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Perfect Strangers

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“These kisses of his...they're demanding and possessive. They're hungry and deep. They're the kisses of a man who wants more of a woman—who wants everything—and isn't going to stop until he gets it."

Author Olivia Rossi hasn’t been able to write a word since tragedy struck two years ago and ripped her world apart. Heartbroken and still haunted by the past, she accepts an offer to spend the summer at a friend’s apartment in Paris in search of healing and her lost muse.

What she finds instead is James, an enigmatic stranger who ignites in her an unexpected and all-consuming passion.

Agreeing to tell each other nothing more than their first names, Olivia and James embark on a torrid affair. But the more time they spend together, the more Olivia begins to realize her summer fling is turning into a powerful connection…and that the magnetic man she’s falling in love with might not be what he seems at all.

Author's Note: This is a work of literary fiction, not a romance. Readers looking for a traditional happy ending should look elsewhere.

342 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 29, 2019

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About the author

J.T. Geissinger

34 books11.9k followers
J.T. Geissinger is a #1 international and Amazon Charts bestselling author of thirty novels. Ranging from funny, feisty romcoms to intense erotic thrillers, her books have sold over ten million copies and been translated into more than twenty languages.

She is a three-time nominee in both contemporary and paranormal romance for the RITA® Award, the highest distinction in romance fiction from the Romance Writers of America®. She is also a recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and the HOLT Medallion for Best Erotic Romance.

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5 stars
12,041 (52%)
4 stars
6,411 (28%)
3 stars
2,902 (12%)
2 stars
956 (4%)
1 star
453 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,561 reviews
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,348 reviews24.7k followers
September 26, 2019
Perfect Strangers is a stand alone romance by the amazing J.T. Geissinger. I just finished this book a short time ago. I have calmed down a little bit, enough to try to string together my thoughts to put something down for you. Whether it will make any sense is yet to be determined. This is one of those books where I can say very little. There is so much in this book, but I can’t give any of it away. You need to experience this book just as I did and get your mind blown, again, just as I did. Within these pages you will find heart break, romance, a connection between two people that you never dreamed existed, suspense, twists and turns, and sexy steamy scenes that will melt your e-reader. I could just stop here! But I’ll try to give you a little bit more.

Olivia Rossi is an author that has lost her words. Tragedy took away her will to put words to paper. In desperation, her friend sent her to Paris for the summer, for three months. Maybe the change of scenery, the beauty of Paris will help to heal her heart. It only took one look, those eyes meeting across the room, that electrical current you only read about in romance novels, to change everything. Suddenly, Olivia’s world was turned upside down.

summer in paris

James Blackwood is an artist. He saw her and he just knew. He knew he needed to know her. It was the look in her eyes, the sadness. In that moment, she was his, or was it that he was hers?

Sarah Mathews

James and Olivia find a passion together that they never imagined. Olivia finds a freedom with James, a side to her she never knew existed. They agree to live in the moment, no pasts, no details, first names only. But once feelings start to become involved, is that going to be enough?

fields of lavender

I am only touching the surface here. This book is full of so much. I can’t even read my favorite highlighted quote without my stomach doing somersaults. There are so many twists and turns. Just so much…everything. There is also humor, the little banter between James and Olivia is so much fun. So when I say there is so much everything, I really mean it. And the sexy times! I do believe this is J.T.’s hottest book yet!

I’m going to stop there. If you want a romance that will make your heart beat out of your chest, read this! If you like lots of hot steamy sexy times, read this! If you want suspense and twists and turns, read this! If you want a book that you will never forget, read this book! That is all!

“There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there.”

For more about this book and so many more, come and visit me at Carol's Crazy Bookish World.

Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
September 29, 2019
Just feel me. Just feel me and breathe.”

I... So... Well... And then... Yeah... I got nothing. Seriously. NOTHING. I'm too busy still picking my jaw off of the floor because this story just blew my ever loving mind! I can't even. I don't even know where to begin to review this book. How do I even tell you about what I just read if even I'M still figuring it out. My brain needs to phone a friend or poll the audience. Sweet baby jesus I don't know what is happening!!!
Our existence is measured in minutes. Seconds. Heartbeats. Time is the most valuable commodity we have, because it can never be replenished. Once it’s gone…it’s gone forever. And so are we.”

If you're looking for a book that's uniquely different, take you out of your comfort zone, and make you feel, you need to read this book. Seriously.

Olivia and James were absolutely electric together. There's just something about reading Olivia's inner monologue that made you feel like you were getting a peek into the author's own psyche. It was fascinating. The connection between her and James is instant and no less potent as they continue on their affair. Olivia is in Paris for a short time only and knows that whatever they have will come to an end. They agree to a short but fiery affair but no more. No last names. No personal information. Nothing to tie them down. But you know what they say about those best laid plans, right? It's not long before the lines get blurred and secrets begin to unravel.

Man oh man, I don't even know where to start with this story. I will definitely advise you to avoid reviews until you read it, because there's so much about this story that's a HUGE spoiler. I won't give you any hints in terms of what that spoiler is, but let me tell you, it's seriously HUGE. Like mind blowingly huge. Like questioning everything you thought you knew huge. All I know is I spent an entire ten minutes after I finished with my jaw on the floor and my mind reeling. This story was a unique and unexpected surprise from someone that's become an absolute must read author for me. I cannot recommend this one enough!

