Painless

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Xlibris Corporation, Sep 23, 2008 - Fiction - 368 pages
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Painless follows the story of Augustus “Aug” Valentine, an undeniably attractive tall and slender man with hazel green eyes and a mischievous yet gorgeous smile. Aug is the President of the Trove Import Export Company in Fort Lauderdale. These aspects make him a ladies man. Aug apparently has it all.

What Aug lacks is a tragedy free past. The Valentine family is riddled with death and deceit from 1980 Detroit.

Moving on from his painful family history, Aug started operating Trove. The Import Company, along with the White Sands Bank and Destin Dreams Realty, were started in 1990 with “family” money. Normal business activity for Aug at Trove involves the occasional smuggling of goods into and out of the USA.

Aug’s romantic life has been similarly complicated. His marriage to Laurie ended and now he wants to propose to Jocelyn, his seductive and very liberated Jaguar saleswoman.

Everything seems to be going so well with Aug’s professional and personal life until $40 million worth of smuggled gemstones are stolen from him. Now he must recover the jewels or die.

Painless’s plot is well-crafted and packed with action, crimes, violence, love, comedy, greed, wit and irreverence. This entertaining novel is a metaphor for the natural and financial hurricanes slamming America. Painless is designed to entertain you with realistic characters that live in today’s world. Book Review

I’m not familiar with the modern noir genre of fiction but if it means a fun book full of action and quirky humor, then Painless is definitely modern noir. In fact, the author’s opening line is quirky and intriguing: “Icky Vicky was not icky.” Looking for a light, fun read for a day at the beach? Then Painless is for you.

Our protagonist is a silver-tongued, smuggling dude, full of spunk and resiliency; a bonified chick-magnet of a guy who is appropriately named Augustus Valentine. Okay, now picture—if you will—a stuffed pink flamingo and a plush giant panda filled with diamonds, rubies and sapphires and riding shotgun in a Cadillac DeVille. The deal is: Aug runs an import-export company, but when his own smuggled loot gets purloined, his employers look to rub him out. In page-turning action, we follow Aug to Detroit, Philly and all across Florida as he chases his attackers, including a pair of goons called “The Mountain” and “The Nose”. Believe me, there’s plenty of violence, Bat Man style: BLAM! POW! Not only that, but there’s oodles of titillating sex scenes and innuendos. Consider Jocelyn, a sexy bombshell whose “every word seemed to convey not just a sense of sex, but a sense of hours of sex”. And, naturally, the Stroh’s beer is always flowing. Are you getting the jist? Well, the author provides all that, plus an intricately woven plot including a collapsing stock market, embezzlements of hundreds of millions, money laundering, and high-stakes gambling at grand casino appropriately called the Poseidon. It all culminates with a catastrophic hurricane named Bill. I wonder: Bill the Hurricane and Bill the author . . . any connection?

The book jacket tells us the author recently resided and commuted between Grand Cayman and the Bahamas but now lives in Jacksonville. He claims to be a “hurricane magnet”, having endured or evacuated from nine hurricanes. Well, then, no small wonder Painless climaxes with a hurricane and who better to describe it? In the end, I found the author has a special talent for weaving a complicated and intriguing plot, peppered with plenty of humor, delivered in his unique, quirky style and accompanied by colorful characters that leap off the page.

A Good Read, reviewed by Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews
 

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Contents

THE ATLANTIC COAST
11
Augustus Valentine
13
Working Late
28
Summer Vacation
35
Plush
49
Suzys
63
Mark Kledas
69
A Jog in the Park
74
Garden Hose
206
French Door
212
Greg Czarnacki
218
Dinner and Drinks
225
Angel
240
Never Trust Anyone
247
Oops
251
Snake Eyes
257

A Walk in the Park
80
Upper Terra
87
Jocelyn
98
Meet John Doe
111
Weekend Getaway
116
Terminus
137
Plates
150
Phoenix
167
THE GULF COAST
179
Mr Smoothie
181
Gizzards
191
Tee Box
198
Opening Day
267
Boom
290
Doorways
292
Black Monday
298
Cue Ball
305
Laurie Valentine
318
Let Go
322
THE LANTERN OF DIOGENES
327
Hurricane Bill
329
Operation Recovery
365
Epilogue
368
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