A Man of Character
Author: Margaret Locke
Publisher: Locked On Love (self-published)
Subgenres: Romantic Comedy, Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 “Running Moms”
Meet Catherine (Cat) Schreiber, singleton, bookstore owner and heir to an ancient manuscript with magical powers. She shies away from romantic entanglements ever since a life-altering moment at the altar, and for years has been successful. That is, until Cat’s mother presents her with the manuscript, bestowed upon her from her paternal grandmother. It comes with the promise of great power and love, but with that power comes even greater responsibility. Cat struggles to understand the magic contained within the manuscript, and the power of love. Along the way, she learns that sometimes dreams do come true and true love isn’t just fantasy, but reality.
A Man of Character begins with a great premise. Romance, with a twist. Paranormal, without vampires. A new, fresh voice and unique story line. Without vampires. Or over-the-top, graphic and gratuitous sex. Ms. Locke grabbed my attention from the story synopsis. I’ve never been a genre-specific reader, but avoided the romance aisle for all the cliché covers of half-naked men, and women appearing as the subservient character. After reading this book, I’m inclined to call myself a romance (among other genres) reader.
The main character, Cat, had believable, relatable struggles through the book, despite also wielding magical powers at the tip of her pen. Her anxieties were palpable, although the repeated reminder of her angst became redundant. The primary supporting characters were well-crafted, adding both levity and depth to the story. In my opinion the story drags for a brief period, around the halfway mark with a family crisis and an additional love interest for Cat, but otherwise keeps good pace and reader interest. Ms. Locke sets up her chapter endings in a manner that makes you want to turn the page and keep reading. The end was predictable but satisfying, and fulfilled my expectations of a romance novel.
For the busy mom looking for a paranormal romance (without vampires) or a light, fun read, this is a great choice. The ride is definitely worth the price of admission! I really enjoyed it, would recommend it without hesitation and look forward to reading more by Ms. Locke. Her characters are endearing and she wove in a set up the second book in her “Matters of Love” series, following Cat’s best friend, Eliza, on her own magical romance. Stay tuned for my review of her story in A Matter of Time! In the meantime, happy reading and happy trails!
Reviewer’s note: Ms. Locke is a member of Shenandoah Valley Writer’s Group and a founder of the critique group I joined this past fall. I purchased A Man of Character after meeting Ms. Locke at one of her promotional events in June 2015. She did request a review of her novels in January 2016. Advanced review copies of her books were not provided, as I already purchased them both. She was offered the courtesy of an advance read of this review prior to its posting. I pride myself in fair reviews and strive to ensure my personal relationships do not influence my ratings or opinion of an author’s work.
Cover design: Locked on Love Publishing