Book Review: The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1) by Tarryn Fisher
*** This review contains some plot spoilers. Read on at your own risk. ***
Growing up poor and losing both her parents before high school graduation, Olivia is very closed off, introverted, and sometimes downright hostile. Her father was unfaithful and an alcoholic, and Olivia was taught at an early age to not trust in love and that anything good never lasts. She has a problem showing and expressing her emotions, having never really had any shown or expressed to her.
When she first meets Caleb in college, she fights him tooth and nail, not wanting to go on a date with him. Caleb convinces her only to have Olivia push him away. And so begins the trail of lies and deceit between the couple.
Charismatic, charming, and so hot he’s disarming, Caleb Drake was not just another wealthy, dumb jock in college. He’s completely smitten with Olivia from their first meeting, but when she pushes him away he does the honorable thing and tries to let her go. Through some extremely insidious and almost treacherous plotting by Olivia, the two finally reunite months later and are inseparable. Then, on their anniversary, when Caleb doesn’t show to pick Olivia up for their romantic weekend away, she tracks him down only to find him involved in a very compromising position and her world comes crashing down around her.
I can’t begin to lie and say that I can do this story justice with this brief synopsis. Nor can I delve into any more details without giving away too much. I can only think of one word to describe this book… Tragic. This love story is so heartbreaking that I literally had chest pains. I did love it, though. I also immediately had to read something light-hearted and uplifting right after because I knew I would dwell on Olivia and Caleb. Even in the middle of another book, my mind kept replaying the scene in Rome and I would start to feel my chest constricting. Needless to say, this book is beautifully written to the point that you are completely immersed in the main character’s shoes, living what she’s living, feeling everything she feels. This book made me realize something. I’m a closet optimist and I like happy endings. A lot. After finding out this is number one in a series, I immediately thought about how I didn’t think I could ever read this book again. It was so raw and emotional. Yet, I knew as soon as the second in the series came out I would buy it. I HAVE to know where this story goes!
Damn! Perceptive much?
“There’s something sad about your eyes, maybe it’s how big they are or the way they dip downward like they’re disappointed. They’re definitely vulnerable, but bold too, because you look at everything like you’re challenging it. Then, there’s the way that you hold your chin. You are defiant and stubborn, and you have a snobby little nose that’s always pointing due north. I think you pretend to be a snob to keep people away.”
I felt sick. Too much ice cream. Too much truth…
“And my personal favorite, your lips.” He smiled as a pink flush crept up my neck. “Full and sensual, puckered, and always turned down at the corners. They kind of make me want to kiss them until they smile.”
Yes! Yes! Yes!
“Everything has to be a production with you, doesn’t it?” he says, standing up and turning his back to me. “Ask and you shall receive.” When he spins back around his features are twitchy and nervous.
“Bravo,” I clap my hands.
“Olivia,” he begins.
I look at him in mock surprise. Then suddenly he is serious…or he seems so. I catch my breath.
“You belong with me. Do you believe me?”
I feel my sweat glands open.
Holding my breath, I nod. This is supposed to be for laughs, but it doesn’t sound funny, it sounds like something I will be replaying years from now – when I am sitting alone in a room full of cats.
“Will you marry me, Olivia? You are the only woman I know how to love. The only woman I want to love.” He doesn’t lower himself to his knee and he doesn’t need to – I am rocking on the edge of an emotional meltdown as is.
Anyone got a portable defibrillator? I think my heart just quit…
“I’m sorry, Olivia, for hurting you,” he said hoarsely and my heart heaved in my chest. Why was his voice so gentle? Why wasn’t he screaming at me? I was the one who did the hurting. It was me. My fault. My sin. My mess.
“You will never see me again after today.” He paused and his next words struck me so deeply I would never recover from them. “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.”
If you liked The Opportunist…
If you enjoyed The Opportunist, and let’s face it, you will, you have to pick up Dirty Red the second book in the Love Me With Lies series that continues the story and is told from Leah’s P.O.V. If you’re looking for other tumultuous Contemporary Romances, check out two of my other personal favorites: Avoiding Commitment Vol. 1 in the Avoiding series by K.A. Linde or Love Left Behind by S.H. Kolee.
Rating: The Opportunist