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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2019
  • 9781733389709 B07XTNDDJ5
  • 334 pages
  • $17.95
Other Ebook Details
  • 12/2019
  • 9781733389716 B07XTNDDJ5
  • 68 pages
  • $3.99
Facade: Things Aren't Always as They Appear...
Melody Saleh, author
Sex in the City meets Fifty Shades... without the Red Room. Amber can’t get Patrick out of her mind. Night after night he haunts her dreams . . . teasing her . . . pleasuring her . . . owning her body . . . until her alarm rings. Left unsatisfied night after night, she devises a plan to bring her fantasies to life—with a platinum wig, blue contact lenses, and a new persona. Stay-at-home mom Debra adores her husband, but wishes for a little more spice and adventure in her life. She’s not even sure she’s ever had an orgasm! But when tragedy strikes, her dreams come true in ways she never imagined…or wanted. Despite a hard life as a single black Muslim mother, up-and-coming fashion designer Zya finally has a successful business and a sense of security, despite the increasing persecution she and her daughter experience as a result of being Muslim. But then a mysterious stranger comes into her life, challenging everything she thought she knew about love. But can it be real? Gorgeous Dominque likes sex—wild, kinky, and lots of it. Secretly longing for something real and lasting, she settles for less, burying her insecurity and self-doubt between late night trysts and bulimia. But before long, she’s forced to face her fears, or succumb to them. Four friends…each hiding behind a façade. But as fantasy clashes with reality, things aren’t always as they appear.
Reviews
Saleh’s jam-packed debut drama follows four women in Fort Lauderdale as they tackle myriad personal problems and romantic entanglements. Frustrated by recurring but unsatisfying erotic dreams, Amber sets out to seduce a sexy attorney, but their attempt at a relationship suffers numerous setbacks. Newly pregnant Debra tries to rebuild her life in the wake of her husband’s sudden death and finds herself torn between two potential love interests. Muslim single mother Zya struggles with her sexuality after falling for another woman, while her daughter, Ashanti, is the victim of a hate crime. Aspiring model Dominique wants to get her life back on track following a health scare but finds it hard to settle down after years of wild partying. Eventually events spiral out of control for everyone.

Though bursting with romantic tension and wish fulfillment—the two men vying for Debra’s affections are her handsome psychiatrist and a world-famous Italian masseur—the narrative skips from one beat to the next without pausing for reflection or exploration, leaving some moments feeling underdeveloped. Saleh shies away from directly engaging with emotionally significant or intimate developments, relying instead on dialogue and detached summary. The prose is loose and highly visual (“Dominique’s face took on that dreamy, I’m floating look”), describing body language more than getting into the characters’ heads.

One of the book’s greatest strengths is the women’s unwavering friendship as they encourage and support one another, especially after Debra’s husband is killed. As the story progresses, it addresses issues like bulimia, Islamophobia, and breast cancer in rapid succession, to the point of dramatic overload. Multiple cliff-hangers leave the story wide open for the next installment, with at least one life hanging in the balance. Readers who settle in with a bucket of popcorn will enjoy watching these four women careen from one mishap to the next, always helping one another bounce back and pursue their chances for happiness.

Takeaway: This drama is ideal for readers looking for a tight-knit band of friends who stick together through outlandish romances and personal mayhem.

Great for fans of Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City.

Production grades
Cover: B-
Design and typography: B+
Illustrations: -
Editing: C
Marketing copy: B-

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2019
  • 9781733389709 B07XTNDDJ5
  • 334 pages
  • $17.95
Other Ebook Details
  • 12/2019
  • 9781733389716 B07XTNDDJ5
  • 68 pages
  • $3.99

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