Review: Identity Crisis

Reviewed by Shelly

When I first read the blurb for this story it piqued my interest and I was very excited to read it — even knowing it would be a relatively long read (not War and Peace long, just long for the genre.) This is a series, and I certainly didn’t notice a blurb or warning that for maximum enjoyment and understanding it must be read in order. Guess what? I didn’t read the first one in the series. Once I started reading, I felt like an interloper dropped in the middle of a conversation without any idea what’s going on because this felt/read like it was picking up from the first story.

Garrett Thorns is the younger brother of businessman Ellison Thorne. Ellison’s story was the first in the series. Garrett’s profession as a romance author is on the other end of spectrum from his brother and there seemed to be some underlying tension between these two. That tension might have been explained in the first story, but I’m not sure and for as long as this book was (343 pages) I should have been sure. Moving on. Garrett’s alter ego, Tess Delaney, has won a coveted author’s award, but reasonable Garrett fears that by presenting himself, a man, to his audience they’ll be turned off and he’ll eventually lose fans and in turn sales.

Kendra Davies, best friend to Ellison’s fiancée Dee Henning, is a marketing and PR genius — she’s also a fan of Tess Delaney’s work. Garrett and his agent have a winning proposal for Kendra: pretend to be Tess Delaney. Jumping into with both feet, Kendra agrees but it doesn’t work out as well as it was planned. (Does anything?)

Throughout, I had a lot of trouble with this book. I didn’t like that Garrett kept calling or referring to Kendra as a bitch. For such an intelligent person, his limited vocabulary kept getting stuck on that word. I counted and there were about 12 references toward Kendra. Which brings me to this – if you keep telling me that she’s such a bitch, I’m going to eventually believe you and I’m going to start thinking of her that way too. Well look what happened – I didn’t like Kendra (I know, you’re shocked) and as a matter of fact, I didn’t like Garrett either. He came across as an idiot and she just came across as a meanie, I think it was ‘cause her daddy didn’t love her.

There were a few other things that turned me off – Garrett and Kendra having sex at a local park, not in the woods around the park, but at the park bench – pants down ass in the air kind of thing. This was while Tess is being stalked. Cheese and cracker folks, get a room! For someone whose PR skills were the best in the business, Kendra didn’t come across as an experienced PR professional. She had so many secrets, I don’t know how she fit all of it into her young life – seemed more appropriate of a person much older who had time to get into some stuff they shouldn’t have. My last pet peeve, then I’ll stop – promise: Kendra slapped Garrett so much I was completely and totally in favor of him smacking the ugly right off her face.

Here’s what I did like. The bad guy! Yes, he was awesome. He was smart, conniving, and diligent in his stalking. Awwhh what more can you ask in a bad guy? I can honestly say he was my favorite character, but he didn’t get to shine until the last 20 pages or so and by then I was over the whole thing. There were some other noteworthy characters in the story: Carly the reporter didn’t realize that everything comes with a price, just dumb as hell. Wade Crittendon, security guru masked in darkness and shadows seemed like he might be cool to get to know. Stacie, Garrett’s ex-wife and Harris, Kendra and Dee’s best friend, would make an interesting couple.

There were many times that I wanted to DNF this story but I just couldn’t do it. Last thing –because you’d want to know – the sex was frequent but, as I didn’t like the participants, I couldn’t have cared less.

Happy Reading folks!

Rating: D

*ARC Provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Identity Crisis
by Grace Marshall
Release Date: January 17, 2013
Publisher: Xcite Books

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