Monday, March 20, 2023

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Twelve Hours in Manhattan, by Maan Gabriel {ends 3/27}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

I close the door behind me and stand motionless as I savor the moment of victory. The carefully carpeted hallway is empty and quiet. I put my hand over my mouth, and I bow my head. And then I cry. For fuck’s sake. I feel like crying has been my default setting lately. But I cry quietly anyway. This time I cry because I am joyful.

I got myself a job in New York City that pays sixty-five thousand dollars a year. I don’t think I have ever seen, let alone made, that kind of money in my life. As I walk slowly toward the end of the hall, I can feel my hands shaking. I pull my phone out of my suit pocket and see that I already have a dozen calls from Pam, Marco, and Miguel. When I turn the corner to the exit, I see Marco waiting for me with anticipation. His eyes widen as he sees me walking toward the door, and rushes to me.

“I got it,” I whisper, trying to prevent a croak. He pulls me toward the elevator hall and gives me a hug. I look for Ms. Van and wave goodbye. She mouths Congratulations to me.

When things go wrong for Bianca, they go really wrong. But when they go right? It’s nearly a perfect fairy tale.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Twelve Hours in Manhattan, by Maan Gabriel {ends 3/27}
Bianca Maria Curtis is at the brink of losing it all when she meets Eric at a bar in Manhattan. Eric, as it turns out, is the famous Korean drama celebrity Park Hyun Min, and he’s in town for one night to escape the pressures of fame. From walking along Fifth Avenue to eating ice cream at Serendipity to sharing tender moments on top of the Empire State building, sparks fly as Bianca and Eric spend twelve magical hours far away from their respective lives. In that time, they talk about the big stuff: love, life, and happiness, and the freedom they both seek to fully exist and not merely survive.

But real life is more than just a few exhilarating stolen moments in time.

As the clock strikes the twelfth hour, Bianca returns back to the life she detests to face a tragedy that will test her strength and resolve—and the only thing she has to keep going is the memory of a man she loves in secret from a world away.

Bianca just failed miserably at a presentation that would have gotten her the job or contract she needed to keep going. Now she’ll probably be homeless and destitute. Is she really a loser, or is our heroine waiting to bloom? She meets a man at a bar who may look familiar, but at least he’s nice—getting to know him is exactly the escape she needs from her own life. 

But that all ends, and Bianca’s real life is pretty depressing, indeed, at the beginning of the story, and only gets worse as it’s all initially presented. Soon, the 12 hours of bliss at the beginning of the book may as well have been just her imagination. 

Luckily, as the story goes on, Bianca’s life is definitely taking a turn for the better. She’s finally got a good job, is living in a nice place, and is regularly spending time with her friends. Maybe adulting isn’t so terrible, if the cards aren’t stacked against her. Then the real fun starts, and the 12 hours of her dream life may be coming back. Is she ready for her dreams to come true?

While the book started out slow, it built toward a much more satisfying ending. This story earned 4 out of 5 stars for being an amusing contemporary story of love and brushes with fame. The main focus was between Bianca and a Korean drama star, but was easy to read and enjoy without having appreciated any Korean dramas previously. 

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a Gemini who has worked in data entry, chocolate tasting, event promotions, online reviews, and standardized test scoring, while reading and reviewing books alongside it all. Check out pictures of her life when she remembers to post at Instagram as PoshBecki.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of Twelve Hours in Manhattan!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, March 27th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Twelve Hours in Manhattan, by Maan Gabriel


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