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Sylvia Massara is a multi-genre author based in Sydney, Australia. She loves to dabble in wacky love affairs, drama, murder, sci-fi (or anything else that takes her fancy) over good coffee.
Born in Argentina from Italian and Spanish descent (with a bit of Swiss thrown in) and transplanted to Australia at age 10, Sylvia describes herself as a bit of a "moggie" cat by way of mixed pedigree. She is also a citizen of the world as she has travelled widely throughout most of her life and she's the proud owner of three passports.
From a creative perspective, Sylvia has been writing since her early teens and her work consists of novels, screenplays and freelance writing. She has also dabbled in acting on and off, songwriting and even had her own band during her teens/early 20s where she performed at various venues.
As with most authors, Sylvia draws on her varied experience from the often puzzling tapestry of life. A few years ago Sylvia resigned from the human race because she discovered the animal kingdom was a much nicer place to be. Currently, Sylvia lives with her cat, Mia; and always vicariously through the many characters in her head. Occasionally, Sylvia ventures into the world of humans and she cherishes genuine friendships as they are a rare find.
on Nov. 28, 2012 :
"The Other Boyfriend" is about a mature, independent woman, Sarah, who believes she is in love with a senior, Jeffrey, in a multi-level marketing company. However there are complications as Jeffrey is still tied into a relationship with his supposed former girlfriend and is unable to fully commit to Sarah. On the insistence of her friend, she seeks out the help of a very eligible bachelor, Mike, in an attempt to sway Jeffrey towards her.
I found the novel takes on an exciting turn when Mike is introduced. I loved the chemistry between Sarah and Mike. Their ‘push-pull’ relationship successfully draws the reader in. As their relationship develops, I found myself breezing through the novel with an eagerness to know what might become of it. The novel is largely set in Taipei which makes it quite relieving from the usual, common place Western or European backgrounds. The novel certainly contains a lot of light humour with comic relief provided by characters such as Sarah’s mother, who I particularly loved the most. For those who are chick-lit fans, you will certainly enjoy reading The Other Boyfriend.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Parents' Little Black Book Reviews
on May 28, 2012 :
Sarah is a woman nearing the age of 40. Hoping to have business success and a family of 30 she is beginning to feel a hopeless sense of doom when it comes to her personal future. The man she loves, Jeffrey, lives with another woman and has for 15 years but he tells her over and over that he loves her and will leave his live in girlfriend and business partner soon. Sarah has fallen into the trap so many women do of waiting for the married or involved man to make the break.
With her friend Monica she hatches a plot to put a man so charming and devastatingly handsome in front of the dreaded live in girlfriend that she will be unable to resist.
But Sarah is caught unaware when she meets the irresistible Mike. Everything she has ever wanted in a man is standing before her. If only she had met him sooner. Confused she finds herself falling in love with the man she meant for someone else.
Full of plot turns and fun complications "The Other Boyfriend" is an easy read for a nice afternoon in a favorite chair. As with all Ms. Massara's works it is well written and has an easy flow. The characters are realistic, the dialogue moves the plot forward with ease and the storyline is cleanly delivered.
A very good "take along" book or beach read it captures the reader's interest.
Karen Bryant Doering,
Parents' Little Black Book
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Jan. 06, 2012 :
The Other Boyfriend reminds me a bit of Bridget Jones; it's about a woman in her thirties who's made some bad romantic choices in life. In particular, Sarah, Our Heroine, scrambles for the crumbs of her business-obsessed boyfriend's time (Jeffrey), who's already with someone else. Since Monsieur always has an excuse as to why he can't leave his drama queen, Sarah decides to help him along and try to set up Her Maj with a man she can't resist so she'll leave Jeffrey to Sarah. Except that Mike Connor, rich, gorgeous, and entirely too coolly confident for his own good, begins making eyes at Sarah. How can she trust this smooth-talking babe magnet when his initial mission was to steal the drama queen from Jeffrey? And does she want him to do that anymore? Is Mike really as bad as Sarah thinks or have too many years playing second fiddle to Jeffrey's MLM scheme business and his drama queen simply driven Sarah over the edge?
