Title: The Love of My (Other) Life Link: http://www.redhotbooks.com/2013/04/review-love-of-my-other-life.html Outlet: Red Hot Books
Full Text:
Don’t be fooled by the cover, I have no idea what the cover even has to do with the story. When I first started reading I was reminded of “The Time Travelers Wife’ unfortunately for me I couldn’t even get past the first three chapters of that story; surprisingly this is a far sight better story to me. Tessa Barnum is a thirty something divorcee existing without a direction. Her co-op apartment is two years behind in fees and she’s working part-time hours with the elderly. The one passion, painting, she has was diminished by her increasing frustrations with her ex-husband and her art instructor. One day while minding her own business and running late to her part time job, Tessa is approached by a disheveled Brian Tennyson who claims that they’re married ‘in his world’.
There were a lot of things that I liked about this story but the pacing wasn’t one of them. I thought it was a bit slow in the beginning and Tessa was a bit too old to be so adrift in her life. Also, I’m not sure about that whole parallel universe concept thingie and the way it blends into a romance story because I’ve rarely seen that work out with an HEA that was in fact happy. What I did like was the witty dialogue and the development of the two main characters. Even though the story takes place in a few days, Slatton was able to develop a redeeming story that was interesting to read.
Tessa is quite the hot mess when we meet her – she’s got a good heart but she feels, rightfully so, beaten down by the choices she’s made. If that’s not enough to keep a good question herself in comes Brian with his far-fetched pick up line. It’s rightfully hard for Tessa to believe Brian’s fantastical story - if she had this review would not be so kind – and the way he makes her feel. He’s got her doing things that she wouldn’t normally do but there’s such an inherent connection there that leaves Tessa not knowing which way is up.
Brian on the other hand reminds me of Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory’, just absolutely 100% nerd until he gets passionate about something then he becomes even nerdier. The tech talk was a little distracting until I just started treating it as if I’m watching ‘Star Trek’. The chemistry between Brian and Tessa was well done and even though the time frame was short the sex scenes were believable, ely when Brian ‘reads’ Tessa’s sexual state – that actually had me laughing out loud.
Happy Reading Folks!
Title: Five Days, Four Hours and Twenty Two Minutes Link: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/508075709 Outlet: Goodreads
Full Text: "Five days, fours hours and 22 minutes" is the babbling of a stranger who suddenly appears everywhere in the messy life of Tessa. Twenty four hours is how long it took me to read this book. It is really that engrossing.

Tessa is creative, bohemian, empathetic and in trouble. Brian is floundering, unkempt, confusing and persistent.

You need not believe in parellel universes. You need not understand physics. You need not appreciate fine art. You need not ever been part of the audience at a classical music recital. If you relate to any of these, you may find yourself connecting to a specific moment, a mention, a scene. Perhaps a passing mention of Blue Oyster Cult is where your connecting moment comes. Whenever it happens, is up to individual experience. From the very beginning, this novel is filled with the promise of interesting entanglements, delightful moments and new favorite literary bits.

Tessa, in today's world, is struggling to keep her co-op after her husband has left her. She works for an elder-care program based out of a church. She has a strong affinity for the church which is suffering its' own struggles. Money would solve both of their problems. Tessa connects to her seniors but in particular we learn about her relationship with Mrs. Leibowitz. Tessa has another task of adversity. She is an artist who has been in a blocked period. She has been unable to paint.

She collides with Brian on the sidewalk. He does not make sense. He seems to be suffering delusions. And his mutterings of "five days, four hours and twenty two minutes" is doing nothing to convince her of his sincerity. But since meeting him she keeps seeing potential paintings as she goes through the day. Incredibly no matter where she goes, he is there. More outlandish than his perpetual appearances, is his claims to be part of a parellel universe where he and she are more than just casually acquainted.

Tessa is skeptical of everything Brian has to say. She is more concerned with paying her back co-op fees, helping the church and reclaiming her art. But beneath her cynicism. or perhaps parellel to it, is interest. How does he know about her birthmark? How is it that he feels to be more familiar than a threat? How is it that he has unlocked her passion for creating art?

There are wonderful moments where words open up Tessa to believing. When she is spending time with Mrs. Leibowitz, the elderly woman says "Doing what you want is the prerogative of the dying. Should be the prerogative of the living, too, but it doesn't always work out that way." Then Brian "You always think you have forever, then you find it over before you realize."

This is the story that answers "what if?" Every day we make choices. This is the magic mirror look at what would have happened if certain choices were made.

There are interesting secondary characters that fill the story and make it meatier. A flamboyant gallery owner, a professor's dedicat ed assistant, a best friend off on a yoga retreat, a hooker with a defined adam's apple, today's Dr. Brian Tennyson, a black market art dealer, a dedicated clergyman, Apple Geniuses and more cluster around Brian and Tessa. In the span of five days, four hours and twenty two minutes there is adventure, guilt, passion, soul searching, kindness, death, rebirth and so much more. It is your prerogative as the reader whether you believe in the possibility of paralel universes. You will learn a bit about physics in the process of reading this book; "reality is non-local, and once two particles have interacted, they're forever intimately connected in some way". You need not be familiar with New York City to appreciate the locations referred to throughout. However, if you are, then the marble plaza at Lincoln Center is a fabulous setting for Tessa and Brian to explore the what if conversation. I find part of the scene there to be silly but the background of the spirits of symphonies, operas and ballets is perfect.

I refuse to be any more detailed than this in my review. I care not to throw in spoilers. Read and experience it all for yourself.

This is a scrumptious look at love, art, science and the many pieces that link into a helix that sweeps the reader into its orbit.