The cute cover attracted my interest.
The blurb further pulled me in.
The name Jared definitely sealed the deal.
I don't deny, I am that shallow when it comes to reading a chic lit novel and Counterfeit Love was one of my anticipated books-to-read this year, so that explained my overwhelming joy when I received the news that I had won an ebook copy from Ritesh's Valentine's Mega Giveaway. Thanks Ritesh! Seriously, you have to check out his blog, he is a great person and a great blogger!
I picked up this book hoping to get a clean, contemporary romance, however I couldn't explain why I was tearing up and wiping away tears throughout the book. As I was sucked into Maggie's facade as a high school student, I was also absorbed in her depressing childhood past. Maggie McCade was a character that I could easily respect, she was a strong protagonist who emerged from a horrific past with an admirable level of optimism and self-confidence. However, no matter how strong Maggie appeared to be, there was no hiding the vulnerability that comes along with Maggie from her childhood days. She was from a broken family with drunks as parents, she never knew of love.
I liked the way Elysa written the story, unlike most contemporary novels which was often overdone, it was not the case with Elysa. Although the book was just 83 pages long (seems like an awfully short novel), it was the total opposite. Adequately elaborated and written with such sophistication, I couldn't have imagined Counterfeit Love written any other way. I have to give extra credits to the plot because I never imagined I will read an undercover story as cute as this one.
It was such a relief to read that the story was not overly dramatic, once again affirming my admiration towards Maggie. Elysa created characters who were realistic and easy to relate to, not to mention she is good in making my heart race and pumped up with adrenaline. The author once told me that the book has no graphic sex, however she definitely did not warn me about all those 'almost' moments, which in my opinion makes me bite my lip harder than any love scenes. Those 'almost' moments between Jared and Maggie was certainly something beyond flirting, it felt so intimate that I felt like an unwanted invader.
Despite the unspoken attraction between Jared and Maggie (ROMANCE), I liked that the author incorporated moral values in the story. Jared Blake was the epitome of moralism. 10 years ago, Jared was accused of harassing his 14 year old student, but no one in his small town believe him of his allegations, yet broken by the accusation, Jared resigned and fled town, only to resume his post again as a teacher after his wife's death. Returning to the topic, one of the reason why I adore Jared is because he was so determined to not repeat history again. Although he was as innocent as his child Alexandra, he fought hard to not think Maggie as anything besides a student.
Do you know in most romance novels when the guy character says he will fight hard against his attraction towards the girl character? They normally succumbed to their attraction literally after that? Jared was different, he really did fought hard to not notice Maggie, but he still couldn't help the way how she stirred his heart and awaken the primitive, possessive instinct he buried inside. Jared really showed maturity as a teacher and a father, and that was what attracted him to me.
One word. Alexandra. Elysa captured the mind of a little girl perfectly! Alex, Jared's daughter was a great addition to the story, she made the novel more vibrant and carefree. Her innocent inquiry often left Jared and Maggie in a tangle of words, and her demands was what made Jared and Maggie happened. Without her, there would be no story. And I also really liked the big Blaze's clan! Jared's mother reflected open mindedness and that is what I liked in a character.
To summarize my lengthy review, Counterfeit Love is a quick and great read for all of you romance lovers. Thinking of spending the night curling up with a teacher/student romance? Counterfeit Love has that + undercover investigating + family & moral values + heartbreaking story all in one Mega just-enough-dramas package!
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)