There are probably simpler ways to try and pry a man away from his main relationship, but I'm glad Sylvia Massara has more imagination than that, because The Other Boyfriend is an excellent read and delightfully twisted.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)
on June 15, 2011 :
I am so glad I picked this book to read. I was in a bad mood and suffering from a bit of depression. All I wanted to do was escape into someone else’s life for a while but this book did much more than that for me. It made me laugh and I didn’t want to put it down. If you are feeling like you need something to lift your spirits, this book is for you. I promise. You will thoroughly enjoy it. THIS IS A MUST READ.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on Feb. 07, 2011 :
what is it about love that makes one do or say stupid things that seem so illogical and outrageous to other people but make a lot of sense to the enamored? why is it that one also fails to hear the alarm when warning signals suddenly go off? are we plain stubborn or just acting out what our "flesh is heir to?"
readers may find themselves saying "oh, i've been there done that" as i have while reading the story.
Sarah Massara's debut novel The Other Boyfriend is a funny, real, feel-good book and though the author herself labels it as "chick-lit," i believe that male readers may see themselves in a character or two and learn valuable lessons about falling/being in love and about the women they love or pursue.
(reviewed 65 days after purchase)
on Jan. 01, 2011 :
“You want me to help you find a boyfriend for your lover’s partner?” – The Other Boyfriend
You can’t help whom you fall in love with. Unfortunately for Sarah Jamison, she’s fallen for Jeffrey Williams, a man who is not only married to his job but is already in a relationship. With the help of her best friend, Monica, Sarah hatches a plot to get Jeffrey all to herself that involves finding a boyfriend for her lover’s partner.
The Other Boyfriend is a light-hearted, entertaining read but also quite sad. Maybe sad because I’ve had friends throw away their prime years on married men. That aside, though, Massara crafts an engaging story – one with a moral.
I liked the character of Sarah (except when I wanted to shake her) and her fetish for throwing imaginary ashtrays and also that she was older than your average chick-lit heroine. Jeffrey, I wanted to… well, I’ll leave that up to your imagination.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)
on Nov. 05, 2010 :
The Other Boyfriend has humor, romance, a few little twists and characters that many women will be able to relate to. While this book is a light, fun read, it is also full of substance. Sylvia Massara has a gift for storytelling. She makes her characters feel so real that I expected Sarah to step off the page and into my living room. I cared what happened and, for me, that’s the sign of a great author.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
on Sep. 02, 2010 :
I read my first eBook, The Other Boyfriend by Sylvia Massara, a couple of weeks back. If you are going to get your feet wet with eReading, this might just be the ticket.
Quick, tightly focused and well written, the story follows Sarah Jamison as she tries to make sense of her current relationship as the "other woman" while fighting her attraction to someone who may actually be better suited for her.
It doesn't hurt that the "other boyfriend," Mike Connor, the one to whom she may be better suited, is also handsome, charming, and quite possibly, far more genuine than Jeffrey, the loser she tries desperately to hang on to.
In the meantime, Sarah finds herself competing with Moira, Mike's current love interest, for Mike's attention, while Sarah's best friend Monica tries to steer her in a more romantically productive direction.
This is the kind of book you can get through in one or two sittings. In fact, it's perfect reading for a place such as the airport, especially when you have to arrive a couple of hours early. It moves at such a brisk pace you'll probably be done before the flight attendants tell you where the emergency exits are.
Three out of four stars for sheer fun and readability.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on Aug. 11, 2010 :
I enjoyed reading this book, it was fun, racy and a bit saucy and the flow of the writing was very easy to read. Great romantic comedy in which you can just lose yourself in. The characters were likeable and the main character I could relate to, as many women put up with varied excuses from the man they love before giving up on him. I loved Mike Connor, and I think every woman would like to have a Mike Connor enter their world. Well done, Sylvia!!!
