The Trilogy — Awakening Love, Seduction, Checkmate — now to be printed by Turquoise Morning Press
Reviews are hotting up! Never mind the titles, feel the heat!
In total the trilogy amounts to 385,600 words. Not a huge amount but trimmed by many edits and rewrites.
The main protagonists throughout the three books are June, Robert and Charles. But in the first book, Charles comes second to his brother Arthur in the marriage stakes. Robert is the cad (good old fashioned word that sounds just right — teeth clenching guttural!). He is utterly ruthless in matters of business and personal pursuits. And yet he has a magnetism that draws women like flies to sticky fly-paper.
When the story opens, June is a naïve teenager brought up by strict no-nonsense working class parents. She is set on becoming a top designer, not easy for a working lass in post-war Britain, but nothing will deter her efforts. That’s where Robert steps into the picture and the games begin.
The second book takes the reader 20 years on. Children both enhance and complicate June’s Life. This is the age of women’s lib and hot pants! June’s daughter and one of her sons are now among lead characters. Robert is ever the mesmerizing protagonist who unashamedly pursues his selfish goals. His way is eased by twists and turns as others unexpectedly step into centre frame. But the games are far from over.
The third book moves the setting from Britain’s industrial Midlands to England’s idyllic Lake District. Now, amid romantic and peaceful scenery, the pressure rises. Despite advancing middle years, June is back on form and Robert’s game-play takes a more sinister turn, involving the whole cast.
Below are reviews for the Designed For Love series — Desire (Awakening Love,), Seduction By Design and Checkmate.
AWAKENING LOVE (DESIRE)
“Few are able to write romantic fiction with the skill, ardour and sensitivity of Gladys Hobson. Gladys lays out her characters in such vivid colour, and her plots with such perfect timing that one can’t help but be swept up and carried along in her delightful tales. I have read three books by this author, and she never disappoints.”
Andrew F O’Hara: editor of The Jimston Journal. Author of award-winning The Swan, Tales of the Sacramento Valley
Awakening Love (DESIRE)
Romantic fiction of a high standard. Gladys Hobson has written a splendid novel about a young woman coming of age in the late 1940s - falling in love, having to choose between different suitors, coping with her own emerging sexuality, and beginning to build a career. This is a story which will appeal strongly to all readers who remember their own early experiences.
Michael Allen (Grumpy Old Bookman)
Young, attractive, and with a limitless future ahead of her, June has the world at her fingertips – and the chief subjects of her domain are the doting Arthur and his handsome younger brother, Charles. Both men desire to keep June for their own, and each has resolved within himself to woo her to the fullest extent possible in order to win her lasting affections. With such strapping, devoted menat her beckon call, how could life get any better for June? Enter Robert, June’s crafty boss and mentor. Ruthless and relentless when he sets his mind on something, his sights are set squarely on his delectable protégée, and he’ll allow nothing – and no one – to come between him and the desires of his heart.
In the complicated love quadrangle that ensues, June is forced to make some of the toughest decisions of her life…
Awakening Love is a tantalizing tale of love, desire, and self-discovery.
Through a vivid cast of characters who find themselves in all-too-real situations, Gladys Hobson treats the reader to a vicarious journey deep into the wistful logistics of the heart…
An engaging coming-of-age story of the thrilling highs – and crushing lows – of love, Awakening Love is a rewarding literary treat, and a welcome addition to the world of romance. Highly recommended for its inherent enlightening value and its boundless, timeless themes.
Desire is an excellent story, which grabs the reader’s attention and holds it from beginning to end. Full of surprises and twists. I can’t wait to read the next one!
DESIRE: The story of Awakening Love was never told so well.
Payton L. Inkletter's review of Gladys Hobson's steamy yet refined novel, 1st of a trilogy (visit Inkletter's new Review site)
Here is a novel, Desire, also published as Awakening Love, that I thoroughly enjoyed from an author, Gladys Hobson, who quickly pulled me into the lives of her characters, set in the restlessly reenergising world of post Second World War Britain.
It was easy to empathise, if not fall in love with, June Armstrong, a stunning and very young woman from humble beginnings who was determined to carve a career for herself, as well as establish an outlet for her astonishing creativity, in fashion design, and whose naivety regarding her great beauty and high-potency sex appeal quickly saw her the object of desire and more of several rich, charismatic, powerful – and some ruthless – men. That she wrestled with her own searing awakening sexual desires – the equal of her suitors – pitted against her moral sense, with chequered success, was not a surprise, but made excellent reading.
It quickly became obvious that this writer, surely, was weaving a tale of truth tantalisingly close to actual reality from those days, she tells it so well; only someone who has worked in the industry, fashioned the cloth, walked the corridors, and experienced much adoration of her own beauty and charisma is likely to be so convincing; alternatively, it would have to be someone who can marshal the visceral visions in her imagination to breathe and live on the written page.
