Honest and for True by Jane Lebak

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. My honest review comes by way of a complimentary copy of this book that I received from the author.

Honest and for TrueHonest And For True by Jane Lebak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Brilliant. Simply brilliant. I’ve never read anything like it!

Well, yes, I have. It was author Jane Lebak’s novelette, Upsie-Daisy, in the Where the Light May Lead anthology that first introduced me to a bright and hilarious lady mechanic, Lee Singer, and her bright and hilarious best chum and guardian angel, Bucky. The two of them are in for an adventurous ride in Honest and for True, particularly because Lee has this terrible habit of lying to every man she dates (lying about her job), and Bucky wants her to drop the dishonesty already before it costs her more than she’ll ever want to lose.

As with its related novelette, I found this novel to be quick and clever, imaginative and real, and a downright riot. But even with all of its laugh-worthiness, the story tugged at my heartstrings–once to the point of my having to set the book aside and go flailing off while inwardly wailing, “BUCK-EEEEE!” (*Ahem.*)

This story takes a thought-provoking look at relationships: romantic, familial, one’s relationship with oneself. And that Lee and Bucky have such an entertaining and well-crafted friendship, one of the best you may ever come across in a women’s fiction comedy. I’ll admit some of the language in the novel took me off guard, from “mild swears” to language not allowed on broadcast television, but I didn’t find it gratuitous, and the strength of the story was certainly enough to keep me reading on.

If you’ve got an appreciation for George Bailey and Clarence Odbody’s adventure in Bedford Falls (or, um, Pottersville), go ahead and check out The Adventures of Lee and Bucky in New York City. Brilliant!

_____________

The adventures continue…

Forever and for Keeps

 

Where the Light May Lead (A Novelette Collection)

fiction-books-3

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Four Silver Stars

Where the Light May LeadWhere The Light May Lead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Well! As a multi-genre ChristFic anthology of novelettes, Where the Light May Lead was indeed a new experience for me, chiefly because I’d never read any of these authors before.

That’s How She Rolls, a rom-com by C.L. Wells, features a humorous heroine who’s self-conscious but also self-aware. Beauty and hotness come in all different sizes, ladies! Leopard’s Find by Kimberly A. Rogers was my first taste of urban fantasy, initially a little tricky for me to follow, but it became endearing pretty quick.

I’ve watched a lot more sci-fi than I’ve ever read, but either way, I’m rather sure Circular Horizon by Bokerah Brumley is the first I’ve encountered with blatant God-consciousness up in space, fitting for a God of the universe. ‘Tis So Sweet by Faith Blum is historical fiction simply told, rushed in spots but big on sweetness and the need for faith–no coincidence there! And stepping into The Quinn Case by Julie C. Gilbert was much like sampling a crime drama on primetime television, which I like to do on occasion.

I usually find a favorite in a collection, and Upsie-Daisy by Jane Lebak is strikingly clever and hilarious, imaginative and real at the same time. Lee and her guardian angel, Bucky, are quite the entertaining duo, unique but relatable, and this glimpse into Lee’s work and romance-related experiences certainly whet my appetite to read more about her.

Whether it’d be a new genre venture (like it mostly was for me) or not, Christian Fiction readers of all tastes should enjoy giving this collection a try.

 

Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

chick-lit-books-2

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Five Gold Stars

Single SashimiSingle Sashimi by Camy Tang

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

This was who she wished to be…
The sight took her breath away, while at the same time a part inside her scolded for how much she enjoyed being beautiful.

Venus Chau. A driven businesswoman in a constant fight for professional respect, particularly respect from men. She’s not exactly the softest or most charming of personalities. Some find her intimidating. And, hey, she even intimidates herself–that is, when she glimpses the glory of her femininity, she does.

Single Sashimi is the second book I’ve read in the Sushi Series by author Camy Tang, and I must say I got emotionally involved in the heroine’s drive, her challenges, her insecurities, her breaking point. I laughed, I steamed, and I got so balled up during the story’s displays of (non-romantic) love and surrender that I felt like part of my soul was sobbing. Beautiful execution on the author’s part.

And, it’s rare that I say this–if I’ve ever said this in a book review at all–but I actually found the hero in this book to be, well, hotness. In the romances I read, whether they’re romance novels or other kinds of novels with a romantic thread in the story, I don’t find the hero attractive just because the heroine or other characters or the narrator keep telling me that he’s attractive, just because he has broad shoulders or flashes his winning smile or smoky scowl around and makes the heroine’s heart race. But to create a passionate but tempered and mature character who isn’t perfect but who knows how to think fast and do some key right things at the right times… Hey, not even romantic things, necessarily; just the right things.

Anywho. The hero here has my respect as more than just a male figure included to play opposite a female for a story’s romantic purposes.

Yup, I’ve got more reading of this series to do.

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Okay, so I wrote this review before I read the next and last book in the Sushi Series, Weddings and Wasabi, which I’ve read now and also rated with 5 stars.
I’ve also read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Sushi for One?

Sushi for One? (Sushi, #1) Only Uni (Sushi, #2) Weddings and Wasabi (Sushi, #4)

 

Sushi for One? by Camy Tang

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Sushi for OneSushi for One? by Camy Tang

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“Please do something.” She’d wait for Him to do something. She’d wait for Him, even if He didn’t do something.

It’s a little complicated, this whole business regarding Lex Sakai’s becoming (or avoiding becoming?) the oldest single female cousin in her family. Her quest of multiple objectives in Sushi for One? by author Camy Tang takes a lot of turns, and I, while reading about it, had to hang on for the ride.

The novel’s opening, and several other moments along the way, had me laughing out loud, and I took to the heroine right away: funny, flawed, sometimes rash about the mouth, tomboyish, passionate about sports, with a figure folks criticize for not being curvy enough–whatever that is. (Hey, lithe women are beautiful, too!) The story’s romance is well paced, and the volleyball sequences put me in the mood for the Summer Olympics. In the mood to watch them, that is.

There are a lot of mishaps and spillings, the theme concerning Lex’s sensitive stomach makes for some “disgustamundo” parts, and most of the zany characters who sail through, and some who reappear, aren’t exactly likable. (Which is part of the story’s point, granted.) But genuine displays of friendship and family loyalty through painful experience put me in tears. Real tears that required me to pause from reading for a while.

I’ve got to read more of the Sushi Series.

_______________________

Since writing this review, I have indeed read and reviewed more books in the Sushi Series:
Single Sashimi
Weddings and Wasabi

Only Uni (Sushi, #2) Single Sashimi (Sushi, #3) Weddings and Wasabi (Sushi, #4)