The Way You Smile by Kiki Archer is delightful. Camila is returning to work after having her two sons, now 14 and 15. She expects to have to find her feet and work her way up, but she certainly doesn’t expect to be drawn to her boss, Harriet, in a way she has never felt before.
Camila lives the life of a mother where everything revolves around her children. For the last 15 years she has been making a home for her boys and being entertained by her next door neighbour, Julie, who always knows what’s going on and where you can get a bargain. Admittedly, these bargains are often a disaster in the end, but when you don’t have a lot of self confidence and money then you just go with it.
Harriet is the wealthy owner of several businesses. She lives a fast paced life and is often on TV. On the surface she has it all, but really she keeps people at a distance and has no real emotional connections. When she is watching a focus group and a woman named Camila stands up to a roomful of opposition opinions then she can’t help but want to find out more about her and so she offers Camila an entirely different job – inventor.
Their chemistry is real, but Camila has never been a lesbian before and the only man she has been with is the father of her children. Not to mention the pace at which Harriet wants to take things leaves Camila in a tailspin.
Stakes mount when Camila is put on live TV and when she comes to realise that maybe she does have feelings for her boss. But can she find her way through the muddle before Harriet leaves for good? Can Harriet really be this amazing or will the other shoe drop just as Camila comes to terms with being attracted to a woman?
Told from Camila’s perspective, this story is about her falling in love and experiencing passion like she has never experienced before. Because we never see Harriet’s point of view we never quite know what’s going on with her and so we really empathise with Camila.
Archer writes some fantastic side characters and this book is no exception with Camila’s strange and confusing neighbour and friend Julie who was integral to the story and often cringeworthy and hilarious.
The Writing Style
Archer did a cool thing with the way she wrote this one. She would end a chapter on a cliffhanger and then in the next chapter go forward in time so that we see the outcome. Then we would get a kind of flashback to draw us into the present from the past. It was cool and made the book feel fast paced and fun to read as you were always discovering how you ended up where you did.
I enjoyed the fact that I was never sure what was going to happen in the story. Kiki Archer is well known for hating to follow traditional romance rules and yet she excels at giving us romances that we love – how does she do it?
My favourite part of this read was the way serious topics were handled and how ridiculous and comical situations often broke the tension or emphasised the romantic drama. Archer is a master of taking a reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions in every single chapter so that by the time you read the last line you feel like you have lived the story.
Also, the ending was perfect!
I am not a huge fan of the cover, but since I would categorise this book predominantly as chicklit it works for the market.
You should not get this book if you want a cookie cutter romance and expect it to be sweet from beginning to end. But if you want excellent writing, memorable characters, a story you have never read before and a book that will set a new standard for your chicklit romances then this is it.
There is a reason that Kiki Archer is more than just a romance writer, she is a brand. Her books are testament to the fact that you can write complex plots and characters in a romantic setting and this one is no exception.
The Way You Smile is, in a word, wonderful.
Excerpt from The Way You Smile by Kiki Archer
“You look absolutely incredible.”
Camila glanced over her shoulder to see who Harriet Imogen Pearson was talking to.
“You. Dressed in that Mesh-Up gear. You look incredible. I mean you’d look incredible without that Mesh-Up gear too.” The follow-up was quick. “Not naked of course. I didn’t mean naked. I meant in your suit, or a dress, or… or anything really.”
Camila glanced back once more.
“Forgive me, I’m Harriet.”
Returning her attention from the long corridor, Camila focused on the outstretched hand. Was Harriet Imogen Pearson holding that out for her? Well she couldn’t shake it as she was arms-full of pussy bow tie shirt, trousers, blazer and bag.
“Sorry, let me help you with that. I see you’re wearing your shoes.”
Staring down, Camila studied her black glittered court heels. When paired with her plain black trousers and blazer they’d added the pizazz her outfit had needed. Again there’d been a worry that plain shoes were too mime-artisty, but the sparkle had offered the jazz that was missing. Now, however, when paired with her see-though mesh leggings, she looked like a hooker. “Sorry, I need those back.” Camila nodded to her belongings now in Harriet’s hands.
“I’ll carry them. This way.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: COMING SOON
- Publisher: Indie author
Kiki Archer Online
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