Review: Identity Crisis
Identity Crisis by Grace Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Secret identities, enemies turned to lovers and an obsessed stalker - a must read. Ms. Marshall is a new to me author. The blurb of this book immediately caught my attention. This trope while rare, is one I've come across before. This one is by far the best one I've read. A man writing romance under a female's pen name is delightful. Garrett Thorne easily keeps up the facade of a wastrel riding his successful brother's coat tails. It keeps him hidden, gives him space to observer others and writing hot desirable romance stories. Surprisingly, Garrett is a romantic looking for his own happily ever after.
Kendra Davies is Garrett's sister-in-law's best friend, Dee. Kendra is the opposite of Garrett. She thrives on lust and one night stands. She doesn't believe in the happily ever after and romance is for smucks. Still, she is enamoured with romance stories written by the talented Tess Delaney. When the opportunity arises for her to met her favourite author, Kendra does everything to make it happen. As a retired spin doctor for the rich and famous, she's ideal to help Tess with her public relations (PR) issues.
This is when it becomes interesting. Kendra loathes Garrett. Garrett wronged her best friend, Dee, and Kendra is a woman who holds mean grudge. The confrontation between Kendra and Garrett when the secret is reveal is an amazing showdown with fireworks. It's hilarious!
This story drew me in because the characters are designed so well. Kendra's frustration and fears are saddening. Learning about her past - about her family as well as her brush with a stalker is depressing. What is depressing is that these are all too real. Fortunately, Ms. Marshall doesn't take the easy way out and paint Kendra as a victim. Instead, Kendra is a demur woman who is a control freak. While she may have a temper of a shrew, she can keep cool under fire. I found Kendra's hobby to create fake identities to be fascinating. Exploring her desires as someone else who can just disappear in the thin air is a hot fantasy. I can see the appeal and confess to have tried my hand at this early on in my youth. It's like a drug. Once started, it's hard to stop creating a new persona and shedding one which is no longer needed. It's like a drug addiction. I could really understand Kendra's drive - it made her more realistic to me.
Garrett is also a lovingly created character. He's the sensitive man hiding behind a bad boy shell. Once that shell is cracked, we get to see his gooey sweet center. Mmmmm, Ms. Marshall created a dream man. He's not without flaws which makes him more appealing. It doesn't hurt he writes erotic romances.
While this story could be just an easy plot with enemies turned to lover rife with contrived miscommunications, Ms. Marshall takes a different path. There are no miscommunications. There are mistaken identities and suspense with a dash of the past coming up to bite them on the ass. It's a well written story which keeps a reader's attention from beginning to end. This romantic suspense novel is recommended to hopeless romantics who know love triumphs over all.
*I received this book as a review copy in return for an honest review
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