Review: Mirage Beyond Flames by Melinda De Ross

Review: Mirage Beyond Flames by Melinda De RossMirage Beyond Flames by Melinda De Ross

Published by Indie/Self Published on November 29, 2013
Pages: 191
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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four-stars  

I have read this author’s work before and liked it so it was with anticipation that I grabbed up this book.  This story offers up a unique experience as far as I was concerned.  I loved reading a story that was partially set in Romania and was written by a Romanian author.  The paranormal aspect was unique as far as that genre goes too.  This wasn’t about a vampire, werewolf, demon or any other popular paranormal creature.  It was about an inexplicable experience.  The crisp, clean writing style set the tone for that experience to appear all the more mysterious.  The story flows gently with spikes of action, but the crisis point comes unexpectedly.  It was an engaging read.

Gerard Leon is a Frenchman and a doctor living in London.  He works at a children’s cancer clinic where he works on cancer cures.  He has found a promising method for one type of cancer and the treatment has been moderately successful.  One day, he enters the clinic to find a beautiful woman sitting down and playing with the patients.  He recognizes her as the famous Italian sculptress and recent divorcee, Linda Coriola.  His heart is warmed to see that she really cares about the kids and isn’t just making a publicity visit to look good as a big donor for the clinic.  She is so beautiful and he is smitten.

Linda is gun-shy around men after her experiences with her Ex and growing up with her parents splitting up and both remarrying.  She has determined to keep her heart locked away and maintain her independence.  But the handsome Frenchman doesn’t seem to be taking the hint each time she pulls away.  Not that she fights too hard when he takes her for ice cream to a cute cafe and talks to her of his work, when he visits hers home and is eager to know her and seems so appreciative of each moment they spend together.

Gerard knows that Linda is holding back and he re-doubles his effort to show her that his love is real.  They visit his mother and aunt, he goes with her to her art exhibition where they run into her Ex, and then they share that unforgettable adventure in Romania when she accompanies him to check out a doctor-friend’s research idea and end up brushing up against the paranormal.  But then a misunderstanding takes place and Gerard is finally convinced to let her go.

This was a love at first sight story, but the relationship is not that simple.  The hero is open and strong with his feelings and commitment.  The heroine is fearful and tentative.  I admit to getting frustrated with her several times.  I will excuse her a little by admitting that her ex-husband did a real number on her psyche, but only a little because Gerard gave this relationship his all.  Not really sure what he could have done differently to convince her.

That being said, I enjoyed their love story.  I enjoyed that they appreciated each other’s talents and shared the same cause when it came to the cancer.  The domestic scenes were cute in their homes, his mother’s home and his friend in Romania’s home.  Their passion was tender and sweet.  And you know that no matter how slow the relationship took, there was no problem with the physical- not with a Frenchman and an Italian woman as the love interests.  It’s a little spicy, but not full on description.  The author did a good job giving readers a scorching hot hero to appreciate in Gerard who has that attractive French accent, flirty good-nature, smoldering passion for Linda, bold green eyes and dedication toward his work.  What’s not to love there, right?

The paranormal aspect of the story was very enchanted forest stuff taking place in the Romanian version of the Bermuda Triangle.  I enjoyed the feeling I had reading this portion.

And speaking of Romania, it was fun experiencing their adventure as the scenery, food, history and people were described.  It wasn’t pedantic because it was all viewed through Gerard and Linda’s eyes.

To sum up, this is a nice refreshing change for a paranormal romance that I would recommend to those who like a little something different now and then in that genre and don’t mind things light on the paranormal and more sweet than spicy on the romance.

My thanks to the author for providing the book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.

About Melinda De Ross

Anca-Melinda Coliolu, writing as Melinda De Ross, lives in her native Romania with her husband and a pair of rude parrots. She attended Law School and got her degree but worked as a journalist for several newspapers, polishing her writing skills.

It never occurred to her that she wanted a career as an author until she began writing, as therapy to get perspective on a crucial part of her life.

Melinda was a professional target shooter for a decade, winning multiple National Championships. She was breaking records in her teens until health issues forced her to give up the sport.

Out of that heartbreak, Rendezvous with Hymera – her first novel – started taking shape and so began her career as a Romantic Suspense author.
Melinda has always been a fan of writers like Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown. Currently she weaves romance into tales laced with the paranormal and occult. Her interests in yoga, philosophy and a large range of other disciplines give her work depth and color.

Other books by Melinda De Ross include: Unabridged, The Coriola Series (Mirage Beyond Flames and Dante’s Amulet), Chronicles of The Blood Countess, Be My Valentine, and A Touch Of Poetry.

She loves to hear from her readers, and you can find her at:

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Sounds like a great one Sophia! I can’t remember reading one set in or partially in Romania before. Always interesting. You have me curious about the para aspect of it! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

    • Yes, Melinda’s books are different. She is Romanian and even though the books are in English, you can tell that she is not. The way of thinking of things and the tone of the books are slightly different and I love that. This is only my second, but I do like that she writes about paranormal experiences and not paranormal characters. Different!