A Bed of Knives

Rated 4.21/5 based on 17 reviews
Contemporary romance with an edge. Five years after four friends have a night out to celebrate finishing their final exams, Gina and Rose rescue Spider from living rough on the streets of Oxford. Can friendship and love survive the revelations of the following days? More

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Words: 80,140
Language: Commonwealth English
ISBN: 9781476365282
About Elizabeth Jasper

i write general fiction with a twist - my first book, Lying in Wait has a strong thriller element and my second, Meggie Blackthorn, is a nostalgic trip back to the sixties in Newcastle, UK. My third novel, A Bed of Knives, is contemporary romance with an edge. Next is The Golden Cuckoo, a magical adventure story for children 9 - 12. Next comes Meggie Blue, a sequel to Meggie Blackthorn. A third book in the 'Meggie' Series is Jack the Lad, to be published in 2014.

I lead a very quiet life in a very quiet place - if you don't count the goats that rampage past the house several times a day eating any vegetation within reach (so no hanging baskets or tasty plants around the door), mules, dump trucks (the streets are narrow and steep, so no access for cars), local dogs protecting their 5 metre stretch of the street and the feral cats that seem to choose my garden to carry out their romantic assignations - though it is nice when they bring their new kittens round to visit.

Also by This Author


Review by: Maritza Lafferty on July 30, 2012 : (no rating)
I was offered free copy of "A Bed of Knives" for an honest review. Although it is not my usual genre, the plot sounded interesting so decided to give it a try. The book is well written, however I just did not enjoy the plot. It is about a group of friends, two boys and two girls who all attend university together and after graduation decide to enjoy a night out together before the guys head out to start their careers. Gina had always had a crush on Spider and they end up sleeping together even though Spider has always been interested in their other friend Rose. Rose who is in love with Eddie ends up sleeping with him. The story alternates between the past and then five years later and what happens to the characters during that time. The girls end up not seeing the guys again during the 5 years, yet they still all pine for each other. Spider shows up at the end of the five year in a homeless shelter and is now addicted to drugs and alcohol. Gina, Rose and Eddie show up to help him out and Gina ends up having him stay with her. Rose and Eddie reconcile and everyone ends up happy. For me, I just did not find it all that believable. The events that occur during the five year estrangement are interesting, but it just wrapped up a little too easily to be credible. I do think that the author shows promise and I would read another of her books given the opportunity.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Soma Rostam on July 29, 2012 :
There are mistakes that we will regret for the rest of our lives, but everyone deserves a second chance, or do they? One moment might mark your past, present, and future. A Bed Of Knives is an exotic, romantic work of fiction that you will like, a lot!
Gina has always loved Spider, but she can't have him, actually he wouldn't have HER. Ellie has always loved Rose and she loved him, but can Ellie be with Rose when he knows that Spider loves her? A complicated matter, I know. When these four so-called friends stay together for a sleepover, there whole lives will change, for better or for worse.
Now, five years later, Gina is an antique seller. Rose, a fashion designer. Ellie, a fabulous sports superstar. And Spider is a hard-working chef. Things have changed, Ellie and Rose's relationship had broken apart. Gina has suffered great loses and Spider is fighting to make enough money. None of them is happy.
But when Gina and Rose find Spider in a dirty alley, drunk and unconscious, they take him to Gina's home.Now as Gina and Spider's lives collide, Gina should finally tell him the secret that has been her burden for far too long. And Spider should try to win her back. Ellie never forget Rose, but he has done too much harm, does he have another chance?
How will Spider accept what Gina will tell him? Will he be able to win Gina back after what he had done? Will Rose be able to forgive Ellie? Will their lives ever go back to normal? Find out the answers in the wonderful novel, full of romance, A Bed Of Knives.
Honestly, I liked this book. The pace is a bit slow, and the book is told in chapters. Some of the chapter are in present "Now" and some are in the past "Five Years Ago", I got so confused some times, that I had to go back and reread a few pages, it was frustrating! But I lived through...
The storyline is your typical happy-ending romance, with some unexpected twists added here and there. It is an enjoyable ride that will teach you many lessons about true love and surviving hard times. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it! You idea might be different, but if you want a romantic, quick read, then this is the one!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cynthia .... on July 28, 2012 :
Thanks to the author for this book!
For more reviews visit: http://weallmakemistakesinbooks.blogspot.com

I really enjoyed this book once I got over the initials chapters were everyone was introduced and the first jump in time. It switches between the POVs of the four main characters and jumps from present to five years ago to the last days they were all together. It’s a very captivating book, I really wanted to see how things would turn out for them and at some points I felt like yelling “why do you do that?” or “How could you” either to a character or the author for making them go through it…

Gina, Spider, Rose and Eddie were college friends and all had big plans after graduation starting off with a night out that changed their lives.

