The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher: Book Review

Title: The Opportunist
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me With Lies #1
Date Published: December 3, 2011
Publisher: Self-published
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
ISBN13: 2940013482746
Edition: eBook
Size: 224


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Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy 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 Smith. It is 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.


Review:

I was so uptight in reading this book. It also proved how synesthetic I could be that it brought back memories and aroused emotions that I feel the need to write them. If you're looking for a book that will make you ache, this book will never disappoint.

I've been jaded over YA romantic books (which some I read featured- in my perspective- immature, insecure, dense heroines; mostly because they were written with the young heroine's point of view). I still had the hung up on A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones/GoT) series after reading the whole set the second time (to help me review the new aired season on tv since there are details I didn't quite notice on the books).

So I was quite happy to note that the book I held promises of deceit and plots like the antiheroes and villains of GoT. Still, I was wary of this one being a romantic book. Of course, I expected it wouldn't be like the epic GoT, with the difference in perspective of the writing and genre. Nonetheless, I promised I'd try reading the first few pages.

And I found myself inadvertently poring into the book. I was glued to my seat, oblivious that it was already 4 in the morning and I haven't slept for the past 17 hours. I sat back tight & drank water when I had the chance, because I badly need to. This book is probably one of those that are so engaging, it would rip you apart- because a part of me has been taken by it (okay, I'm exaggerating).

In the first-person perspective, the altering insight into both the past and present of the female protagonist probably did it for me. The Past chapters presented such sweet memories of college life with an airy, assertive, cocksure gorgeous boy that turned out to be the protagonist's love of life. Nothing beats than being cornered into submitting to a hadsome boy's whim especially if you think your life depended on it- albeit realizing only later. The boy was shown to be smug and like the stereotypical jock-- spicy and to some extent, insufferable. But there were moments when he exhibited his good inner self with a certain deepness to him one would like to delve and an appealing nature to wallow. I was really taken with the scene on the gym (he was a Basketball varsity) while somewhat similar to a local novelette (here in the Philippines) I had read before. Meanwhile, the Present chapters are provocative in one's emotions and totally agitating.

The first 3 pages are quite intriguing. You would badly want to know as to what happened between Caleb Drake and Olivia Kaspen in the past that set their world apart, about the magnitude of Olivia's actions, of unforgiving things that makes her describe herself as sinful and evil that you would think left the both of them broken and not just the girl. While normally, one wants to know what would happen next to a story, I was more interested on the revelation of the characters' past to answer the question as to why Olivia condemned herself so much.

When Olivia gained the courage to 'bump' into Caleb after 3 years post-breakup and learned directly from him that apparently, he has amnesia due to a vehicular accident and has forgotten everything about her, I was drawn back to the title of the book especially when they chanced upon each other again and the amnesiac Caleb offered to meet with her for a cup of coffee so he might gain new friends- a succeeding step to his starting anew with life. And I thought it was all cliched. (whoa, such long description!)

I suspect the truth was already forthcoming just with that. I could relate the story to a local movie (here in the Philippines, again!) with a man as the protagonist and his ventures with a pretentious girl whom he had hurt before. Before I could flip to the next page, I was already questioning as to who the real opportunist was. And in the end, I wasn't wrong.

Certain events in the Past chapters would gnaw on your conscience and judgement. There are scenarios that are life-altering and would question even your own morality. And I realize something about myself. I don't want to engage in "too much emotions" and am too selfish if not too prideful. Love will make one move mountains but pride would bring err. Suffice to say, pride should be used in moderation (I really have such a thing for pride). This book elicit so much emotions that pausing at the middle of the story to answer for the call of my bed already left me gritty and raw thereafter.

Caleb Drake might be gorgeous but if there's one character I fell in love with instantly, that would be Noah Stein-- roguishly handsome with coal black hair, caramel skin, and a chiseled jaw. He had one of those distinctly Jewish noses and two green orbs of eyes, as the book said so verbatim. His looks is one thing, his character is quite another. For a self-made rich gorgeous man, he was full of wisdom. I could say he was self-made since when asked what his occupation was, he replied with "I own my own business". His reply was quite blunt and so self-assuring, that his roughness in that simple reply is arresting, even if you have to imagine it being said gently with a smile. But then most of all, just like most naughty boys, he has his own share of misdeeds when he was young that I find quite fascinating, unlike the misconduct when it comes to the flesh (except BDSM of course, with the relationship established without emotions attached but simple trust between the sub and the dom; I love BDSM-related stories).

For a moment I thought that the book would do quite a surprising turn (which would otherwise be no longer surprising to me)-- that Olivia will mature (if she isn't mature enough), gain insight into her selfishness, and realize a future with Noah. And the book would end with her and Noah in marriage (like two previous borrowed books I've read 8 years back that I've forgotten the titles; one with something like "yada yada in Vegas" with a guy named Flinn if anyone would help me recall). Maybe I instantly fell in love with Noah because of the words 'roguishly' and 'chiseled' (like the almost-perfect bodies of ancient Greek scupltures; they're not perfect since school taught me that their rendered muscles are impossible to show in their poses in the real life; that they were rendered in exaggeration) or maybe I'm biased because I have a knack for liking second characters like Cam Briel of Fallen series (by Lauren Kate) with the green eyes and coal black hair too, especially with his come-hither character and most of all, his roguish side (and certainly because of Uchiha Itachi of Naruto).

This book is one of the most fulfilling books I've read, with a feeling similar to what you would feel when reading any of Paulo Coehlo's books. I have forgotten the details of all the 6 books I had read of Coehlo but still I know how they felt like. I never thought I could feel so divine after reading this book (yes, divine). But in all honestly, my disappointment with those other books rubbed on me again. I never thought I'd experience that brooding feeling again for experiencing once would be enough for me, the second time makes no matter, and much more the third would not make any difference. But then it did for me. After reading the book, I ache so badly. But then maybe I love to experience emotional pain while reading a book that this one possess. And if there's one thing it confirmed on my life's perspective, that would be "Never commit mistakes in the first place". The feeling was rather intensified with me not being able to move on with my own shortcomings (not with romance though). To top it all, what I like most in this book is that unlike other romantic books where the heroine would elicit the desire to finally satisfy their baser needs with the man they love, this one would evoke of wanting to be wholly connected to the person- in heart and in soul, that simply connecting physically would never satiate.

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