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,543 reviews1,399 followers
January 25, 2022
I was so very excited about this book before I started to read it. However, now that I have finished reading the book, I have contradicting feelings about it.

I am applauding the writer for the interesting direction the story took and how much it shocked me but I also resent her for doing it this way because I hated the direction it took.




Let me tell you that this book has a very interesting plot with bloody awesome plot twists that come one after the other in the last quarter of it. Prepare to be shocked…


It’s a very-well written book, indeed; as this is always the case with Ms. Geissinger; she is one talented writer and I love her. However, I am very unhappy after reading this book because I feel “cheated”. Although I resent her for the time being, I will always read whatever she writes. I just hope she won’t do this again.


I cannot explain why I am so unhappy without spoiling it and I won’t spoil it. That would be such a disgrace to the writer. And it is very hard to explain why this book might bother readers like me, who want to read a good romance book.


I can only say that my main disappointment is I thought I was reading a romance book but then, I saw that I was not reading a romance book at all because it all... oops, I cannot say it. Sh*t! I must stay cryptic or I will give you a clue and it won't be fair.


So, if you expect to read some good romance, which, in the end will make you happy; then, this is not the book for you. You might most probably be disappointed like me.

But, if you want to read an interesting, different and carefully-crafted book in which you will also be reading a passionate and romantic love affair with deep emotions and hot sex (I know I know, it doesn't make sense to you now but it will if you read the book), then you can try it; maybe you will love it more than I did. At least, all the surprise effects will show you that the writer is a master mind. But, in the end, if you are a romantic at heart (like me), That's all I can say.


I know I am not making much sense but well, as I said, it is hard to explain it without spoiling it.

I read romance books that had a huge shock effect on me and I still loved them (BLACK LIES / IF I BREAK series etc.) but the shock effect of this book kills its romance for me. Frankly, the problem I had with this book lies within its plot twists. “The bloody awesome plot twists” killed all the romance for me and I was left, feeling having been cheated...


My rating

I had a hard time rating this book and here's how I decided:

+ 3 stars for the multiple surprise effects of the book and its good writing

- 2 stars for the way it made me feel (frustrated and cheated)


P.S. Oh, by the way, the blurb is misleading but I really don't know how she would write a blurb without giving spoilers... So, I am just saying... Don't expect that what you read in the blurb will be the real story.


Here are some readers who felt "cheated and betrayed" like me while the author was trying to be creative for the sake of being creative... I say we got played!





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Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,059 reviews706 followers
September 27, 2019
What the ever lovin’…holy freaking Hades!!! I’m not sure what I just read except that it has literally blown my mind, tossed my world upside down, wrenched my heart, and I will never forget this story or these characters for the rest of my life!!!

’But in our case – with our lives thousands of miles apart – it’s perfect. We’ll be perfect. Perfect strangers.’


I’m not even going to give a basic summary that you can get from the blurb, because really, this book goes far beyond what’s on the blurb. There is definitely romance, and two characters that you can feel their very connection in every word. There is plenty of fun banter and moments that I was laughing out loud. Olivia really knows how to knock James�� ego down to size and I loved that she did so with humor and a smile. And he loved that she did it.

This author said this book would be steamier than her other work and oh yeah…this baby absolutely sizzles. There is no denying the chemistry between the hero and heroine. I’m not a fan of saying something is “hot”, but really, I’ve got say it, because this couple together was hot, Hot, HOT!!!

’This casual summer fling has the potential to burn the whole city down and leave a path of smoking runs in its wake.’


There really are no words to express how this book turned my book lovin’, romantic heart around and around until I fear for any book I read following this one…for days or weeks to come. Because how the heck do you follow this one up with something else? You can’t!

“There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there.”


With lots of suspense, action, smexy times, intrigue, and twists and turns that you will NEVER EVER see coming, this book is going to give you a huge case of book hangover and leave you thinking about them long after the last page. I’m still struggling with the adrenaline high this story gave me.

Perfect Strangers will give you your happy ever after. Just be prepared to get there in a way you never imagined to do so.

Heroine POV
Profile Image for Funda Demir.
146 reviews188 followers
October 1, 2019
Wow there’s a first for everything; just like me giving a JTG book 1 star. In the acknowledgements, the author says ‘I hope you enjoyed their very twisty journey’ and I’m just going to say no I did not enjoy it and as an avid reader of her books, I feel cheated . If I knew the ending would have been like this, I would not have wasted my time on it.

Profile Image for Alina.
392 reviews66 followers
October 2, 2019
I think by now everyone knows what happens, but I'll put it under the spoiler tag:
Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,666 reviews624 followers
September 27, 2019
I'm just going to have to apologize now. I have no idea how to review this book. I can't even express my emotions with out possibly giving anything away. And trust me, you don't want me to spoil a thing. Not ONE thing.

