Reviewed on 18th August 2015

Love Bites by Valeria Kogan

Genre: Contemporary / Fiction / Romance / Short Story/Novellas
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Love Bites by Valeria Kogan Synopsis

Love Bites is the provocative debut collection of short stories by Valeria Kogan. From heartbreak to redemption, Love Bites provides a spellbinding interpretation of love and friendship, glamour and guilt, secrets and deceit.
Each story provides a captivating insight into the world of love; its profound impact and effect; and how women relate to their partners. This cleverly constructed collection of short stories will leave you tantalized and yearning for more. Love Bites is a must-read for every modern woman, reader of romance and romantic enthusiast.

Love Bites by Valeria Kogan Review

Love in all its Sordid and Troubling Glory

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but on this occasion I am glad I did. At first, looking at the disturbing S&M-like image and the snappy title of Wattle Publishing’s latest offering, I thought I was in for a 50 Shades meets True Blood sex-fest. But I was wrong – and in a good way – it was a lot better than that!

Kogan’s book is about love. Not the Mills and Boon kind, there are no brooding handsome strangers and damsels in distress, and neither is it an epic Gone With The Wind tumultuous frenzy of sighs, kisses and drama. No. Love Bites is real.

A collection of short stories about the darker side of love, each tale is written from the view point of one person. Sometimes it’s the woman, sometimes the wrong-doing ex husband and sometimes an omnipotent third person. The tales are more soliloquies than mini books, although what they lack in dialogue and varied characters, they make up in transporting you to places that no one wants to go to. Kogan takes you to the dirty side of love, and like an itchy scab you can’t help picking even though you know that all that lies beneath is yet more pain. But it feels great.

Each story centres around a particular emotion. There is the widowed woman who is so bereft from having lost her husband she makes a home in the earth around his grave; the prostitute who loves her job and chooses it over her future husband; the perfect homemaker who starts to fall for the help, and the obnoxious man who drove his woman away… but not before she ruined her body with her plastic surgery obsessions. And many, many more characters.

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Love Bites

I have never been a big fan of short stories, I prefer to really get my teeth into (excuse the pun) a book’s characters and feel involved in their life from beginning to end. I feel that generally, with a collection of short stories, you rarely get that ‘I must get to bed early and get back to my book’ feeling, but what you DO get with Love Bites is fast snippets of  insights into the lives of curious characters presented in bite sized portions (sorry, another pun). Love Bites is easy to dip in and out of. It’s the book that you can carry in your bag and read on the tube, or at the hairdressers. You don’t have to work too hard to remember who is who, but for thirty minutes of each tale you can completely lose yourself in characters that will stay with you a lot longer than it takes to read the slim little book.

I would definitely recommend Valeria Kogan’s Love Bites. It’s beautifully written but unpretentious. In fact I would make every loved-up teenager, fed on Hollywood’s unrealistic hearts and flowers, read it. Because I’m a bitch like that, and I would want every young adult on the brink of true love to know that there is something agonizingly sweet and deliciously painful about loving someone to the terrifying edge of no return. To the point where you disappear and only cold, dark, naked love remains.

Love Bites, by Valeria Kogen is published by Wattle Publishing.

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