Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'The Copenhagen Affair,' A Book of Romance and Intrigue by Amulya Malladi.

Feelings and emotions often determine our course of direction. They determine our mood and the way we react around others. Emotional baggage is often the culprit, and the feelings often come with depression, sadness, and anxiety. In The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi, we meet Sanya, a woman who feels lost and alone. After experiencing an emotional breakdown at her place of work, she no longer understands her role.

Married to Harry for over 20 years, Sanya is not surprised when after one of their therapy sessions, he decides a change of pace will help her. His company is sending him to Copenhagen for work and he feels it will be just the thing to revive her. Harry is positive a new location is just the thing to bring her out of her doldrums. He has to temporarily relocate there to close a deal for his company, and Copenhagen's beauty and generosity are rumored as unsurpassed.

Sanya finds herself on her own once they reach Copenhagen. The beauty of the city mesmerizes her, but it is the meeting with Anders Ravn, that holds her attention. Although she initially does not know it, he is the owner of the company her husband is trying to acquire. Rugged, with a scar on his face, he intrigues her, and she struggles to get him out of her mind. Yet, he too seems just a bit smitten and she runs into him often through her travels. When she finds that her husband Harry has an affair, she no longer feels that she needs to hold her feelings in check. But there is more, there are allegations of crime in Anders’ business, tensions are heightened, and danger beckons.

Sanya finally begins to move through her breakdown, finding her way though her nightmare of fear and feelings. Yet how will it all end?  Can she emerge from her crisis whole, once more the woman she was? How will the danger surrounding both the men in her life affect her new-found strength?

Malladi takes us through a relationship full of pain and pitfalls. Her characters are likable, and her description of the beauties of Copenhagen make you feel as if you are there as well.

If you enjoy mysteries, romance and intrigue, you will find this an enjoyable book for your library. It is an easy read and will keep you interested as you follow the red herrings for the answers.

Rating 3.5 /5

Monday, January 22, 2018

Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'Between Me and You,' a Novel by Allison Winn Scotch.

As life moves forward, we all evolve in differing directions. Often, relationships continue to work, but at other times lives also move apart.  In Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch, we follow the lives of a young couple that are much in love. When they first meet, Ben Livingston is an up-and-coming screen writer. Tatum Connelly is trying to make her way as an actress. Both very difficult situations. Marrying and having a child seems like the cement that will hold, but will it?

As Ben continues his career, he begins to make a name for himself. But as the years move forward, Tatum is discovered and soon her star is rising. Her rise though, co-insides with Ben’s screen writing failures. Suddenly life is not as it once was. Rumors, hurt, and distances between them begin an overwhelming gulf of distrust and hurt.

Remembering their past and the love they shared, can they find a way to bridge the hurt and anger that is pulling their family apart?

Scotch does an amazing job of creating a scenario where it is easy to see how people split up. We often read about it in the papers, and even in differing jobs, it occurs. Using jobs of power and prestige, the tale is much of what we often read in tabloids, both tantalizing and yet sad. We read and wonder, yet always hope it will never happen to us.

Her characters are both, great people, trying to find a way to make their lives together work, but often making mistakes due to the lack of communication and contact. This only makes the situation more volatile. Each character narrates their own feelings and insights, making it a provoking story of angst, anger and yet love.

If you are fond of drama and growth, with both romance, family and the glitter of movies and screen, you will find this to be a delightful book to keep you entertained. You become so engrossed in the reading it is difficult to put down.

This would be a clever work for a reading or discussion group. The dialogue it would create could start some very good debate.

Rating 4/5

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties by Camille Pagan

Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties by Camille Pagan.

As we age we sometimes lose sight of who we once were. In Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties by Camille Pagan, we follow the life of Maggie Harris. In doing so, we are taken into a journey that happens to many.

Maggie is now 53 with a happy marriage and two grown children. She finds herself anxious about many things but the one sure thing in her life has always been her children and her marriage. When her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman, even that surety walks out the door.

Now Maggie suddenly realizes that she has lost track of life and hardly recognizes the woman she has become. Years of putting her husband and children first, the person she last remembers as herself seems to have been lost once she moved past her thirties.  Can she find that woman again and rebound from the hurt and anxiety that now absorb her?

Pagan does a wonderful job of bringing us a character that is so believable you feel like you know her. You can relate to many of her problems and concerns, as well as understand just how easy it is for some to find themselves in the same situation. With her usual precision, Pagan breaks down the barriers of thought and how we can find the strength that is within everyone of us.

Every day these same circumstances seem to happen, which makes you feel more involved in some way. Like you have more at stake. Often to move forward we must take stock of our past and our own decisions.

If you enjoy family drama and stories of growth you will find this a terrific addition to your library. Tie in drama and romance and this will also intrigue those more interested in finding a silver lining.

This would be an enjoyable book for a reading for discussion group with a great deal of ideas for dialogue.

Rating 4/5