First Date is a collection of five stories with an excerpt from a longer novel at the end. I suspect that First Date and Engagement Party will resonate with many. We then have Careless Cupid, a supernatural encounter and Precious, a generation-spanning tale. The final story was the darker Black Warning.
I was pleasantly surprised by Vanessa Wester’s ability to paint vivid pictures for her readers within the constraints of the short story format. In her first two works, she cleverly used topics with which most of us are familiar. The excitement and anxieties created by the first date and the family dynamics of an engagement party.
Having pulled her readers in with her easy writing style, Ms Wester then gives us three rather different stories, culminating with Black Warning which will send a shiver down many a spine. The author maintained a consistent pace and stuck to her task, not falling into the trap of irrelevant sub-plots.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light read which will take no more than a couple of hours. If like me, you don’t normally read short stories, this delightful mix may well change your mind. I have no hesitation in awarding this book five stars.
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