Monday 18 November 2013

Book ~ "Just Add Spice" (2013) Carol E. Wyer

From Goodreads ~ Escape from reality comes in patent-leather Prada kneeboots.

Dawn Ellis needs to escape from her painfully dull existence. Her unemployed husband spends all day complaining about life, moping around or fixing lawnmowers on her kitchen table. The local writing class proves to be an adequate distraction with its eccentric collection of wannabe authors and, of course, the enigmatic Jason, who soon shows a romantic interest in her.

Dawn pours her inner frustrations into her first novel about the extraordinary exploits of Cinnamon Knight, an avenging angel -- a woman who doesn't believe in following the rules. Cinnamon is ruthless and wanton, inflicting suffering on any man who warrants it. Little does Dawn realise that soon the line between reality and fiction will blur. Her own life will be transformed, and those close to her will pay the price.

Dawn is in her fifties, has been married to Jim for many years and they have a grown son.  When Jim gets downsized from his job, he is around the house all the time driving Dawn crazy.  She's lost her routine and Jim is crabby and snapping at her all the time.  To get out of the house, Dawn signs up for a writing class to help her write a novel.  The students meet every two weeks and she ends up befriending a slightly younger fellow student, Jason.

Cinnamon is a woman scorned.  Her husband of twenty years left her for her best friend.  Since then, she is bitter and determined to make all men pay for the wrongs they do to women.  By the way, Cinnamon is the lead character in Dawn's book.  Dawn wants to experience things that Cinnamon would do so she can write about them honestly ... so she tries to learn how to hot-wire a car, joins a gym to learn kick boxing, etc.

I enjoyed this book ... the storyline was interesting.  It was a unique way for a woman to try to find herself after devoting her life as a daughter, wife and mother.  I was satisfied with the way it ended.

The writing style was different but once I got used to the pattern, I was fine.  What I mean by that is it is written in third person perspective and the focus shifts back and forth from Dawn to Cinnamon, so it seems like Cinnamon is an actual person and not just a figment of Dawn's imagination.  In fact, she gives Dawn advice and direction (but not in a creepy crazy way).  It found it oddly believable.

I liked the characters.  Dawn is always trying to do the right thing for everyone so it was good that she was able to escape into her book and have Cinnamon do the things she couldn't.  I wasn't crazy about Jim ... even though he felt bad about it, he was such a A-hole to Dawn.  She had a lot more patience than I have and put up with Jim.  Jason is a fun caring guy.  The students in the writing class are quirky characters.

I would recommend this book and look forward to others by this author.


Masshole Mommy said...

Sounds interesting. I might read it at some point - thanks.

Omnimystery News said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what seems to be a very fun read!

Carol E Wyer said...

Many thanks for reviewing Just add Spice. I am so pleased you enjoyed it. I'm afraid Jim was an idiot. Even I didn't like him, and I invented him! He just seemed to get worse as the book evolved. I based his character on a friend's husband. He was an idiot too. :D