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Dec 28, 2011

Contraband by J.L Campbell: Book Review

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  8:21 PM

Author:    J.L Campbell
Series:     N
Genre:      Crim, Romance
Publisher: Nevaeh Publishing, LLC (January 15, 2010)

As master of his destiny, Paul Weekes does what is necessary to survive. He makes his own fortune, but his luck nosedives when hijackers target his illicit shipments. He has no proof, but suspects the police officer who facilitates his exports off the island of Xantrope has turned on him. To make things worse, Paul's ne'er-do-well cousin is accidentally involved in a gang murder, and a hit is put on him. A budding liaison with the cop's niece adds more complication. Janine refuses to accept Paul's way of life, but inadvertently becomes a victim of his lifestyle. Thrust into kidnapping, double cross and murder, Paul must choose between a relationship with Janine and staying alive long enough to change the course of his future.

  • Paul is the MC who owns a farm producea and export business that he also uses to camouflage his less legitimate activities.
  • Mark is the spoilt younger cousin who Paul raised since the age of twelve when they lost their parents.
  • Janine is Paul’s love interest and a niece to Paul’s nemesis, a sergeant in the police force.
  • As always J.L’s novels are always full of action and  suspence. This one was no different. The twists and turns kept the pages turning. I like that in her writing because it means the story never just rabbles along and you never find those doldrumsr moments where the writer tries to fill up the pages to meet word count. This is one of the things that make her writing so enjoyable.
  • I really didn’t like Pauls’s cousin, Mark at the beginning but I could see him in real life. Some of us have a brother or cousin like that so he is totally credible I enjoyed seeing how J.L took him through certain experiences which made him realise that if he didn’t change, he would die a horrible death. Those were life changing and helped mould him into a better person . I can't wait to see what he's become in Taming Celeste.
  • The morale issue in this novel for me was how justifiable was it for the main actor to do what he was doing? Exporting a contraband product. Its interesting how as a reader you fell so in love with the character that your ampathy for him skews  your judgement.  It demonstrates in a way how criminals manage to evade the law for so long as those who are close to them have different experiences with the person they know.
  • The relationship that develops between Janine and Paul was really sweet. Theis elationship helps him get rid of his fears of poverty which in turn enabled him to make sound decisions about the future of his business  and personal life.

  • I was not as inlove with Contraband as I was J.L’s  other books because:
    1. I found the island descriptions a little too much. Don’t get me wrong,  I loved Xantrope Island but for some reason Contraband came across as a more masculine read and the frequency of description of flowers and fragrances were little contradictory for me. 
    2. Although there was plenty of action, I somehow did not find it as intense or absorbing as book’s I’ve read previously. Perhaps my problem is that I kept comparing them, unintentionally but there it was. I kept thinking, I like the way she wrote this in that novel, or the style she used in doing this in that one.

I really liked Contraband and as usual J.L did an awesome job writing it. However, the entertainment and suspense factor  had less impact than my past experience.
  • If you interesting reading more of my reviews then click HERE.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. Hi, Wendy,

    It's always interesting to get your take on my stories. I believe Paul is probably the most complex and conflicted characters I've written to date an boy was it fun writing this one.

    Thanks ever so much for taking the time to read and review.

  2. The main relationship sounds awesome, but the criminal element might not be my thing. I am so picky about how my heroes behave! :-)

  3. Tiger, I actually went on to create a post inspired by your comment. I hope you won't be offended. What you said just inspired me to think about J.L's writing as a whole :-)


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