The Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe


The Confessions of X: A Novel: an old woman sits beside a fountain in the courtyard of the local bishop, who is lying on his death bed. At the gates of the city—a provincial outpost of the Roman Empire in Africa Province—the Vandals have laid siege and are threatening to lay waste the land. It is the fifth century A.D. and the woman, from the city of Carthage in Africa Province, her name unknown to history, begins the story of her life: how she was raised by her father, a master mosaic craftsman, and how as a young woman living in Carthage she met and fell in love with a brilliant orator named Augustine. In time she becomes his concubine and bears him a son, Adeodatus. She becomes a companion along Augustine’s anguished spiritual journey from a secretive religious cult to the Christian faith. She supports his work as an orator and teacher of rhetoric, following him to Italy, where he seeks advancement within the imperial court of the Roman Empire. This woman is forced to make an agonizing decision, to choose between her own happiness or the happiness of the man she loves. Her choice propels her on an odyssey that will take her through desolation and loss toward moments of unexpected grace and joy. – from author’s website

It took me a while to get into this book because of the writing style, which I would consider similar to literary fiction, as well as the focus on the characters and less on the plot. Because of the language and description, this book is a slow read but once I got into the book and got into the rhythm of reading the language, I became very invested in Augustine’s lover’s story. When the main character left Augustine and Adeodatus, their son, it broke my heart. I knew it was going to happen and tried to prepare myself for it, but the way Suzanne Wolfe wrote that particular section, it absolutely moved me to tears. The ending was bittersweet as well, but it left me somewhat satisfied with Augustine and his lover’s ending. The characters drew me in and this is a very character-focused book. I did find it fascinating to read a story of Augustine’s mystery woman and view it from her perspective.

Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Always Watching

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have more than just skill and prowess in common–they’re also all women. When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians in order to protect his son.

But when Wade’s bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. Olivia’s skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade’s stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him. Olivia has the feeling that she’s next on the list. And to complicate things even further, she realizes that her heart may be in as much danger as her client. – from author’s website

Lynette Eason does it again! Her books grab you with their suspense from the first chapter and keep you locked in the whole time. It was fast paced and only gives you little snippets to catch your breath. This is the first book of her new series, Elite Guardians, where the women are protecting the men. I enjoyed the woman, Olivia, as the hero, and yet the way Lynette writes, it didn’t diminish the man, Wade, at all. There were many suspects (at least in my mind), and it kept you guessing until the end of the book. The quick pace, suspense, and lovable characters kept me turning pages until the end. I can’t wait until the second book and to read Katie’s story.