finds its way into my work. Whether it’s the light dancing through stained-glass windows in a Parisian chapel, curly slate-green lichen covering a boulder at the edge of a pond in Maine, or hoarfrost dangling from a cherry tree branch in mid-winter, these images burrow into my memory cells. In time they bubble back, persistently itching until they are poured out on the page.”

In 2009, Kodak laid him off after 28 years of service, and during the year he had off (before he landed in his job with KB America) he had time to explore and reconnect with his environment. Little did he know that several trips to the Adirondack Mountains would reawaken his passion for that part of the country. A new romantic mystery series was started entitled Tall Pines Mysteries: FOR THE BIRDS, ESSENTIALLY YOURS, SANCTUARY, and BETRAYAL.

In between all the novels, Lazar published three short writing guides based on his many years of writing advice blogs, entitled WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1-3. These are available in eBook and audiobook formats.

In his twenty-first book, Lazar has jumped genre. THE SEACREST: a love story, now the winner of many literary awards, is poised to capture hearts across the globe. Book 1 in the Paines Creek Beach novels (set on Cape Cod), this also launched a series and is followed by THE SEACROFT and THE SEADOG.

When the news was filled with stories about the girls captured for ten years by that monster in Cleveland (you know who he was…), Lazar was compelled to write a book to honor the women involved. Thus was born the Bittersweet Hollow romantic suspense series, featuring award-winning DEVIL’S LAKE, DEVIL’S CREEK, and DEVIL’S SPRING.

The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, daughter Allison, two little grandsons, two dogs, and four cats. With a total of six grandkids now, he finds grandfathering to be one of the most precious and important times of life and spends as much time as possible with Julian, Gordon, Isabella, Christopher, Luke, and Joey.

Lazar has been featured in many magazines and newspapers and has given dozens of radio interviews over the years.

Summary of series:

LEGARDE MYSTERIES (country mysteries set in the Finger Lakes)

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES (mysteries with time travel and a ghost)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES (sensual women’s mysteries set in the Adirondacks)

PAINES CREEK BEACH SERIES (love stories by the sea)

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW SERIES (romantic suspense involving kidnapping)

LEGARDE MYSTERIES
1. DOUBLE FORTÉ
2. UPSTAGED
3. MAZURKA
4. FIRESONG
5. TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON
6. DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU
7. THE LIAR’S GALLERY
8. SPIRIT ME AWAY
9. UNDER THE ICE
10. LADY BLUES
11. VOODOO SUMMER
12. MURDER ON THE BREWSTER FLATS
THE LEGARDE MYSTERIES OMNIBUS

GREEN MARBLE MYSTERIES
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BILLY MOORE (formerly Healey’s Cave)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING
FOR KEEPS

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS
ESSENTIALLY YOURS
SANCTUARY
BETRAYAL
TALL PINES BOOK SET

PAINES CREEK BEACH, love stories
THE SEACREST
THE SEACROFT
THE SEADOG

BITTERSWEET HOLLOW, romantic suspense
DEVIL’S LAKE
DEVIL’S CREEK
DEVIL’S SPRING

WRITING GUIDES
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 1
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 2
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volume 3

AWARDS:

Devil’s Lake
• 2015 Finalist Readers’ Favorites Awards
• 2015 Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards

The Seacrest
• 2015 Semi-finalist in Kindle Book Review Awards
• 2014 Best Beach Book Festival WINNER, Romance category
• 2013 ForeWord Book Awards, Romance, FINALIST

The Seadog
• 2016 Best Indie Book Awards, Romance, WINNER

Double Forté
• 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, Mystery, FINALIST

Tremolo: cry of the loon –
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction
• 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary
• 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place Mystery
• 2008 Yolanda Renée’s Top Ten Books
• 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads

For the Birds
• 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery
• 2012 Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top 10 Reads

Essentially Yours
• 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense
• 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

The Disappearance of Billy Moore (formerly titled Healey’s Cave)
• 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
• 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
• 2011 Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice
• 2011 Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (not Nobel!) Prize for Literature
• 2011 Finalists for Global EBook Awards

Terror Comes Knocking
• 2013 Global Ebook Awards, Paranormal – Bronze

For Keeps
• 2013 Semi Finalist in Kindle Book Review Book Awards, Mystery Category

Spirit Me Away
• 2014 AuthorsdB book cover contest, Silver medal.

Under the Ice
• 2015 AuthorsdB “Bronze” Cover Award

 

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How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: lazarbooks.com, murderby4.blogspot.comaaronlazar.blogspot.com

Contact him at author@lazarbooks.com.

TWITTER: @aplazar

FACEBOOK: Aaron Paul Lazar

Smashing good timeThanks for stopping by to meet Aaron Paul Lazar. Check out Devil’s Lake. It’s a great read!

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Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.

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