Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher

4 Star

Dear Opportunist, 

You thought you could take him from me, but you lost. Now, that he's mine I'll do anything to keep him. Do you doubt me? I have everything that was supposed to be yours. In case you were wondering; he doesn't ever think about you anymore. I won't let him go....ever. 

Leah Smith finally has everything she has ever wanted. Except she doesn't. Her marriage feels more like a loan than a lifelong commitment, and the image she has worked so hard to build is fraying before her eyes. With a new role and a past full of secrets, Leah must decide how far she is willing to go to keep what she has stolen.

Lydia - 4 Star

Dirty Red stomped all over the spectrum of my feelings. I loathed Leah from the first page, even more than I did in The Opportunist. She was vile, selfish, and her self-absorption made me want to shove her off a building, particularly as there was an innocent, defenseless infant involved. But Fisher does something amazing with her writing. She waves a wand and magically you’re feeling sorry for her characters – even the most vile ones. By the end I wanted Leah to have her happy ending – okay, I mostly did because I was still not one hundred percent convinced about her. But I did understand her better, and I liked that – even if I didn’t love her.

Caleb comes across as man in this sequel to The Opportunist, rather than a boy. He steps up to the plate and takes care of his baby when Leah obviously has issues with being a mother. That’s not to say he doesn’t have issues. He does – he’s still in love with Olivia and he did what he did in the previous book (no spoilers!) which I still haven’t forgotten. He is not my favourite male lead character, but for some reason I want him to succeed and be happy too. Fisher strikes again.

Overall though, I can’t say I loved Dirty Red as much as The Opportunist. I did enjoy following along to Leah’s side of the story and learning more about her. I really appreciated that the novel was a continuation and didn’t cover the same ground as The Opportunist. There were frequent flashbacks though, which shed light on Leah and Caleb’s past, as well as delved further into Leah’s past and how she comes to be so messed up, which was needed to become sympathetic to her. I did find these became a bit too frequent for me though.

True to form, Dirty Red contains ample twists and turns, and in the end I didn’t find I had as much sympathy for Leah as I did with Olivia in The Opportunist. In fact, I never really liked Leah, where I actually liked Olivia and because of this, I don’t think I liked the novel as much. Or maybe the difference in my enjoyment was because The Opportunist was such a raw, unique read, and completely different from what I had been reading at the time. Regardless, I’m eagerly awaiting Caleb’s side of the story – the third installment in the trilogy –  because, like a train wreck, I can’t look away!

Thank you to myself for buying this book. All opinions are my own. 

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