For this blog tour, we’re looking at a tale that seems to describe New York City (at least its yuppie Upper West Side types) to a T. For this blog tour, we’re looking at A Small Affair by Flora Collins.
Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:
NYC To A T. I’ve been trying to think about what to say about this book for four days and I’ve got… nothing. There isn’t anything overly technically wrong here (the time and perspective jumps can be jarring at times, maybe, but that’s about it), and it is in fact a mostly engaging story – you’re going to want to know what happened, and then you’re going to want to know how and why it happened. On both of these points, Collins gets rather explosive. Overall though this book just has the feel of an utterly pretentious New York… witch… who can’t see beyond her Upper West Side aspirations. Certainly for the characters, and maybe Collins herself was simply being a solid conduit of these characters. If you like tales of that particular yuppie New York world, eh, you’re probably going to LOVE this book. And again, even if that isn’t overly your thing, this is still a good book. But if you’re more of a Southern Suburbanite/ hillbilly type who remembers with fondness the old Pace Salsa commercials with their “*NEW YORK CITY?!?!?!?!?* tagline… this is NYC to a T from that perspective. So know that going in. Recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: A Small Affair by Flora Collins”
For this week’s Featured New Release, we’re looking at a solid examination of childlessness, divorce, and Alzheimer’s as experienced in the life of a woman in her thirties. This week, we’re looking at Everything Must Go by Camille Pagan.
Solid Examination Of Childlessness And Alzheimer’s. This book continues Pagan’s trend of writing books about real-world issues women in their 30s ish encounter and doing so in a thoughtful and poignant manner that allows people to more fully explore their own thoughts and feelings on the matters at hand even while telling its own unique story. In this particular book, Pagan brings out two issues that I’ve seen up close and personal in my own (late 30s male) life – childlessness and Alzheimer’s. While there are some (such as my wife and I) who start out childless (no kids, want them) and later become childfree (no kids, don’t want any) and there is considerable debate within the childless and childfree communities (yes, they are distinct), this tale accurately explores a woman realizing that becoming a mother is truly important to her and what she must do to ensure that. Its explorations of Alzheimer’s and the familial relationships it both strains and enhances also ring true to what I observed from my own mother – then in her late 30s/ early 40s – when she, along with her over half a dozen siblings, dealt with her own father developing the disease. I’ve even known friends and family to divorce as seemingly seamless as happens here, particularly before kids are involved. So ultimately, I see the plausibility in virtually everything Pagan did here, and the story thus became, for me, likely more of the thoughtful examination she meant for it to be rather than getting hung up on “I don’t think [this thing or that thing] is realistic enough” as so many of the other reviewers (on Goodreads as of December 29, nearly 4 months before publication) have done. While not quite as powerful or funny as Pagan’s previous books (which you should absolutely read as well), this one still does its thing quite well indeed, and is thus very much recommended.
For this blog tour, we’re looking at a slow burn psychological suspense that could be incredibly difficult for some readers but which ultimately turns out to be a solid tale. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins.
Slow Burn Psychological Suspense. This is one psychological suspense that features a tremendous amount of active gaslighting, so be aware of that up front. The actual conflict here is slow, told in two perspectives in two different time periods – from the nanny’s perspective in the mid-late 1990s, and the child’s perspective as a now-adult circa 2020. In the present, we see the child as a sort of aimless, emo-chic drifter overwhelmed by recent events (personal, not global – the real-world insanities of the era are never mentioned here, thankfully) and the nanny appears to be perfect… at first. In the past, we see how non-perfect the nanny actually is… and discover quite a bit that ratchets up the tension for the reader in the present day scenes. Solid work that fans of the genre will likely enjoy. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social/ web links, and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins”
For this blog tour we’re looking at an interesting FF romance that dives into some areas not usually seen in romance novels, but which does have a couple of major flaws. For this blog tour we’re looking at Meet Me In Madrid by Verity Lowell.
Interesting FF Romance Brought Down By Preachy Politics And Blatant Racism. As a romance, this book works. It starts out as a “forced” (ish) proximity before turning into a bridge-the-gap, all revolving around two female academics at different points in their careers. Not for the “clean” / “sweet” crowd, as others have noted there is a fair amount of sex in the first four chapters alone. Also falls into the trap of describing both women as very buxom, which is a bit of a cop-out to my mind designed to get those of us with… “active imaginations”… more into the book. But that point is but a minor quibble. The preachy politics, and in particular the blatant racism, is the reason for the star deduction here. Let me be perfectly clear. My standard is this: If you reverse the [insert demographic in question] and keep everything else absolutely identical, would anyone cry foul? I believe this book fails that test in its characterization of its singular straight white male character, and thus the star deduction. But still, on the whole this is a mostly solid book, and thus it is *only* a singular star deducted. Fans of the romance genre generally should enjoy this one, fans of FF romances in particular will probably thoroughly enjoy this one, and it does indeed dive into areas not frequented, particularly academia and art professors. Thus, this book is recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details”, including book description, author bio and contact links, and a link to buy the book.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Meet Me In Madrid by Verity Lowell”