Thursday, January 7, 2016

Behind her Smile - Olivia Luck

I am an empathetic person, no matter the character, whether from a movie, book, or tv show, I feel their emotions like they are my own. I also can picture books right before my eyes like a movie, I like to try to see the characters, the house their in, the people around them. Behind her Smile was one of those books that sucked me in and held me tight, I could see everything Olivia Luck described in this book. There were times I wanted to close my eyes and stop seeing it, because this book isn't all butterflies and roses, it's a pretty realistic description of an abusive relationship and how easy it is to convince oneself it won't happen again. It also is a beautiful story of saving oneself, learning to lean on others, and finding the good after hiding behind such a false image. I loved how hopeful this story is, how strong the heroine was, and how this story just flowed like a movie would.

Rating: 4.5 stars
Published: January 2016
Many thanks to Netgalley and Olivia Luck for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Amazon Goodreads
Perfect image? Check. Perfect house? Check. Perfect marriage? Maybe from the outside. David's handsome, a wealthy financial business owner and his wife, Karolina, is the beautiful socialite wife with a fashion design hobby. Underneath all the wealth, power, and fancy stuff is something much more sinister. Karolina has become but a shadow of herself; desperate to not anger David any further she's given up everything she knows and loves including her friendship with Dora and Alec. When the power goes off one night, Karolina discovers that everything has been a lie and she'll have to do anything to save herself.

Told from Karolina and Alec's POV's and alternating past and present tense, Behind Her Smile is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel. Olivia Luck writes the kind of story you can't ignore, you will have so much empathy for the characters. When Karolina was scared, my heart was pumping right there with her, and at each glimpse of positivity in her life I gained a little bit of hope. Filled with gritty moments and passionate emotions, it was so easy to get sucked into this story. I really connected with Karolina, I struggled with her despondency when her life turned from good to bad to even worse. I wanted her to leave the bad so much, but I understood the draw of David, the difference between Karolina's life growing up and her life as an adult. Like most readers, I hated David and liked Alec, even when he failed to notice how terrible David was. Plus, in this case, girl wants bad boy ends up being a good thing! The friendship between Karolina and Alec isn't one I have read very often before, it isn't an easy friendship, there's a lot of emotions and baggage between them, but I think it makes them all the stronger when Karolina needs to lean on someone.

I really liked Olivia Luck's writing style. Behind Her Smile starts in the present and then backtracks to the beginning. We not only learn about Karolina's past, but we live it with her. It felt a lot like a suspenseful movie, you're given bits and pieces of the story overtime. I was shocked when things took a turn for the worse, because of course everything was going so well. In this case, too good to be true is the perfect description. There is abuse, there are horrifying moments that made me cringe, but there are also really beautiful moments filled with friendship and life. I was so hooked on this book I couldn't put it down, I started it on the treadmill and I couldn't stop reading so I just kept going. While it isn't the usual romance, it's a passionate and suspenseful story of finding personal strength, giving not only yourself but others second chances, and seeing that image is not all it's made out to be. I really suggest this book, hopefully the cover catches your attention like it did for me and then this review convinces you it's a must read.

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