Please welcome Mags, who brings you today’s Guest Review of…
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Release Date: Nov. 14, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format(s): Paperback (426 pgs), e-book
Book Source: purchased myself (e-book)
About the book:
Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex -boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With a bad reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah. It’s a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.
What Mags is talking about:
The Opportunist starts with an innocent enough question: What would you do if you had a second chance with your first love? It sounds like a story about second chances and what people will do to get it right the second time but that is where the safety of a predictable story line crashes into the wall at 100 mph.
Enter Olivia Kaspen; she just cannot get out of her own way. She has panache for keeping people at arms length and if they happen to get too close, she does everything she can to run them off. She is a control freak in a slightly maniacal and completely obsessive way. Still, there is an air of vulnerability about her that is heartbreakingly endearing. I cannot help but love Olivia and all her stubbornness. On a fateful afternoon she runs into to her ex, Caleb only to discover that he has lost his memory in an accident.
Enter Caleb Drake, he is gorgeous, enigmatic and is used to getting whatever he wants. I adore Caleb, I completely understand Olivia’s attraction. I could eat that boy up with a spoon! However, when Olivia challenges his theory of self, he becomes infatuated and obsessed with possessing her. The toxic mixture of damaged and obsessed lay waste to their relationship in the worst possible ways. 3 years later he is a blank slate standing in a music store ready to explore the heady chemistry he feels with a beautiful “stranger.”
What I liked: The start of every great book is a great storyline and Ms. Fisher’s angst-filled storytelling doesn’t disappoint. She takes her time describing the scene, making sure that the reader can see, hear and taste every moment as it unfolds. This masterful practice of word painting only heightened my emotional connection to the characters because it felt like I was there, making the story feel very personal. My favorite thing about the book is the continual shifting of the story going back and forth from past to present; it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire ride. I have covered a spectrum of emotions all due to the fact that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book since I read it. I loved that I couldn’t just passively turn the pages and sigh contentedly; I was passionate about what was going on. In fact, more than once, I nearly threw my iPad across the room. It is rare when I find a book has the power to evoke such great emotion in me but that is why I love to read, to feel something mind blowing. Part of me was a little uncomfortable with how much I loved the book because I have never thought of myself as an emotional masochist; I was stripped raw and perfectly okay with that. I have a Pavlovian response, by way of a lump in my throat, at the mere mention of Jaxson’s, pressed pennies, oranges and peppermint. I am tremendously grateful that the story doesn’t end with this book. Dirty Red, the second book in this trilogy, is in the making as I type this. The only thing I would consider before reading is: it is a beautifully sad, powerful and intense book. If that were not typically your forte then I would use caution when considering reading The Opportunist.
For those who find themselves in need of commissary afterwards, you can find comfort with other readers and enjoy a spoiler from Dirty Red at The Pressed Penny www.thepressedpenny.com.
Personal favorite – a must read (A+)