December 6, 2016
Love, Lies & Clones, by Joynell Schultz
June never asked to be cloned from her mother’s DNA. She didn’t ask for the faulty heart that beats in her chest either. She made a life for herself as a college professor, but what she really wants is the same as everyone else: a human connection. But how can she connect to someone when her heart’s next beat could be her last? When her estranged father shows up on her doorstep to warn her that there are people trying to abduct her, she dismisses him as paranoid. That is until he disappears. The police are not prepared to confront a conspiracy this large, especially with a serial killer on the loose. She doesn’t trust the AWOL soldier that insists her father’s disappearance is linked to his brother’s odd behavior. With time running out, she must avoid abduction attempts, untangle the web of lies, and above all else, hide her taboo origins. Can June trust Elliot with her secret… and her heart?
I asked the author of Love Lies & Clones for a review copy after she ran an unsuccessful Kindle Scout campaign. We’ll always be puzzled about what Kindle Press will select. Love Lies & Clones is at least as good as some of the books selected, and probably better than a few. The level of editing and proofreading in the copy provided is on par with what I’ve come to expect from the big five publishing groups. Which unfortunately isn’t high praise.
While the story isn’t anything new, it is a fun tale full of action, betrayal, and a little bit of clean romance. My quibble is that the protagonist, June, doesn’t quite behave realistically. I have the same issue with Elliot. They were just off to me. I can’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t like about them. As far as characterization, though, I found the portrayal of the characterization done quite well.
The plot and story moved along at a brisk pace, and it mostly made sense. It does suffer from what many books suffer from: The protagonist is somehow able to do what the police cannot. I did like how June accidentally solves her plight, much like Stephanie Plum in a Janet Evanovich book. This story ended well. It wrapped up the events, and provided for a sequel if the author so chooses without short-changing this story.
Overall, I’d rate this three and a half stars, and at the 99 cent pre-order price point, you can get this and read it in about four or five hours. It’s a lovely debut from a promising author.
Joynell Schultz’s passion for writing was overshadowed by obtaining a doctorate degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a “reliable profession.” Working as a veterinary pharmacist pays the bills, but is not nearly as exciting as creating alternative worlds writing speculative fiction. While shivering through the long northern Wisconsin winters with her husband, two children, and numerous pets, she enjoys reading, writing, and planning her next vacation.