Review: Fresh Mint with Lemon by Monika Zgustová

Russian art critic, Vadim, sees a beautiful woman in a café one day and is immediately captivated by her beauty and sparkling aura.

There is something about her that draws him in– he soon discovers she is a well known artist, Patricia Pavloff, whose art he has long admired.

Every day he goes to the museum where her art work is on display. He is haunted by one specific painting, red tulips with black pistils that look like eyes.

In that painting there is an element of intrigue that he can’t ignore and he longs to meet the intoxicating beauty behind the art.

One day he gets his wish, he has a brief encounter in the museum with Patricia and from that moment on she becomes his obsession.

He longs to interview her and write a book on her, so he finds out that she lives in Sitges, a small town in Spain. He travels there in hopes of gaining an audience with her but she eludes him for weeks.

Vadim discovers Patricia lives in a small house with another woman named Radhika. Radhika is an exotic beauty that Vadim can’t get out of his head, but it’s Patricia that he came to find, not Radhika.

Finally Vadim is granted an audience with Patricia at her home. She is charming, intriguing, and playful…..Vadim longs to be admitted to her world and her inner circle.

However, her personality is somewhat unstable…one minute she is friendly and warm the next cool and distant, he never really knows where he stands with her.

During the times that Patricia is distant, he takes comfort in the arms of Radhika who he is immensely attracted to but he can’t stand her political beliefs.

As the story goes on, Vadim becomes more and more in love with each of the women but for vastly different reasons…..he is unsure which woman he desires most.

This novel is an interesting read, it’s sultry and has a very avant-garde feel to it. One of the reasons that I decided to review this novel was because of the love triangle. Most love triangles are centered around the woman trying to choose between two different men….I loved that this book focused on the man in love with two very different woman.

It’s always interesting to read from the man’s perspective. For me personally, I liked Radhika best. I thought Patricia was too hot/cold for me. Radhika seemed passionate and an ability to feel deeply….she seemed freer with her feelings than Patricia did which I found more engaging.

I enjoyed how the story unfolded between the three main characters, I thought it was artistically written and sultry to match the exotic location of the setting, but the one thing I didn’t enjoy was the secondary storyline of the Prague during the Russian invasion.

For me personally I had trouble connecting the two plots and I just wasn’t interested in it what-so-ever. It seemed to slow the original plot down quite a lot and I found myself reading it but not really enjoying it, I really wanted to just get back to the love triangle.

Overall it was a fast read, I loved the exotic locations and the story-telling style but I just really struggled with the secondary plot. It is refreshing to have a love triangle told from the male perspective, I really really enjoyed that aspect of the novel. If you are looking for a uniquely told tale infused with refreshing scents of mint and lemon then this is the novel for you.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Fresh Mint with Lemon by Monika Zgustová

  • ebook, 192 pages
  • Published February 19th 2013 by Open Road Integrated Media
  • ISBN 1480407984 (ISBN13: 9781480407985)
  • Review copy provided by: Open Road Media in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3 out of 5 (a sultry novel with a unique love triangle)

Genre: Contempo Lit, Romance

Memorable lines/quotes:

We Americans don’t know how to do anything without getting obsessed about it, without being fanatic.

How could he get along with a person so rational that she didn’t use the word ‘soul’

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