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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  150 reviews
For fans of the high-stakes tension of the New York Times bestsellers Luckiest Girl Alive and The Lying Game, a razor-sharp page-turner about female ambition and what happens when fake violence draws real blood.

After years of struggling in the Chicago theater scene, ambitious actress Kira Rascher finally lands the role of a lifetime. The catch? Starring in Temper means wo
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press
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  • Temper by Layne Fargo
    Release date: Jul 02, 2019
    “TEMPER is one hell of a ride. Fargo’s writing is direct and crisp, and her characters mesmerize. She keeps the story moving and the intrigue high wit ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 50 copies available, 2504 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 15 - Jul 29, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    3.94  · 
    Rating details
     ·  278 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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    Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I don't even know what to say or how I feel about this book--part of me loved it, another part of me hated it.

    I am not going to give a synopsis of the plot. It’s best to go in blind.

    I hated the plot. Been there, read that!

    I hated all of the characters, but I couldn’t stop reading about them.

    I hated the ending. I predicted it from the start.

    I was hoping for something that went a little deeper and was a little crazier.

    BUT, as much as I disliked the characters and the plot, I was riveted. I k
    Chelsea Humphrey
    Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Chelsea by: Simon & Schuster Goodreads
    After thinking on this one overnight, I do believe the less I say here the better for you, future reader. I would recommend throwing caution to the wind and just diving in when you're in need of a dark and gritty psychological thriller. At times, the plot gave off a similar vibe to JP Delaney's Believe Me, yet I feel that this novel focuses more on the drama and slow building disintegration of the character's relationships, which gave a feeling of creeping dread until the explosive final page. I ...more
    Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


    This book is a monumental achievement in the dark psychological genre.

    I have never read a book with even the slightest of plot similarities to this one.

    Honestly, the description does not do this book justice but I can understand why. That is because you cannot possibly describe the foreboding atmosphere and psychological manipulation created in this story.

    This book moves at an unhurried pace as it slowly and methodically envelops the reader in it's shadows and it is dev
    Norma * Traveling Sister
    Wowza!!! Sensual, enthralling, & edgy!

    Okay, there was definitely something about LAYNE FARGO'S writing style that totally sucked me in. The narrative was so seductive that I was totally entranced with what I was reading and could not put this book down. I am actually quite surprised with how much I enjoyed this book because I don't normally do too well with some of the content that this book had to offer but I was just as obsessed with finding out what was going on here as these characters w
    Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    WOW.. this is an EPIC read for the psychological thriller genre!

    I have never experienced a plot LIKE this.

    The summary of this book doesn't even remotely come close to giving the book justice. This was sexual, HOT, and psychological manipulation at it's finest.

    This book was initially a little hard for me to get into and was a bit slow. I was thinking ok... these characters are crazy and this book is boring. But, MAN was I completely wrong. Layne Fargo you're a psychological thriller GOD.

    ONE of
    Temper is a very quick read, that you should totally go in blind! You know I enjoy blubbering about the synopsis, but this time you need to just know that it's a distant relative to ML Rio's If We Were Villains. Kira is a struggling actor, and her personal life is just as crazy as her trying to break into the theater world. Kira auditions for a role and meets director Malcolm Mercer. Malcolm has a reputation for being extremely cruel to his actors, and also has a personal reputation for being ...more
    I think my skin was crawling with tension throughout this dark, dry tale. Two women, both ambitious, both attracted to a sadistic, domineering actor, both driven beyond their boundaries and both on a collision course of destruction.

    Twisted, brutal emotionally for the characters and filled with deceit and manipulation, there wasn’t really a developed character that I liked, but I give kudos to Layne Fargo who wrote in bold strokes to bring forth a tale one will not soon forget.

    TEMPER by Layne Far
    Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    It seems incongruous that a book can be this good when all the characters are this unlikable (well, maybe with one exception). But when I had several chapters to go at the time we left for a three-day vacation with friends at the Marblehead area of Lake Erie, I stuffed my Kindle in my suitcase. I would, I vowed, make time to finish it. And I did - the very first night.

    Short chapters that shift among character perspectives helped hold my attention on every single page. But it was the characters,
    Ellen Gail
    Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

    Violent, insidious, and undeniably intriguing, Temper is sure to make a splash this summer.

    Which can't come soon enough because a) y'all need to read this and b) it's too damn cold, I'm wearing like four coats.
    May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arcs
    I’m not quite sure what I expected when I picked up Temper and I’m still not entirely sure how to classify it now that I’ve finished it, but I will say, I did enjoy it! To be clear, Temper is not a thriller, the best way I can describe it is a psychological mind f*ck - but not so much for the readers as it is for the characters on one another.

    Temper had me curious and guessing the entire book and kept me completely captivated. I’m choosing to not say more as this is the kind of book it’s best t
    Jay G
    May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favorites
    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel:

    *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

    Struggling actress Kira auditions for a Chicago theatre company run by Joanna Cuyler and Malcom Mercer. Malcom is the director and lead actor in every show who has the reputation of using brutal tactics to push his cast to their limits until they ultimately break. When Kira is cast for the other lead ro
    Wendy Walker
    Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Yes, Yes, Yes!!! Here is my "official" blurb. What I loved MOST is that you have to read every single word or you will miss a plot twist. And that forces you to leave your own world behind, which is why we read books.

    Temper is raw, ingenious and utterly fearless. I devoured every word as the story bent and twisted in ways I did not see coming. Layne Fargo delivers psychological suspense at its very best - without tricks or misdirections, just brilliant story telling and profoundly astute observa
    Hannah F. Whitten
    I read this book in one sitting. Characters you will simultaneously love and hate, a unique and fully immersive setting, a twisty story about men trying to shape difficult women into what they want them to be (and paying for it)...this book really has it all. If you like Tana French’s twisted crime plots with the compulsive readability of Gillian Flynn, this one is for you.
    Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    5 syllables to describe this book! PSY-CHO-LO-GI-CAL

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that folks who enjoyed 50 Shades will be drawn to this story as well. With an element of sadomasochistic sexual tension and an in depth psychological plot, this is a story that crosses genre boundaries and leaves the reader wondering where in the world is this going???

    There is much mind trickery as the plot delves into the violent side of acting and manipulation. This is one of those books that blu
    Rheama Heather
    Kira finally lands her first great role in a play called Temper, but it comes with a catch. Her director and co-star, Malcolm, has a reputation for breaking actors in the name of art. Kira is determined not to become one of the unfortunates, but she doesn’t realize how far Malcolm will go to extract the performance of her life.

    What I loved - all the little known details about producing a play, the blurred line between truth and fiction, increasing tension, beautiful cover art, and a perfect en
    Halley Sutton
    Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A completely gripping story, beautifully told. Fargo's chewy language makes you want to stop and savor every line but also, every chapter feels more and more urgent, the stakes rising to almost uncomfortable heights, and you can't put it down.

    The story features dual narrators--Kira, an aspiring actress looking to find her big break in Chicago theater, and Joanna, who runs a local theater group along with Malcolm Mercer (I'd say he's in-between them but I think that's a disservice to the feminis
    Jessica Bibi
    Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Holy fucking shit, this was fantastic. Very rarely do I finish a book in one sitting but this book had my ass seated all day--I was absolutely addicted and captivated by these deliciously dark and wonderful characters.

    TEMPER is like if BLACK SWAN had a lovechild with Gillian Flynn--throw in Fargo's moreish writing style and you've got an exhilarating read in your hands.

