For my second review I responded to author Mike Wells’ post from twitter with a free download of book 1 in his three part series Passion, Power & Sin. Since I’d never heard of Wells’ work before I assumed he was a fellow Indie author, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. While Wells may have published this book on Smashwords like many unpublished authors, his work speaks against any semblance of an amateur that comes sometimes with self-published authors. Instead you get well-polished, seasoned writing that speaks of someone with the skill and eye that is needed to excel in the industry.
Now I’m sure by now you can pretty much guess that I’m a fan of Wells' work, though this first book in the Passion, Power & Sin series is my first experience with him. I had considered putting this on hold until I read the whole series and reviewing it all at once, but with Wells being much more seasoned I’m sure that anybody who takes my advice and picks up the first part will go right for the whole series.
The story begins on a super yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea with Ricardo Maya. A playboy of sorts that has made millions by just allowing people to break the law, his introduction seems short and you’re left wondering just who this man is, but it becomes apparent early on that this reclusive man that sits on top of the world will play a big role in later parts of the series.
After the prologue we’re dipped straight into the main story, and we meet the main character of this story, Heather Bancroft. Wells does well painting a picture of her personality from the get-go and you see her as any one of the droves of people who go to New York to try and make it big in business, particularly the PR game, and end up biting off more than they can chew financially. You can really feel her struggle, and her bitterness from being thrown under two ‘yes men’ as bosses and having all her work go unnoticed by those who matter in the business.
Things get worse for Heather when troubles from her home find her, and she becomes entangled in doing anything to save her mother from the coming storm that is about to descend onto her childhood home.
As things get worse for Heather, Wells again succeeds in making you truly feel the desperation and hopelessness the character experiences and you can’t help keep turning the page hoping the solution will be found on the next turn.
As things seem to grow continually darker two different things begin to happen for Heather. On one hand she gets an email from a ‘friend in need’ which gives her an opportunity to end her struggling financial woes, as long as she’s willing to trust; on the other hand she is courted by a handsome young playboy who just so happens to be heir to one of the largest real estate firms in New York.
The stage slowly becomes set and Wells builds the tension, and the secrets, keeping you wondering just what/who you would trust in if you thought you could save someone you loved.
Finding a pro/con for this story was rough, and I mean that. Many new authors make mistakes with clichés, or they have trouble setting the stage in the readers mind. In this case I had to pick out my favorite pros to list:
- The characters Wells creates are simply wonderful. From entry level, stress filled environment of a busy office at the lowest level, to the elite of the elite you can feel the differences in the class by the way they talk and react in situations. You feel like you know each character, and that relationship only builds.
- This sort of goes right along with my first pro but the settings you’re taken to are so vivid, but yet explained so simply that your mind has no trouble picturing both the beauty of a New York skyline, to a seedy Yakuza casino.
- The last ‘pro’ I’m going to list is the way that Wells keeps you reading on. Though the ‘action’ is relatively low, you can’t help but turn the page. I’m typically a person who sticks to reading action packed thrillers that involve shooting, punching and sometimes aliens but Wells proved to me that those things aren’t always needed for a great story (I have to say I read this in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down).
Finding a true con in this story is sort of like, and yes I’m going with a huge cliché, finding a needle in a haystack…and then finding out there was no needle at all. Obviously somebody else may be able to but I am at a true loss.
In the end Wells’ Passion, Power & Sin Book 1 was more than a pleasant read for me and it deserves the awards it has received, and is still likely to receive. Everything about the story from the characters to the overall story is written as I mentioned earlier, just like a seasoned author. The length is a little short, but that’s more of a complaint on my part since I want to read more.
Overall I’m going to give Passion, Power & Sin Book 1 a 9/10 based on:
- 10/10 for readability- the story starts off on a pace that draws you in, and doesn’t let you go. Each chapter smoothly transitions from one to the other.
- 9/10 for story- Wells delivers a strong, original story that I can’t find any similarities between. Each idea seems new and original; even the ‘down on her luck girl meeting a millionaire’ that seemed like for a second to be just like a feel good story has been changed in a wonderful way.
- 9/10 for characters- I stated this earlier but each character has such a strong individual personality, well besides the drones that are Heather’s direct reports but they’re so wonderfully reminiscent of Tweedledum and Tweedledee that it made me smile. (I don’t mean that they act the same, when you read it you’ll see what I mean). Each character is relatable and you will find at least one person you know that will remind you of one of these characters.
- 9/10 for buildup- The buildup is what seems to be this stories X-factor. While there are no shootings, car chases, or fight scenes that many associate with ‘thrillers’, Wells does a marvelous job of building you up throughout and I found myself entangled the whole time.
I have to thank Mike Wells for allowing me the honor of reviewing Passion, Power & Sin and I look forward to filling my shelves, or ereader as it may be, with the whole series. I definitely suggest picking up this story, especially if you’re not familiar with his other work and you’re looking for a new author.
If you would like to check out this story, Wells is offering if for free here.