Reading transports us to another time, another place and another world when the author has the necessary gifts. Fortunately, new author Emily Kendricks does have some straight-forward writing ability. The words don’t come drifting from the page magically, but her intentions are always clear.
In Kendricks’ novel The Fantasy Maker, she lays bare her secret desires for companionship, warmth, and romance, but not until she makes damn sure we don’t have and sympathy for her husband. We get the picture, as the borders of their lives become chipped and frayed. Still, Kendricks saves her full palate of colors for the time that Emma spends with Dante, a young man she meets at a woman’s spa where all her desires can be explored and satisfied. And yes, she’s satisfied, several times.
The exploration is steamy, erotic and charged with passion as Emma not only finds the romantic partner she’s been missing for years in her marriage, but the chemistry is so tight with her new lover. she convinces herself that she’s in love with the well-built and persuasive Dante.
The affair isn’t private, of course, and both Emma and Steve’s life and lifestyle come into question as he embarks on a political career that carries with it a great deal of public scrutiny. As the facts unfold in the press, the novel turns into a sexy crime suspense.
Kendrick’s cast of characters is reasonably drawn and she sprinkles clues like spices to entice the reader to continue enjoying the story and put the pieces together themselves. Near the end, any unanswered questions the readers (or Emma) might have mulled over are spilled like a jar of jellybeans by a bit-player who suddenly gains predominance and feels the need to gloat about his accomplishments, but don’t worry, The Fantasy Maker gives us plenty of fun and fantasy leading up the scene of the crime.
Characters: 16 Honesty: 16 Originality: 16 Plot and Pacing: 15 Storytelling: 16
CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 79 Points
Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars