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Thursday, September 2, 2010

What the Heart Sees by Janice Zick

What the Heart Sees by Janice Zick
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (96 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Fennel

Ansel, an aspiring stand-up living in L.A. uses what he considers his unfortunate looks and his sad memories of childhood -- particularly Christmases past as fodder for his comedy routines. Often rejected on the basis of his looks alone, he is only attracted to tall, beautiful, svelte women he can only get by default compliments of his handsome, best friend Kirk, who “goes through women like socks.” When he dumps them, he gives Ansel their phone numbers; and because they’re devastated and on the rebound, they agree to go out with him because he makes them laugh.

When Greta, a slightly chubby, slightly stout, Midwestern girl moves into Ansel’s apartment building, they become ‘buddies.’ Or that’s what Ansel thinks. Greta has other ideas.

Four words in, and you’re hooked! After all with a name like the hero’s – you notice it! Ansel Deuseldorf! And with that you know you are in for a chuckle.

The author has a unique way of setting out her stall, sorry, I mean her characters. There’s no handsome hunk and sexy cologne. There’s just a guy who’s got a heart of gold but tries to hide it from everyone. He’s your average skirt-chasing Jo Blow, and yet...

If you are expecting sun-kissed beaches you won’t find them here, but if you are looking for a funny, down-to-earth story with charm and wit and loveable characters then forget about housework, and settle in. There is mystery a-plenty in the ‘invisible’ neighbour. There is humour in the flatmate who’s never there.

The heroine, Greta - well, willowy magazine model she is not. Warm-hearted, caring and compassionate; she has them all in spades. Cooking in her hands in a lethal weapon, and the author uses Greta’s lack of culinary skills to hike up the conflict, which introduces us to yet another, semi-major character, who gets three chapters of his own to tell his side of the story.

Nothing is straight forward in this story and Ansel’s POV is hilarious when he’s trying to figure out Greta’s problem.

Near the end when the author changed POV I found I had to re-read the end of the previous chapter to find out why I’d kind of lost my way. Apart from that one small glitch, I smiled, chuckled and down-right laughed my way through the whole book

For all their quirkiness, the characters in this story are well-rounded, enjoyable to spend time with and have you yearning to ensure they all get what they deserve. This book is a keeper.