You see, “A” loves “B”, but “B” is pinning after “C”, who loves “D”, and “D” actually loves “C” but there’s “B” to think about….

Five years later, the four of them still carry scars from that night and following events. None of them could let go of the feelings they had and one forced them back together…
The story is well written and planned. Is easy to follow through even with all the jumps in POVs and time. The emotions are raw and true, the characters believable and easy to like.

The story is one about love and friendship. Of how we can make it through the hardest times if we’re strong and determined enough. Of how we always must follow our dreams but not get so lost in them we lose ourselves. And also of how our dreams sometimes aren’t what we really want or what’s best for of. Each of the characters has a unique story that leaves you with something, each goes for a different road and troubles in their path.

I’d have loved if there were more to Rose and Eddie’s stories and POVs or more to the ending, it felt a little bit rushed but as it is, the book is a great standalone about friendship and life, it’s twist and turns and how love can fix our biggest mistakes.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Susan Francis on July 27, 2012 :
Bed of knives is a story set in Oxford, England about 4 friends who met at college. The story moves between the present (when they are in their mid-twenties) and the past (5 years earlier, when the four are fresh out of college).

There is Gina the business graduate, Rose the fashion designer, Spider the promising chef and Eddie the rising football star. At around 18/19 years old, having just graduated, they come together for a final celebratory night out before Spider leaves for London to start his first position working at a high profile restaurant, and Eddie goes travelling in New Zealand before returning to start his career as a professional football player with the Rangers. Spider is mad about Rose, Rose is mad about Eddie, Gina is mad about spider and Eddie, although shy, likes Rose too. Their night out ends with them all staying the night at Rose’s house where Eddie and Rose finally get it together and Spider and Gina are left abandoned to watch a DVD on the sofa….

Five years on, Eddie is doing very well as a professional football player while Gina and Rose are searching homeless shelters for Spider who is now living rough on the streets of Oxford….

I enjoyed this book so much! It was well written. The characters and situations are so realistic. I was particularly impressed by the way the author, Elizabeth Jasper, was able to get into the head of an 18 year old boy and give us a glimpse of how he REALLY thinks. Brilliant!
This is a sweet story with very likeable characters. I loved finding out what was happening to each of them. I liked the strength and wisdom Gina had but my favourite character was Spider.

Jasper graciously warned people about the swearing and sexual content of the book. I understand why since it may not be suitable for younger teens or those who are sensitive to swearing and sex in books, but for others please don’t let this put you off reading it. It isn’t erotica.

I couldn’t fault this wonderful novel. (I couldn’t work out why it was called Bed of Knives though and I’m curious to find out.)

It may have been independently published but it is better than many of the conventionally published books I’ve read. I also think it would make a great drama for the screen (a TV series or a movie). I have already recommended it to a friend.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Phoebe Morakinyo on July 26, 2012 : (no rating)
For me, this book was unique, due to the fact that:

1) It wasn't my usual style

2) It was in 3rd persoon

3) It followed 4 main characters

4) It had a warped timeline

5) It seemed to have absolutely no flaws

This book wasn't one of the usual genres that grace my Computer Screen/ Kindle Screen.

A Bed of Knives was a more raw novel compared to the books I usually read. It dealt with real issues and had a more reality-oriented take on the world of books.

A Bed of Knives to me partly demonstrated itself as a tragedy. The problems that struck the four main characters--Gina, Spider, Rose and Eddie--were related to tragedies that could be earned by any person (though I like to believe my religion protects me). The repeptition of cancer and death was more real than you would find in any novel.

I remember wondering what the authour's mind was like to write something this edgy and come out of it sane.

It was in 3rd person.

This may not be an enormous point compared to everything else, but to me, third person is not my favourite style. However, the authour managed to use this to her advantage as she told the tale of our three main characters.

It followed 4 main characters

When it comes to me--yet again--I'm always following the one character that leads the whole novel. However this book followed 4, Gina, Spider, Rose and Eddie.Though they were all the main characters, it seemed as if, as the story went on, Gina and Spider's storypushed its way to the forefront (not that I'm complaining).

The characters seemed to be imprinted into a reader's mind more by their circumstances than anything else. Gina had her family tragedies, Spider had his family entanglements, Eddie had friends and his job, while Rose had all her creations. Despite that, Rose's personality was presented in a different way than the otheers were. While Spider and Gina's lives were labelled by tragedies, and Eddies was labelled by his obvious changes over a span of five years, I felt like I was only given a gist of Rose's personality.

Gina's character however was clear as the novel started, however, it seemed to dull as the story went along. Who she was became slightly confusing. If I were to put a label on it, she was average with an edge. Of course, if that was what the authour intended--outlining that tragedies could happen to anyone--than her character is very impressive. I did find myself rooting for her and hoping she reached a good future by the end of the book.

Spider's personality was a bit more confusing. At first, Elizabeth (Authour) presents him as a player who spent time around girls he didn't care about due to the situation his father had been in, and losing him. However, when Spider meets Marianne, the confidence he should have gained from such a female-experienced (eeewww, sorry, it just sounds wrong) appeared rarely. He was dragged along like a fish on a hook until hew finally floundered in the air. *SIGH* So sad. I told him not to do it with her.

It had a warped timeline

Truth be told, it takes a talented authour to twist time the way Elizabeth Jasper did. I'm still wondering how long it must have taken her to slip all the puzzle pieces into place to creat a novel like this. Though the style she used to do it was a bit rough and a boycott of a contempary style, it was admittedly impressive.

Throughout the timeline, she also managed to develop her characters, adding into the realistic format of this novel. It demonstrated how long years and different situations can change a person, without making certain areas that could have possibly been epic fails, lose style.

It seemed to have absolutely no flaws

As I read this book, it felt as if everything that happened was a part of the novel, and not to be demonstrated as an exterior flaw. I had rants, which aimed at things the characters did and things they didn't. (Like Gina taking her time with telling Spider the truth, why did she have to take so long?!) However, it felt as if the authour wanted us to feel this way. It made her all the more talented as I read this novel.

Thanks for Reading

See you next time Hopefully


The full version of this review can be found on my blog:
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Hazel G on July 25, 2012 :
A story of friendship, romance, sorrow and the journey down the road called life!

A Bed Of Knives is an adult romance written by Elizabeth Jasper.

My Review:
This was a wonderful little read. Coming in at about two hundred and forty pages, we get to experience the lives of four friends as they graduate college and venture out into life. The characters were fascinating and so well written. All of their lives were anything but ideal and I could truly feel the fine line they each walked as they tried to overcome the obstacles life threw at them. Gina's story was heartbreaking as she suffered through the years of family problems, deaths and finally reconnection. I was totally hooked on Gina and Spiders story. Gina, Spider, Rose and Eddie's relationships, conflicts, misunderstandings and miscommunications kept me glued to this incredible read, wanting to hurry to the last page to see how it all ended.

The story takes place in the present as well as the past, venturing back five years. The author did a terrific job in telling the individual stories of each character in both present and past and it was easy to follow, with no confusion as to where the story was at any given time.

I also really loved the British vernacular throughout the book. Though Im a BBC tv addict and love all things British, you don't need to be familiar with the lingo to understand the slang or references as the author did an amazing job keeping the reader clued-in.

Though I loved this story, I can honestly say I was a bit disappointed at the last few chapters. They seemed very rushed. All the build up that was created throughout the story came to a very abrupt and unemotional ending that seemed skipped over and half hearted.

The Wrap Up:
Though I didn't particularly like the rushed ending, overall I think this was an amazing look at four distinct and intersecting lives who experienced love, loss, family and friendship. I would love to see these characters five years from the ending and see how their lives progressed. This book is definitely worth a read!

NOTE: I read this as a R2R with We ' YA Books! in Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Kari on July 22, 2012 :
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the We ♥ YA Books! Group on goodreads. 4.5 stars...

This was a really intense one for me. So heartbreaking and yet very satisfying the way things ended. The background stories of Gina, Spyder, Rose, and Eddie were equally tragic in their own way. It got really hard to read because of the range of emotions I was feeling.

I enjoyed the format of the book. From flashing back five years previous to the present day. I thought it all flowed really well. It was nice to see that even though the four of them had been through so much that in the end, they could work it out and have the happily ever after. Especially for Gina, Spyder, and Will. To have found Spyder after all that time only to find out he had cancer was devastating. But she was so strong through all of it for her, and both Spyder and their son. I can't express in words how much I loved this book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Laura Hartley on July 20, 2012 :
Title: A Bed of Knives

Author: Elizabeth Jasper

Genre: Contemporary romance with an edge

Goodreads Summary: Friendship can get complicated when you start to fancy the guys you hang out with. When Eddie suggests a night out to celebrate the end of their final exams, four friends look forward to the evening with different expectations.

