Tag Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Book Review: ‘A Different Kind of Lovely’ by Petra March

Title: A Different Kind of Lovely: A Novel

Published: 23rd May 2017

Author: Petra March

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorPetraMarch

 

Synopsis:

A man with a damaged soul fell in love with a ballerina with a broken body.”

When Neal Medwin glimpses Mina Automne for the first time, he’s a man whose soul is darkened with memories of a painful past, whereas Mina is a vibrant, strong, young woman. She’s a determined ballerina who’s carefully planning and painting her life.
Neal steps into her existence and threatens to shatter Mina’s plans with an impossible request.

Mina can’t help the fragile man who’s invading her home, even though their parents used to be close friends and she knows of Neal’s hurtful background. She allows him to linger within her lovely and artistic world, however, hoping he might find some peace and solace.

Slowly, their conflict turns into friendship, and eventually into love, until a terrible discovery ruins Mina’s projects and forces her to let go of all her dreams, and of her sweet, damaged man.

Neal is unable to fight for Mina and for the unripe love they share, because he’s not ready to leave his past behind. He’s not strong enough – not yet.

(Ages 18+)

Publisher’s Note: This stand-alone Novel is a spinoff of Petra March’s award winning series, A Touch of Cinnamon.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about dancing or dancers. Another beautifully descriptive novel written by Petra March, one that takes the reader on a journey through a wealth of emotions from start to finish. A little repetitive at times but a good read all the same.

After the death of David everyone connected with him – family and friends alike – have all found it hard to move on passed their grief. All grieve in very different ways but all slowly need to find another/new reason to move forward and not live in the nightmares of the past. Something that Neal is slowly starting to learn after meeting Mina.

Neal is a broken soul of a man still struggling – like the rest of his family – with the sudden death of his brother David years before. His coping mechanism is to just shut down all his emotions, put on a mask and take care of his parents and sister. They call, ask him to do something, and its like he is powerless to refuse them. The latest task his mother sends him on is to purchase the cottage David stayed at before he died. One of the roads that lead to it being the one the accident happened on. A weird way to grieve on the anniversary but its what they do, buy something new to help push away their emotions. He thinks he’s just going to have a look as he thinks they are already selling but he gets a shock when the owner very much says she is not.

Mina is a ballet dancer with a passion to perform and live life to the full with her dream but it all comes crashing down when her body starts to betray her. Neal first spots her in a field dancing. Gliding across the land and through the air like a butterfly caught on the wind, soon to be his Butterfly. She caught his attention and drew him to her swiftly. When he follows her to the cottage and she finds out he wants to buy it it’s a push and pull feeling she has to deal with. He intrigues her so she wants him to stay but at the same time angers her with his intensions to buy her home making her want him to go. Seems their parents were friends once upon a time and hers thought to sell when they asked to buy without letting her know, even though the cottage is hers. Her dream being to build a dance studio out on the land and teach, after she has had a career with her ballet that is.

Seems to be heart and head, or should that be body and mind, are feeling very conflicted about what they are doing. Chemistry is a bit of a slow build between them as they try to get a feel for the other. The cottage and Mina’s memories of David help Neal to start to open up to his own. She knows his pain, can see it clearly in his face as his mask is slowly falling away. The cottage and Neal’s subconscious might hold nightmares to start with but soon they will turn around with the presence of Mina. Just as she can see his pain he can see hers, though hers might be more physical. They need each other to hold onto and build something new from their broken souls but his need to help his family pulls them apart. Can they find their way back to each other to help heal their pain, both physical and mental?

Cameos with Eagan and Brina give the story a rounder depth as it’s showing how others have come through the other side of their grief. Felia, Neal’s sister, needed to find her own way through it, which Neal is slowly figuring out. To move on you have to face the past and until they do that they will be stuck in a dark loop repeating their mistakes. Push past it and they will finally be happy again, just like David would have wanted.

To get a proper feel for the story and how certain characters may show their emotions, or lack their of by keeping them locked up, I would recommend reading the other books in the series. This can be read as a stand-alone but I feel you would benefit from reading the others. Plus they are good anyway, so why not.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘A Perfect Murder and Other Stories’ by S. R. Nair

Title: A Perfect Murder and Other Stories

Published: 17th August 2016

Author: S. R. Nair

Facebook: www.facebook.com/srnairbooks

 

Synopsis:

A naïve man and a divorcee, a wronged woman’s fight for justice, a poor woman’s desire for an iPad, a charming young man’s plan to seduce a beautiful tourist, a staunchly orthodox immigrant’s struggle to assimilate in the U.S. … These are some of the captivating stories in this book which has been hailed as a “seriously good read”.

Review:

An interesting collection of short stories that are perfect to read on the lunchtime break. Some I liked more than others but overall enjoyable read. Stories range from cultural differences and identities, marriage, abuse, family, honour, murder mystery, humour and loss.

A Perfect Murder – Be wary of people with an ulterior motive and something to gain. Who is playing whom you may ask?

