Novels by Karen Stephen...

Degrees of Obsession - Reviews

MOTHER TONGUE - Lingua Corsa
My real adventure in Corsica in 1963
Photos of Corsica
Oxford 2013 Blog
Blogging Oxford Photos England
Bloging Oxford Photos France
Music from England and France
About the Author
Favorite Links
Doctor Flamingo on Midlife
Contact Me

     "If you are stalking a rea
Daphne Harris (California) - On Amazon 
This review is from: Degrees of Obsession (Paperback)
If you are stalking a really good read, leap on this absorbing and insightful novel. Degrees of Obsession has it all...delicious romance, heart-pounding suspense, and a smart and spirited heroine. Best of all, it shines light on the fears, follies, and fantasies that drive the choices we make in our lives, and on the love, in many forms, that redeems them.

An Imprisoned Heart, October 8, 2007 (Amazon) 4 stars
Robyn Y. Demby "What the Storyteller Brings" (Goldsboro, NC)
What a beautiful description of the "meaning of it all" which dawned on the main character, Charlene, in this novel: "The challenge of marriage was to find a steady beat, to rise above fractious moments, selfish choices, and clouded beginnings. The goal was to find solace in familiarity, to set aside blame, to dig deep for the compassion that could heal the wounds of body and soul."

Wow. I absolutely had to write that quote from Stephen Karen. This novel was superbly written. Rich in description, the author's love of antiques was quite evident. The title accurately described a novel which gave an inside look at the pain of infatuation; the power it holds over one's emotions and behavior, and how it could take away the peace and contentment from another relationship as one tries to move on. It is sad how obsessing over a bad man can blur a woman's appreciation for a good one.

Conflicting emotions shifted through me as I read this book. With the hold this other man had over Charlene's senses, I experienced a forbidden excitement as I wondered if this woman would be unfaithful to her husband. At the same time, concern for Charlene's marriage gave me a flicker of hope that she would be able to control herself. Then the strong possibility that her husband would think that she was unfaithful anyway made me wonder why she should bother holding back.

DEGREES OF OBSESSION - A MUST HAVE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, March 4, 2006  5 stars (Amazon)
This review is from: Degrees of Obsession (Paperback)
I absolutely loved this book! This is a MUST HAVE book for anyone who loves romance and suspense. The author does an exceptional job in keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Once I started reading, I could not put this book down. I would highly recommend this book! It's a fantastic read!!!!!!!

Lost loves are best to remain lost, September 11, 2011  3 stars (Amazon)
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Degrees of Obsession (Paperback)
This novel is a good first effort. I read it in one setting. The character of Marietta is strong and more information about herwould be welcome. The relationship between Charlie is well done and raises interest in further development. The end of the book would have been stronger if we new about Harold. All in all an entertaining read

Fast paced action with great character development, March 22, 2006  5 stars (Amazon)
This review is from: Degrees of Obsession (Paperback)
Degrees of Obsession is that rare kind of book which effectively combines well paced action with true character development. The narrator, Charlie, is a successful therapist who can't let go of an unrequited love. Though professionally she knows better, still she makes choices that set in motion a series of events which test her motivations, judgement and her very definition of love. The author does a great job of using the action iteself to demonstrate her characters' strengths and foibles. An engrossing story that kept me turning the pages and left me thinking too.

An emotionally insightful adventure, October 22, 2006  5 stars (Amazon)
Tina (Arvada, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Degrees of Obsession (Paperback)
What a memory Karen has for the details of life in La Jolla in the 60s. When my mom divorced my dad in '64 she got a job as a clerk at the Saks in LJ which is no longer there. I had almost forgotten that. And I wondered about where Charlie lived with such a long walk to school. I lived on the hill up behind the country club (near the famous writer of children's books) and I remember the long walk to and from school every day.

I had a Danny too. Mine was a high school love. The last time I heard from him he was on his 4th marriage. There but for the grace of God . . .

I could go on and on but instead I just want to mention one more thing about this book that made it so emotionally insightful and special for me. I was blown away by one of the very last paragraphs where Charlie finally understands the "challenge of marriage". AWESOME!!!! Thank you so much, Karen, for a wonderful adventure!
Not many authors can pull off flashbacks and get away with it, yet Karen Stephen has great skill in this area. I couldn't make up my mind which was more riveting, the current dilemma facing Charlene, or her flashbacks in time. Karen Stephen moved so seamlessly between the two that the past and present flowed together as an artful blend of suspense and mystery.

Another quote I want to pull from her novel is, "I felt my soul rise and take flight, with all the brilliant colorings of a mortal released from a cocoon of neediness and regret." It is amazing how so few words could speak so much. I highly recommend this novel. I felt regret at finishing it as I enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to let it go.