Review…Lessons In Pure Life by Audrey O’Connor



Freshly minted grad Emilia Noble arrives in Costa Rica to teach English in the tropical community of Pacifica. Its carefree, pura vida lifestyle is a welcome contrast to her dark and wintry origins. Tossing caution aside like an old winter coat, she plunges headfirst into an exotic cocktail of sensory pleasure.

Diego is a local whose surfer body and cool detachment make Lia buzz with a long-lost thrill. Fascinated by her new environment, she can’t help but wonder about the moody inner workings of the boy with triceps like Wolverine and a grimace to match.

Diego seems to have no problem ignoring Lia, though. Caught up in his family’s conflicted attitude toward foreigners, he notices her only when it’s convenient. But as Lia thrives in her new surroundings, Diego might just find reason enough to defy his embattled, insular father. When north and south are mixed together, the results are intoxicating.


My Review:

Lessons In Pure Life is the debut new adult work from author Audrey O’Connor and quite an enjoyable freshman effort. Rich with description and with interesting characters, it was a book I was happy to spend an afternoon with.

American Emilia Noble has decided to take a position teaching English in a small, beautiful town in Costa Rica and is immediately struck, not only with the beauty of her surroundings, but with a handsome local. Unfortunately his completely aloof attitude overshadowed his chiseled good looks. She would have been able to forget about him, but fate had another plan altogether and she soon realized he’s the brother of the director of the school she taught at and he was helping with renovations. Now it seemed as though she couldn’t go one day without seeing him at least once. It was disarming, to say the least, and when he starts to warm to her, she knew she wasn’t going to be able to withstand the attraction she felt. Now she just hoped the signals he was throwing in her direction weren’t being misread on her part and he was becoming as attracted to her as she was with him…

As I said earlier, this was an enjoyable read. I admired Emilia for her determination and strength in deciding to go to a completely new place and to try a new way of life. She is a pretty strong gal with a good head on her shoulders. Diego was also a great character, with a dark and mysterious way that really had me guessing as to what the reasons were behind his facade. He would give brief glimpses to a kind and warm man beneath the harder exterior and I was just as drawn to him as Emilia was. I really enjoyed reading their relationship and how it grew from a tentative start to a strong and unexpected bond.

Of course there were more than a few stumbles song the way and Diego’s father turns out not to be the most accepting of American women, which causes quite the rift between Emilia and Diego. Now I’m not a spoiler fan so I won’t give anything away, but know that I don’t recommend books that have unhappy endings *wink wink*

One thing I have to admit I had a teeny issue with was the author using Spanish phrases and not really giving the reader an idea of what was being said. Most of the time I could get an idea of what the translations were but there were more than a few times  I was at a total loss. I felt like I missed out on some of the emotion and relationship dynamics because of that.

Overall, I think this was an entertaining story with the author giving the reader a chance to take a trip to a lush and beautiful land. Thank you, Audrey, for a great read!



Three-and-a-Half Loves


Book Links:

Amazon  |  B&N

About the author:

Audrey O’Connor can’t help but color outside the lines with big, bright markers. She’s fascinated by the influence of popular culture on the female experience and inspired by creative boldness and the breaking of the dumb rules women are supposed to follow. Audrey lives in Chelsea, Quebec, where she can be found DJ-ing at local events or scanning a cafe for outlets for her laptop.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: