Desire in Any Language by Anastasia Vitsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On her own for the first time, Mira is studying abroad for her translator’s certificate. Unfortunately, the heady excitement of dance clubs, late-night parties, and endless shopping quickly distracts her from her educational goals. Mira’s advisor offers her private tutoring, but the combined pressures of culture and language difference threaten Mira’s progress at school. She is unable to get her act together until she makes a discovery that horrifies and tantalizes her: in her new country, corporal punishment is a way of life.
The secret to her academic success just might also fulfill her wildest, unspoken dreams.
This is a coming of age tale about a young girl studying abroad who is struggling to cope with adult responsibilities and feels the need to be held accountable for her actions, or rather inactions.
In order to fulfil her desires Mira makes some mistakes and suffers for it, but I found it realistic considering how young and naïve she was. I liked her and though her struggles to come to grips with a new culture were interesting.
Her crush on her tutor was cute but not romantic love. In fact, the story hardly counts as a romance since the actual love interest only appears briefly in the final chapter.
This would have been annoying if the sequel, Mira’s Miracle had not been available immediately and in that case I may have been tempted to only give 4 stars. The books really need to be read together.
Seoul Spankings by Anastasia Vitsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Broken-hearted when her live-in boyfriend impregnates her best frenemy, Indigo Adams accepts a one-way ticket to Seoul, South Korea, and a challenge from her Great-Aunt Matilda: Forget that boy. Go and make something of yourself.
Bruised from an international public relations nightmare as the new heir to the multi-billion-dollar Han Incorporated, Hyunkyung Han seeks positive publicity in the form of a wedding. She consults with Madame Eve to find a nice, well-behaved Korean American with bilingual and bicultural skills.
Instead, Madame Eve sends Indi, a naïve philosophy major graduate working for minimum wage at the local pub. Enraged to find Indi can’t speak one word of Korean, Hyunkyung orders her sent home on the next plane to Spillville, Iowa.
Then Hyunkyung shakes Indi’s hand, and the sparks fly. With all of her professional responsibilities, how can Hyunkyung allow herself to fall for the wrong woman? How can Indi feel attraction for a woman who despises her?
Seoul Spankings offers a light-hearted romp through the perils and joys of navigating an intercultural romance. Certain to delight all fans of a happily ever after with a kinky twist.
I loved this book although it would have been nice if it was a bit longer.
The two women find that their first meeting does not meet their expectations and sparks subsequently fly.
The Good: The characters were flawed but likeable and their interactions were fun. I found the fact that Indy had been sent as almost a ‘mail order bride’ by her great aunt, whilst thinking she was going for a job interview particularly amusing. The ex-boyfriend’s comeuppance was also very satisfactory.
The Bad: I’m not hugely keen on books written in the first person. It’s very easy to get wrong and much harder to pull it off successfully, but the author manages it here. Still that is a personal preference and I know plenty of people who love first person.
I would read a sequel as I would like to know where Indy & Hyunkyung go from here.