Review: The Road To Byron

The Road To Byron
The Road To Byron by Isabelle Rowan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for some Isabelle Rowan excellent writing so went cruising to see if I’d missed any books. I found two I hadn’t read so far and this was the first I dove into. I like the story and characters, it’s sweet and thankfully not the classic best friends turned lovers. Instead it focuses on the road to maturity for a young adult. The story feels short and rushed in some places but I also appreciated the shorter length. The story would have been much more intense and darker if it was longer and delved more deeply into the brief issues covered. Instead I like the quick romance and surface treatment of abuse. It’s not a slam dunk of a story but I was entertained and glad I read it. Continue reading

Top Ten List Part Three

I hope everyone had a wonderful new years! As expected all the televised performances sucked because over half lip synched their way through it. J.LO wearing a fur rug and then whipping it off to a body suit as she was lifted, dragged, and humped around the stage was the highlight of ridiculous. But that’s over!

Since I always tend to cling, I’m still reminiscing over books I read in 2009 that were awesome. The new year will come soon enough so if you’re still looking for some great reads before the new barrage of books, check these out.

Top 10 books you should read: peek under the kilt…

The Graft by Isabelle Rowan

The Graft by Isabelle Rowan

Sean and Daniel have both been married before, yet when new legislation allows same-sex couples to register their partnership, Daniel begins to question their relationship. But Sean knows they are meant to be together.



I first met this author reading her fabulous book A Note In the Margin, which by the way if you haven’t read this book—go read it now. Yes, Now. But for those that are not under a rock, this author is able to pack more emotion and depth into just a few pages than most can offer in 100 pages. This short story is part of the Dreamspinner series “To Have and To Hold” and it’s really wonderful. Coming in at only 20 pages, you’ll be sorry this story ends but at the same time, it’s a complete short story and well fitting.

Sean and Daniel have been together for a few years. There is a slight inconsistency here where the beginning states they’ve been together for five years and later Sean muses it’s been three years. So the intent is several years to at least establish their relationship and connection. Both men have been married before and each has fathered children, yet they are comfortable together without making a big deal about their orientation or sexuality. To these men it’s very simple; it feels right to be together. This calm intuition typifies the relationship between these two older men who handle a partial long distance relationship due to work.

What hallmarks the beauty of this short story is not only the wonderful prose and realistic relationship infused with warmth, love, and simmering passion, but also the reality of marriage between same sex couples. This highlights the need to offer partners the choice, the option to get married if they so choose rather than denying that celebration and recognition. Sean and Daniel don’t necessarily need or want the pomp and circumstance of a marriage, no more polyester suits thankfully, but their relationship has purpose and importance to them.

Similarly the hand fasting ceremony was really quite lovely and a parallel to the apple graft tree Sean was tending at the beginning. Like the apple tree, the parts will come together over the years creating something strong and unique. I find it impossible to read such a lovely story as this and not feel the weight and importance of possibilities for others. As a story highlighting the importance of marriage and equal rights or a beautiful romance, this short tale delights and will entice the reader.

Just go get it. You’ll be happy you did.

Get it HERE!

*A small plug for 

  who is doing 1 paragraph reviews of the entire series. Emily’s 1 short story a day for a month are very popular so check out her take on this series.



A Note in the Margin by Isabella Rowen

A Note in the Margin by Isabella Rowen


John McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he’s encountered one problem: 

The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a ‘sea change’… Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time…

While John knows the doctor is right, he just can’t resign from the job he’s fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year’s leave of absence won’t interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner’s son, Jamie.  John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business.

What John doesn’t expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John’s plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.


So many important things happen in the margins..