Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Byzantine Provocateur

Purchased by Deniz, honest review provided.

Byzantine Provocateur
Melissa Bradley
Release Date:
March 6, 2011
Amber Quill Press
Word Count:
approx. 33,000
Purchase Links:  
Author's Website:


An ancient city sparks forbidden desire...

Thalia Burton arrives in Istanbul to relax and enjoy the company of her old friend Fadi. Hoping to forget the boring rut her life has become, she never imagines one encounter with Fadi's brother, Murat, re-igniting the dim flame of passion inside her. Captivated by the heat in Murat's golden eyes, Thalia finds herself tempted beyond reason.

Murat Bahar intended only to meet Thalia as a courtesy to his family. One look at the lovely American, however, incinerates his intentions. She is an exquisite morsel he longs to taste, a taboo treat enthralling him like a siren of myth. Perhaps just one night...

But once is not enough. Thalia and Murat embark on a fiery, secret affair that could burn them both, costing them friends and family.  

Deniz’s Review:

Thalia Burton has broken up with the latest in a string of jocks, and is desperate to experience something – anything – different. Maybe even someone with whom she can bring out a little of her bad girl side.

Pana, Illinois seems hardly the right place for an escapade, so on a whim, Thalia takes a vacation to visit her old college roommate Fadi Bahar in Istanbul, Turkey. She might even have a fling or holiday romance while she’s there.

Right from the start, though, she finds herself falling hard for Fadi’s older brother, Murat, a relationship that simply can’t happen; not behind Fadi’s back and certainly not while she’s a guest in the Bahar household. Murat seems to share her infatuation, however, and the two of them manage to have an afternoon alone. And that's just the beginning.

Infatuation fast runs to deeper, sexier emotions. Yet how can they be together without Murat’s family’s blessing? And what happens when Thalia has to return to the States?

I first found out about Melissa Bradley though Rachael Harrie’s Second Writers’ Platform-building Crusade, and when I saw that her latest book was set in Istanbul, I had to read it! Bradley’s certainly done her research; the sprinkling of Turkish words, the descriptions of the city – and the food! – are spot on. She stays true to point of view as well, including such turns of phrase as “his resolve to stay away from her had worn thinner than the gold leaf on an antique Ottoman text.”

As for the romance... Thalia and Murat’s growing relationship is very believable, and very steamy, though at times I did wish there was more description of the closeness developing between them, rather than simply their stolen moments on the yacht or in his apartment. Fadi is conveniently occupied at work a lot of the time, but the complications of Murat’s younger brother and his Australian friend, who flirts incessantly with Thalia, keep the reader wondering what will happen, right up to the end.

Deniz's Rating:


  1. Oh wow!!! I'm so happy you enjoyed Byzantine. Thank you very, very much for taking the time to write a review and for supporting small press and self pubbed authors. Your comments have made my week.

  2. Great review! I love Istanbul. You've convinced me to buy Byzantine Provacateur. Can't wait to cuddle up with Murat.

  3. Happy to do it Melissa!
    I hope you enjoy it, Sloane. I loved reading about romance in Istanbul [g]

  4. ah, we didn't expect anything but great from Melissa Bradley! :)

  5. @Sloane, thanks for the support. I hope you enjoy the story.

    @Dez Thank you for popping over to read the review and support the site.