Beautiful Liar Paperback – 30 Jul 2015
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About the Author
Tara Bond grew up in Surrey, England. She read History at Cambridge University, before working in various sensible office jobs. She lives in London with her husband, and loves reading and writing, as well as watching movies and TV box sets. Her guilty pleasures are cocktails and chocolate desserts.
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Beautiful Liar, Tara Bond
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: New Adult
what I love about the NA genre is the drama and this book has it in spades! What I don’t like about so many of the novels though is that they also lack reality in many areas – sadly there’s some of that crept in here too. Its made for a mixed review though I really did enjoy the story.
Years ago a friend lent me a couple of Danielle Steele novels. we’d shared books before and both enjoyed them but these two – well I just hated how the heroine was able to go from almost destitute to a much more favourable position defying all reasonable explanations, and how everything fell into place for her just at the right time. There were echoes of that here in the way Nina goes from terrible accommodation to much better, how she is on what one would expect to be a minimum wage job and yet able to pay off a couple of hundred a week from debts to (cliché) Russian gangster-type loan shark, while still paying for a B&B and transport, food etc ( before the additional job and money) ....then later in the next min wage job is able to rent a three bed place in London for her family ( would be far out of her budget) ... the private clinic for her mum, even the uni options at the end, it was all just too easy and I need my reads to have an edge of reality if they are going to feel true. I have to mention alos that lack of condoms...come on, Nina knows he's a playboy type, sleeps around and yet no mention of condoms, in fact they can't use them as sometimes they just haven't time!! Bad role for authors to use in this day and age, safe sex every time please!
Against that there’s the characters – they were great. I loved Nina, valued her independence, understood her young sister issues, loved her friend Jas, even some “good” bitch types – I do enjoy those, and then of course there’s the delicious bad boy Alex....
Nina, she was a great lead, so giving, so supportive when many her age would have just abandoned the family to look after themself. She’s got a strong core of independence which gained her a lot of respect. That’s good – I like heroines that stand up for themselves, don’t take the easy route. She’s a hard worker and just kept on trying, even when it seemed there was nothing more she could do. Alex, he had me from first glance of those ice blue eyes! There’s something about him, bad man, playboy flirt and yet somehow we know he’s more than that outward facade. Sorting truth from fiction, reality from the appearances given isn’t easy. Giles, his older brother is a total contrast, and its very much Mr favoured nice guy good son v Mr playboy, flirt lightweight – or so its seems. It’s easy to see why their father favours Giles.
Together these characters made for some fabulous drama, incidents that did feel real as opposed to my crits earlier, and the story flowed really well. I love the way Tara let the drama extend into a good quarter of the book. Far too often its happy, happy, happy, then – oops, a hiccup, quick bit of tears, and over and done two pages later. This book let me wallow, let me feel how despairing poor Nina was, ( and Alex of course) she’s tried only to do her best for her family, but along the way fallen in love and then it seems life is out to bat her down again. That was perfect, a NA drama at its best and made the book for me.
Overall the good out weighed my niggles by far, and if those parts was a little more realistic, more rooted in what life is really like, and they used condoms!! - this would have been a five star read. As it is its a solid four, well deserved and very enjoyable.
Stars: Four, perfect drama filled New Adult read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
If you enjoyed my review I'd love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn't I'd love to know why, in case I've inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.
I liked the message Tara Bond purveys throughout the story, although I would have liked a couple of elements to have been explained a little more (I can't go into detail without posting huge big fat spoilers). At only 19, Nina has the daunting responsibility of looking after her younger sister and trying to sort out her mother's problems. She struggles to let her guard down and to accept help.
The story takes a few twists and turns (some more unexpected than others). I had my doubts about certain characters from the start. I liked Nina, but I wanted her to make Alex work a bit harder at times to make amends. I warmed to Alex more than I was expecting (for the most part), but he didn't entirely win me over. Although I had a lot of sympathy for his situation, I wasn't sure about his earlier behaviour and I wouldn't have been as forgiving about certain 'antics' as she was. I did appreciate how hard he tried to look after Nina and her family. I have to admit I was a bit quick to judge Jas, who I kept expecting to be part of a big secret.
I enjoyed the story but felt that Nina was a little rash at times. Also some of the conversations between Nina and Alex seemed a little awkward. It made a nice change to read an English story writing by an English writer - I particularly enjoyed reading the descriptions of the different parts of London (rather than just the usual expensive central areas). I wonder if April will get her own story?
I received a review copy.
The story starts off well and hooked me from the beginning. The introduction to main character Nina is a little different and right away you are let in on the scale of the issues she faces with her family, especially her mother who is a considerable liability. The story follows in much the same vain with Nina constantly battling to overcome adversary and come out on the other side stronger for it. She’s fighting to get her family back together and it’s a constant burden for her throughout the book.
Nina takes a job the Noble family as a last resort. The family’s lifestyle couldn’t be more different from Nina’s and it’s something that’s played up throughout the whole story. Nina is hard to get to know and has problems with trusting people and letting her guard down. To that end Nina finds it hard to be able to rely on anyone but herself and I saw her character as a bit of martyr. Throughout she did get a bit better at accepting help but it seemed to only be when she was left with no other option. I severely disliked her mother in the beginning of the book for putting Nina in this impossible situation but not seeing the bigger picture fuelled this for both Nina and me as the reader.
Nina and Alex come up against each other in the story and the chemistry between is immediate and intense. Throughout I got the feeling the Alex was holding something back and all of the bravado he puts on with his arrogance and drinking and devil may care attitude sometimes seemed like a show more than his true self. I admittedly found him as attractive as Nina did and secretly wished they could overcome whatever it was that made them clash throughout.
The story was addictive and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster constantly going up and down because as soon as Nina started to get somewhere something else seemed to crop up. I would recommend this for fans of Beth Kery and Courtney Cole and I’ll definitely be looking out for more from Tara.
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Nineteen year old Nina Baxter has had to grow up fast.Read more