Winning the United Kingdom's favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn't have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple - he'll make the British public love him.
Ed Britten is an ex-soldier with a different agenda. Winning means he'll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.
Ed and Pasha's discovery that the contest isn't a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there's more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.
©2015 Con Riley (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
Both Pasha and Ed are contestants in a British version of American Idol type singing show. Pasha tells everyone he wants to win it for his mother and bring it home to Scotland. Ed states he only wants to win it for his dead friend’s family (by winning and singing the song his dead friend wrote the family will get the royalty money).
Pasha has some talent but a lot more style. Ed has a lot of talent, but as Pasha says, he’s vocally lazy and doesn’t have much panache.
Ed and Pasha overhear the producers talking and it looks like they won’t be “voted in” next round due to an overall lack of marketability. So they hatch a plan wherein they allude that they are lovers and play it up in the social media.
Neither man knows for sure if the other is even gay and both are being cagey about it in front of the cameras.
What happens over the course of the last few weeks of the program is that the “playacting” they do in front of the cameras begins to feel real.
In the end, the final three competitors must all make a decision because the producer is more or less blackmailing them to get the winner the advertisers want.
Once the show is over, the question remains: do Ed and Pasha have what it takes to be a couple once the cameras are off?
Con Riley is a great writer. She has given us two really unique characters who continually surprise us with their personality twists and turns. You can never guess where the story will go next and she does this in a way that is skillfully tricky not blatantly deceptive.
I cringed at the look behind the scenes of the pop-star/reality show life she depicted and it felt real, even if it was all made up.
The secondary characters are wonderful and the bad-guy is villainous without going over the top.
Though there were times when I was a little lost myself in some of the twists and turns – you have to read this book carefully to appreciate all the nuances – I enjoyed the fresh writing and the ability to spin a story that wasn’t predictable.
(As a little sneak peek – there is some first time gay sex to enjoy as well if you like that sort of thing – which I totally do!)
Matthew Lloyd Davies does a lot of narrations for British books and he’s really good. I liked the differences between Pasha and Ed – they really suited the characters. I think that taking the time and listening to this as an audiobook really brings forth the nuances of the story and makes you appreciate the author all the more.
This was a really sweet and interesting play on the singing competitions that are so popular. Two men that likely would've never come together find themselves in a situation that sucks and they have to make a choice to save both of them on the show that goes against management.
I really liked the complexities of the men and their very different lives that they've lived, yet somehow similar in a way that they've both had not so easy situations they've had to survive.
The writing was really great and I really enjoyed the pacing of the story. Even though this was the first story I've read by this author, I would definitely pick up more in the future!
The narrator was did a good job with bringing both men to life and giving a little extra something to the story that is always nice when listening to an audiobook.
I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.
True Brit isn’t a book I would’ve normally gone before mainly because of the reality show aspect of it. I don’t watch reality singing competitions so I don’t read about them. However, I’m glad I gave this one a shot. It’s a wonderfully romantic story between two amazingly complicated and realistic men.
Their characterizations were right on and they always seem realistic. I’ve never read anything by Con Riley before but I will now.
As always Matthew Lloyd Davies did an amazing job. I love his voice so much I could listen to him read a dictionary. He nailed the characters here and made all of them unique.
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
#truebrit #truelove #.... ugh, I just don't give a F anymore...
Honestly, when you listen to this book in audiobook form, the constant saying of the word "hashtag" just eats at your soul after awhile.
Okay, so I just want to say that I'm a BIG Con Riley fan, and I can't pinpoint if it was the book itself or the narration that made me feel a bit "meh" about this one. I've listened to a few books by Matthew Lloyd Davies, and while I think he did a decent job with the voices (even if I kept picturing Eeyore when Ed was talking), there is something about his reading style that bothers me. He is a little sing-songy or something, and it just kept me from taking this book very seriously. Because of that, though this book is pretty low steam, I had a hard time listening to the audio of the sex scenes. They just felt sort of... not real, or something. I don't think I'll listen to this narrator again.
It also doesn't help that I've read a number of fake boyfriend stories recently, even fake boyfriend stories relating to singing competitions (Love Me Tenor). The plot just felt... tired to me, and it was a little bit of a push to get myself to finish.
The book did have some bright moments. It was interesting to get to know Pasha and Ed more and what drove them. I also thought that they had nice chemistry when they were together, though I was confused about Pasha's sexuality as he described it.
I seem to be the only one raining on this parade, so feel free to ignore me. #truereview #sorrynotsorry
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
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