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Book Review: ‘Honesty’ by Seth King

Title: Honesty

Author: Seth King

Length: 291 pages

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As we all know I’m try to read more queer books (especially by queer authors) so I decided to give this one a go. It’s my first by Seth King and it certainly won’t be my last.

Synopsis:Teenager Cole Furnam knows two things. The first is that nearly everyone in his deeply conservative family disapproves of gay people. The second is that he is falling fluorescently in love with a hazel-eyed guy from school named Nick Flores.

‘My story was real, and it happened, no matter how hard I try to forget it, I will never be able to make it unhappen.’

Honesty is the perfect title for this novel. Seth’s writing is so pure that the loves story leaps of the page and into your heart, which it will never leave. The way this novel is written makes the relationship so real, the romance starts out sweet and much like a lot of other young adult books, but then this one does deeper. It’s raw, it’s visceral.

This isn’t a book that’s filled with cliffhangers and plot twists that we keep you hooked, but the truth in the story and the romance will. The end will tear your heart out and make you cry. Ugly cry. Have tissues next you when you read this. Yet throughout all this, this book remains honest. It’s amazing.

I think this book should be read by everyone. Young or old, gay or straight. It doesn’t matter. It’s a book about two young people falling in love and the intense emotions that come along with it. This book will make you feel all the feels. Comment and let me know if you’ve read it or plan to.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review… The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

Author: Dinah Jefferies

Title: The Sapphire Widow

Length: 387pages

Publisher: Penguin

This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies, and it won’t be the last. I didn’t know what to expect but the story hooked me straight away.

Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reed, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Expect what they long for more than anything: a child. When Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian Ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa only has Leo to turn to…

“As they walked through the cobbled streets, passing low-built bungalows with gorgeous ornamental lintels over the main doorways and terracotta roofs held up by rows of columns providing shade the verandas…’

This book really took me by surprise as I didn’t know what to expect but it was excellent. The plot was fascinating and moved along at a good pace with enough going on to keep me guessing until the end. I just had to know what happened. There’s betrayal, love, heartache and intrigue throughout this whole book.

I have to say Dinah is truly a fantastic writer. Her descriptions of the place, the architecture, the smells and the weather truly make you feel like you’re there in Ceylon, as you can tell from the quote above. The main character, Louisa, is extremely well written and you become instantly involved with her story and wanting her to succeed (I won’t give a spoiler to if she does or not).

So if you’re a fan of historical fiction or somebody that loves there books set in a different place, I can’t recommend this book enough. It will truly keep you entertained till the end. Have you read this book? Comment and let me know…

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review… The Death of a Batchelor by M.A. Hinkle

Author: M.A. Hinkle

Title: Death of a Batchelor

Length: 293pages

Publisher: NineStar Press

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 out of 5

This is the first book I’ve read by this Author so I didn’t know to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. There are more books to come in this series ( Cherrywood Grove) and I’ll certainly be reading those.

Cathal Kinnery is an arrogant, over educated jerk, and Damon Eglamore is not afraid to tell him so. But Damon married Cathal’s best friend, so they have an uneasy truce. Then she passes away. Now they’re stuck together in close quarters, trying to honour her memory without shouting at each other all time. At first, they have no idea how to move forward. Damon is a chef, but all his favourite recipes remind him of his late wife. Cathal would love to start tomcatting around town again, except for that annoying promise he made to his best friend about looking after Damon. Then Damon’s son comes to them for help, convinced the only way to win over his first crush is a gender-bending Shakespeare production. After that, Cathal talks Damon into taking up baking as a new way to use his talents. Next thing they know, they’ve begun a new life working as a team instead of jumping down each other’s throats. But can they trust each other long enough to make it last, or will they fall into old bad habits again?

‘ The naked grief on Damon’s face was too much like what he saw in the middle of the night, when he tried to fall asleep but made the mistake of remembering who decorated the guest bedroom he slept in, picked out the watercolour of a unicorn that hung over his bed and the duvet set covered in gamboling kittens.’

The first half of this book deals with loss and grief, in which I think, is a very real and honest way. You see the three main characters coming to terms with their loss, each in their own way and you really feel for them. Isn’t this not a testament to great writing?

The second half of the book, turns into a sweet, romantic love story. After dealing with grief in the first half of the book you wouldn’t think the love story is coming, but it’s written in such real and honest way that it’s totally believable. Again, is this not a testament to great writing?

It’s a sweet and subtle romance, so there aren’t any twist and turns or shocks in the plot. But it moves along nicely enough to keep you interested and it’s filled with a bit of intrigue to see if Cathal and Damon fall in love.

The characters and the writing in ‘Death of a Batchelor’ are great representations of they LGBT community. Its not a big deal that anyone is gay, it’s just the telling of a good old romance for the modern times.

I have to say thank you to Netgalley and NineStar Press for giving an advice copy of this book for an honest review. The paperback is out now and the ebook comes out October 29th.

So, if you like LGBT fiction or a good romance or a book to make you chuckle this is the book for you. Comment and let me know if you like the sound of this book or plan to read it.

Until the next review

JTH

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Review… Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Author: Cheryl Strayed

Title: Wild

Length: 311pages

Publisher: Atlantic Books

I first came across this book when I saw Cheryl interviewed by Oprah on TV, with Oprah announcing that was she reinstating her book club because this book was so good. I mean, how could I not read it. ‘I love this book. I want to shout it from the mountaintop.’ – Oprah Winfrey.

At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In wake of her mother’s rapid death from cancer, her family grew apart and her marriage soon crumbled. With seemingly nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred Miles of the west coast of America – from the Mojave Desert, through to California and Oregon, and into Washington State – and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a long on a map. But it held a promise – a promise of piecing together a life that lay shattered at her feet. Wild is a brutal memoir of survival, grief and redemption – a searing portrayal of life at its lowest ebb and its highest ebb.

How wild it was. To let it be.

Cheryl Strayed is one of the best writers around. I don’t usually read non-fiction but I had to give this ago. It truly takes you on a journey this book. Although Cheryl is telling her story about how she’s making this journey alone you’ll feel like you’re right there with her.

You’ll be hooked from the first page, Cheryl weaves the book with passages from the hike to her memories of her life before and Mother. Both as enthralling as the other.

Cheryl’s writing is like nobody else’s. The way Cheryl recalls the loss of her mother is brutal, harrowing, heartfelt and loving. You’ll love with both women. Then they way Cheryl describes the journey of her hike is breathtaking, you’ll feel like you’re really there with the epic scenery conveyed and the gruesome detail of what she endured.

I’ve always felt a connection to this book, even more this year when I unfortunately lost my mother. As I’m sure you can imagine it means even more to me now. Cheryl is writing from the heart and it’ll get you in your heart. Grab the tissues, you’ll need them.

So, if you’re like me and looking to give a non fiction memoir ago. Make it this one, you won’t regret it.

Until the next review.

JTH