Author: Con Riley
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Links: DSP
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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.
Ed Britten is an ex-soldier with 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.
Review: This was a cute story about two men from very different worlds competing in a British reality show for singers. Pasha not only wants to be a star. He needs to be a star. This show is his chance to escape his boring life and prove to all those in his past he made something of himself. Pasha knows how to turn up the charm and play for the cameras. Ed is on the show solely for the purpose of singing and recording his deceased friend’s song. Something the winner is guaranteed. Ed doesn’t get that to stay on the show he needs more than talent. Viewers want to be entertained and feel a connection the person they’re voting for. When both men learn the show is rigged and not in their favor. They devise a plan. To fake a romance between them to gain the interest of the viewers. If the fans love them then management can’t kick them off. Somewhere along the way of manipulating the contest they actually fall in love.
I thought this book was pretty good. It’s simple and sweet with lovable characters. A good amount of angst if you enjoy it. The characters were deeper than their budding romance and I found myself enjoying those parts of the story the most. They’re strangers playing at lovers. The intimacy comes easy despite Ed not being totally out to the public as a whole. Pasha doesn’t care. He’ll do whatever it takes to sell the story. Doesn’t hurt that Ed’s a nice guy who is easy on the eyes. The narrator certainly added a lot of charm to the story IMO. I’m a sucker for accents and each character had a distinction. He did a great job of helping me feel like I knew the characters. Pasha’s character particularly. Despite being passed around and looked down upon most of his life he has the refreshing outlook on everyday. He brought the joy to his character basically. Ed’s character has a lot of guilt and pain due to the loss of his best friend. He wasn’t looking for love but that’s what he finds with Pasha. They’re total opposites but it works between them. I loved that Pasha gained a family and a lover through his relationship with Ed. Ed realizes he can and should go on with his life. That he can be happy. I enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for something short and sweet I’d recommend giving this a try.