Review: The Opportunist (#1, Love Me With Lies) by Tarryn Fisher

My Thoughts

Wow. Incredibly unique. A brilliantly crafted story of love, manipulation and lies. This books begs the question… How far should we truly go in the name of love? And more so, if what we do is done for love, can we be redeemed?

5stars

Synopsis

opportunist

Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

 

 

My Review

I mean really — Wow! Wow! Holy Wow! I DEVOURED this book! Could.not.put.it.down. Addictive and brilliantly structured, Tarryn Fisher weaved a complex story layered in lies and mistakes — so much so that it becomes difficult to discern truth from reality, goodness from wrongness, love from manipulation. One of the questions I kept asking myself was… If you make bad choices because you love someone so deeply, does it make it okay in the end? And more so, is it truly love?

“There is more to loving someone than just making yourself happy. You have to want him to be happier than you are.”

Olivia Kaspen had been in love. She met Caleb Drake in college and he pursued her despite her pushing him away.

“Listen pal, don’t think for one minute that I buy that sensitive guy routine you’ve got going. I know bippity, boppity  bullshit when I see it.”

Olivia is one of the most interesting and complex characters I’ve ever read. I mean, this girl is SOMETHING ELSE! Her moral compass is rather defective I think. She’s a product of a broken home that was also fueled by manipulation. She’s ruthlessly driven and focused and likes to be in control. At the same time, however, I think there’s a vulnerability there that’s rooted in her desire to belong and to be loved… but it’s a vulnerability she works hard to keep hidden.

“I was a relationship retard. I kicked, shoved and punched people out of my life, so they never had the chance to hurt me.”

So what’s the story? I’ll let you know up front that it’s almost impossible to tell you about what happens. The story really comes alive with the exchanges and plot twists… and trust me, you want to EXPERIENCE everything this book has to offer.

We start off with Olivia running into Caleb, three years after they’ve broken up. We immediately get the sense that something epic, scarring and painful happened when things ended. But she still loves him and has not been able to forget him… not for one single second. When she finally works up the nerve to “casually” bump into him, he doesn’t know who she is. He has AMNESIA! He was in a car accident just a few months prior and doesn’t remember anything about his life.

“He forgot me. I can make him remember — not what I did to him, but what he felt for me.”

Enter the Opportunist.

Olivia decides to take advantage of the situation. She wants a clean slate to get Caleb back — back that is, from his current girlfriend redhead bombshell and rich bitch, Leah Smith.

Olivia is obsessed with Caleb. Having him in her life after 3 years is everything she needed and wanted. Caleb has always been her weakness.

“He was my crack. I could never get enough and when I had him, I was already thinking about when I could have him next.”

The story is told in Olivia’s POV, alternating between past and present. Understanding their past is a critical key in deciphering their actions and intent in the present tense.

I could talk, disect and argue about Olivia forever. I mean, really, to say this girl is complex is a HUGE understatement. Do I like Olivia? Yes? No? More yes than no I think. Us girls may all have a little Olivia in us… a little bit of that selfishness and laser-sharp focus to go after what we want and who we love. Love is a battlefield, right?! In one sense, you feel bad for the horrible upbringing she had, but at the same time, I wanted to shake her! This girl was NOT hardwired for honesty and transparency! She bounces Caleb around like a “yo-yo,” never telling him she loves him, never consummating their relationship years into them dating. And now, with this “new” Caleb… everything is happy and free of of all the pain and drama they’ve been through. Time, however, begins to run out when Leah becomes a threat in exposing her. It becomes a heated race to get the boy.

“I decide to seize the day. If my time is short, I might as well be with him as much as I possibly can.”

We also learn what happened between Olivia and Caleb when things ended the first time. It’s the kind of awful stuff you can’t let go, the kind of stuff you can never forget.

“I will love again, Olivia, you will hurt forever. What you’ve done is… you are worthless because you make yourself that way. You will remember me every day for the rest of your life because I was the one, and you threw me away.”

Most.painful.words.ever.

And of course, the shit hits the fan in the present tense and she is again forced to see herself for what she’s done. But does she truly see herself an how wrong her actions are?

“Why didn’t I see it before? The person I really was. How had I never know that I was an empty hole incapable of loving?”

A series of OMG events happen, plot twists, more bad choices, more time elapsed and I was left breathless and bereft of clear emotions.

And Caleb — he’s not just a victim, although I absolutely felt for him, but he’s also smart, masterful at reading people and adept at manipulating Olivia an the situations he finds himself in. To be honest, I think he is the craftiest of all. He undoubtedly loves her though, that much is crystal clear.

“I love you… 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.”

In addition, this book is so intertwined in lies and manipulation that I think I’ve yet to uncover it all. It’s a three-way story of deceit and it’s far from over.

Here’s what I learned:

  • I don’t hate Olivia… she makes me angry, but a big part of me sympathizes with her.
  • Caleb needs an award for putting up with Olivia. Seriously.
  • I hate Leah, that red-headed pompous bitch. Damn Dirty Red.
  • Tarryn Fisher is brilliant. Her voice is really unique and her writing flows effortlessly. And since I’m already reading Dirty Red
  • … If she doesn’t release Thief soon, I’m afraid I’ll go all “Olivia” on her and stalk her until she does 🙂

In the end, there is no HEA, but the story is NOT over. Olivia finally becomes accountable for her actions and hopefully this time, her moral compass is functioning.

I can’t recommend this book enough! Go get it! Dirty Red is book 2 in the Love Me With Lies series!

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Reading Order and Links

Click the cover image to purchase from Amazon.

          opportunist dirty red thief cover

 

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Comments

  1. Added series to my TBR list. Review piqued my interest.

  2. Heard so many good things about this series. I really want to get my hands on them. This is a wonderful giveaway. Thank you! ^_^

  3. The opportunist is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It just blew me away. Thank you so much Vilma for this amazing review, it was what really made me read the book.

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