Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book Review: The Fiction of Forever (A Stand By Me Novel Book 2) by Brinda Berry

He has a second chance at the one who got away--but it's on national television, and she's calling the shots.

Kiley Vanderbilt wasn't just fuel for Gunner's teenage dreams about the curvy pageant queen. She was the one who got away.

Until now.

When Gunner returns to Nashville, his high school fantasy in heels challenges him to accept a spot on the dating reality show Forever. And although she's the show hostess and off-limits, he's going to prove once and for all that she wants more.

But when Kiley--untouchable, jeans-tightening Kiley--proclaims she's unwilling to compromise the show's integrity, he vows to throw a twist of his own into her behind-the-scenes plotting. That's going way, way off Kiley's script.

Giving in to Gunner would torpedo her plans to prove to her manipulating ex-fiancé and her producer daddy that she has more on her shoulders than pancake and hairspray. She must make him play by her rules on camera in spite of his sexy whispers behind the scenes.

Especially when a social media shitstorm brews on the horizon.

Fourteen days of filming. Six camera crews. And a minefield of hidden cameras. This time, no one's getting away.

This is the first book that I've read by Brinda Berry and once again, I broke my own rule about not starting a series in the middle. But this time, it really couldn't be helped. When I saw that The Fiction of Forever had a feel similar to The Bachelor, I just knew that I had to pick this bad-boy up even if it meant jumping into a series where I hadn't read the previous novels. 

I loved the beginning of the book, it's a look back at how close Gunner and Kiley (almost) were in high school. It gave an interesting spin on what I already was expecting to be a good book. While I love the present day part of the book, I do wish that there was a bit more of that beginning! It was interesting getting to see where Kiley and Gunner had come from and it just wasn't enough. Well, technically, I guess it WAS enough since it made me blow through the rest of the book in record time. If that is what the author was going for, she knocked it out of the park. You're left with so many questions after that first chapter and it pushes you to speed read because you just have to know what happens to them. 

I liked the characters a lot ... Kiley was this strong female lead (which is always appreciated) and Gunner is a man's man who has a hardened heart that you just want to jump into the pages and thaw. It was a sweet combination and I looked forward to interactions between them because they were always so filled with sexual tension and apprehension and hope. 

If you're picking this one up because of The Bachelor connection (like I did), you won't be disappointed but The Fiction of Forever won't be what you are expecting. I didn't feel like the book was about the show that they were on, it took a backseat to the relationship between Gunner and Kiley. That's not a bad thing, I don't think. It just shows that the author respected the characters and wanted to actually give you an experience about them and not just use the book to talk about this show. That sounds a little weird, right? Well, I think that some authors write for the plot, where what happens in the story is the most important thing to the story and then some authors write for the characters where what happens with the characters is the most important. I don't think that either way is wrong, I just prefer when the characters take priority. 

I know that I'll read another book by this author in the future. I'm curious as to what the rest of this series looks like because I don't recall anything about another couple that could have been involved in the first story, so I'm just not sure how it all connects. Anyhow, it was a good book and an easy read!

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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