*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review!*
*Also this is my first ever blog tour post- so I’m PSYCHED- thanks a million to Reads and Reels for the opportunity*
Well, Leuschel has done it again. After her intense debut, Manipulated Lives, I just knew I had to explore more of her realistic and chilling character study pieces.
And that’s what she does best here. The characterisation is delivered subtly, building up slowly over the course of the story, as you get to know the manipulator at a deliciously steady pace.
From the opening, I was drawn into a stiflingly realistic world and was naturally impressed with the execution. The writing was crisp, clear and coloured the scenes with an air of mystery effectively.
One of the things that worked so well in this novella was the interlocking of past and present- transitioning seamlessly from memories to thoughts. Thanks to this, there was plenty of intrigue. Wound up in the hints of where the story was going, I had a delectable sense of foreboding, keeping me wired right to the end.
When everything did come to a head it was gratifying, that’s for sure. The only additional thing I would have liked in this story was perhaps a little extra space for the drama in the conclusion- which basically can be summed up as the same problem I have with most novellas- especially when I’m enjoying them so much: MORE PLEASE. Because I really didn’t want this one to end- it was such an intoxicating read.
Rating: 4/5 bananas
Release Date: 6th December, 2017
A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives
A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.
But is Alexa all she claims to be?
As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?
In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.
Later that evening, as I sat down for dinner, I noticed my mobile flashing with an incoming notification. I tapped on the screen and read a text from a yet unknown number.
Thanks so much for making me feel welcome. Have a nice evening. Alexa.
That’s nice, I thought. People usually loved moaning instead of complimenting.
It was a pleasure. I look forward to working with you, I typed back, ending the message with a smiley emoji.
I finished my meal then walked over to the table where I’d left the day’s post, heaped up in a neat pile, but I froze at the sight of yet another dreaded envelope which pulled me straight out of my previous good mood.
It was another bill I’d have to somehow find the funds to cover. I knew of their regular arrival, yet I was still startled by the level of anxiety that rose in my chest when they were in my hands, making them tremble. Oh, Maman, I miss you so much.
Pain, guilt and anger built up each time I pictured my mother – the pain piercing through my stomach whenever I worriedly woke up at night, the guilt enveloping me when, like today, I’d laughed and worked without a single thought for her, and the anger, constantly there, because I didn’t know how to cope.
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About the Author
Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches yoga.
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My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel
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