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on Aug. 05, 2010 :
I have already reviewed this book, but have recently shared it with my bookclub, and on behalf of our bookclub (which has aproximately 20 readers), I wanted to give some more feedback about the book:
We all loved it and we are going to recommend to our friends to read this funny and quirky story. We watched the writer's video and loved the fact that she based some of this story on her own life experience.
We were sorry to note the review by JJ Boehm, who in our opinion is being subjective and harsh, writing things like 'I still hated the main character' and goes on to say that she/he doesn't understand why the main guy puts up with her crap.
Our message to JJ Boehm is: don't ruin this book for others by expressing such strong words as 'hate' and 'crap'. If you didn't like the characters in the first place, we are surprised you even read the book. And seeing as you did not identify yourself by your first name, we think you're 'unbelievable'!
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
on Aug. 04, 2010 :
Now the thing is, there were actually moments when I could almost get into the story, I nearly got drawn into the emotion, and then the writing would mess it all up. It was predictable and by the end I still hated the main character, I'm happy she found love but the thought that such a miserable whiny woman would actually find happiness (with the God she made the main guy) is completely unbelievable. It would only be a matter of months before he stopped putting up with her crap and moved on. Unless he was a masochist but there was no indication he favoured the fetishes. I don't mean to sound harsh but the story has potential, I just didn't find anything likeable about the heroine and as a result, didn't believe that she would be pursued so relentlessly by a man who appeared to be perfect.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on July 31, 2010 :
What a great read this is! I love Sarah and her crazy scheme to get the man she loves (misguided as she is)! So, when are they making the movie?
Highly recommend this book ... oh, and the thing I like the most is that the main character is not some model type with perfect looks; she's a woman like me, and many others - heading for 40 and looking at middle age with trepidation, but not giving up on her dreams :-) Go, girl!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 29, 2010 :
Interesting Concept from a first time write... little predictable but not a bad read.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on July 29, 2010 :
Sarah Jamison is the "other woman". She is in love with Jeffrey, a man that is in a relationship with Moira which he claims is too "complicated" to end just yet. With the help of her best friend Monica, Sarah concocts a diabolical plan to find an irrisistable man to sweep Moira off her feet clearing the way for her and Jeffrey to be together. What she didn't count on was falling in love with Mike Connor the willing pawn in her game.
This was a fast, fun read. Everything in me wanted to hate the main character and repeatedly found myself thinking what an in idiot she was to put her self in that every predictable position of believing a cheating man when he says he will leave his wife/girlfriend for the other woman.
But just when I had written Sarah off as a helpless and naive female she would do something that I could completely relate to and redeem herself and I would find myself rooting for her. In the end I discovered I really liked Sarah not to mention her kookie internet spy of a mother.
I have two criteria a book has to meet for me to judge it a good read. The first being whether I struggle to put it down or not and the other being whether or not I think about the characters when I am not reading the book, sort of like long lost friends. This book more than met both criteria.
I absolutely recommend this book and look forward to reading Sylvia Massara's other work.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on July 29, 2010 :
I had an advance copy of this book and recently purchased one for my sister.
What can I say, except that this was a page-turner! Sarah, the heroine, came across as being a little big zany and naive at the same time. I loved her. Her schemes to get the man she loves really made me laugh, even though she's trying to steal this man from the clingy Moira. But Sarah has a few lessons to learn along the way, and she learns them the hard way. In the end, she rises to the challenge of facing a life that could be lonely ... and as she says - 'heading for the big M' (menopause), but nothing seems to stop her and she teaches all women that there is life after a break-up; there is life after 40 ... AND (most importantly) the love of your life could be under your nose all along and you might lose him if you don't pay attention.
I found this an excellent read and I have to say that sometimes I was crying from all the laughter. It's a 'must read' in my books (pardon the pun) :-)
Jenny P (Australia)
(reviewed the day of purchase)