ARC Review – The Naked Truth: A Memoir by Leslie Steiner

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

The Naked Truth: A Memoir by Leslie Steiner

Published on May 21, 2019 by Simon & Schuster

272 pages (Hardcover)

ISBN: 9781501174100

Genre: Non-fiction/Memoir

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

SYNOPSIS:

This is about Leslie’s adventure into a life of connections and sex. She is recently divorced after a twenty-year marriage. Her ex-husband was horribly mentally abusive and rude to her that she was finally free to love herself. Her plan is to find five lovers in a year to bring back the feminine side in herself.  

She managed to find men in many different places such as the airport, yoga class, and high school reunions. She did all of this without the hassle of a dating website. In the end, she discovers what it is like to be a middle-aged woman living in the world today. 

REVIEW:

I said this in my Goodreads review, and I’ll say it here. I am not rating the experience this author had. I am not rating her life in any way. I am rating how well she told her story. It’s incredibly infuriating to read a nonfiction book and it be written horribly. 

I’m sure that this was a bit controversial for some readers. I am not sure if this is more accepted today, but I will say that I don’t find the concept controversial. There are some parts in this story that I didn’t agree with. Having relationships with someone that is dating/married to someone else is obviously something I don’t like reading about. I had no idea about that before going into the book. I didn’t read any reviews. If you don’t like reading about that, then I probably wouldn’t pick it up. 

►Her previous marriage that lasted twenty years was horrible. The only good thing that came out of it was the two kids. I felt so much sympathy for Leslie. Her ex-husband made her feel like she didn’t matter. There was so much mental abuse that I am surprised she bounced back so fast. I feel like I would suffer for a long time. Kudos to her for working on herself. It’s actually quite impressive.

I found all the men that she had flings with to be annoying. None of them were right for her, and it made me angry. I think I was expecting her to fall in love again and live happily ever after. 

►The writing wasn’t my favorite. I’m happy that she didn’t try too hard, but it wasn’t anything special. I am always in search of a nonfiction book that blows me away with the story and the writing.

►If you are looking for an entertaining read, then pick this up. It’s fast to read and quite entertaining. It is a story you never read about. I thought it was a very interesting concept. I wouldn’t read it again, but I don’t regret that I read it in the first place.

This is where I would put quotes, but it was an ARC and I don’t have a finished copy to compare it to.


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Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Thank you to St Martin’s Press | St Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Publication Date: May 14th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin

432 pages

ISBN: 9781250316776

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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This novel follows Alex, the son of the U.S. President, and Henry, the Prince of Wales. Alex’s mother, Ellen, is up for re-election, and she refuses to let anything stain her reputation. There are photos leaked of Prince Henry, and Alex, at a royal wedding that threatens the American/British relations. Now, Alex and Henry have to stage a fake friendship. That’s not the only thing these two young men have to deal with throughout the novel. Alex has to deal with his mom’s opponent. Henry has to deal with all of his ghosts. While the reelection starts, Alex finds himself beginning a secret relationship with Henry, and it’s not good for the campaign.

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I was expecting just a cute, fluffy read. This actually deals with a lot more than that. This handles LGBTQ+ topics, and what the characters mentally go through while being so high up on the social ladder. You find out which characters can be trusted, and which ones are conniving little sneaks.
The writing was not bad. I found it to be very average for a contemporary romance. I did find it quite long for what the story was about, and that’s why I dropped it down a star. I thought that some of it was unnecessary.
All of the characters were developed quite well. I did find a lot of them quite annoying, but I’m assuming that there are a few that were supposed to be annoying. I really liked Ellen. She wanted to keep her image clean, but she also supported her son. She was a good fictional momma.
My favorite character was probably Henry. As the story moves along, the reader learns a lot more about how he is handling everything, mentally. At one point he even has a panic attack. For someone to be a Prince, have a secret relationship with the President’s son, and still keep it together as best as he can, is very impressive. I really respect him as a character. He always did what he thought should be done. He supported Alex, and it melted my heart. They had a pretty good relationship throughout the book. It got rocky a few times, but they persevered.
There is some steamy parts in this, but I wouldn’t say they are intense. I honestly didn’t know what to expect while reading a male/male romance. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it. I think McQuiston handled it quite well. Kudos to her.
This novel is worth the read if you are into cute romance novels that have deeper topics woven through them. It’s a fast read even though it is 400 pages long. I don’t think it’s mindblowing, but I did find it very well done. I think McQuiston broke some barriers as far as the type of romance. I guess I can’t say much since this is only my third actual romance novel. Please give it a try if you are interested!


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