    (my live read, if you're into that:
    Melanie Golding
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow! This book is a seriously dramatic page-turner with a protagonist that some may love to hate, though I loved her. Told from two perspectives, though one is definitely the leading lady. So interesting to be immersed in the world of theatre. I raced through it and was left open-mouthed at the end, in the best of ways.
    Julie Christensen
    This is an intense, dark, page-turner, told from two alternating POVs. I liked both narrators even though they didn’t necessarily like each other. The story is centered around a debut play, beginning with auditions and ending with opening night. I loved reading about what happens during the production of a play – blocking a scene, rules for physical contact, even the response an actor gives when the stage manager says they’re on in five. The author clearly has a profound love of Shakespeare, and ...more
    Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    OOOOH! What a dark and twisted tale! Kira finally gets an acting job in a new play called Temper and is both delighted and skeptical as director and co-star, Malcolm is known to push his actors, often with cruel and manipulative techniques. She takes the plunge and comes into conflict with Joanna, the manager and roommate of Malcolm. Things get ugly quickly as this odd triangle evolves and emotions become more volatile as the novel progresses. Sexuality, jealousy, rage, bitterness, and tension a ...more
    May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    A mesmerizing thriller with a cast of damaged characters who slowly unravel as the pages turn. Just read it. Compulsive and consuming.
    Megan Collins
    Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I was blown away by this book. The pacing is excellent, the story zooming back and forth between two unforgettable narrators. The characterization is terrific, the story itself brilliant, and the writing exquisite. But the best part, for me, was the ending. It’s both devastating and completely satisfying; it’s shocking and yet inevitable. And the final line—my jaw dropped open. I closed the book ten minutes ago and I still have chills.
    May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: good-words
    I really liked this one! It is so in your face, so raw. Nothing "cute-sy" about this one - the author could have played "nice" but she didn't. Could have toned down some of the story - she didn't. Could have played back on the emotions of the characters - she didn't. For me, TEMPER really delivered what others haven't brought to the table.
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    After years of trying to break out as a theatre actress, Kira Rascher finally lands a role alongside Malcolm Mercer in Temper, a new play. Malcom is a director known for pushing his co-workers beyond their limits. Kira is sure she knows how to handle him, but isn't sure about Joana Cuyler, the co-founder of the theatre where Kira will be working.

    This was absolutely excellent.

    It's told in alternati
    Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arc-for-review
    I’ve never read anything like this but being thrust into Chicago’s theater scene was quite fun. This book is dark and the characters’ thoughts and feelings pulsate right off the page. It was like watching a car crash. You couldn’t look away but it was grotesque watching it. The tension sure builds. Fargo is a talented writer and I’ll be thinking of this one for a long while. These are characters who get inside your brain and will lurk for sure. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
    Wendy Heard
    Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    TEMPER is a dark and sexy ride, its characters’ passion and rage snowballing in equal measure as the story builds to its shocking conclusion. This is the Black Swan psychological suspense novel we’ve all been waiting for.

    When Kira takes the starring role in Temper, she knows she'll be working closely with Malcolm, a director and actor known to enjoy manipulating people, driving them past their absolute limits both on stage and off. With an overtly sensual, bold character like Kira, you might ex
    Emily T
    I got my hands on an early copy of this book and I'm so glad I did. TEMPER is a dark, twisty, captivating story told from alternative POV by two intense women whose stage presence (page presence?) is magnetic. Readers and writers often talk about "likeable" or "unlikeable" characters, but I think we need a new category for the main characters in TEMPER, both of whom I'd call "They couldn't care less if you like them or not" characters. They, and the story, grab hold of you and don't let go until ...more
    Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: debut-19, 2019
    I can't recall when I've enjoyed a slide into madness quite as much as in Layne Fargo's debut TEMPER.

    I come from a theatre background, but it's not why I enjoyed this book. While the details are spot on, Fargo's book is about the people in this book, and their relationship to each other and to the play they're performing . You're taken on a ride through Kira's big break on stage in Chicago, and introduced to the small-but-well-known theatre, and its owners Joanna and Mal. What you don't realize
    Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster and Ms. Layne Fargo for the opportunity to read this Advanced Readers Copy of "Temper".

    The stage is set with a small cast of intriguing characters. Our author takes us on an intense journey of betrayals, dramatic sexual tensions and deep dark thoughts throughout the creation of a theater play called "Temper".

    Told from the 2 female lead characters viewpoints. "Joanna" and "Kira" are strong female characters with many secrets and agendas to reveal... th
    Jessica Strawser
    Twisty, sexy, and so believable it's scary, the pages of Temper bleed an irresistible blend of voice, subculture, and character. Compulsive reading for fans of Black Swan, Mozart in the Jungle, or (dare I say it?) real-life backstage theatrics. (I received an advanced digital copy for review.)
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    Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.
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