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The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies) Paperback – July 26, 2018
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- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 26, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 262 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1723142360
- ISBN-13 : 978-1723142369
- Item Weight : 9.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #131,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Our main couple, Olivia and Caleb, are epic trash people, and this is their saga of dumpster-worthy decisions. They first hooked up in college, but only after Olivia schemed, lied, and stalked her way into his heart, even going so far as to screw over his then-pregnant girlfriend by spilling out all of her dirty laundry. I saw a meme earlier that said "All Tea, All Shade" - that's Olivia. She's scandal wrapped in an ill-fitting dress. You can't quite hate her because her life is so awful, but you can't really stand to be around her, either.
It's told in dual timeline format, with the present story being written in present tense and the past story written in past tense, which can be a little confusing (especially since sometimes the author forgets which story she's telling, and slips into the wrong "tense"). This format is used to conceal information from the reader, because in the current story, Caleb, now with a different girlfriend, has amnesia, and Olivia, schemer that she is, takes advantage of his delicate condition in order to worm her way back into his heart a second time. We know that when they last parted, Caleb hated her for some unforgivable transgression, but we don't know what. All that we do know is that Olivia is one sick puppy... and as we read on, we find out Caleb is, as well. Maybe worse than we think.
The last third of the story gets extra weird and a little unbelievable, but I just decided to roll with it. MUD VEIN and MARROW did the same thing. Tarryn Fisher seems to be making "jumping the shark" her trademark, and somehow she makes it work, even if you secretly admit to yourself that what's happening is a little stupid. The "past" story was the embodiment of virtually every negative new adult stereotype that I hate, but somehow Fisher made that work, too. I think it works because she doesn't try to apologize for being over-the-top or writing trash people characters. She just writes them and lets them tell their story themselves, rather than wasting time trying to apologize for them. ATHEISTS WHO KNEEL AND PRAY also featured a cast of incredibly repulsive characters, but I liked that book more than I should have, because it was compelling and unapologetic.
This definitely feels more unpolished than MUD VEIN and MARROW (both of which I believe were published later), and I noticed more errors in THE OPPORTUNIST, as well. There is also a higher rate of awkward metaphors that sound like something you might expect to see in a high school creative writing class, some notable ones comparing a dude to a shiny pepper she wants to take a bite out of and mouths clashing together like thunderclouds. *eye roll* But if you can get over the negative tropes and the unlikable people and the OTT drama, this is actually a riveting read. I devoured it in just a few hours and was frankly amazed at how quickly those pages turned. I own the two sequels and am excited to see what dark and reeking twisted alleys this story takes next.
3 out of 5 stars
This book is basically the same as Atheists Who Kneel and Pray also by Tarryn Fisher. The main character is very much the same; bitter, emotionally stunted and immature because of her lack of relationship with her mother and father. I get the psychology lesson Tarryn is asserting here - someone who was not loved as a child does not know how to love. But that doesn't make this character or her story enjoyable. It's frustrating to see her sabotage the most important relationship of her life. I started hating the main character, Olivia, halfway through the book because she was so hateful and selfish but stuck with it and read it through to the end. THIS IS NOT A HAPPILY EVER AFTER TALE. She does not get the guy. So it makes me mad that I had to suffer through all of her twisted thinking and actions only to find out she ruined her chances with the man she truly loved. I think the author or editor intends the reader to feel resolution in the end because in the epilogue we see that Olivia has learned to be a nicer person who no longer manipulates or plays games but at that point I'm not pulling for her anymore.
I've read this book twice now and let me tell you, the second time around was just as amazing as the first time. I was instantly drawn into the lives of these remarkable characters. I loved Olivia even though she was so flawed. Her flaws made her who she was and in the end, everything that happens helps her to grow into a better person, into someone she can be proud of and someone she can love. When Olivia and Caleb meet, it's a fun situation and I love the pull and chemistry they share through the whole book. Their love is the kind of love that comes along once in a lifetime and it just devours you whole. It's a deep kind of love that you'll feel all the way to the depths of your soul. I wanted them to work through everything and be together, but life has other plans. You will be blown away and by the last page, your heart will be a shattered mess. Mine still is and it makes me wanna read the whole series again.
If you love a book that will shock you, break your heart, piece it back together while trying to tear it at the same time, then you'll be hooked! I sure am.
I give The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher 4 out of 5 I'll Always Love You STARS!
Top reviews from other countries
The story has you hooked from the first line and wanting to know more.
