by Karen Brichoux

June 2003
ISBN: 0-451-20902-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Trade Paperback

Coffee & Kung Fu is what so many try to be, but fail at – an honest and entertaining book about a young woman trying to find her way. A book that is poignant, charming, funny, clever and clearly written from the heart. Is it a romance? No, it isn’t. Although the romance element in this story is one of the most moving and honest ones I’ve read in ages.

Karen Brichoux has written a book, that is entertaining and undoubtedly along the lines of “write about what you know!” Makes me wonder how autobiographic Coffee & Kung Fu is.

In Nicci Bradford she’s created a heroine that is strong and yes lonely. But Nicci is not whining and like one of her friends observed, “when I look in your eyes, I can see the soul of God.”

Having been on too many dates set up by her friend, Nicci longs for a lengthy session of junk food, jasmine tea and Kung Fu movies. What she gets is a handsome new lover, her friend accusing her of hitting on her husband and a mother asking to bring a date for Thanksgiving.

Add to that a job, she doesn’t like, witnessing another friend’s “escape” to Hong Kong, her lover practically taking over her life and her only safe haven becomes a small coffee shop, it’s customers and one Grinning Boy giving her unconditional friendship.

Coffee & Kung Fu is fun, but even with all its laugh-out-loud moments I prefer the quieter ones. The ones where I feel like hugging Nicci and telling her that I understand. Because what I love most about this book, is that I truly care about the characters. All characters!

Reviewed in June 2003 by Kris Alice.

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