Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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Split Ends
by Kristin Billerbeck

Reviewed by Lori Fox

"Kristin Billerbeck is unmatched in her ability to create unique characters that are so likeable and so real that you're drawn in by page one."

Sarah Claire Winowsky is a small town beautician who has spent her life living in a dream world populated by the likes of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. She’s longed for a Hollywood moment, an instant of reality imitating the screen. After all, reality has nothing on the movies.

Her mother is a drunk, and her father . . . well, he might be the town mayor. Being the daughter of the town joke, and the only girl around that the boys weren’t allowed to date wasn’t what she’d call a great life. What Sarah Claire really needed to do was get out into the world and prove her worth. Lucky for her, her cousin Scott in Los Angeles offered her a plane ticket, a place to stay, a credit card, and an instant in with one of L.A.’s most select salons. Even with all that going for her, it’s up to Sarah Claire to make her reputation and career, even if it means changing her clothes, background, and her name.

Amazingly, her first day offers up the Hollywood moment she always dreamed of when she meets Scott’s temporary roommate Dane. Complete in a Humphrey Bogart fedora and a pair of very sexy eyebrows, he’s everything Sarah Claire ever wanted.

I wasn’t too sure about this book. After all, how does a book about beauticians and saving the world one hair cut at a time translate into a good read? I still don’t know how she did it, but she did! Kristin Billerbeck is unmatched in her ability to create unique characters that are so likeable and so real that you’re drawn in by page one. By page two you’re so invested in those characters that it’s nearly impossible to put the book down.

Billerbeck has a marvelous sense of humor that just shines through in every situation, and a grasp on pop culture that enhances her characters’ personalities. For instance, my favorite line in this book was: “Stranger things have happened. Paris Hilton happened.” Sprinkled throughout her references to reality TV and old movies are pieces of wisdom and real life struggles. In one case, Sarah Claire believes she has to lie to get a job working for Yoshi, an exclusive stylist, and to keep from losing her place at her cousin’s apartment. As a Christian, it’s difficult for her to make such a choice, yet it seems to be the only way.

The girls (and guys) that populate Kristin’s novels are real. They have real problems, real moral dilemmas, and real choices to make. They’re not perfect, but they try. Most of all, they’re lovable, believable, and highly entertaining. If you want an entertaining read that’s light in subject matter, but rich in story, pick up a copy of Split Ends. You won’t be disappointed.

Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.