I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Lust Garden written by Billy Jolie
“He was alone in the lust garden of his dream. She was coming to meet him. And they would be there together. Forever.”
Gianna Salvani is an actress, an up-and-coming music star and beautiful.
But deep down inside her soul lies fear.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of herself.
Fear of being alone.
Always in the spotlight, she longs for anonymity, yet craves the attention.
Immediately, I identified with Gianna’s character, but not int he way you may think.
I have no desire to be a super star. In fact, I’d loathe the constant attention, the hounding of the paparazzi, the inability to ever be truly alone.
Yet it is her insecurity and innocence that draws the reader in. She is doll-like in appearance, a helpless lamb to the slaughter.
She loves it.
And she hates it.
Life for Gianna will never be “normal”. She is under constant scrutiny.
She simply wants what we all want: to be happy.
I first discovered Billy Jolie via Twitter, as I noticed a post where he was asking for a review of his new novel. I confess, it’s taken me awhile to read and review, not because I wasn’t intrigued, but as you know, I often bite off entirely more than I can chew book-wise. At the time, I was reading another novel for review, as well as my regular 5 or 6 books I read for pleasure alone. What can I say? I’m a multi-tasker like that. Or maybe just insane? I prefer to think of it as “keeping my plate full”. I like to read a variety of books: e-books on my Kindle, unpublished manuscripts for editing, books of poetry, theories of writing, short stories…..
So you can see how I often lose track of just how many books I’m reading at one time. Thank God for Goodreads.com!
Alas, I digress.
Billy had me sucked in from page one. Literally.
“A cloud of hot steam tickled his face triggering the onslaught of a lustful hunt. The splashing water seared his face and burned like popping oil from a frying pan. With delicate hands, he greedily pawed locks of blonde hair, forcing his prey under. The beautiful lamb he’d chosen was exposed, her anorexic figure stripped naked and flailing in the shallow liquid of a porcelain bathtub.
The sweet water dripped from his chin—his baptism, his rebirth as the lion. She wriggled beneath him, with the desperation of a strangled fish. But he had her pinned with the brute strength of his knees, paralyzing her fragile chest. Entwined together, their weight spilled the water over and down the perched, clawed feet where it puddled along the tiled floor.”
Honestly, how could you NOT be enthralled with that introduction? Murder, mayhem, rock stars, models, drug addiction: this book has it all!
Everytime I opened up this book, I was instantly lost for hours, my eyes glued to the screen.
And once I started reading, everything was lost. Dinner left uncooked. One day, I spent almost all of my productive hours simply reading. And I never felt guilty. Not even once.
Billy Jolie takes us into the world of Gianna, as well as other characters, and leaves us wondering just how all of these glorious story lines will connect. Because they always do. This is the measure of a superb writer. And Billy does not disappoint. He dangles clues in front of your eyes, and we grasp at random meanings, always uncertain, but pleasantly surprised.
In all honesty, I did not even consider how the murderer would fit into the plot. Was it random? Was it fate?
And I was never disappointed.
By the last 100 pages, I didn’t care if I missed out on my life. I HAD to know how it ended!
And it was glorious. Fulfilling yet sad.
I’m a sucker for a great ending, and this book gives the reader exactly that.
You can find Billy Jolie here: