Book Review: Beware That Girl

GirlBeware That Girl, a novel by Teresa Toten.
Set for release May 31, 2016.
Suggested Price; $17.99 USD.

Beware That Girl is a rags to riches story that left me shaking my head.

Kate O’Brien, a pauper and con-artist with a brilliant mind, gains admission to Waverly, an elite all girl high school in New York City.  Despite the fact that it’s not a boarding school and all the characters are high school students, everyone’s parents are neatly tucked away on foreign business trips, living in London, deceased, or incarcerated, leaving the girls unattended to ruin their lives.  Oh, and all their parents let them drink, and so do all the restaurants in the city, actual laws be damned.

If the author doesn’t have the girls engaged in a cascade of bad decisions, then she’s busy dropping names of designer labels.  Tiffany’s, Doc Martins, Jimmy Choo, Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Patek Philippe; please kill me now.  And don’t get me started about the name dropping of artists.  It served as a constant reminder that nearly all the characters in this book are shallow and unlikable.

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Book Review: Blood in the Sand

SandBlood in the Sand was a gripping read from beginning to end.

Philip Entwistle doesn’t believe in God and he certainly doesn’t believe in witches. But all that changes when the mild mannered history professor goes up for promotion and needs a Hail Mary to advance his career. Finding himself at the center of a trumped up sexual assault charge that nearly cost him his job, deliverance comes in the form of the occult as he researches the life of the famed English explorer, Sir Francis.

The book is full of delightful surprises, starting with the poem in the table of contents. Easy to read prose speaks to the heart of our humanity. Never shying away from difficult questions, the author takes the reader on a journey through time as Sir Francis’s experiences cause Philip to question his own doubts about religion, “After all, I am just a crazy man in the desert, hearing voices. Isn’t that how religions start?”  And then moves on to confront the stigmas of interracial marriages, “He has gone native, they will say and sneer. And I have. Gladly, with all my heart.”

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