Gladys Hobson had me admiring June's fiancé Arthur, while wanting to take to her boss, and later business associate, Rob, with a cricket bat to teach the bastard how not to treat women; I give Ms Hobson full marks for how her wordcraft got me so engrossed.
Explicit sexual encounters there are aplenty, yet painted with such taste and consummate restraint, that I would happily have let my early teenaged daughter read this book had I owned it then, to help her understand and anticipate the world of sexual promise and pitfalls out there in the big bad world.
I have an enhanced and valuable insight now to what the class conscious Britain of those times was like, as well as a quickening of my understanding of primal human nature, thanks to reading Desire. Also, it is a pleasure to read a book written by an author who has garnered much wisdom: their books are the better ones, the wisdom glistens from page after page, and only time and enlightened self-examination can bring such a harvest.
As a writer myself, there were gems aplenty that caught my eye and informed me among Ms Hobson's paragraphs. And try as I might to destroy my copy of this high quality book from AG Press, through some (inadvertent) very rough handling of mine involving gymnastics upon its spine, it stood up to the abuse and laughed at me, remaining robust and intact.
I commend the author for her remarkable achievement, and I will be reading the sequels.
Payton L. Inkletter
I've read all four of Gladys's books, including Desire, and I find that she has a delicate touch when writing about human sexuality. I don't normally read 'love stories', but those that Gladys writes are really interesting from a man's point of view — especially when she explores the male psyche. It's just a little bit... scary... that a female should have that kind of knowledge. She's a very gifted and articulate lady.
Bob Taylor: author of The Primrose Path and other poems.
SEDUCTION BY DESIGN
"Seduction by Design" is a triumph. Entertaining, wild, erotic (sheesh :), and full of enough twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. A great piece of reading, written with Gladys Hobson's very typical skill!
Seduction By Design
I was keen to sink my teeth into this novel, 'Seduction by Design', Gladys Hobson's second in her 'Love By Design' series, because she had me hooked with her first, Awakening Love.
These are no ordinary romance novels. They are written by a mature age author, whose abundance of wisdom invests the chapters with a fragrance rare. A young person simply could not achieve this, and the gems of insight Ms Hobson scatters throughout her story delighted me.
As for the characters, my dislike of the arch bastard Robert Watson magnified in this instalment, while my love for the beautiful June Rogers nee Armstrong was tempered – Ms Hobson portrays just what a flawed woman she is despite her enormous and rare talent for couture design; and to make matters more arresting for me, I am tarred with many of the same brushstrokes as June, if I want to be honest.
Thus I was not only entertained by this engrossing tale, I was a tad convicted.
It is the early seventies, the setting having jumped a couple of decades from that of 'Desire', and my word how well Ms Hobson has integrated the plot from that instalment!
The thermostat regarding eroticism has been turned up a few notches in 'Seduction…', and that's saying something, and yet, as with her first, there is nothing dirty or obscene in her explicit portrayals, and I tip my hat to her for this achievement: sexually charged encounters aplenty, without impurity – trashy romance writers take notice!
Something rare for me: I was actually mesmerised in places as I consumed this believable story involving an assortment of characters that would exist in any big town and city. And as in my previous review, let me reiterate that, as a writer, I continued to be informed and educated regarding effective technique to convey and captivate.
Well done Ms Hobson, and when is the final novel, 'Checkmate', going to be finished for me to learn what happens to these characters, who have become such a part of my imagination?
Payton L. Inkletter (writer, thinker, humorist)
SEE INKLETTER’S ANIMATED REVIEWS AT:
Seduction by Design
Here's a book that carries the reader right along in a smooth, continuous delight of romance, erotic adventure and well woven suspense. Author Gladys Hobson kicks right off with a bang, introducing us to the sensual June Rogers. A fashion designer by trade, June is grieving the death of her husband, Arthur, and begins to take readers on a tangled journey of love and hate with the attractive Charles and the ever despicable Robert--and is he ever!
Trite as that might sound, Hobson truly brings these three main characters (and a surrounding cast of delightful cast members) to vivid life in her "Seduction by Design." This book keeps the reader on one's toes as misfortunes lead to twisted plots and motives, and then to one misunderstanding after another that almost lead to tragedy and final heartbreak and yet, in the end -- well, the writer sums it up best as, "Deja vu," which you will have to find out by reading this delightful piece of work!
Gladys Hobson is a well practiced writer, spinning a tale smoothly and naturally. She is economical and yet she is capable of painting entire scenes and montages with dialogue, a quick glance, the sparkle of an eye or the dart of a smile so quickly that a reader doesn't even know it's happening. This is a rare talent and a delight.
"Seduction by Design" is good reading. It's flat-out entertaining, suspenseful, erotic, fun, and heartwarming!
Andrew O’Hara (editor of The Jimston Journal, author of prize-winning The Swan, Tales of the Sacramento Valley) lives in the USA and now runs the Badge Of Life.
Checkmate by Gladys Hobson
Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash... but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions. In amongst the wily machinations there is humour. For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves.
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.