Today it’s my great pleasure to be reviewing the new release from author H.A. Leuschel, My Sweet Friend. Here is what this novella is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
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.
If you are the kind of reader who enjoys a wonderful short story or novella, and who likes stories which explore personal relationships and the way in which friendships can develop and sour, then this book is absolutely for you.
I won’t say too much about the plot as this is only a short novella, perhaps just over an hour or so of reading, so the risk of giving too much away is too high. What you do need to know is in the blurb. This is the story of Alexa, just starting in a new job at a PR company, determined to make a good impression and be as successful as her reputation would paint her to be. It explored the friendships she forges, especially that with Rosie, one of her colleagues at the firm.
The story is told from both Alexa and Rosie’s points of view in alternating chapters. This works really well a very wise choice by author H.A. Leuschel. From the start of the novella, you develop an impression of Alexa, but your understanding of who she is and what she stands for changes and moulds itself into something new as you read on.
This is a brilliant look at a very interesting subject – the power of opinion over fact. Of the impact of a first impression and the ability of one individual to charm and manipulate another based on looks alone. One of the two women is cold and calculating, constantly changing but letting the other beleive it is she who is at faulyt. The other is a ‘quiet mouse’, someone who strives to be supportive and agreeable. Someone who would give anything for her friends and see only the good when all indicators are to the opposite.
For me the author painted a really clear picture of her protagonists, of how their minds worked. SHe has also given us a clear idea of setting, even in the few short chapters, the action moving from Paris, where Alexa and Rosie work, to Biarritz where Alexa retired to recuperate from stress. You can feel the contrast between the two, from the sun soaked beaches and streets, to the more clinically chic work environs of the city.
All in all a great story which I breezed through in no time, keen to see a certain someone get their comeuppance. I’ll definitely be looking for more from the author in the future. I have Manipulated Lives in my tbr. I need to move it on up the pile.
With thanks to author H.A. Leushcel for the advance copy for review. My Sweet Friend is available now from the following retailers.