06/06/2014

Review: The Opportunist {Tarryn Fisher}


★★★★☆
Written by Tarryn Fisher
Amazon

Olivia Kaspen is a manipulator, and she's used to getting exactly what she wants. With just one exception; Caleb Drake, the one she let slip away. After a chance encounter brings Caleb back into her life, Olivia finds herself desperate for a second chance at first-love. The only thing is, Caleb doesn't remember her. Or anything. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past a secret, Olivia manoeuvres herself back into Caleb's life. But there's an obstacle she didn't foresee: Caleb's new, wicked girlfriend. It's a race to the finish as they both engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who remembers neither of them. But soon enough, Olivia is going to have to face up to her lies, and in the process discover that love is not always enough to redeem you.
 
Every now and again, you just need a good old fashioned romance. No world-ending battles or hugely complex plots. No evil government or life and death threats. Sometimes, you just need a book that'll melt your heart and drop your jaw and make you root for a couple who get your heart racing. This is that book.

A bit of a stray from my usual, it's an adult book (yeah, I'm a grown-up). But never fear, that doesn't mean it's Fifty Shades of Filthy or anything like that, but it simply follows characters who are out in the big bad world

The story is told over the course of many years. We have flashbacks to college (which gives a good bit of background info), and then we see the story unfold over nearly a decade.

It was nice following the characters through the years and being able to watch them seamlessly evolve over time. There was no agonising wait, but instead we get glimpses into their futures and how events had changed them both. It was nice to be able to stick with them for so long.

Our heroine is definitely an opportunist. The moment she realises Caleb has lost his memory she jumps right back into his life, not wasting a second before trying to win him back over. Olivia is sharp-tongued and aggressive. Thing is, she's also rather likeable, despite the craziness. Really, she's just a sad girl who regrets losing her first love. It makes her easy to sympathise with, especially when we see her relationship with Caleb develop during flashbacks.


Caleb was a nice enough guy, and their chemistry was evident from the start. He seemed to need to know Olivia, like there was something pulling him toward her. Clearly years apart did nothing to put out the flames of their relationship. 

Even when I learned Caleb's secret (which I did see coming), I still couldn't help but love him. In a way I was actually glad to have my suspicions confirmed, because it solidified my belief that he and Olivia were perfect for each other.

But there was something that made me dislike Caleb: the reason the two of them broke up in the first place. Throughout the book Olivia beats herself up for losing Caleb, but it was not her fault at all. hated how the tables were turned to make it seem like Olivia was in the wrong when, really, Caleb was. It was annoying (and very typical) to have the woman demonised for the guy's actions.

Then there's Leah – Caleb's new girlfriend. She's perhaps the worst of the lot and every time she popped up, I wanted to burn the book. She was completely psychopathic and even more manipulative than Olivia. That being said, the next book in this strangely addictive series is going to be from her point of view – where I'm told she outdoes herself in the crazy department – and I'm actually really intrigued to read it.

The plot itself was pretty fascinating. It might not seem intricate at first glance, but there are so many erratically weaved webs; so much plotting and manipulation and scheming, that it really does start to become quite riveting

Watching the characters cheat and lie and, a lot of the time, behave like they had personality disorders, was actually immensely compelling. The characters were a train wreck, but that only made them more intriguing to read about: I never knew what any of them were going to do next. 

One thing that can't be denied is that Tarryn Fisher knows how to write a captivating story. Her plot is both simple and complex; the romance sweet but toxic; the characters both horrid and loveable. The ending was happy, but not in the way I think most people would have liked, but with two more books to go I don't doubt this addicting series will wrap up in the most satisfying way. This is a book that'll suck you into a vortex of swoon and complete craziness.

"Go be with your husband, before he realises he's still in love with me."


Allie has planned out a trio of marvellous desserts for Valentine's weekend. She'll be baking up a storm for love day! And that's not just a metaphor, because when she bakes, the kitchen ends up looking like it's been hit by a hurricane. But hey, the sugar makes the clean-up all worth while.
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16 comments:

  1. Caleb's actions will all be explained in time :)

    Great review of my absolute favorite series -- I hope you read the next two books!!

