Marcella's first love has been MIA for eighteen years. Callie, her best friend and Sky's sister, flips out when a mysterious package from Sky arrives on her doorstep. Inside his old backpack are bottles of precious essential oils, a memory stick, and a bag of emeralds. Are these his final effects? Or is Sky alive? When Marcella's husband Quinn hears about it, his jealousy spikes.
He and Marcella have been married for seven years, and he's not about to let some punk from the past mess that up. Drug company goons want the data on the memory stick, because it links a newly discovered essential oil with a leukemia cure. They kidnap Callie, hoping to lure Sky into the open. Marcella and Quinn track her to the wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains, where against all odds they fight to save Callie and preserve the proof that could change the world.
©2012 Aaron Paul Lazar (P)2013 Aaron Paul Lazar
"...Aaron Paul Lazar's novel Essentially Yours will keep you feverishly turning pages not only to find out what happens next, but to bathe in the sensuality of his vivid descriptions that draw you into his story and keep you there through all the excitement and fear and romance." (Joan Hall Hovey, author of The Abduction of Mary Rose)
Aaron Paul Lazar heats things up for Marcella Hollister (and the reader), as her long-lost hottie boyfriend brings several varieties of danger back to town with him. Essential oils furnish a clever hook for the suspense plot. I'm not a huge fan of the mystic crystal vision stuff, but it was all entertaining.
Lazar's characters always command center stage, and he gives us some beauties to root for and revile in this book. For example, if I hadn't been listening to the audiobook while I was driving, I would have stood up and cheered when Marcella realized she was only dreaming about-- Well, you'll have to find that out for yourself. Then my cheers immediately switched to boos when it turned out she was actually in the sleazy clutches of-- Sorry, don't want to spoil it. I was back to cheering when she-- Oh, buy the book and enjoy it all firsthand! :)
Adding the cherry on top of Lazar's terrific writing, Hannah Seusy's gutsy narration practically yanks you by the ears into Marcella's mind and heart.
Well done all around!
Author of The Immortality Virus
Marcella's best friend, Callie, goes missing and it all has something to do with the package Callie received from from her brother -- Marcella's long-lost first love. People are dying, powerful forces have an interest in keeping this all quiet, and in the midst of it all Marcella must deal with long-buried feelings.
Told in the first person from Marcella's point of view, and read by a talented voice actress with an ageless quality to her voice, this story was instantly captivating. I read a lot of books with young heroes and heroines, so for me it was refreshing to read about a middle-aged woman and her husband, especially since they acted their ages. They've both lived a lot of life and have the history to back it up. I also found the perspective to be charmingly honest. Marcella is unquestioningly in love with her husband, Quinn, but that doesn't mean she isn't affected by the return of her first lover after nearly two decades of his being MIA. She has to deal with those feelings, and with other secrets that come out over the course of the book.
There's a mystic quality to this book. I almost hesitate to call it paranormal because it's all tied in with natural medicine and Native American spirituality, although psychic links and astral projection do qualify as paranormal. It was subtle, written into the fabric of the world in a way that suspends disbelief.
Disclaimer: I read 95% of my books on audio, although I rarely read commercial audiobooks because I have access to the national library for the blind (which usually uses volunteer readers). I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My standards for audiobooks are high. Because I usually read non-commercial audiobooks that aren't available to the general public, I don't normally comment on that aspect of the books I review. But I'm aware of it. The reader for this book was very good. She did mispronounce the word copse consistently (using a long o instead of a short o), but that's my only complaint. In all other ways she portrayed Marcella very well, reading with good tone/inflections.
I enjoyed reading this book. I would recommend it in audiobook format or in more traditional formats to mystery readers, especially those who like a little mysticism in their stories and who like a strong central character.
Essentially Yours is only the second Aaron Paul Lazar audiobook I have had the pleasure of listening to. From the opening scene I was riveted. Marcella's friend Callie receives a box from her long-lost brother and Marcella's one time lover Sky, that catapults them into a hair-raising adventure. There is a delightful tension between Marcella's husband, Quinn and the other characters that runs through the otherwise serious adventure showing Aaron Paul Lazar at the top of his game.
He incorporates his love of family and nature and even pulls a little supernatural experience into the story in a smooth style that can only be accompllished by a master writer. The tone of the story varies from intense action to coffee-spewing funny to sweet and weaves back and forth between these without noticible segues.
Essentially Yours is performed by Hannah Seussy who slides right into the narration bringing to life each character with such spirit that makes it hard to imagine another narrator doing justice so precisely. I am not sure that my coffee would have been in such spewing-danger had there been another narrator.
I have been an avid audiobook reader/listener for over 21 years and I will surely be choosing more Aaron Paul Lazar books now. This tightly written book will pull you in and give you a thoroughly enjoyable time!
Until now, I've only read Aaron Lazar's Gus LeGarde novels, which I really enjoy. Essentially Yours is a departure from the quiet, family-oriented LeGarde, but it's well done and held my interest from the beginning. Lazar delves into the mystical properties of essential oils in a knowledgeable way, and the suspense ratchets up as the mystery progresses.
The story held a number of surprises, from the plot to the unusual characters.
Hannah Seusy's clear voice provided a variety of emotions, from amusement and chagrin to fear and sympathy, all without overdoing anything. Good job!
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