Tag Archives: Petra March

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 Dream of Lilies: A Novella’ by Petra March

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Title: A Dream of Lilies: A Novella (A Touch of Cinnamon Book3)

Published: 21st June 2016

Author: Petra March

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorPetraMarch

Synopsis:

Nicholas Baudin lives in Toulouse, France, where he owns a small coffee place, Le Petit Café. His life is apparently tranquil, and made of small joys and simple habits. In truth, though, this young man’s soul is troubled with memories of a painful event.

Then, on a bright spring day, Nicholas meets a strange, enchanting young woman with white hair, and pale blue eyes. Her name is Lily Brightwell. She is an actress who captivates crowds with her talent and her stories.

As Nicholas begins to fall for the young artist, his life turns into something unexpected and lovely.

(Ages 17+)

Review:

Another emotionally driven read, beautifully written. Makes more sense if you have read the stories that come before, gives you a bit more context. Descriptive writing throughout but that is the authors style so if you have read the others you will be used to it. Shorter read this time aswell but just as good.

This story follows the lives of Lily and Nicholas. They have both been going on with their lives but hiding their feelings from traumatic events of their pasts. The deaths of people they loved. Both events link them together, not that they know it at the start.

Lily is part of a travelling theatre group with her friends Zachary and Nancy that happens to travel to Nicolas’ town. The first moment he sees her on stage he is drawn to her – much like most men watching. Her ghostly white hair draws the eye along with her pale blue eyes. But the smell of smoke triggers a memory he would prefer to stay in the past making him rush away. If he feared he wouldn’t see her again he shouldn’t have as she soon arrives in his cafe along with her friends. Its like he feels a pull towards her, something his friend Willa can clearly see and enjoys pushing him towards. Bringing her a cinnamon drink and cookies does the trick of drawing her in. The smell draws to her while she feels the presence of Nicolas behind her. One smile and it seems they are hooked – well if they can keep their memories at bay and not run from them that is. It’s not until the day after that they meet by chance, to a point, both being drawn towards someone playing a violin in a park. You can see how comfortable they are with each other and soon are in each other’s arms. It would seem to be the start of something if Lily hadn’t taken a call that takes her away before the theatre group leaves. Though her leaving does kick start Nicolas into wanting to chase after her. It’s when he catches up to her that they come together for real but it’s also the moment where they find out how they are linked. Whether they can finally make peace with their pasts will determine whether they will have a future.

Interesting side characters that fill out the story well, coming together to give Lily a good ending from the heartbreak she held after her first love was lost. Eagan makes an appearance but I think it’s more to help create a link for Ari to reappear. Her former best friend who David, her first love, fell in love with while they were dating before he died. Someone who she needs to forgive for hurting her as they both lost the boy they loved. It’s not just them needs to come to terms with past pain, as Nicholas too needs to let go. Coming together will help them to come to terms and make peace with the past, which in turn will help them move forward.

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4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘All the Skies I Will Not See’ by Petra March

Copyright 2015 Petra March. All rights reserved.

Title: All the Skies I Will Not See: A Novella

Published: 9th June 2015

Author: Petra March

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorPetraMarch

Synopsis:

It takes 7 seconds to crash.

It takes 3 seconds to fall in love.

It takes an infinite moment to let go.

David Medwin’s life is fading away, and all he can think about is what it means to be alive.

An intense story about life, death and, most of all, love.

(Ages 17+)

Review:

A short story this time but again beautifully written.

Right from the start you are drawn in and know something bad has happened. If you have read A Veil of Glass and Rain you will know the outcome and be wishing it could change. A life cut short by tragedy but also showing you to be the person you are and not wait to tell that person you love them. Life is too short.

They say your life flashes before your eyes before you die, or when in fear of it. That’s what happens for David. Instead of seeing everything though we get glimpses of key moments of his past. The ones where he truly started to see himself for who he really was and what he wanted.

Everything changes for David after an art lesson where his teacher showed them all pictures of Michelangelo’s David. He is confused but also excited by how seeing it makes him feel. While the others in his class make fun he can’t help but feel drawn to the features shown and want nothing more than to touch and explore. It’s after this lesson that he first meets Lily. She has her own quirky unusual style that draws him in. She is a nice distraction to feelings he’s not ready to explore yet. Especially when she says that she wants to kiss him.

Lily doesn’t kiss him straight away though but rather integrates herself into his world with his friends and family. Something he is happy about as she is such a great person and they seem to fit, to a point. It’s through her that he meets her friend Ari. Though it’s not a simple meeting, it’s in the middle of a fight. His friends are having a go at Ari due to what’s in his sketchpad. Something he is disgusted with them for. After getting Lily and Ari back to hers she then asks him to spend the afternoon with Ari while she’s called away for her theatre commitments’ as she doesn’t want him to be alone. This is the turning point for how he has been feeling lately. While walking with Ari he finally finds someone who really sees him. Ari gets him more then anyone else has, even his best friend Eagan, and when he sees the sketches Ari has done of him his desires come rushing back to the surface. A stolen kiss is all it takes to push them over the edge but is it something he is ready to handle.

