James Byron Books
GENRE: Fiction / Humorous / General
One jaded Rose is a light-hearted caper, the first in the series written by James Byron Books. Rose needed a plus-one, but not for the usual wedding or party. She was going to a funeral and needed a quiet, unassuming type, but when Nic Thorn arrived, he was anything but a wallflower. Rose and her BFF, Sandy, have time on their hands, and soon find that Nic will fill the void. He coerces them into his madcap investigations of scams, frauds and misunderstandings. This modern-day adventure leads them from one lively caper to another, involving portrait provenance, invoice inaccuracy, and a recycler's relapse, on their travels from Brisbane to Adelaide and across the South Australian border.
Brushing down the light chiffon dress trying to take the creases out, Rose allowed herself to feel pretty. After all, being able to buy off the rack was easy when you still had your youthful shape, and access to couture stock at wholesale prices.
She was miles away in thought when someone rapped softly on the car window. Pulling herself out of her reverie, she looked at who was making the intrusion. It was a parking inspector, and as they were still parked on a yellow line in Eagle Street, knew she was in trouble. Damn you Nic.
She smiled at the man, then upon second look she decided it might be a woman, and attempted to open the gullwing door then realised she didn’t actually know how to. She raised her palms with a defeated gesture, but the woman still wanted her to step out of the car anyway. Damn it Nic, where are you?
Finally, Nic was coming towards her. He was all smiles and chummy with the buyer/ owner, and she knew that they had not yet realised the dilemma with the parking inspector, so she pressed on the horn. It sounded like a soft whine, instead of the musical note Eb that the pre-1960’s Mercedes are known for. Finally Nic saw her, jogged up to the car and let her out, all the while maintaining his ‘business as usual’ composure.
Rose climbed from the car and nodded to the parking inspector, trying to explain that she really didn’t know how to get the door open, but she was being ignored. Nic had now taken control of the situation. In one movement, he gave the new owner the keys, stopped the traffic to allow his departure, and turned back to the inspector. All in less than 60 seconds.
He then held out his hand to the inspector and placed his other hand onto her shoulder. Rose thought it was very assuming of him to take this approach, but it seemed to be working. Soon they were both smiling, and with a polite thanks, Nic said something about dobbing in the real parking abusers. The inspector started to move away. Rose realised it might be an opportune time to again offer an apology, but the woman just sneered at her.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
The author is a long-term banker by profession, and a lifetime musician, songwriter and inveterate dreamer. His writing is a creative escape that he needs to keep his mind active and fingers supple, ready to write his next caper, penned as James Byron Books. The author lives in South Australia in a renovated church, with a very shy cat. He has been fortunate to have visited many places that are worthy of a peek, and enjoys including them in these stories.
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3.5 out of 5 stars
one jaded Rose by James Bryon Books follows Rosemary (Rose) Palmer, whose Vita Brevis dating app matches her up with a very unusual plus one…for a funeral. It turns out that Nic Thorn isn’t just any date, and getting to know him will involve Rose and her friend Sandy in adventures that will be challenging in more ways than one.
This wacky and humorous story is the first book in the ‘A Nic Thorn Caper’ series. Puns and allusions to various pop icons are interwoven with several unusual adventures. Nic “buys stuff, sells stuff, finds, stuff, loses stuff, and does stuff,” and he gradually convinces Rose to go out of her comfort zone and participate in various unusual challenges that always have unexpected twists. Some of the fun of reading this story is parsing out the hidden gems and figuring out what the true goal is for each of the adventures while puzzling over the mystery that is Nic.
I think it’s best to approach this story with one’s tongue in cheek and a casual, along-for-the-ride attitude. There are plenty of secondary characters, and I would have liked more depth to some of them, but hopefully that will be rectified in subsequent additions to the series. I enjoyed the glimpses of areas of Australia and its culture, but I was a bit confused about some of the elements of the story and startled by the unexpected outcome of one caper. Primarily this is a fun, lighthearted story with comedic elements mixed with those reminiscent of “The Sting,” and I look forward to reading about more of Rose and Nic’s adventures.
A copy of this title was provided for review