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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Life in the Chastity Zone, by Holly Brandon, is a leisurely novel about a modern woman named Chastity, and how she navigates romance in today's society. This is as she tries to figure out who she is and what (or who) she really wants--always at war with the romantic ideal she's learned from tradition and pop culture, and what she encounters in real life. It isn't the average romance or self-discovery story; it's broad and inclusive, with a brazen sense of humor, and capturing characters that almost any of us can see ourselves in, or know in our daily lives--pretentious, humble, and those in between. This is a book that moves along at a breezy pace and can be consumed in one long day or night. You'll find lots of little surprises in the read, like email exchanges, lists, and more.
Holly Brandon has a classy, smart style to her writing and a gift for fashioning a large cast of characters that you can actually care about and keep up with. Her dialogue is revealing and interesting, and you feel like you're one of the characters eavesdropping on conversations at a party or restaurant. What is surprising and refreshing is that Brandon doesn't take her characters in predictable directions. She allows the characters to choose their own paths, and the outcomes are honestly earned. Another appealing aspect of her writing is her rich descriptions of settings and situations--replete with detail. You can almost see or feel the clothing or furniture she describes. Life in the Chastity Zone is a story I could easily see as a Netflix series or situation comedy. This is one story I truly wish hadn't ended when it did or where it did, so I'm curious to find out what happens in the next book of the series.