A thoroughly modern story about unanticipated love…
Author: Con Riley
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Winning the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn’t have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple—he’ll make the British public love him.
Ex-soldier Ed Britten has a different agenda. Winning means he’ll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.
Ed and Pasha’s discovery that the contest isn’t a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there’s more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.
Con Riley was recently a guest of Prism Book Alliance. Be Sure to check out their guest post here.
Con Riley’s writing is so smooth, shifting rhythm in concert with the emotion and mood of her characters. Her dialogue is spot on and it was already sucking me in by chapter three. I was intrigued by both Pasha and Ed, their motivations and past experiences, and what brought them to this competition. Riley makes it look so easy, creating these connections between her characters to which I then make my own.
When I next looked up, I was a third of the way through this book! Thoroughly enjoying myself, to say the very least. Despite what could be called a too perfect set up when looking from the outside in, it does provide a fun, humorous and conflict-rich backdrop for this story. Pasha and Ed quickly realize that, by working together, their odds of success rise. From this blooms many a pitfall and opportunity for misunderstanding, but we’re not dealing with spring chickens here, at least not in terms of life experience. They head most of these off at the pass. I also like the added ingredient of trying to outsmart those who would prefer see them fail at their endeavor.
Ed and Pasha are well matched, complimenting each other in opposing ways. They also share traits like determination, intelligence and the ability to blush.
Know what’s fun? A fabulous “sticking it to the man” attitude that winds its way into this plan of Pasha and Ed’s. They discover parts of the producers’ grand plan. What they do in response, I’ll leave that for you to explore. 😉
Oh, also, a vunderbar component, if not completely obvious, is a declaration of equality for all. Which, of course, is worthy of such open treatment. I may have pumped my fist.
Natural. Just like life. That’s the kind of story Con Riley writes and that’s what we have here. Small gestures that speak with the volume turned up to eleven, surprising guffaws at awkward moments that lead to giggling, and needy fumbling during a first kiss.
And then the emotion hits, full force. It’s not sappy or overwrought. Just like every other part of this story, it’s real in its imperfections, change, and growth. More grinning from me, I tells ya. More heart and more heat for one and all. Where would it all lead? If I get much more specific, it’ll give things away.
Though, I do know one destination without a doubt: this is getting added to my comfort reads shelf. I’ll definitely read it again, and maybe again, and then once more. I loved getting the inside scoop on this beginning for Pasha and Ed and feeling complete satisfaction from a complete story. I easily and happily recommend this one. 🙂
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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