We swap from present day to four years ago. Then it gets shorter – seven weeks, days, hours, minutes and finally seconds. It’s almost like a count down; one you wish you could stop. A powerful, beautifully written short story that will draw you in and hold you right up until the end.

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4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘A Veil of Glass and Rain: Special Edition’ by Petra March

A Veil of Glass and Rain Special Edition

Title: A Veil of Glass and Rain: Special Edition (A Touch of Cinnamon)

Published: 12th January 2015

Author: Petra March

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorPetraMarch

Synopsis:

“Delicate and resilient. Like you.”

Brina and Eagan meet for the first time when she’s nine and he’s fourteen. They like each other from the very beginning, though their bond isn’t immediate, but it grows over the years. What links them is the fact that their parents are photographers and are extremely devoted to their work and to each other; so much so that both Brina and Eagan have to learn how to take care of themselves from a very young age. Despite their differences, age, gender, nationality – Brina is Italian and Eagan is American – they find comfort in their growing friendship.

Then Brina becomes a teenager, and her feelings for her friend start changing and deepening. New desires stir within her. As soon as Brina realizes how those feelings complicate her friendship with Eagan, she runs away from him.

A few years later, Brina is twenty and Eagan is twenty-five, they find one another once again.

(Recommended for ages 18+, due to sexual content and language).

Publisher’s note: This is a fully re-edited and enriched with new and special contents version of the previously published novel, A Veil of Glass and Rain, by Petra F. Bagnardi (aka Petra March).

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set somewhere you want to travel, Rome Italy. Beautifully written book that takes you on a journey over the years through a close friendship that turns into something more.

Brina first meets Eagan when she is 9 and he is 11. They are like kindred spirits with how alike they are and how easily their friendship starts. They are more alike than most with their families too. Both their parents are so connected that they can’t spend time apart from each other. Its like it hurts them to do it. Even with one staying behind to look after their child isn’t enough to stop the pain of not being with their other half. Eagan has come to terms with this and ends up spending most of his time either with his grandparents or his best friend David and his family instead. Brina is just catching up though but sees through her mother’s unhappiness quickly. Ultimately telling her to go to her father. This action leaves her alone with only a housekeeper to watch over her. Eagan soon reminds her though that she’s not alone, she has a family, him. When he visits over the summer months she can be with him. Summer time soon becomes their time, something that neither ever wants to give up.

The story gets told from both Brina and Eagan’s perspectives. The main present day sees Brina living in Rome and Eagan just arriving to work there. You can tell straight away that something has happened between them to cause a rift in their friendship. It’s through a series of flashbacks to key moments of their life together that the pieces slowly start to fall into place.

The moment they meet again you can see that Brina sees Eagan in a different light and because of this she doesn’t know how to react around him. It hurts to be close but even worse to be apart. She wants him as more than a friend and doesn’t think he will ever feel the same. With how he is acting around his new work friends, especially the female ones, she starts to get uncontrollably jealous. Note to self Eagan next time you want to make the woman you love jealous don’t do it when she is cutting snacks for a party. Everything comes to a head the day after as Brina needs to come clean about something she did years before – she stole a kiss while he was sleeping, or was he?

Eagan has been trying to get Brina to see what he has been feeling for years and only then, thinking the time is right, does he make it very clear. He wants her for keeps but has been waiting until she was old enough to handle something real. She is the reason he moved there and picked an apartment that he thought she would like. The connection between them has always been there throughout their friendship and now it gets the chance to grow into something more.

Only thing is that both have grown up with a very morphed view on what relationships are meant to be like. They can’t be completely dependant on each other like both their parents or neither will really survive. They need to grow as people apart before they can be completely together. Brina creates a test of sorts, one that will determine whether they can truly last or not.

Loved all Brina’s friends. They are a very eccentric group of people who seemed to compliment each other really well. Eagan’s friends/family were a little out there but they have reason to be. Its not easy losing a brother and they have very different coping methods. The story consists of duel perspectives where you do have to make sure you know who is meant to be talking before starting the next chapter but most of the time with the style you could see a distinctive difference between both Brina and Eagan.

Loved the epilogue at the end as it keeps jumping years into the future and you can see how life turns out for them. Thought the radio interview transcript at the end was very funny aswell. Great piece of writing that will draw you in longing to see how their relationship grows.

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4 out of 5 stars

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

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