Book Review + Signed PB Giveaway! Affairytale: A Memoir by CJ English

10 Jun 2015

Book Title: Affairytale: A Memoir
Author: CJ English
Series: Non-fiction standalone
Release Date: May 20th, 2015
Genres: Non fiction, Memoir
I had an affair. The most forbidden and seductive affair, and I fell in Love. He was a rare gentleman, intelligent and gorgeous; a man every woman desired. Every cell in my body was telling me that he was my happily ever after. I was stuck in a marriage of mediocrity, I ached for red silk romance and carry me away passion, but not with my husband. I craved Him. Living without him was cruel and unusual punishment, even for my wandering heart. Affairytale is a tantalizing memoir of sultry encounters, hidden grottos and secret hillside cabins. From the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes to the Southern shores of Maui you’ll fall in love with this tell-all memoir that pulls back the veil on infidelity and gives you rare look into hearts and bedroom of a real life extramarital affair. Woven with original love letters and scandalous text messages, this engrossing true love story is sure to break then win your heart. True Love always finds a way. starts with an affair.


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Photo credit- Pinterest- Affairytale (CJ and Grant English photoshoot) 

  Affairytale, A Memoir, was unlike any other reading experience I've encountered. Ever. Let me preface my review with the fact that I have NEVER read a non-fiction book. I guess I always thought non-fiction was autobiographies, and I, quite frankly, could care less about famous people's self-absorbed life stories... I had no idea non-fiction has love stories. The life love story of a young woman named Charmaine (nicknamed C.J.)...this is her story (and what a beautiful one it was)!

  Affairytale takes place in Minnesota and spans a timeframe of twelve years. CJ is our narrator and we take a journey in her shoes one day at a time. From those early days of first-love with Levi, the birth of her daughter Dani, her marriage, and her summers spent at the cabin by the lake with her family in Northern Minnesota. It's during those summers that CJ begins a friendship with a handsome, athletic guy named Grant English. Grant fast becomes her brother's best friend and she's the third during all the fun times each and every summer. Day by day, week by week, summer after summer, her feelings grow from that of easy fun to a deep-seated love and yearning for a man she can never have.

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  Affairytale is, quite simply, a love story of epic proportions. It's about finding your one true love that is meant to be your soul mate through every fiber of your being, yet being bound to another. It's the tug within your heart that reaches deep for that connection, grasps it, yet you just can't hang on because your heart has been promised to another- even if your heart isn't 100% invested anymore. It's about marrying a person you love, the father of your child, because it's the right thing to do but the relationship is far from's also the most selfless sacrifice to your happiness in this life.


 I knew within 10% of this book that I was reading something special. Affairytale is a engrossing friends-to-lovers trope, yet as I read along, I kept thinking to myself, "This story is real and this is their love story! They're living and breathing and Ms. English has ripped open her chest and poured out her heart for me and all the world to see." Because of this, I couldn't help but personally reach out to CJ. Via emails and messages, I connected wholeheartedly to her as a person, on page and in real life, telling her that it was surreal for me to actually chat with one of my book heroines! The book is so personal and she is so like-able, it just added to my reading experience tenfold. 

  C.J. English has a writing style I don't see too often. Her prose is poetic, detailed, and almost lyrical. It is amazing to me that this is a debut novel for a woman that started out writing a diet/exercise book and ended up telling her and Grant's love story. Because the writing was so beautiful and the story so touching, I found myself reading at a snail's pace- my heart pounding, closing out the world around me just to live within the pages of this book. This isn't a book for her to claim to be a victim. It's not vindictive. She highlights her mistakes, her flaws, her feelings, turmoil, and eventual happiness to finally connect with her one true love. I've never dealt with most of the things she's endured but I did find myself comparing my marriage to some of the things I too encountered in those early years together- we fought dirty. Thank goodness for gradual maturity. But I guess that made it even more relate-able to me.


Let me approach the elephant in the room. This is not a book about cheating. In fact, it's not solely a book about an affair. It's their fairy tale romance come to life. Yes, there's cheating. I know that's a hard limit for many and I respect that wholeheartedly. Let me also say this is not smut and the way that it's written, with the years and years apart, fighting their feelings, not even admitting to them no matter how hard it hurt, I found myself truly rooting for her and Grant. 

It's almost impossible to put yourself in her shoes and NOT root for happiness for all. Nobody is at fault. Nobody is innocent. Everyone is imperfect and this is not a book about pointing fingers and she and Grant jumping into the sack. It's a slow build of epic proportions...years, in fact, and the emotional side of the affair outweighs anything physical. But the eventual physical side mostly occurs AFTER her separation, was written with such a sensual undertone, her writing was almost seducing...

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 And now the story is over for me. I wish Grant and Charmaine English a life filled with love and eternal happiness. 10,000 days! I thank CJ for sharing her heart love story with me. I know this book wasn't written for profits, but to get her story out and what a beautiful story it was. One final piece of advice to the author...Quit your day job. You have a beautiful gift. Share it with the world! We pancake flat-butted women can find another drill sergeant exercise trainer to make us look like a booty-licious Brazilian model. 

Affairytale was taken from journal entries, saved texts, and personal recollections. The book cover and top picture is, in fact, Grant and CJ). 

And I thank you!

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  ***Thank you, Flo, for such an outstanding review that made me one-click this baby in warp speed.

  ***Note author's comment to my review below. If you're on the fence about reading this, maybe a little teaser into their current normal life will help...I'd buy this book for everyone who's experienced profound love before...if I could. 

Affairytale book trailer- YouTube-


Head on over to our Facebook page for a blog hop giveaway and win a SIGNED PAPERBACK of Affairytale: A Memoir on EACH blog! 

Open Wednesday, 10th June 2015 (10AM EST) internationally till 
Friday, 12th June 2015 (12PM EST)

Go HERE to join! 

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