Mary Lavers

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Smashwords book reviews by Mary Lavers

  • Dangerous Barter: A Novella on April 21, 2012

    http://www.cozylittlebookjournal.com/2012/04/dangerous-barter-novella-by-amanda.html Dangerous Barter is the story of a soon-to-be divorced couple negotiating the signing of their divorce papers. They are in their thirties, have been married for long enough to have monogrammed iron gates on their Gothic-style mansion, bought with the success of the husband's literary career. It's a murderous exchange between characters whose ending can be guessed after only a few paragraphs. I don't know a lot about Amanda Lawrence Auverigne. I know that she has written many novels and short fiction and that she had a Members Giveaway on LibraryThing.com for her novella Dangerous Barter (which I won). But if I had to guess what Amanda Lawrence Auverigne was like based solely on this story, I would guess that she has never been divorced, is young enough to still think that 30 is ancient, and is very optimistic about how wealthy a successful writer can become. It's not a terrible story, but neither is it terribly original nor authentic. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher/author through the LibraryThing.com Members Giveaway program. I was asked to post an honest review (though not necessarily a favourable one). The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
  • Love and the Art of War on June 10, 2012

    http://www.cozylittlebookjournal.com/2012/06/love-and-art-of-war-by-dinah-lee-kung.html The hilarious premise makes for a delightful novel. I didn't expect that to be the case because I've read a lot of, well, tripe lately (plus some amazing gems, so I guess it balances out) but this one really was a delight. The premise is that Jane, a nervous librarian worried about the state of her relationship, signs up for a night class called "Mending Marriages" but is surprised to find out that the class is comprised of only a handful of men, none of whom is wearing a wedding ring. And then the instructor starts talking about Sun Tzu. Turns out the class is actually a management class that uses The Art of War to gives tips for the office (when I mentioned this to my partner Mike he said, "Oh that's very '80's!" but I have it on good authority that he currently uses Sun Tzu's The Art of War to teach chess strategy to his junior high kids). When Jane tries to leave the class, the instructor convinces her to stay because she'll learn more from his class than she ever would from "a class of discarded wives." So begins Jane's attempts to save her marriage using ancient Chinese military tactics. I could see this being made into a quirky movie, a la Shirley Valentine or Fried Green Tomatoes. Well done! Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher/author through the LibraryThing.com Members Giveaway program. I was asked to post an honest review (though not necessarily a favourable one). The opinions expressed are strictly my own.