Book Review: The Kitchen Brigade by Laurie Boris

The Kitchen Brigade by Laurie Boris

A Contemporary Women’s Dystopian Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (01/10/19)

Summary:

In a not-so-distant future Russia occupies America. Travel is limited. Employment is limited. Freedom is limited. Valerie grew up privileged as the daughter of the secretary of state but is now forced to cook for the army in this occupied-America. With her culinary background she impresses a Russian general and is given the ‘opportunity’ to work in his mansion. Christened “Three” she works with a head chef and four other chefs in the kitchen during the day. This opportunity involves being led to her work space in handcuffs every day, bullied and belittled by the guards and the guests at times, and forced to work for the same men who killed her father and are destroying her country’s freedoms. She knows she will not do nothing, will not work demurely, will not stand idly by if an opportunity presents itself.

Keywords:

Social Sci-fi, Cooking, Kitchen, Servitude, Occupied America, Passion, Friendship, Loyalty, Courage, Despair, Russia, Violence, Oppression, Tension

My Review:

Though supplies may be scarce, the kitchen brigade bring life and love to the dishes they prepare. Head Chef Svetlana says some very poignant remarks about cooking and food throughout the novel. It is their love of food and their passion for cooking that bring life to the kitchen and hope to their hearts. It is this passion that seems to lead them in other areas of their lives and gives them the willingness to stand up for what they believe in and the need to act when they can.

I enjoyed all the characters very much. Head Chef Svetlana seemed so complex when viewed from both her point of view and from Valerie’s point of view combined. Who is Svetlana really and what side does she work for? Valerie is very courageous, even in the beginning she does not yield instantly to her fate. Yet, she does not fight when there is no reason. She is industrious and clever. Two seemed the most complex character with the least explanation or backstory and I really enjoyed this slight ambiguity. In the height of chaos, what would she do? She is the loose cannon that could crumble Svetlana’s plans and yet Svetlana loves Two like a daughter. I adored Four so much! She was so cool. Each of the women in the employ of Svetlana in the kitchen were full of personality.

I enjoyed the details of running the kitchen, including food preparation, wine pairing, cleaning, herb gardening, and more.

This book had great suspension and tension throughout. The ending came suddenly and some of the action I couldn’t quite picture but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on 01/10/19 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Laurie Boris’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

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Book Review: A Sudden Gust of Gravity by Laurie Boris

A Sudden Gust of Gravity by Laurie Boris

A Romantic Suspense Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (11/07/15)

Summary:

Christina grew up practicing magic tricks with her father the magician, but now she is a mid-twenties waitress. She is a bit anxious to get on stage after what happened to her father. It is also nearly impossible to pick up a gig as a female magician. After an impromptu visit to a magic shop, the opportunity to work as the assistant to Reynaldo the Magnificent drops into her lap. Should she take the job? Will being a pretty prop to a some other magician even lead to her own career in magic?

Keywords:

Magic, Magician, Magic Shop, Assistant, Juggling, Act, Performance, Street Magician, Practice, Public Park, New Relationship, Struggles, Art, Male-Dominated Career, Sleight of Hand, Anxiety, Doctor, Talent, Ego, Showman

My Review:

This book packed a punch! I love a book that I emotionally react to, even if that emotion is frustration. I was frustrated with Christina for giving up on a dream. I was frustrated with Christina for then pursuing that dream, but getting sidetracked. I was frustrated with the magician. I was frustrated that Christina was not accepted as a female magician. I was frustrated that Christina had to be a pretty prop in order to be a magician’s assistant. I was frustrated with Reynaldo. I was so frustrated that I kept reading with a mad intensity, completely engaged in the very real characters and the developing story.

The characters were mesmerizing. Christina was so strong and such a great lead; however, her flaws pushed her into questionable decisions. Why would she stay with Reynaldo? Boris shows us the progression of a relationship from attraction to dissolution so realistically and so well. Reynaldo was such a unique character as well. We had glimpses into his mind now and then that were so fascinating. Why would he do the things he did to Christina? Devon, the Korean-American medical student was the crack in Reynaldo and Christina’s relationship, that kept pushing and pushing. Devon’s relationship to his nephew was such a relief to read after Reynaldo and Christina, like a breath of fresh air.

Though this book presents a love triangle, it is done so cleverly that you feel like you are reading some fresh new type of romance.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on 11/07/15 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Laurie Boris’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The Call: A Baseball Novel by Laurie Boris

The Call: A Baseball Novel by Laurie Boris

A Women’s Fiction Sports Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (9/01/07)

Summary:

Margie is the first female umpire in the minor league of baseball – but it was an uphill battle. Without support from some progressive folks, she never would have made. Every step of the way she is disrespected, insulted, and worse because some people think baseball is a man’s world.

Keywords:

Baseball, Umpire, Season, Enemies, Sexism, Major-League, History, Historical, Women, First Female Umpire, Man’s World, Resistance, Career, Male-Dominated, Learning, Personal Growth

My Review:

The baseball scenarios went right over my head, but because of the excitement of being a part of the game, I didn’t care. I could feel the tense atmosphere in the stadium when the ball connected with the bat. I could feel the sweat from the players. I could sense the emotion and love Margie felt for the game and her role in it.

I loved Margie. I loved her conviction and her love of baseball. I loved her stubborn personality and her willingness to learn from her mistakes. She was an amazingly full and rich character. She is an excellent role model. She sticks by her calls.

I absolutely loved every scene with Margie and Wes. Their friendship was awesome and I liked that Margie had a relationship with a man that was not romantic.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on 9/01/07 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Laurie Boris’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter