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review 2017-04-21 18:39
THE PERFECT STRANGER Review
The Perfect Stranger: A Novel - Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda's debut novel, All the Missing Girls, was a smash hit last year and put her name on the map. Seriously, is there anyone who book blogs and isn't aware of this woman? I'd think not.

 

I somehow never got around to reading that book, though I do have it on my shelf. Instead, my first Miranda novel is her second outing, The Perfect Stranger. This one focuses on former reporter-turned-teacher Leah, who has recently moved in with an old college roommate and taken a teaching job in western Pennsylvania. One day, her roommate (Emmy Grey is her name) disappears . . . and it's almost as if she never existed at all. While that is going on, there is another mystery unfolding: a couple of people are found murdered in a nearby lake, and Leah seems to be the nucleus of all these strange happenings.

 

Truth be told, this novel's synopsis in any form is more exciting than the story itself. This one just plods, never finding its legs. The narrative has as much energy as I do after sixty minutes on the elliptical at the gym. Leah is a decent character, though, and I like that Miranda made her a teacher. I just like reading about that occupation; it's fun, for me. It doesn't particular serve or hurt the story in any way.

 

The Perfect Stranger just feels too safe. You can sense the author wanting to say more, do more; this story wants to be more, but it falls woefully short. It says nothing of import and leaves the reader sorely disappointed. I guessed the 'twist' (if it can be called that) at approximately the 5% mark. Oops. I haven't felt this let down by a novel since reading Ruth Ware's latest. Ugh.

 

I plan to read this author's debut novel at some point, simply because I always give writers two chances to impress (or disappoint) me. But that won't happen any time soon.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC (which I am just now getting around to reading and reviewing - sorry!), which was given in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-04-20 18:22
Reading progress update: I've read 62%.
The Perfect Stranger: A Novel - Megan Miranda

Still not sure if I like this one or not... 

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review 2015-09-25 06:37
Romance in France
The Perfect Stranger - Anne Gracie

I enjoyed this historical romance very much. Some time ago, I read a glowing review of one of this author’s novels (I’m not sure if it was for this book or another of hers) and I added her name to my TBR list, to try some time, maybe. When I saw this book at a thrift store, I picked it up, but I was still skeptical. My skepticism dissolved after the first few pages. I couldn’t stop reading and couldn’t stop smiling.

I finished the book in two sittings and I’m definitely going to read more of Anne Gracie. Such a nice discovery. I’m tingling with anticipation. She has quite a few books published already, so I’m looking forward to a pile of pleasurable reading material.

Like most classical romances, this one is formulaic. It starts with a bang. Time – one summer night in 1818. Place – a beach in France. Characters – a young naive English woman Faith and a former British officer Nick. Faith is escaping some brutes, running along the beach. The thugs almost caught her, when a stranger appears out of the night and saves her.

After a devastating mistake, she is alone, ruined, in a foreign country, without any money or any hope. Her prospects are bleak. He is a former officer who can’t see a woman suffering. He offers her the only thing that could save her – his name. They marry the next day. The rest of the story is their traveling together, learning to love and trust each other, discovering new hope, and finding soul mates.

The plot is not very important, it’s just a vehicle for the characters, and they shine in this novel. Although both are fairly standard – she is soft and loving but with a steely core, femininity at her best; he is a deceptively rough fellow, an alpha male with a heart of gold – their interactions are full of humor, interlaced with emotions. The tension is high throughout the tale, and the pace is as fast as any reader could wish.

The narrative flows, and the action feels like ping-pong, zinging back and forth across the book’s landscape, highlighting an occasional absurdity and often twisting in unexpected directions like bends on a mountain road. The faint whiff of the ridiculous prevents this amusing tale from being too sweet and too blatantly sexual, making it just saucy enough to make even the most discerning reader happy.

The only problem I could find with this book is a pet peeve of mine. Nick has a dark secret and he keeps this secret from Faith. This is a typical fiction device; I would’ve accepted it with equanimity, even if I don’t like plots based on secrets, if the author didn’t keep that secret from me as well. Unfortunately, she did, and I hate such gimmicks. It spoiled the book for me, at least somewhat, so I dropped half a star from my rating.

Otherwise, an almost perfect romance.

 

Note: I just won a giveaway from Murder by Death, and she is sending me another book by Anne Gracie. I feel so happy about it. Thanks, friend!

 

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review 2015-07-09 07:46
The Perfect Stranger
The Perfect Stranger - Tina Adamski,Rob Sheppard

I've read a story very similar to this before so I wasn't happily surprised by the ending like I was the first time.

One out of three ain't bad, I suppose.

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text 2015-07-08 22:36
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
The Perfect Stranger - Tina Adamski,Rob Sheppard

So this will be my last M/M freebie of today and for a while, fingers crossed I like this one :)

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