Fast forward 5 years. Gina and Rose rescue Spider from living rough in Oxford. Is this enough to bring all four of them together again and will their friendship survive the revelations of the following days?

***Not erotica, but does contains strong language and explicit sex***

{ Review }

After reading the plot synposis, I just knew this was a book I had to read. Complicated friendships? Check. Sexy scenes? Check. Oxford? Check. (It's uni application time soon ahh) Sounded like I book I needed to read.

I'm not that big a fan of 'contemporary romance' as I find romance books are either too soppy or not soppy enough. If I had to pick which category 'A Bed of Knives' fits into, I'd probably say 'not-soppy-enough', purely because I don't really remember any scenes that could be deemed particularly 'romantic' - but this didn't bother me. I would only put it into that category because I felt that the ending of the book was a bit too rushed and there was little relationship development. The first part of the story was brilliant for setting the scene and getting the story going, but I felt that the end to the story could've been a little more detailed to make it more plausible. The slightly rushed nature made the ending a little hard for me to believe because I didn't really feel like anything that I'd read was concrete enough for the ending to have been produced. Nonetheless, A Bed of Knives was an interesting book that explored a complex friendship between four friends. Plus, I can totally relate to the whole friendship-or-more dramas that were going on drew me in even further.

The book is written in two parts, one part in the present and the other five years earlier, and the narrative frequently switches between two different times. Each time you go back in time you learn a little more about the characters and how they got to where they are in the present which helped to pace the novel and keep you drawn in. I liked that the author didn't tell you everything at once and that there was an air of mystery to all of the characters. At the end there is a brief 'One year later' passage as well which is a nice way of showing the progression.

I think all the characters in the novel are likeable which made me enjoy the book all the more. There are four main characters: Gina, Spider, Rose and Eddie and all of them end up leading very different lives, which makes it all the more interesting when they are thrust back together again. You really sympathise with all of the characters, even those that have done wrong, because sometimes it really is just bad timing.

I'd say that there's quite a sombre tone underlying this novel and I don't think there were any points during the story where I actually felt 'happy'. However, that isn't to say that this book made me depressed. A lot of the things that happen are certainly devastating to the characters and I pitied a lot of them for the bad situations that they were in.

As for the sexual scenes, I'm not really sure what to say. Like it says in the synopsis, it isn't erotica, but its still fairly explicit. If you're easily offended by scenes of a sexual nature then this probably isn't the book for you, though they shouldn't bother the vast majority of people because they are infrequent and short.

All in all, A Bed of Knives was a fantastically written book that had me gripped from the beginning until the end. The story is interesting and the changing perspectives and time make it all the more intriguing. The characters are all likeable and whilst the outcome of the novel is predictable, the events along the way are not.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Amy on July 18, 2012 :
The worst part about this book? That it's over. I had such a good time reading this story. I looked down and my iPad said I was on page 332/335 and I frowned because I was so sad it was almost over. I definitely could have (and would have) read more about Gina, Spider, Eddie, and Rose. I easily could have read this book in one sitting because it kept my interest that well. However, things kept coming up to take my attention away. But while I was away I was constantly wondering about what was going to happen. The characters are interesting, relatable, and believable. I was truly interested in finding out what was going to happen to each of them. I enjoyed learning about each of them, especially Gina.

One issue I had (and it's no one's fault) was the lingo. I'm from the US so there was a bit of lingo I didn't understand. But it was a simple remedy thanks to google. Other than that, the only other issue I had with [book:A Bed of Knives|13570863] was the ending. It just felt a little rushed to me. We find out so much about what happens over the course of these five-six years then BAM it rushes through the best part (in my opinion). I felt a little cheated. I wanted more detail at that point. But it wasn't a horrible ending or anything, I just wanted more; maybe I'm just greedy.

The explicit scenes in the book weren't tasteless or raunchy. It was accurate to what it was and what teenagers do. I think this helped make the characters and the story as a whole more relatable.

All in all, I'm very appreciative of the free copy I received of this book and quite delighted I had the opportunity to read this story. :)
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sara Gordon on July 15, 2012 :
This is generally not my type of book, but I decided to take a chance on it. It is the story of four friends that go on their seperate paths after college, and what happens that brings them full circle and back together after 5 years. First there is frienship and love, then some loss, and a lot of struggles, especially for Gina and Spider, and a few surprises. Both guys struggle with skanky bosses and a bosses wife, which I found dispicable.

