May 22, 2024


Entertain Reaching Stars

Book Review: Leave It in the Tea Tin by CJ Skipper

2 min read

Genre: Contemporary, Literature

Word Count: 5,260

Average Smashwords Rating: 5/5 stars

My Rating: 5/5 stars

She and I, ours is not a tale of love.

“It’s too seedy to be love,” she claims. “I get you off and you leave money on my bedside table.”

I wasn’t sure how to review this book at first, honestly. When I found it in Smashwords in the romance section, I wasn’t expecting it to be literature, much less literature I would enjoy. After all, usually “deep” stories by unknown authors on Goodreads are pretentious and even poorly written.

But Leave It in the Tea Tin wasn’t either of those things.

Walter is going through a midlife crisis. Feeling dead inside, he goes into the arms of a 21-year-old prostitute to feel alive. Many times both of them insist that this isn’t a tale of love or anything like it. She says it’s just a business transaction and he says he’s no good for her. But as time goes on, they develop a strange and intimate relationship that is uniquely theirs.

I can’t find fault with this story at all. The scenes between them are short and often abrupt, but I didn’t get frustrated or feel like the author was being lazy with her writing. Actually this entire piece was really well-written and it would be an impressive work for an experienced writer, much less a writer’s who’s never published a book before this one.

Even though we never see anything outside of the woman’s apartment, Walter’s backstory about his male lover who died is written really well into the story, as well as the woman’s reasons for being a prostitute, and her ambitions.

Even though they say it’s not a tale of love, it actually is. Walter loved the woman a lot. What the woman felt for him, I’m not sure, but I do think she cared about him more than any of her other clients. After all, as bittersweet as the ending is, she does give him exactly what he needs at the end.

This book was published three years ago and CJ Skipper hasn’t published another one since, at least not one that’s on Smashwords, or listed on Goodreads. In her author’s note, she says she’s a terrible procrastinator and it would probably be a long time before she publishes another one, but I really hope she does because she has a lot of potential as a storyteller.

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