Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Ecology of Lonesomeness by David J. O’Brien


Kaleb Schwartz isn't interested in the Loch Ness Monster. He'd enough cryptobiological speculation about Bigfoot while studying the Pacific Northwest forests. He's in Scotland's Great Glen to investigate aquatic food webs and nutrients cycles; if he proves there's no food for any creature bigger than a pike, then so much the better.

Jessie McPherson has returned to Loch Ness after finishing university in London, hoping to avoid the obsession with its dark waters she had when younger and first discovered lonesomeness. She knows any relationship with a scientist studying the lake is a bad idea, but something about Kaleb makes her throw caution to the depths.

When Kaleb discovers Jessie's lonesomeness refers not just to the solitude of the loch, he's faced with an ecological problem of monstrous proportions. Can he find a way to satisfy both the man and the scientist inside himself, and do the right thing?

About the Author:

David is a writer, ecologist and teacher from Dublin, Ireland, now living in Pamplona Spain. He has a degree in environmental biology and doctorate in zoology, specializing in deer biology, and is still involved in deer management in his spare time.

As an avid wildlife enthusiast and ecologist, much of David's non-academic writing, especially poetry, is inspired by wildlife and science. While some of his stories and novels are contemporary, others seek to describe the science behind the supernatural or the paranormal.

A long-time member of The World Wildlife Fund, David has pledged to donate ten percent (10%) of his royalties on all his hitherto published books to that charity to aid with protecting endangered species and habitats.

You can find out more and read some poems and short stories at and can join David on Facebook at


I guess I could use a newer Kindle. I have an old one with a black and white screen, so I didn’t really see the cover art. Furthermore, the blurb in the book said something about Jesse keeping a deep, dark, secret. Well, when you’re reading a book about an ecologist studying Loch Ness who falls in love with a local girl, she can only be keeping one secret. Horrors! She’s not a virgin! Oh, wait—it’s the twenty-first century and she’s been to college.

Had I really looked at the cover art, or read the above blurb, I’d have realized she was only keeping the secret from Kaleb. The real question was how and when Kaleb would find out and what he would do with the information. I think if I’d read the book from that point of view, I’d have had a lot more fun with it.

Even though I read it with the wrong attitude, Mr. O’Brien took me on a wonderful tour of the glen and the mountains surrounding Loch Ness. I loved his descriptions of the wildlife that populates the area, and some of the local people were pretty colorful as well. The romance skipped along at a pretty good pace, and the characters were well-drawn. All in all, a pretty good read.

Heat Rating:  R
Length:  323 Pages
Digital Prices:  $0.99

Thanks for visiting. Donna, Julie, & Rochelle

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