3.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · contemporary romance · fiction · Literary Fiction · Women's Fiction

New Release | A Dancer’s Guide to Africa by Terez Mertes Rose

40983281

 

A Dancer’s Guide to Africa by Terez Mertes Rose

Published: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Classical Girl Press

Pages: 374

Genres: fiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction, contemporary romance

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: self exploration through travel, the world of dance, experiencing different cultures

Foodie Vibes: the African version of American pumpkin pie created with American spices and African fruits/vegetables

 

Synopsis:

Fiona Garvey, ballet dancer and new college graduate, is desperate to escape her sister’s betrayal and a failed relationship. Vowing to restart as far from home as possible, she accepts a two-year teaching position with the Peace Corps in Africa. It’s a role she’s sure she can perform. But in no time, Fiona realizes she’s traded her problems in Omaha for bigger ones in Gabon, a country as beautiful as it is filled with contradictions.

Emotionally derailed by Christophe, a charismatic and privileged Gabonese man who can teach her to let go of her inhibitions but can’t commit to anything more, threatened by an overly familiar student with a menacing fixation on her, and drawn into the compelling but potentially dangerous local dance ceremonies, Fiona finds herself at increasing risk. And when matters come to a shocking head, she must reach inside herself, find her dancer’s power, and fight back.

Blending humor and pathos, A DANCER’S GUIDE TO AFRICA takes the reader along on a suspense-laden, sensual journey through Africa’s complex beauty, mystery and mysticism.

 

Review:

I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads, Classical Girl Press and Terez Mertes Rose for a free ARC ebook copy. As always, an honest review from me.

A Dancer’s Guide to Africa is the story of a young woman who went to Africa with the Peace Corps to appease her father with a real job, instead of dancing. She learns so much about herself, other cultures, and people in general. I loved reading about the experiences the Peace Corps workers had in different cities, so far away from their homes. It absolutely captivated me. The writing and storytelling is beautiful. Perfectly blending the art of ballet and African dance into a wonderful symphony of words. I felt as if I was right there with the characters. The story is fictional, but it almost reads as a memoir. I actually thought it was for a bit. 

However, some of the characters were very arrogant, judgmental, and/or whiny. Not to say I would be any better in their situation, but at times it became frustrating to read when these segments went on for many chapters. 

Overall the book is a beautiful read that absolutely transports you to another world filled with dance, spirit, and passion. I definitely recommend giving it a read. 

 

How many of you have been to Africa? 

4.5 Star Books · Book Reviews · Cozy Mystery · mystery

Book Review: Crime and Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett

IMG_4468

 

Crime and Punctuation by Kaitlyn Dunnett

Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on May 29, 2018

Pages: 304

Genres: mystery, cozy mystery

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: cozy mysteries, cats, the English language

Read with food: pancakes and maple syrup, watching the gorgeous autumn colors out a picturesque window 

 

Synopsis:

After splurging to buy her childhood home in the Catskills, recently widowed Mikki Lincoln emerges from retirement as a freelance editor. With her ability to spot details that others fail to see, it’s not long before Mikki earns clients–and realizes that the village of Lenape Hollow isn’t the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose . . .

When perky novice writer Tiffany Scott knocks at her door holding a towering manuscript, Mikki expects another debut novel plagued by typos and sloppy prose. Instead, she finds a murder mystery ripped from the headlines of Lenape Hollow’s not-too-distant past. The opening scene is a graphic page-turner, but it sends a real chill down Mikki’s spine after the young author turns up dead just like the victim in her story . . .

Mikki refuses to believe that Tiffany’s death was accidental, and suspicions of foul play solidify as she uncovers a strange inconsistency in the manuscript and a possible motive in the notes. Then there’s Tiffany’s grandmother and husband, who aren’t exactly on friendly terms over the local area’s planned rejuvenation efforts . . .

Unable to convince police that they are focused on the wrong suspect, Mikki must rely on her keen eyes to catch the truth hidden in Lenape Hollow. As she gets closer to cracking the case, only one person takes Mikki’s investigation seriously–the cunning killer who will do anything to make this chapter of her life come to a very abrupt ending . . .

Review:

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review.

The definition of a well done cozy mystery!

The story drew me in within the first chapter and entertained me the entire book. I especially enjoyed the main character, Mikki. The writing flows nicely, is easy to read, and draws the audience into the story. It’s obvious that the author is passionate about writing. I especially loved the education in grammar, the English language, and the writing process through Mikki’s job as a freelance editor. Such a wonderful addition to round out the book. Also, I appreciated that many of the characters were ages 50 plus. It’s a welcome addition to novels, as it’s not often done. 

The mystery that Mikki is working to solve is good, but not great. It drives the story along, but I enjoyed reading about her passion for writing more. 

In general, Crime and Punctuation is a wonderful cozy mystery that I would recommend to fans of the genre or those wanting to give it a go. From the “Feel the Bern” reference, which was awesome!, to the autumnal setting in a small town, Katilyn Dunnett had me thoroughly entertained throughout. 

Bonus points for a great cover! From far away it really does look like books lined up on a bookshelf.