There were times through the book that I both hated the characters, loved them, wanted to hit them both, wanting to throw my kindle across the room. My emotions were a mess.
That ending. I can't even. It hit me SO hard in the feels that after reading, I just sat on the bed and cried for a good solid 30 minutes.
Then I came on amazon and discovered that it was part of a trilogy! I downloaded and read all 3, back to back, none stop. There is part of me that wished it ended at the opportunist because the ending was so powerful, but I love love love Caleb and Olivia! Please read this book!!!
I personally prefer not to see spoilers so I try to avoid dishing them out when reveiwing a book, I think it's important for the reader to experience it for themselves. This book blips between the past and present which I love you find you get a better understanding of the main characters, I am pretty sure my blood pressure went up at times. I couldn't get enough of the raw, passionate, edginess to her style of writing, the way the story unravels has a way of captivating you. Pulled me in hook line & sinke. I was left thinking about this book long after I first read it & every time since, it's my go to book.
Before we begin... here's the deal. Caleb Drake has amnesia. After a car crash, he remembers nothing about his life. Not his home, not his favourite colour, not his girlfriend... nada.
'What would it be life to forget your favourite colour? Or the girl that smashed up your heart?'
He doesn't even remember Olivia Kaspen. The girl he loved more than life itself. The girl who broke his heart three years ago. And being the opportunist she is, she doesn't plan to tell him who she is or what she did. She plans to make the most of every second he doesn't remember.
She's `Team Amnesia'.
'I'm Olivia Kaspen, and if I love something I rip it from my life. Not intentionally... not unintentionally either.'
And so the story goes. Olivia and Caleb `get to know one another' all over again, while he creates a new life for himself, discovering that the life he's forgotten really isn't all that much to write home about.
"Maybe soon you'll remember your favourites," I say quietly.
"Or, I'll just make new favourites. Starting with you."
But Leah, Caleb's forgotten girlfriend, has other ideas. She knows who Olivia is and she has no intention of letting Caleb go without a fight.
So, anyway... here goes the purge.
Oh my goodness. Let's start with how furious I am with Caleb!!! Am I the only one who was absolutely seething at the man by the end of this book?? I loooved Caleb's character throughout the whole book. Until the end. What. The. Fffff?!
'I understood Caleb mania. He was like a jalapeno: bright and smooth, but dangerously hot. A small part of me wanted to bite him.'
Firstly, the final flashback... whaaaaat?! I'm sorry but he is as much to blame, if not more, than Olivia is, for the demise of their intense relationship! I really felt that Olivia's indescretions were all in the name of love... his, however, was not. Not in any way. His sins were selfish and so much more unatonable than Olivia's, in my opinion.
I have definitely learnt something about myself during this book... I can forgive mostly anything, as long as love is the motive. Everything Olivia did was because she loved Caleb more than she could deal with. Whereas Caleb shocked me and disappointed me soooo much!
AND, to add salt to the wound, he pretty much allowed Olivia to totally blame herself! And she did. Olivia thought herself an evil, rotten person. And Caleb let her believe that. When, in actuality, he was just as much at fault.
Also, also... the ending. The actual ending, not the flashback. WHAT?! NO!!! Again, I found myself wanting to beat at Caleb's chest like a pathetic, weak girly. No Caleb! Just no! Whyyyy?
I am hoping, praying actually, that the only reason it ended like it did was because we have two more books to read yet. Because if these other two books are just alternative POVs of the same damn story, mark my words, heads will roll!! Bloggers need advice too and if you guys have told me it will be okay, and it's not... prepare to run for cover! Lol!
'I fell in love hard and swift - like Tyson's uppercut. One day I just enjoyed his company, and the next I couldn't live without it.'
Olivia. I started off reaaally not feeling her. I didn't know if I wanted to read about a selfish, manipulative, lying protagonist. But by the end, I wanted to hold her hand and have her back.
"Leah, go be with your husband," I say. "Before he realizes that he's still in love with me."
I just wish these characters had communicated better. Grrr! Olivia would just shut down and Caleb's answer to everything was just aggression and one big bang explosion, before never revisiting the subject again. If either one of them had actually spokenabout their issues, sooooo much heart ache would have been avoided. Caleb really didn't handle Olivia and her issues very well atall. I felt that she needed gentle coaxing, not aggression and force, or even the silent patience he provided. He allowed her to continue to close herself off, never asking her to open up, never talking things out with her. I'm placing a lot of blame on Caleb's shoulders right now, but Olivia had issues that were outside of her control, and as the man who loved her, I felt it was largely Caleb's responsibility to help her with those.