    Eva @ All Books Considered

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    1. Ahhh, good! Because that just completely shocked me and annoyed me! I'll definitely read the next two - I'm far too intrigued not to

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  2. "Thing is, she's also rather likeable, despite all the craziness." So true! Yeah, she was really crazy at times and very aggressive indeed, but also.. I couldn't help but root for her and Caleb. Agreed again on the annoying yet typical blaming of women. I think this book had so many great "lessons" people could learn from and really see things through a whole new perspective. I'm so intrigued by Leah's POV, but gawwwwd. I cannot stand her at all. It's been so long since I read this book about 2 years ago? And still not over any of it. So happy you enjoyed and the lines after "all in all" are perfection, Allie!

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    1. Definitely! Even with everything, I just kept rooting for them. I kept asking ymself, "why am I so desperate for these two to be together?" and the answer was: "I don't know. I just AM."

      leah is just . . . *shudders*. I dread to think of a whole book from her annoying POV, but I'm interested to see if she'll be at all likeable or if Tarryn will go with the whole 'irredeemable b*tch' idea dn roll with it

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  3. This book sounds so freaking amazing, I have it on the Kindle but haven't had the chance to pick it up yet. I love how it covers several years as well. Lovely review Allie!

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    1. As I mentioned on twitter, total mind f*ck, Jeann! You'll get addicted and you won't know why, but you won't be able to put it down!

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  4. This sounds absolutely wonderful! I'm loving the sound of the romance, characters - even if they are a bit horrid at times - and the romance. The storyline sounds intriguing with its simplicity, yet complexity (contradictory much - LOL!).

    I'm definitely going to give this a try - even if it's not something I'd typically read (I'm not usually a fan of straightforward romance books), but this sounds absolutely wonderful, enough that I'd be willing to step out of my comfort zone a bit and give it a try. Thanks for sharing Allie, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Definitely step-put of your comfort zone. It was a step-out for me and I ended up being strangely wowed by it

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  5. I love a good captivating romance novel every now and then, it's especially nice to take a break and read an adult book for a change!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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    1. It was my first adult book in so long, I felt like a regular ol' Mature Person reading it ;)

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  6. I AM SO UNBELIVEBLAY HAPPY YOU READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVOURITES :)
    Serouisly your review is excellent and on point! I loved this book and thought it was such a mind twister and like you i just never knew what the characters were going to do next. I fell inlove with Olivia because she was just so realitisic and broken and cruel and badass. Caleb was just urgh don't even get me started—and leia needs to take a trip to hell.
    PROMISE ME YOU'LL FINISH THIS SERIES! Honestly Allie—it's just so good and you're going to shed a few tears before the entire series is over.
    Lily

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    1. Oooh, it is? YAY. That means the next two books will be beyond awesome so OHHH I'M EXCITED.
      Olivia was definitely realistic and I kind of loved how screwed up she was! But also, despite all the craziness, she had a strong moral compass and she always felt remorseful for the bad things. She kind of had good intentions for everything, really. Unlike Leah, who was just an abomination :P

      YES CALEB. He needs to explain those actions!! Tell em there's a good explanation for what he did that made them break up. Because if ti was just straightforward assery I'm going to be seething!

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  7. Colleen Hoover praises this author all the time and pushed her new book Mud Vein so much that I ended up downloading it when it was super cheap (yet to read it though). So I am so happy you loved this one, you've definitely tempted me to try this as well. I think I'll give it a go even if I don't end up loving Mud Vein, they seem like very different types of books.

    Definitely agree that sometimes you just need a good old fashioned romance. I think I need one of those right about now.

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    1. I've never heard of Mud Vein but I just GR-stalked it and oh . . . lol. That sounds a bit weird. It kind of reminds me of those Saw films!

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  8. This one was so interesting to me because after I finished reading I was like WHAT THE WHAT and with all the craziness and drama I almost gave this book two stars. After discussing it with the girls i read it with though.. and processed it.. I gave it 3. Dirty Red (book 2) I ended up giving 4 stars and Thief (book 3) I'm giving 5!! They just get better!!! Trust me I was so surprised that I ended up loving the series like I do. I can't wait until you read the next two books!

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    1. I'm so happy that the other books keep getting better!!! I was a little worried about book 2 because, you know, bloody Leah but wooo! I've just ordered the next two and can't wait to just speed through them and get wrapped up in all the crazy once more :)

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