Salma’s Fate – Marry an honorable man but get stuck with his less than honorable father. Her fate is in their hands until she steps up and speaks out. She will be silent no longer and with the help of a stranger she will get where she needs to go.

iPad – Technology can only go so far but you never know its power if you believe in it. This one made me a bit sad at the end. So sweet, definitely an oh moment.

Koya’s Story – Work hard all your life to get the dream ending you have been waiting for relaxing with your family. Is it all for nothing though when you finally slow down to a stop?

Seema – The power of Facebook can take you down but also build you back up. Be careful what you post as it can be shared quicker than you think. Funny how those with a vendetta against you can end up causing themselves more harm. Kind of like its an instant karma thing here.

The Grandson – The pressure to have a son for her third child is hanging over her like a ticking time bomb. Mother-in-law/monster-in-law it seems is only turning nice once its known a boy is on the way. She can only be respected with a son, as that was how it was for her mother-in-law. Its like a pass it down nastiness for every female until they bare a son. Things aren’t quite what they seem though with how the son came along.

The Missing Wife – Coming home from a business trip to find your new wife missing would be a cause for concern, enough to file a report the next morning. But when a knock at the door in the middle of the night sees him in trouble things take an unexpected turn. Seems Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code is there to punish those that would harass relatives seeking a dowry from their wives and their families. Any seen or reported doing so would see them in prison. Lets hope they can find her to stop things getting worse.

The Stolen Child – A child being swapped at birth but no-one believing you would be hard to swallow. Being raised the same within the household you would feel no different. That is until fate finds a way to intervene and let its secret out. Would you stay quiet or want to find where you came from?

Seduced – For a man finding a beauty on a plane sitting next to you could be the start of some fun but who is really being seduced here? Could go both ways or maybe one is a lot smarter than the other. A game is being played, let’s see who comes out on top.

Total Eclipse – The love a man has for his wife and dog are tested. When one betrays him how will he react to the other? Not really sure about this one as found the ending completely unnecessary and cruel.

Visa for America – Internet surfing for daily news soon leads to something else entirely when he clicks on marriage.com. Will he find love or is a green card all she’s after. Fate could have pulled them together for a reason, lets see if it keeps them there.

The Soothsayer – Horoscopes are meant to be a bit of fun but some take them to heart. They can’t really mean the same thing for everyone can they? When you read something you fear to come true it could hold you back from life. Almost leading you down the path you have been trying to stay away from.

The Lost Son – Best friends for 60 years you would think nothing would tear them apart. A failed business deal puts strange on them but when one goes it alone jealously calls. Friends and family ties starting to break are one thing but being estranged from your son is hard to bear. The connection there one moment and gone the next. Only when a death occurs can the shock cause what was once thought lost to be found again. No matter what comes their way family comes first, religion and beliefs following.

Zubair – He thought he had an obedient wife who would continue to be the quiet and shy figure she had been back in India. He allowed her to continue her studies so she knows her own mind. When he brings her to America everything changes. Not for the better of him but her. She has found herself but he is stuck with how he always was. Amusing at the end when he starts thinking of ways to handle his situation. Last line quite funny.

An interesting view into another culture and showing how it mixes with the way others live, mainly USA.

3.5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Author Interview: ‘Single Chicas’ by Sandra C. Lopez

About the Book:

Perfection is a Barbie doll, and, unless you’re looking for a guy with a fake smile, a hard head, and no genitalia, then you’re better off NOT being perfect―Single ChicasSingle Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she’s never met. These chicas will make painstaking effort to survive the complexities with humor and grace. Once again, López dazzles audiences with her brilliantly candid craft. Smart, witty, and funny, these stories will explore the true endurance of singlehood.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I started writing my first book right out of high school. My first novel was about a 14-year old Mexican-American girl growing up in an impoverished neighborhood with the aspiration of going to college. Being that I was still a teenager, I had that raw, teenage voice that my editor deemed valuable to the story. And, from then on, I just kept on writing.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I write whenever inspiration strikes (or whenever I have the time.) I don’t particularly have a favorite place. Heck, sometimes I don’t even have a pen and paper with me when an idea comes to me. In those cases, I’ve had to use whatever was around—post it, napkin, etc.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The world is my canvas. My observations and experiences go into my craft.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

A little of both. At the beginning, I have some idea of where I’d like the story to go, but then sometimes that can change when I read through it again. At that point, the story takes a life of its own.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write in the genres that I, myself, am interested in.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

My latest book, Single Chicas, was described as a Latina version of Sex and the City, so I kind of picture Sofia Vergara in it because she’s fun, flirty, and sassy.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I real A LOT and I like A LOT of authors. I don’t have a favorite because asking a reader to pick a favorite author is like asking a mother to pick a favorite child.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m reading a series called Tough Justice: Countdown, which is about a female FBI Agent on the hunt for a serial bomber in NYC.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Again, I bring up the mother analogy.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Read anything and everything that you can get your hands on, and just keep on writing.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Website: www.sandra-lopez.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sandra-Lopez

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1656820.Sandra_C_Lopez

Blog: www.sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com

 

About the Author:

Sandra Lopez is considered one of today’s influential Latina writers in young adult literature.Her first novel, “Esperanza,” a teen fiction novel, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college! “Beyond the Gardens,” is the sequel to her engaging and inspirational heroine, Esperanza.