It is very unlike me to be so angry with a book boyfriend, like this. It's usually a case of them wooing me and then that's it, they can do no wrong, no matter how badly they behave... so that just shows how miffed I am at Caleb. I hope he redeems himself in books two and three.
"I love you too, Olivia. More than I could ever love another soul. There hasn't been a single hour in seven years that I haven't thought of you."
So, how do I rate this? Urgh, I have no idea. In this case, the Goodreads ratings system is shot to shit. 1 star = I did not like it. 2 stars = it was okay. 3 stars = I liked it. 4 stars = I really liked it. 5 stars = it was amazing.
What's it to be? I loved it, I hated it, I cried, laughed, stamped my feet, wanted to commit bodily harm to another human being, wanted to put it down and walk away,couldn't put it down... it had me in knots. What is the star rating for that?!!!
I feel like I need to give it five stars. The writing, the originality, the plot, the character development, the emotion, the gut wrenching, heart breaking, etc. all deserve five stars. Tarryn Fisher is truly a genius writer. However, I also want to strip all it's stars away and slap it really really hard for leaving me utterly bereft and totally incensed. I was so angry with the ending that it makes me want to sulk and withhold all star privileges! Added to that, that right now, as an advocater of importance of the happy-ever-after, I wouldn't recommend this book. Perhaps I would, after the final book. But right now, I wouldn't tell anybody to read this book.
'You can only give your heart away once; after that, everything else will chase your first love.'
When I finished it at 2am last night, I was sobbing. I was lying in bed, next to a sleeping Mr. Smitten, silently blubbing, for ages. I shut off my Kindle and threw it to the floor (don't worry, it landed on a cushion) then ten minutes later, I picked it back up, re-read the epilogue just to make sure I wasn't losing my marbles. And then I apologised to my Kindle, swore at Tarryn Fisher, and tried to go to sleep. I then dreamt about Caleb, Olivia and even about writing my review.
To me, the ending is everything. A book can be fantastic, but if disappoints at the final hurdle, it's an epic fail. So, rating a book that is only the beginning of a series is the hardest thing for me to do. And this book is just that, ten fold. So, I'm going with four stars. It doesn't, in any way, reflect the way I'm feeling right now, but it will have to do.
So, now I have to go and read a book about Leah. Do I want to? Hell no! I hate her. She's a weasel and I want to skin her alive and bath her in vinegar right now. Me? Violent? Never.
But I need to find out what happens, so I'll end this crazy long, messy, review here and plough on through Dirty Red. Wish me luck... and all you ladies who recommended I go ahead and read this, you want to be hoping, for your own safety, this all irons out and puts my heart back together again. Otherwise, I'm coming for you.
The Opportunist Statistics
Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥
Series: ✓ (Love Me With Lies series)
Book #1 - The Opportunist
Book #2 - Dirty Red
Book #3 - Thief
Can this be read as a standalone? No
Warning. This book includes...
Review by Smitten's Book Blog
"I fell in love underneath a tree."
Olivia. I love her, but man does she has the largest self destruct button I have ever seen. She is closed off, ruthless, and can be flat out mean. But this is the Olivia that she shows to the outside world. We are in her head, we know that when she makes a bad decision or a terrible choice... we know the guilt she feels about it. It doesn't stop her from doing it, but the guilt is there. I felt for her.
It has to say something about the level of excellent writing that Tarryn Fisher has managed to produce, for me to say I like Olivia. Normally her type of character would have me wanting to pull my hair out. But those feelings never came. Did I agree with all of her choices? Not at all. But did I understand why she was making them? Yes. And that means that I understood her as a character, I got the mess of emotions that were going around in her head. I understood her.
"And my personal favorite, your lips." He smiled as a pink flush crept up my neck. "Full and sensual, puckered, and always turned down at the corners. They kind of make me want to kiss them until they smile."
Caleb. *sigh* If I actually use the word swoon will you still take my review seriously? Because honestly, I can't think of another word to use. He is far from perfect, and to be honest I blame him almost as much as I blame Olivia for the inevitable outcomes that happen. But, saying that... I think he tried his best. There is only so much that you can do when dealing with somebody as closed off as Olivia. But he never stops loving her. No matter what happens, no matter what is thrown at him by her, he loves her wholeheartedly, and continues to do so to the very last page.
"She is playing games with someone who knows how to play them better."
