Do You Believe? Mass Market Paperback – Apr 28 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
When American photographer Rose Early arrives in the English village of Marlton in response to a frantic summons from her sister, Joan, she discovers that Joan has disappeared; Joan's cottage is empty except for a cardboard box with photos intended for a book she was working on for All Saints Church. At the bottom of the box is a horror novel titled Do You Believe in Evil? by V.F. Drummond. On the last page, Joan had written, "I believe." Unnerved and perplexed, Rose tracks down Vic Drummond, which is easy since he's in Marlton closing up his recently deceased Aunt Alice's cottage, but getting answers from him is a little more difficult. It seems his aunt died under mysterious circumstances, along with several other members of All Saints. Now auntie's spirit is trying to warn him of some impending danger by way of ominous, undeletable messages on his computer screen. Rose and Vic quickly become sexually involved and go at it like two people, well, possessed. With its paranormal energy, English ambience and steamy sex scenes, this book won't disappoint fans of Lawrence's previous supernatural romances (Lord of the Mist, etc.).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lawrence's latest thrusts family photographer Rose Early into a horrific mystery when she visits the cozy English village of Marleton in search of her missing sister, Joan, and encounters evil. Staying in the bed-and-breakfast unit Joan had rented, Rose finds hidden research notes for the book Joan was working on, a camera lens she would never willingly leave behind, and a copy of a best-selling horror novel called Do You Believe in Evil? Vic Drummond, the book's author, is in Marleton to visit the cottage he inherited from an aunt; and even though he rebuffs Rose at first, he contrives to keep her near by convincing her that she must complete Joan's book before she leaves. Against a darkly atmospheric setting, so convincingly presented one can smell the corruption and visualize the creepy London sex club that may provide some clues, Rose and Vic discover that both evil and love manifest power that may be impossible to resist. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Rose Early has come to England to find her sister Joan who has gone missing. Both are photographers, Joan is compiling a book about the churches in England. Rose arrives in Marleton Village to find that her sister has not been seen in several days.
Vic Drummond is a writer, he lives in Marleton and has had a few interludes with Joan. But after he meets Rose he realizes she is not like her sister. Eventually he falls in love with Rose as they hunt for her sybling.
There seems to be a great deal more going on in the church than prayers. The ghosts of monks appear to Rose and she begins to see evil in and around the vicar, curate, and several members of the parish. Something evil is in the church and has set its thoughts on Vic. Togather they must fight against the evil not only in the church but in themselves.
This was an OK read, Vic and Rose seemed to fall into bed alot and the pace was alittle slow. However, the last few chapters went faster and finally explained what was going on. NOt one of her best but not the worst either, if you like Gothic, you will probably enjoy it.
Vic and Rose become a couple, but he is lying (by omission) when it came to what Joan was doing whenever he met with her. But the truth will come out, sooner than expected. The local residents protect their own and keep Rose at bay until Vic shows everyone how much he has come to care for Rose. Then they embrace Rose into their shops, pubs, and town. However, the church is a different story.
Rose and Vic soon discover that Joan had been fascinated by All Saints Church, which dominates the village, and the famous tapestry that resides within it. But something totally evil also dwells in All Saints Church. Something that has slowly seeped into every stone and crevice over the last thirty years. It affects everyone that enters its doors ... and it is now spreading outside the church, even into London! Rose and Vic cannot dismiss all the eerie things that are happening, no matter how much they wish they could. Dark dreams leave scratch marks upon them that never seem to heal. (Something right out of an "Elms Street" movie.) Vic's deceased aunt keeps typing messages in his current book's file. No matter how many times Vic deletes the texts, they keep coming back. But the worst things are the demons with the red, glowing eyes!
**** This combines many genres. I noticed Super Natural Romance, Thriller, and Horror mostly. About half way in, the love scenes begin and they are H-O-T, very explicit! Consider yourself warned. Quite a bit of English slang is used. Most of it is used in such a way that readers who do not live in England will still easily understand what is being said. For example, the slang "not on" means "wrong". However, once or twice I found myself unsure. Do I recommend this novel? Oh yes! To fans of many genres, especially Dark Romance. This work of art may keep you awake at night. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
First off, the first two-thirds of the story just meander--read plod with agonizing slowness--along without saying much of anything. The two main protagonists meet, and not a very stellar first meeting at that, and within a very short time, even by romance standards seem to fall into bed together...a lot...and more often than not don't even make it to the bed. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, but there wasn't really a whole lot of romance about it, just a thin plot thread, very weakly explained by blaming much of their lust on the inherent evil they're up against, to push the two of them together.
Secondly, what was up with Vic constantly calling Rose 'mate'? Yes, it's a way of saying 'friend,' but really, couldn't Ms. Lawrence invest in a thesaurus and shake things up a little? I know I'm sounding exceedingly petty here, but it really got monotonous over the long haul, especially since they were shagging their little hearts out every couple of pages it seemed and yet there he was calling her 'mate'. Considering the nature of their relationship, her name or even some sort of endearment would have seemed much more appropriate.
And lastly, most of the other characters in the book just seemed to blend together, I wasn't always sure who did what or who was talking to who, and what's more, I couldn't bring myself to care. The book jumped around from different characters/ situations and dropped little blurbs to keep reminding you that the tapestry in the church was bad, and so, most likely, was everyone who attended the church on a regular basis.
Now, other than all that, it's a really quick read, if you don't mind plodding through the early part or choosing to do as I did and start scanning through the really dull, redundant parts. I did find the climax to be entertaining, but when I closed the book I knew I'll most likely forget everything about it within a few days.
The two girls had never been close, which is probably why Rose had ignored the strangely desperate emails Joan had been sending her from England. Now it might be two late. Joan was missing and the only clues Rose has are the proofs sheets of Joan's latest subject, and an autographed horror novel in which Joan had written copious notes regarding her belief in the existence of evil.
The book was an uncharacteristic read for Joan but the handsome English novelist was right up her alley. Rose goes in search of Vic Drummond who happens to be writing a sequel at the home of his late Aunt. She has one question for the man. Does he believe as well?
Intrigued by Rose's contrast to her hard edged sister, Vic Drummond becomes determined to help her solve the mystery of her sister's disappearance. Soon his only goal is to keep her right by his side. As they replay Joan's last days, the trail leads from a bizarre sex club to the local church which has a strange and ghastly effect on them both. Could unimaginable evil really lurk in a quiet town filled with ordinary people? Could their new found love keep them safe?
While horror is a new direction for the novel's writer, romance and otherworldliness are not. Ms. Lawrence is the author of both a virtual reality and a medieval romance series. These two subjects combined themselves well as historical artifacts propel the reader into the world of the paranormal in this intriguing who-done-it. Ms. Lawrence paints a vivid picture of the insidiousness of evil as it devours the unsuspecting villagers little by little over the course of time. The passion between Rose and Vic is just as colorful and one wonders as they do, whether it is real or if they are being manipulated by forces beyond their control. Do you believe in evil? Do you believe in love? If you believe in an intriguing and steamy mystery that will keep you awake at night, DO YOU BELIEVE is a read you won't want to miss. This reader couldn't put it down! --- Reviewed for PNR Reviews