Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review Tour ~ The Photographer’s Truth by Ralph Josiah Bardsley ~ (Reviews)

Review Tour ~ The Photographer’s Truth by Ralph Josiah Bardsley ~ (Reviews)


Ian seems to have it all – a career as a hotshot software programmer in Silicon Valley; a beautiful wife and family; a nice house in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood; and a past that he's mostly managed to forget. But life takes an unexpected turn for Ian when he finds himself in Paris for a three-month work project where meets the former fashion photographer Luca Sparks. The unlikely friendship grows and Ian sees a new side to life as Luca takes him on a journey through the glamorous and lustrous Paris nightlife. But something strange starts to happen during their adventures in Paris; the two discover an attraction that threatens to destroy their lives. Both men battle their own demons on the road to self-discovery, ultimately learning how to come to peace with their feelings and their pasts.



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5 Stars

*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Ian is a Silicon Valley geek, a computer software programmer who lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children. When Ian's work sends him to Paris for a three-month project, he meets Luca, a famous retired fashion photographer. They spend their nights together drinking wine and having dinner together at small cafes and strolling the streets of Paris, but things change and Ian begins to have feelings for Luca. He feels things he hasn't let himself explore or even imagine since his college days.

I loved that the author took us through some of Ian's time in college. We got to see where this all started and not just be told about the experience back in college. As an adult, Ian finds himself being torn between his life and family back home in San Francisco and the man he has fallen desperately in love with in Paris. This story is filled with heartache. Even when Ian and Luca are happy there is always an underlying sadness and guilt present. I knew someone would lose in the end, and I just had to hope that the people I came to know and care about during this story would get a happy ending.

This is my second book by this author and I can't even pinpoint what it is about his writing, but he's such a gifted storyteller that he succeeds in pulling you into the world he has created and holding you captivated with his every word. I couldn't put this book down. The book is written in enough detail that I could imagine myself wandering the streets of Paris with Ian and Luca or sitting down at a small street-side cafe for dinner or a cafe au lait with them.

**Warning this last paragraph contains a semi-spoiler**

As well as the story was written and as much as I enjoyed it, the ending left me a bit dissatisfied and frankly, in tears. The ending is left open ended and up to the reader's imagination as to what the future might hold for Ian and Luca. I know how I imagine their future, and I guess that's all that really matters in the end. Still, a very good and recommendable read.

Ian's life is seemingly perfect. He's a successful software engineer, with an attorney wife and two teenaged sons. He and his wife have been growing a bit apart, but after 16 years that's bound to happen, right?   

When a possible three-month work assignment in Paris comes up, Ian reluctantly agrees to go. Being away from his wife and kids that long is far from ideal but he has little choice in the matter. Paris is different and meeting  Luca, a brilliant former fashion photographer, gives Ian a whole new outlook on life. As the two grow closer as friends enjoying what Paris has to offer, Ian's memories of a past moment in his youth makes him wonder. Ian's life is back at home in California, his wife, his kids, the life he'd always thought he wanted. Now it's a question of want and need, right and wrong. Can he give up what is expected of him, his role as husband and father? While he knows he can't, he's not sure he's ready to give up what he's found in Paris, either.

Firstly I want to say Ralph Josiah Bardsley has a remarkable way of telling a story and capturing your attention. He has a talent for words as well as imagery, making many of the scenes throughout the book come to life and flow off the page. 

I loved the progression of Ian and Luca's relationship. A friendship that developed into something more deeply intimate and evolved into to love. There was a beauty to it. I found both Ian and Luca to be realistic and relatable. Although I could not agree with many of their actions, I felt as if I could understand them, empathize with them. 

As much as I enjoyed the story the ending was not what most would expect. It's vague and I guess open for interpretation. I know what I believe happens, but I'm not sure if we will ever really know. Still, I definitely would recommend Ralph Josiah Bardsley's The Photographer's Truth. 

4.5 Stars!

***A Copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review***

About the Author:
A little bit more about me – I was born in a small town outside of Boston. My dad was in the Coast Guard and so I grew up in a lot of different places – New Orleans, Cape Cod, North Carolina and Sitka, Alaska. When I wasn't in school, I spent most of my time in Coast Guard hangers or reading. Today I live in San Francisco where my hobbies include writing, running and wine tasting! Like everyone else I wear a few hats. I work in the high tech industry in marketing. I hold a bachelor's degree from Greensboro College and a master's in communication from Emerson College.
When I read a writer's bio, I usually want to know why they write - what makes them sit down at a keyboard and what do they hope to accomplish. When I ask myself those same questions, it's more difficult to answer. I've always loved writing - in any capacity. For a long time, I got enough fulfillment out of the writing assignments I did for work. I've written white papers on software, airlines, mobile technology and advertising practices. These were (and continue to be) great assignments and I absolutely love them - I get to learn about all sorts of cool new things all the time. But eventually I wanted to do something more personal. So I started a blog called BrandFiller. I recruited several contributors and we had a lot of fun for a year or so writing short form articles and posts about everything from hockey to fashion. Let me say - for me blogging was A LOT of work. It was rewarding, but I wanted to do something bigger - something that expressed bits and pieces of my own life and feelings in a work of fiction. So that's when I decided to retire the blog and try a novel. I never expected anyone would publish it. But the team over at Bold Strokes Books saw my manuscript for Brothers and decided to take a chance on me. You can be the judge of if they were right, when the book comes out on December 1, 2015. So what makes me sit down and write now? I guess just the opportunity to express myself and share that expression.
My writing comes from a combination of experience and imagination. My family - especially my husband Dana - is a big part of my inspiration. They're always pushing me to do more and I love them for it. I also love to travel, and I manage to work the details from the places I visit into the stories and the books I write. Someone once told me that the only true value you ever get for your money is travel - and I couldn't agree more.


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