Leah. She is a b*tch. I hate her and I hope for very bad things to happen to her. Is this harsh? Nope, I don't think so. Olivia may be a product of her past, her closed off nature allowing her to make poor choices, but Leah is just a manipulative cow. A mean, evil, manipulative cow. Book Two in the Love Me With Lies series, Dirty Red, is from Leah's point of view. I'm not sure what I think about that. I know one thing for sure though, I will never like her. I don't care if being in her head shows me a completely different side of her. I will not like her.
"Life balances itself on a precarious ledge, we can stay safe up high or propel off the edge."
Okay, now for the ending. I have always openly admitted to crying when I read, I am a very emotional reader. I have happy tears, I have sad tears, and in this case I had big fat ugly cry tears. Even thinking about it now, my eyes are filling up again. There are just too many emotions, and this again shows the level of writing that is taking place. I have some major love for these characters, and my heart is sadly broken right now.
I was going to start Dirty Red before I wrote this review but I felt this review deserved to be written first. I have no idea what to expect in book two, but I am sure there will still be plenty of twists and turns and roller coaster ups and downs. But I didn't want it to sway the emotions I had when I finished The Opportunist. But, I am now off to start it. This time I am prepared with plenty of tissues.
"I have finally accepted that there are consequences to every action. I earned them and they are rightfully mine. There is no time to make bad decisions. Every step is precious. The definition of living is mine."
Rainy Day Reads
A bit of a stray from my usual, it's an adult book (yeah, I'm a grown-up now). But never fear, that doesn't mean it's Fifty Shades of Filthy or anything like that, but it simply follows characters who are out in the big bad world.
The story is told over the course of many years. We have flashbacks to college (which gives a good bit of background info), and then we see the story unfold over nearly a decade (maybe more?).
It was nice following the characters throughout their journey and being able to watch them seamlessly evolve over the years. There was no agonising wait, but instead we got glimpses into their futures and how events had changed them both. It was nice to be able to stick with them for so long.
Our heroine is definitely an opportunist. The moment she realises Caleb has lost his memory she jumps right back into his life, not wasting a second before trying to win him back over.
Olivia is sharp-tongued and aggressive and very determined. Thing is, she's also rather likeable, despite all the craziness. Really, she's just a sad girl who regrets losing her first love. It makes her easy to sympathise with, especially when we see her relationship with Caleb develop during flashbacks.
Caleb was a nice enough guy, and their chemistry was evident from the start. He seemed to need to know Olivia, like there was something pulling him toward her. Clearly years apart did nothing to put out the flames of their relationship.
Even when I learned Caleb's secret (which, by the way, I totally called), I still couldn't help but love him. In a way I was actually glad to have my suspicions confirmed, because it solidified my belief that he and Olivia were perfect for each other.
But there was something that made me dislike Caleb: the reason the two of them broke up in the first place. Throughout the book Olivia beats herself up for losing Caleb, but it was not her fault at all.
I hated how the tables were turned to make it seem like Olivia was in the wrong when, really, Caleb was. It was annoying (and very typical) to have the woman demonised for the guy's actions.
Then there's Leah – Caleb's new girlfriend. She's perhaps the worst of the lot and everytime she popped up, I wanted to burn the book. She was completely psychopathic and even more manipulative than Olivia. That being said, the next book in this strangely addictive series is going to be from her point of view – where I'm told she outdoes herself in the crazy department – and I'm actually really intrigued to read it.
The plot itself was pretty fascinating. It might not seem intricate at first glance, but there are so many erratically weaved webs; so much plotting and manipulation and scheming, that it really does start to become quite riveting.
Watching the characters cheat and lie and, a lot of the time, behave like they had personality disorders, was actually immensely compelling . The characters were a train wreck, but that only made them more intriguing to read about: I never knew what any of them were going to do next.
One thing that can't be denied, is that Tarryn Fisher knows how to write a captivating story. Her plot is both simple and complex; the romance sweet but toxic; the characters both horrid and loveable.
The ending was happy, but not in the way I think most people would have liked. Saying that, with two more books to go I don't doubt this addicting series will wrap up in the most satisfying way.
So if you're in the mood for a guilty-pleasure book that'll suck you into a vortex of swoon and complete craziness, The Opportunist is the thing you've been waiting for.
Favourite quote: "Go be with your husband, before he realises he's still in love with me."
(Guys, that line. In context, it was the most hilarious thing in the world. I'm not even joking.)
Overall rating: 4/5 little birdies
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