#BookReview: Take It From Me by Jamie Beck

They Say To ‘Write What You Know’… In this tale, Beck does an excellent job showing a middle aged mother struggling with empty nest syndrome (though this term is never really used in the book) and a new neighbor who is secretly a very feminist-forward progressive who also happens to be a struggling author in hiding. Beck is, herself, a middle aged mother whose children have left the nest and an established author who changed genres just a few years ago from romance to women’s fiction. As someone who has previously reviewed her books before and after that shift, she has proven herself to be an equally strong storyteller in either space. Here she manages to wrap different aspects of her own (publicly discussed) life into a compelling tale that also shows some other clear real-world correlations, with other recent books from Amazon Publishing – including at least The Magic Of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson and Other People’s Things by Kerry Anne King – also spinning their own tales around the common theme of ‘humanizing’ kleptomania. Beck weaves her own tale here and shows both common aspects (shame, fear of being misunderstood, etc) across the other books as well as her own distinct aspects (how it can impact a long term marriage, young adult children, etc) and again, shows her own skill as a storyteller in the process. As a long time reader of both Beck and Amazon Publishing in general, this was thus quite intriguing in many ways – though even someone who doesn’t have that experience will find a well written, compelling tale here. Truly an excellent work, and an solid representation of Beck’s style for any readers who may be new to her work. Very much recommended.

*Note: To be clear, I am not claiming that *every* aspect of these characters is inspired by the author’s real life. Only that the broadest outlines – middle aged mother whose kids have left home and an author who has direct insight into the “real world” of publishing – echo what Beck has herself publicly discussed being.

This review of Take It From Me by Jamie Beck was originally written on September 18, 2022.

#TwelveDaysOfRomance #BlogTour: The Five-Day Reunion by Mona Shroff

For this entry in the Twelve Days of Romance blog tour series, we’re looking at a grounded yet funny fake marriage romance… during a traditional Indian wedding week! For this blog tour entry, we’re looking at The Five-Day Reunion by Mona Shroff.

Solid Second Chance Romance. This is one of those second chance / forced proximity / fake dating types of romance tales, all combined during a five day traditional Indian wedding celebration. The angst between the two leads is palpable, and their own individual motivations are solidly grounded. The Indian family interventions – and ensuing irritating (for the characters) hilarity (for the readers) hijinx – are well done, and Shroff does well to explain the various ceremonies reasonably well in-story so that those not familiar with them can follow along and not get lost in the story, yet not so much that it becomes an academic treatise on each ceremony. Overall a fun, funny, and short-ish (220 ish page) romance that gives a solid break from reality for many, and really… isn’t that most of what we expect a book to do? Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
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