The Way You Smile

Narrated by: Claire Storey
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Real life doesn’t play out like a movie. Electric connections mostly mean you’ve got static in your jumper. Camila Moore knows that; she’s not daft. She has two teenage boys and bills to pay, plus the only man she’s ever been with has traded her in for a gym bunny.

Returning to work’s the answer, but when she finds herself in the wrong room and wrong place at the wrong time, the last thing she expects is to be promoted out of obscurity into the arms of Harriet Imogen Pearson, media darling, hotshot entrepreneur, and notorious lesbian playgirl.

Camila can’t believe it. She’s an ordinary woman, nothing special - in her view - so what’s Harriet’s motivation? What’s her end game?

Are Camila’s feelings just infatuation, or is it real life love?

Kiki Archer is the mistress of chick-lit romance for women of all ages and inclinations.

Praise for the book:

“The chick-lit novel to spark any woman's lesbian sexual awakening.” (Diva Magazine)

“A book that will set a new standard for your chick-lit romances.” (TLR)

"A highly commercial, pink is the new grey, contemporary romance read." (AfterEllen)

©2018 Kiki Archer (P)2020 Kiki Archer

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hilariously quirky characters, great narration

“The Way You Smile” has terrifically quirky characters, frequently hilarious passages (often featuring MC Camila’s internal musings) and banter and terrific narration. I really enjoyed the audiobook.

The story is written in a slice-of-life style, focusing on events from the POV of 35yo MC Camila, but also featuring events and interactions between many other of the characters. Many of the characters and events do seem quite ordinary and realistic, but then in the next sentence you’ll find yourself wondering how the author managed to create such an unbelievable character or event. At one point, I thought of Matthew Broderick and friends in “Ferris Bueller's Day Off”; three ordinary friends and a day of hilarious adventures and misadventures with a wacky cast of side characters (the maitre d, the school principal, the parking garage attendants, etc.).

In “The Way You Smile”, the love interest MC is 32yo Harriet Imogen Pearson (initials HIP…only the beginning of how initials can be important! Name your children carefully!!!). Harriet is a wealthy public figure, and everyone gossips about her numerous “projects” with numerous women.

Terrific secondary characters (many of whom are nearly MCs, with the amount of book time they’re given), include:

• Never-married Camila’s 15yo son Michael and 14yo son Ethan
• Mick, generally uninvolved father of Michael and Ethan, who recently left Camila to move in with gym bunny Jackie
• Camila’s BF, incorrigible next door neighbor Julia, bargain hunter extraordinaire, and owner of the amazing bacon butty van
• Terry, Julie’s sometimes live-in man. He’s older and disappears frequently philandering
• Debbie, a neighbor two doors down from Camila
• Roy, Debbie’s impotent husband
• Cassie, the cute 18yo friend of Michael’s
• Bill Stevens, the now mostly legitimate father of Cassie
• Harry, the pretty teen boy
• Deana, the disapproving-of-Claudia team member for H.I.Pvention
• Brett, the disapproving-of-Claudia team member for H.I.Pvention
• Geoff, the disapproving-of-Claudia team member for H.I.Pvention
• Lydia, producer for “The Budding Businesses Show”
• oh, and recurring parts for Helen, Tina, Nigel, and the bright pink and blue haired girl who insists the style is “subtle ombre”

Now, I don’t usually include a cast list in my reviews, but I wanted to give you an idea of the number and diversity of the characters. Interactions are numerous, and frequently hilarious. I’ll leave it to someone else to create a Venn diagram!

The only other author that comes to mind that creates such interesting characters interacting in a fun story is Robin Alexander. If you like Robin, you’ll like Kiki Archer!

In many stories, inner thinking can get old, fast (Bridget Essex often overdoes it for me). In “The Way You Smile” Camila’s musings are fun. We laugh as she contemplates shaving in the shower, appropriate gym wear, the role of the on-camera “non speaking co-presenter”, the blurred years as a parent, the nature of love, deciding to become a lesbian like becoming a member of the neighborhood watch, and many many other musings.

Many conversations between Camila and Harriet are light, flirty banter. One early dinner conversation was more in-depth, and I was reminded of the movie “My Dinner With Andre”…which is a compliment.

The main plot involves trying to invent something to showcase the business model for H.I.Pventure: helping individual inventors go from idea to prototype. The storyline is well done, but the most fun with the book are the discussions with neighbors, the relationship between Camila and her sons, the confusing yet exciting interest in spending time with Harriet, and the overall bitchiness of co-workers.

The sex scenes aren’t numerous, but they are enjoyably described. Anxious to decide whether she’s in love with Harriet (it has been only a few weeks, and she was with Mick for 16 years), Camila decides that it’s ok to be unsure; not all stories need a definitive ending or conclusion…sometimes things just carry on. I found that very interesting; several of my friends seem to be carrying on without wanting, or perhaps confronting, a definitive conclusion.

After a generally upbeat, silly and fun book, the final chapter is an explosion of unexpected angst, betrayal, money-seeking friends and relatives, and homophobia. Where did that come from? Several reviewers disliked the ending, yet I found the explosion of activities and emotions worked to wrap-up all of the subplots and character interactions throughout the book.

So, as you may have guessed, I really really enjoyed “The Way You Smile”. I liked the story(ies), the characters, the narration and the cover. Well done, and highly recommended! 5*

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

My rating and my review was not in anyway affected by my having been provided a review copy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-16-20

who said that?

Narrator had a lovely upbeat voice but unfortunately didn't do enough in order for me to understand which character was talking when, this got in the way of fully enjoying the story. A happy ending with a 'love wins' attitude, the romance between the 2 women was exciting to follow albeit predictable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cherry Tom
  • 02-09-20

A Fantastic Sexy Story

I really enjoyed this and found it easy to listen to. I laughed and blushed. The relationship between the main characters is well written and the story has a good twist. Perfectly narrated. I recommend it!