There is some swearing and adult scenes, so this book is not for under 18 in my opinion. I thought it was pretty well written and worth the chance I took. I did have to sort out that they were talking about American soccer when they talked about football:)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ashley Stoyanoff on July 12, 2012 :
Elizabeth Jasper does a wonderful job with this contemporary romance, weaving the reader through the lives (past and present) of four friends, Gina, Rose, Eddie and Spider. Within the first couple of chapters, the characters are no longer just names on the page, but living, breathing people, who you cannot help but want to know more about.

Through flashbacks, Jasper lets the reader experience how these characters end up where they are today. I must say that I’ve never been a fan of books filled with flashbacks, as they tend to be a jerky ride, going back and forth between past and present, but that is not the case with A Bed of Knives. The flashbacks are essential to this story and are done so smoothly that, as the reader, I hardly noticed the time changes, and I actually found myself excited for the next segment of one of the characters past.

As I flipped through the different challenges of each of the leads, I felt a whirlwind of emotions. Jasper draws you in by giving her characters real-life problems to tackle. This in turn, makes them real, and very relatable.

At the end, I felt like something was missing. It seemed like suddenly the four leads were back together and it left me wondering how they had worked out all the issues, especially between Rose and Eddie.

I would definitely recommend A Bed of Knives to anyone who wants a great book, filled with real-life problems.
Characters (Major and Minor): 5/5

Overall Storyline (Concept, Plot): 5/5

Overall Pacing: 5/5

Technical (Grammar, punctuation, etc.): 4/5

Ending: 3/5

My Overall Rating: 4/5
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Shelly123 on July 12, 2012 :
This book was edgy. That's what comes to mind when I think about it. It wasn't all roses and butterflies, but the real lives of four friends as they leave college and head into the world. It's one of those books that you would see from different perspectives depending on your age. My tweny-year-old self would have looked at the characters and their cholces much differently from my thirty or forty-year-old self. I'm not sure I liked the characters, but I respected their journeys and dedication to friendship. The cover would not have captured my interest so I am glad that I was given the opportunity to read this through Goodreads' We Love YA Group. I would definitely read more by this author. Thank you
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Crystal Imes on July 11, 2012 :
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The author so fully immerses the reader into the lives, thoughts, and emotions of her characters it feels as though they are people I know! The story is told through the eyes of each character so that the thoughts and emotions of each are clear and tangible. I was moved by their struggles and related to each one. While reading, I absolutely ran the gauntlet of emotions. I was left just in the dark enough through out the plot of the story that I was intrigued but not frustrated. I could not stop reading!!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sofia Grey on July 11, 2012 :
This book was simply amzing.It was mostly about what happend in the past and not so much in the present but it was the best way to explain how the characters became what they became.It was realistic and without much drama(just enough to make you want to continue reading it)I have to admit that I didn't liked the first 2 or 3 chapters but after that I began to love the characters so when I found out that Spider had a crush on Rose and not Gina I freaked out.Anyway this is a book I would suggest to anyone to read it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sofia Grey on July 11, 2012 : (no rating)
This book was simply amzing.It was mostly about what happend in the past and not so much in the present but it was the best way to explain how the characters became what they became.It was realistic and without much drama(just enough to make you want to continue reading it)I have to admit that I didn't liked the first 2 or 3 chapters but after that I began to love the characters so when I found out that Spider had a crush on Rose and not Gina I freaked out.Anyway this is a book I would suggest to anyone to read it.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Adriana Noriega on July 09, 2012 :
What can i say about this book that was a real rollercoaster ride like no other.

It all starts with four friends Eddie, Rose, Gina and Spider graduating. Eddie has a promising career in football as he has signed with the Rangers. Rose is a very talented designer and Spider has a great career as a chef but life doesnt always go according to plan. With all the hurdles that these four get thrown at them, will things ever be the same? will there friendship ever recover??

Elizabeth Jasper lets you get into the heads of all four characters with four POV and i loved it, it lets you feel what each character was feeling and thinking. It also goes from past to present to what is happening now 5 years later and back to the time where they all last saw each other. In the past in some books it has annoyed me but this time it didnt beacause it was easy to follow. I loved all the characters they were easy to relate to and easy to love. I really enjoyed this emotional book and i loved the ending so much. It is a story of friendship, love, loss, heartbreak, illness, and overcoming the things life throws at you.

I recommend this to anyone to anyone..
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Mwandishi on July 09, 2012 :
I enjoyed the book. The flashbacks made it easy to understand and know the characters. giving them their own space also allowed the to grow.
Although i wish there was more of their story as a group, it felt like a leap from when they were all together to the end.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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