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El tiempo entre costuras: A Novel

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This novel truly captures the atmosphere of the 1930's and 1940's. The main character, Sira, is young, capricious, and eager to find her future. Her mother, a dressmaker, teachers her to grow up like her. Sira's story would have ended when she became a dressmaker and lived out her days much like her mother if not for a chance encounter with a handsome man. Their connection is immediate and soon Sira is taking risks for him. Ramiro, Sira's lover, takes her to North Africa; he promptly abandons her and his unborn child. She suffers a mental breakdown, understandable given the circumstances. In order to pay back Ramiro's debts, Sira takes up sewing once again and finds that she enjoys the activity. She rubs shoulders with very influential politicians and officials in no time. Her dresses and clothing line become all the rage and she experiences sudden success. She is tapped by the British Secret Service to spy on the influential people she meets in everyday life. She learns to place the Morse code in her clothing. This novel was very well-written, smooth and the events flowed throughout the novel. Sira's breakdown was jarring as are some of the "spying" escapades, but other than that the reader will find him/herself immersed in a smooth, medium-paced novel. Sira herself is a likable character, she is a strong female character for her time period. To go from a mental breakdown to spying and paying off debts shows both her determination and strength. The secondary characters are all interesting to read about. The reader will find the plot intriguing. This book is recommended for young adults/adults who enjoy more historical novels concerning the 1930's/1940's time.
If Jack's in Love

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Jack, the main character, guides the reader through this thought-provoking novel. He is sincerely sweet and only 12 years old. He thinks he is in love with Myra, a girl whose brother disappears-Jack's brother is the main suspect. Jack doesn't really know what to make of this. He handles it in a mature way for a 12 year old. No one in their small town has a particularly high opinion of Jack's family as it is, making it all the harder on Jack.This novel is fast-paced, the events are surprising and enlightening. Written in a difficult time-the 1960's-this novel is intriguing and touches on quite a few hard subjects. The ending is bittersweet as well as decidedly perfect for this novel. This novel is recommended for young adult/adult readers.
Gabriel's Inferno

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The novel begins with a poet deeply in love with a woman he apparently can't have or approach. The reader is then taken into the present to meet Gabriel and Julianne, two people who should never have such an exceptional romance. These two characters have an unusual love story, they meet in different circumstances than the typical romance and have a unique relationship. The reader will enjoy following their romance throughout the novel. These characters will become friends to the reader, the reader will feel as if he/she understands and knows the characters. The characters are not "perfect" by any means, they have flaws, however, this is the mark of a good author; characters shouldn't be picture perfect, they won't appear real if they are.Gabriel's affection for Julianne is very apparent to the reader. He carefully woos her and his subtleties is perfect in this novel. The reader will feel as if the characters' interactions, dialogues, and feelings are genuine. The events in this novel are evenly paced, slowed down in the correct places while faster in others. The author's style of writing is so smooth and level; the reader will not feel rushed through this novel, he/she will have the time to enjoy it. This novel contains pain, forgiveness, hard edges and love. The author writes wish such care that every chapter holds at least one important scene or lesson that evokes feeling in the reader, the mark of a good writer. The reader will understand the characters and their actions at the end of this novel. This novel is reminiscent of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy. Romance and fiction readers would enjoy this novel.
To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel

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Judith always believed in marriage. She has her dream job and a husband she considered nice enough. Now, she wonders if her husband is cheating on her and her thoughts continually drift to Willy, a boy she loved long ago. The novels switches between the past and the present. The reader will get a sense of what went on long ago and how Judith came to make her present choices. Judith is an interesting character, she is nice, caring, and overall "smart" in her choices... The reader will get to know Judith very well, to the point of guessing her decisions before they happen. Judith is a sympathetic character, her great life is not exactly what it seems. Judith wonders about her past life and how her friends are doing, specifically Deena-a very intriguing character-and Willy. Her current lifestyle is nothing like her hippie mothers' or her fathers'-who has multiple affairs. She now has to choose between Willy and her current lifestyle...or can she merge the two in some way? This novel is fast-paced and fun to read. This book would be great for adults who enjoy women's fiction.
Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond

