This should have perhaps been a chapter of a longer novel (or even part of a real novella) rather than a stand alone story. But then again – since I found it trite, cliched, and offensive – maybe not.
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Title: Style Me Sexy
Author: Tara Chevrestt
Publisher: Escape Publishing
From the Publisher: A charming short story about beauty, the beholder, and believing in yourself.
Bridget knows she isn’t beautiful; her ex made that point abundantly clear. So when her online-only romance suddenly leads to a real-life blind date, she beelines to the salon for a makeover. She’s dismayed and embarrassed when her usual stylist isn’t available and the sexy Javier steps in.
Javier has long been aware of the timid but kind woman, and vows to take this opportunity to make her see that she's beautiful on the outside, as well as in. Will he succeed in keeping his own feelings at bay and style her sexy?
Ed Note: Spoilers ahead. It’s hard not to give things away when the story is only 21 pages long.
First of all, when you sell something as a novella – make sure it’s a novella. When I hear “novella” I expect around 100 pages. Not 20. But perhaps that’s a personal failing of mine in misunderstanding what a novella consists of.
Second, when you write something don’t fill it so full of cliches that the reader gets whiplash from watching them fly by.
The premise of this “novella” had so much promise! A woman has been made to feel ugly and not worthy of love from a past relationship, so a makeover is in order to make to turn her from the (not) ugly duckling into a beautiful swan before a big blind date. It’s the stuff of fairy tales.
But Bridget spends the entire time she’s in the salon chair worrying about the man touching her hair but then deciding it’s okay because “he must be gay” (because all male stylists are gay amirite?).
I think that’s what really tanked the story for me. I couldn’t get past the “it’s okay because he’s gay” commentary in her head every few seconds.
Oh my, I’m attracted to him. I’m FEELING THINGS WHILE HE’S TOUCHING ME. But… surely he’s gay. So it’s okay.
And then there’s the BIG PLOT TWIST (that you see from a mile away). Her big blind date? OH MY GOODNESS IT’S WITH THE (SURPRISENOTGAY) STYLIST.
And they live happily ever after.
After 21 pages of angsty he’s-touching-me-but-he’s-gay-so-it’s-okay commentary and then a brief interlude of oh-he’s-not-gay-but-he’s-sexy-and-into-me-too.
What Others Are Saying:
- Harlequin Junkie: Who knew a trip to the salon could be so erotic. Style Me Sexy is a very short story that packs a big punch.
- Long and Short Reviews: A quick read, this is perfect for when you’ve got some time to pass but still feel like a great pick-me-up story.
- Cocktails and Books: Yes, this was a short read but well worth it. It was sweet and makes you smile the whole time you are reading through it.