© 2005, Monica
Reviews For JULIANA'S PORTRAIT by Monica M. Martin
Juliana's Portrait is a heat and thirst-inducing read. The chemistry between Duncan and Juliana is enough to melt your monitor, and then some. Monica M. Martin takes the reader on explicit fantasies, delving into the world of the paranormal, while at the same time offering some of the most thorough character development I've read in a long time. I enjoyed the style and voice of the author, and the attention to detail, especially the way she delves into Duncan's headspace. Not only will you have a hard time putting this down, you might want to keep a glass of ice on hand as well.
Nancy Jackson 4 cups
"Ms. Martin has done a great job of setting up her premise. The reader can’t be helped but pulled into the story as Duncan starts to question his mental health as his dreams/fantasies seem to be so real. The question of what happened to Juliana is solved at the end but more importantly, Duncan’s relationship with her is nicely resolved. Juliana’s Portrait is a riveting tale that will transport the reader to another place -- suspend all your beliefs and just enjoy!!!"
Reviewed by: Susan T 4 Angels, Fallen Angel Reviews
"Duncan views a painting of a beautiful woman and he feels drawn to her in a possessive way. He tries to buy the painting but is refused because it is to be in an auction. He goes to the auction and purchases it for sixty-thousand dollars although it is by an unknown artist. Juliana comes out of the portrait to talk and have sex with Duncan. She is possessive and jealous of the woman he dates, and wants him only for herself. Duncan likes the no strings relationship and his best friend teased that he has finally found the perfect woman for him. Juliana says she was murdered and until her body is found she is trapped and the painting is the only way she can communicate with the living. She asks Duncan to find her body and her murderer. The only clue he has to begin with is the artist of the painting.
This is a great story written from a male point of view. It is written as most men that are bachelors are portrayed, making the characters believable and well written. There are several sexual situations. The tale is interesting, with mystery and intrigue, as well as romance and some hot sex, and the story has a believable ending. The story flow was great and the story plot is excellent and well written."
"An older man, Kevin Donovan, is dying. With him toward the end are his priest and his lawyer. He has one final request and he tries to make them understand how important it is for them to carry out this final wish; they are to destroy the painting marked Juliana's Portrait, hung in his study.
Duncan and Robert are the best of friends, the first a real estate agent with several offices, the second a journalist, and the two are just about polar opposites. Duncan has been contacted about handling the sale of the estate belonging to the recently deceased Kevin Donovan. He has also a personal interest in paintings, which he bids on for his own collection. Upon arrival at the mansion he remembers the teachings he received as a child by his mother, and later, on spiritualism and other related areas. He has a strange feeling about the situation, almost a foreboding. He will find that feeling is definitely warranted.
This was an interesting novel, full of suspense in the storyline, complicated relationships with their ups and downs (very true to life), and a somewhat non-traditional ending-unusual, but fitting to the story."
Overall rating:4, Reviewer: Glenda K. Bauerle for The Romance Studio
Sample Chapter For JULIANA'S PORTRAIT by Monica M. Martin
December Nineteen: Eighty-nine year old Kevin Donovan lay on the hospital bed, his frail fingers clutching the sheets as he grappled with the last vestiges of life. His voice, although thin and whispery, was clear enough for his lawyer, Bruce, and Father Colin to discern. “You take your fees, Bruce, everything left goes to the church, with the exception of Juliana’s portrait, that must be…” His speech trailed off as he began to cough violently. “It mu—” His words faded as he gasped for breath.
“Must be what?” Bruce prompted.
“He’s in no state to answer,” Father Colin said.
“I’m trying to do my job, why don’t you do yours? Hmm?”
“His welfare is my concern.”
A nursing sister pushed the two men aside and gave the laboring man a hit of oxygen. “He needs some rest,” she said, holding the oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. “I suggest you both come back in the morning.”
“N-no!” Kevin Donovan protested. “I-I don’t have enough time.” He looked at the nurse. “Help me up.” She propped him up against the pillows.
The nurse looked the priest and lawyer over and then said, “You have twenty minutes and then he must rest. Father Colin, you’re welcome to stay for spiritual guidance afterward, of course. Buzz if he needs me.” She turned and walked away.
“Listen carefully, I’m not babbling.” Kevin paused for breath. “The portrait must be destroyed.”
“You have so many portraits of women, Mr. Donovan, how are we to know the correct one?” the lawyer said.
“The portrait’s in my study. There’s an inscription penned on the back, Juliana’s portrait by David Grey, 1968.”
“Why not sell it at auction and make more money for our cause?” Father Colin suggested.
“I thought she was alive and well, but I’ve seen her lately, she’s—”
“Who?” Bruce asked.
“The woman in the painting?”
Kevin nodded. “Juliana is caught between this world and the next and she will stop at nothing to be free… End the suffering, destroy the painting and it will be over.”
Father Colin frowned. “Your paintings are quite valuable and—”
“The church will receive adequate
funds, Father Colin. The painting was of personal significance and is
of no monetary value. Destroy it, do what you will with the others.”
“Positive! This is my last wish.” The old man choked for breath. “Plea-please carry it out.” The lawyer and priest shared a look of understanding. Impending death did strange things to one’s mind and this instance was no different.
“Save your breath now,” said the priest. “I will pray for you while you rest.”
“My soul, father.”
“Yes, of course.”
“But before you do, I want to tell you a little about Juliana…”