From the author of An Exaltation of Larks, comes the highly anticipated second book in the Venery series, A Charm of Finches and KFF’s number one read of 2017!
Author: Suanne Laqueur
Release Date: 1st November, 2017
“I swear. Give me one more chance and I will make the most of it.”
Ex-escort Javier Landes is asking for his third chance at love. And the third time is the charm. He meets an art therapist named Steffen Finch and what starts as casual deepens into a passionate relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.
Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creativity and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for tough cases. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone, but Javier Landes is the last person Stef expected.
Geronimo “Geno” Caan is Stef’s most challenging case. To cope with his ordeal, he’s allowed an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions, and now lives a double life within a web of lies. Under Stef’s navigation, Geno uses art to express what Mos forbids to be spoken aloud. But as Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually extends to Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.
Over the course of a year, Jav, Stef and Geno form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings. The long-awaited second book of the Venery series, A Charm of Finches is an epic tale of survival and secrets guaranteed to make you think and feel and remember.
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
This read floored me! Expressing my thoughts regarding Laqueur’s latest book not only became a personal dilemma…how I’d be able to string my humble words together and write a meaningful review for a book worthy of six stars without giving anything away, but also the lasting effect it had on me. The author’s thought-provoking and insightful narrative left me exhausted, elated and had me sobbing into the early hours. Dawn broke, I still read on. More pages were turned throughout the day and never once did it cross my mind to put it down. Laqueur made me suffer beyond any sufferance I’d ever had to endure; in return, my expletives morphed into praise for an author who’d literally cracked it, who’d got the message home, who’d developed the most beautiful of characters, leaving me in awe of them thanks to her profoundly good storytelling.
Two parallel stories meld together in a family saga of grit and courage. It made me think about where it would lead to, how they’d be able to find closure, move on without coming out unscathed. I also kept asking myself if A Charm of Finches could be read as a standalone. I’m absolutely sure the author’s intention is for An Exaltation of Larks to be read first; however, seeing as she’d bent over backwards to include every minuscule detail, I’d say it might be worth giving it a try. Then again, you’d most certainly be missing out on the true essence of two family’s trials, tribulations and triumphs in all their gloriousness.
Before putting pen to paper, my other concern was rereading it. I knew I had to, I also knew I needed someone to hold my hand seeing as it had had such an emotional impact on me. Who better person to join me on this journey of love, heartbreak and healing was my book buddy. A curious lass, she threw a barrage of questions at me which of course, I couldn’t possibly answer. But to her delight and mine, we meet up with Javier Landes again. An unforgettable character, Javier excelled in what he’d been doing, but wants out. Overcoming a harsh and unfair past, losing the two loves of his life in one way or another, all I wanted was for him to find someone deserving of his love. He already had my heart in his hand, this time his tact and honesty I revelled in. He is who he is and accepts it without further ado. So when Steffen Finch stepped into his life, it was like a breath of fresh air and I prayed they’d be able to make it work.
Now then, if I had to choose between Steff and Javi because they’re both absolutely gorgeous, I’d have a hard time. I loved their slowburn relationship, their cautiousness, and how they dealt with trust issues head on was a joy to read. Steff’s paper in this story is crucial and not because of his growing feelings for Javi. His public persona is that of a strong determined professional; nevertheless, his new patient will become the biggest challenge of his career. Guiding a young lad back down to earth after surviving a traumatic experience, observing him give space and understanding and affection to someone I truly thought was unfixable, tugged at my heartstrings like they’ve never been tugged at before… So as you can see, the ride you’re about to get on isn’t going to be an easy one but be assured, it’ll be like no other you’ll ever experience.
Deary me, young Geno stole the story simply because it was his to steal. There is no doubt whatsoever that it is he who dominates this story and not out of choice. No-holds-barred, Laqueur unravels a narrative tension second to none. A sequence of events so explicitly vivid made me feel as if I was living this beautiful young person’s pain. The cruel hand of fate dished out to him, or better said, by someone dear, is not only tough on him, though. Everyone concerned for Geno’s well-being suffered alongside him, their source of strength and patience decisive in his acceptance of what had happened. And of course, they had to be a special person who’d take him under his wing which in itself, could be another story!
How the author wrote some of the graphically disturbing scenes, I do not know, but I can only imagine how distressing it must have been for her. Not one of her written words is to be taken lightly; behind them, heartfelt emotions are strung together making a long story seem short. Another thing that impressed me was the detailed research she’d done regarding a couple one of the secondary character’s history and actually had me wondering if she has experience in the counselling of young people. That being said, there are moments of happiness, and the banter–wow! Told in past tense in third-person gives the reader the opportunity to delve deeply into all the characters’ thoughts; believe you me, this well executed plot will have you reading the book from beginning to end without coming up for air! Bravo Ms Laqueur!
A former professional dancer and teacher, Suanne Laqueur has gone from choreographing music to choreographing words. Her goal is to create a new kind of emotionally-intelligent romance that appeals to the passions of all readers, crossing gender, age and genre.
Laqueur’s debut novel The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and was named Best Debut in the Feathered Quill Book Awards. Her follow-up novel, Give Me Your Answer True, was also a gold medal winner at the 2016 RFBA.
Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010. Suanne lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.
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