She travels as much as she can and is currently at work on her next book.

To find out more about her books, please visit her website at http://www.sandra-lopez.com

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Book Review: ‘Torn Ends’ by Taylor Dawn

Title: Torn Ends (Magnolia Series Book 3)

Published: 29th July 2016

Publisher: Princess Press

Author: Taylor Dawn

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTaylorDawn

Twitter: @TAYLORDAWNBOOKS

 

Synopsis:

Damon ‘Dash’ Hunter had one thing on his mind…freedom. After being incarcerated for a crime he never meant to commit, Dash vows to lead his life under the radar. The one thing he needed was family and the only family he had left was his sister, Gracie. Upon deciding to relocate from Chicago to Biloxi Mississippi to be with his sister, Dash jumps on his Harley and makes the long journey south. His travels are soon interrupted by the likes of a sassy brunette on the side of the road with a flat tire. Offering to help her, Dash finds more than just a spare in the trunk of her car. He can’t help but offering his assistance to show her how to properly use those naughty toys stowed away in her car.

Brandi Fairfield had a habit of dating guys who were bad for her even though sometimes bad could be so good. Just as she decides she’s ready to find a respectable man, a bad boy she can’t seem to resist rolls up and helps her change a flat tire. Everything about him has warning signs but she once again throws caution to the wind. But soon she learns the truth about the new guy in town. Can she push aside her disbelief and help him clear up his wrongs. Or will the threat of his past tear a hole in the very fabric they’ve woven together.

Follow Dash and Brandi as they continue the Magnolia Series by International Best-Selling Author, Taylor Dawn.

 

Review:

Well this one had a bit of everything I like in a good read lately. Dash is a bad boy ex-MC, Dom in the bedroom and when him and Brandi get together there is enough passion thrown in that you might need a fan to cool down. Knew Brandi’s story would be good from the first book. Such a fun character that you knew she’d need a strong force to spar with and Dash has that in spades.

Chance brought them together and here’s hoping nothing tears them apart. They are clearly the others missing piece in every way. They can be themselves around each other and one things for sure Dash is making it very clear that all her inner desires are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact they are what brings them closer in the kinkiest of ways. Not that she’s really complaining once he gets his hands on her. Great back and forth banter throughout and you clearly see the chemistry forming from the first meeting. When he stops to help fix her flat tyre its what he finds in her boot that gets him intrigued. Good job fate put them in each other’s paths again. Can’t wait to see what they get up to next. No matter how much they both protest about not wanting more, seems they might both need it.

Much more of a mix with all the others from the first two books and then introducing Liam was fun, lets see if he gets his own book soon. All I will say is that Brandi certainly had fun when Dash suggested something involving him. Threes company it seems, if only for a night.

Trouble brewing with Dash’s past though and it looks like its about to catch up with him. He went to prison but that’s not what’s following him. It’s his old connections to the Sons of Destiny MC. Seems they want him to take care of one final thing if he wants to be free. If he chooses not to then the people he cares about most will be in harms way. Something he won’t settle for. The choices he makes are to keep people safe but could also be the reason he gets pulled away. Lets hope our boys in blue have a few more tricks up their sleeves to fix this before the shit really hits the fan.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this copy of the book from Nell’s PR and Marketing for my honest review.

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Book Blitz: ‘A Beautiful Life’ by Alexander Payne

Author: Alexander Payne

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Sub-genre: romance

 

Alex is a poetic young Londoner believing in true love, writing romantic letters and enjoying long late night philosophical discussions with friends on the meaning of life or the existence of God. Anna, the girl living in Lebanon whom he grew to be very fond of through a long distance correspondence, appears to be something else. She embodies everything that he conjured up in a perfect woman, while she sometimes remains surprisingly cold and volatile in her e-mail responses. Is she truly the woman who he could love forever or is there more to her personality than just a sweet and gentle heart?

Discovering the truth about Anna leads Alex on the road to self-discovery shrouded by an intensely personal struggle and painful emotions that bring about the most joyful and darkest moments in Alex’s soul. This book serves as a rational voice to any reader trying to make sense of his or her own emotional circumstances.

A Beautiful Life is a tale told through the eyes of a young man who may not have all the answers to human existence, but learns valuable lessons on how to deal with the adversities of life in his pursuit of happiness. He, like you, still has much to offer the world no matter the struggle.

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: US / UK / CA

Author Bio

I’d rather not say much about myself. I’ll let you dive into the pages and if you like them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via connect@braghumble.com

 

          Author Links

Webpage: www.braghumble.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16736727.Alexander_Payne

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