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Does anyone really see the person behind the movie star? Florence Henderson was iconic in her T.V. show years, but how many people actually knew her as Florence rather than, say, Carol Brady? She has a very diverse and complicated background. The reader will get to read a little about her mother and father, how different they were and the problems Florence faced as a young child. She endured abuse and abandonment...described with a fair amount of detail in the book. The reader will immediately like Florence as a person and be drawn into the book. The book is very factual, it doesn't feel as if the author is attempting to sway the reader to a certain side or way of thinking. Florence makes it to her adult years, where more trouble lies in wait for her. She also has plenty of good events occur to even out the bad. The reader will likely find him/herself more interested in Florence's life rather than her movie star years. She will become just a person with an interesting story to the reader, the reader will think of her as Florence rather than Carol. This book is very well-written and recommended to adults/young adults who enjoy nonfiction.
The Choice

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The first quality the reader will notice about this novel is the amount of events occurring and meshing together all at once. The reader will experience a drug bust, haughty and cruel drug lord, dirty cops, dark entities, etc... Marcie, the main character, is smack dab in the middle of all of this. Marcie is being utilized as a mule for her boyfriend, Dan, who turns out to have some magical persuasive powers of his own. Sam, an agent working to nab Dan and stop the operation, sees and instantly wants Marcie for himself. Marcie is one of those odd, but interesting characters who can see dead people. She is a sympathetic character while Sam is the strong, handsome hero. It doesn't take long for this story to get fairly steamy, there is a little bit of sex (for 18+ readers). The novel is predictable in many ways, but there are a few surprising twists thrown in. The ending is satisfying and expected. This novel is recommended for adult readers who enjoy contemporary romance.
Dancing in the Shadows of Love

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This is an emotionally powerful book and the reader has to be prepared to allow the author to expand his/her knowledge of forgiveness. Jamila, Zahra, and Lulu all have complicated, unhappy pasts-Lulu is an albino and Jamila and Zahra lived in poverty and abuse. The author does an excellent job of developing these characters and helping the reader to understand them and think of them as friends. The reader will be rooting for these three throughout the novel. Lulu needs to learn to let go of her own prejudices and trust again while Jamila and Zahra work towards a better life, escaping their past by living well in their futures. The book is fast-paced, but the reader has enough time to comprehend all of the tough subjects addressed. The author does not skate over these issues, they are out in the open. This book is recommended to young adults/adults who enjoy reality fiction.
The Dark Age (Survivors of the Pulse)

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The first quality the reader will notice about this novel is the detail the author cleverly inserts. The reader will be able to picture the environment, atmosphere, and characters; he/she will understand what is going on, even though this is definitely a complicated novel. This novel is almost a typical good versus evil novel, but the author takes the concept and makes it his own. The characters are easy to get to know and the main characters are likable. There is the evil antagonist, Kraken, who the reader will grow to hate-the author's intention. The reader will be rooting for the main characters to succeed throughout the novel. One of the most interesting aspects of the novel is the history and culture behind the plot. The plot is complex, not so much as to confuse the reader, but enough to draw him or her in. The novel doesn't lag much at all, the reader won't have to worry about being bored. This novel is recommended for readers who enjoy adventure and mystery.
Doodling

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This novel may sounds silly, but it really holds plenty deeper meanings in the form of allusions, metaphors, and similes. Neville is the main character, he falls into an asteroid field and proceeds to attempt to create his own country, Bolivia, and meet a pretty girl gardening on her asteroid, Helen. The novel is both slow in some "deeper" areas and fast in the necessary parts. The author cleverly inserts little lessons for his reader. He writes of the fast-paced, no-nonsense and no-smelling-the-roses life style that affects so many today, he speaks of how unknown deities inadvertently cause wars, etc... This book is recommended for readers who enjoy novels containing life lessons.
So Sensitive

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This novel is a great read for a boring day. The plot concerns the main character, Gracie, having a stalker. She continuously receives flattering emails from her stalker and is eventually almost forced off the road. She is a sweet, strong main character, but she finally admits she may have a problem. Wade, the masculine love interest, has been asking out Gracie for months. When she admits to her stalker problem, Wade sees it as a last attempt to win Gracie over. Wade moves in with Gracie to keep her safe and to try and deter the stalker. During this time in the novel, the reader watches their relationship begin to grow and become more...complicated. This novel is meant for those 18 and older, there is BDSM. The love scenes are hot and spicy, erotic. The scenes are believable-as is Gracie and Wade's relationship. The reader will be swept into a novel where love stories can happen in the oddest of situations. This novel is fast-paced and not just about romance, there is the mystery of the stalker. This book is great for adults who enjoy their romance tinged with mystery.
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