I might have had a mini melt down at one point in the book and it was worth every second. You're going to start this book and think, what the heck is everyone talking about, and not in a bad way. It's actually an extremely hot read. The way this couple meet and progress in the story was one of the hottest things I've read. Just when you start to relax....well, don't. Just...don't relax.

I'm sorry, my hands are tied. I refuse to give anything away. Read it. Some books are just worth the deep dive and this is one of them.
Profile Image for Romantic Critic.
191 reviews31 followers
December 20, 2020
The novel hails itself as the next Inception (i.e., a book within a book within a book), but nowhere does it come remotely close to what it so desperately wanted to achieve. In actuality, it was a dumpster fire – chaotic and abrupt developments that made no sense yet somehow became more asinine as the novel progressed.

Consumed with grief over the passing of her daughter, acclaimed author Olivia Rossi moves to Paris for a much-needed fresh start. There, she’ll stay at her editor’s apartment for the summer and hopefully garner inspiration for her next novel. On her first day, she meets local artist James Blackwood at a café, where, for the first time in a long time, she feels seen. But when he propositions her to a portraiture session, she immediately turns him down and flees, choosing instead to cocoon herself from what she believes to be inevitable heartbreak. But when fate intervenes and she runs into him again – this time at their landlord’s party – she takes it as a sign that maybe she can be vulnerable again. Little does she know, however, that things may not be what they seem …

The synopsis was incredibly deceiving. In hindsight, J.T. Geissinger did provide a note that foreshadowed the novel’s eventual conclusion. However, regardless of her comparison to the masterpiece that was Inception, her plot twists were thoughtlessly and haphazardly strewn. In essence, Olivia discovers that her ex-husband was the intended target of their daughter’s murder, as he had made powerful enemies illegally trading arms. When she learns that her new lover, James, is an assassin (!), she asks him to murder her daughter’s assailant and bring his head (!) back as a symbol of retribution. Shortly after they get their happy ending, the scene sudden morphs into Olivia bedridden at a psychiatric hospital. The already asinine plot, which represented 80% of the novel, was revealed to be a HALLUCINATION. James turns out to be a figment of her imagination conjured out of guilt. Olivia was the one who had accidentally killed her own child when she had lost control of her body and subsequently, her vehicle, from ALS. When she returns to “reality” (aka a loveless marriage to her uncaring “ex” husband), she makes it her personal mission to return to her dream state with James. She succeeds right before she succumbs to her illness, which the epilogue then reveals to be a HOAX. The true Olivia is pitching the intertwined stories to her editor, with James being a tribute to her actual loving husband. The novel ultimately ends with Olivia rushing home to tell him about her latest novel(s) and their (real and alive) daughter overhearing her parents having sex (!). It was insane.

The worst part of it all was the delusional scene at the end where the editor was lauding the first two novels and proclaiming the gut-wrenching emotions that they supposedly evoked. With the author’s inclusion of that scene, it seemed like she was patting herself on the back for being “inventive” or creating a “moving piece of art”. However, this couldn’t be further from reality. The jarring and inane plot twists aside, the “book within a book within a book” concept would have only worked had she made me feel invested in the story. For instance, in Inception, I wanted to learn more about Cobb’s backstory. I was curious about his family and how he ended up being the person he was today. In contrast, the first 80% of Perfect Stranger was so insipid that I couldn’t give one iota about the protagonists or their fate. Maybe that was the point of it all? Perhaps James being too “perfect” or Olivia too distant were indications that it was all an illusion? At the end of the day, however, it didn’t really matter because the corny dialogue (including James’ constant proclamations of undying devotion based on NOTHING) and the prolific but tedious sex scenes made the novel feel torturous. The actual writing was so robotic and uninspiring that the eventual plot twists only left me brimming with fury.

Per the author’s own admission, she decided to incorporate the most random plot twists just because, never mind that they weren’t coherent or well-written. It was infuriating that these doltish plot twists came so late in the game and with what felt like zero warning. The biggest offender however, was the lack of self-awareness. The self-praise was purely delusional, particularly considering the majority of the novel centred around protagonists with zero chemistry or individual charm. Nonetheless, the author did manage to pull off a colossal feat: a simultaneously monotonous, distant-feeling and chaotic clusterfuck of a “journey”.
3 reviews3 followers
September 30, 2019
Authors, don’t do this

Not to spoil this book, but if you’re looking for straight up romance, this book is not it. This book is the author trying to be inventive and different and creative. All that’s great unless your readers are used to more traditionally defined romance or you happen to be writing literary fiction, where anything goes.

Used to love this author but after her last book with a major cliffhanger that was not marked as part of a series and then this book, I doubt I’ll read her new work again.

The first “Act”, I liked. I thought the “twist” was stupid and frankly annoying and self-indulgent. I honestly don’t get the 5 star reviews at all. The part of the book that was the “romance” was good if a bit fantastic. The rest was crap.
Profile Image for Mali Mor ❤️ The Romantic Blogger.
422 reviews524 followers
August 6, 2020
𝟜.𝟝 ℙ𝕖𝕣𝕗𝕖𝕔𝕥 𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕣𝕤!

I'm still sitting and staring at my Kindle, trying to lift my jaw off the floor and digest the end of this book... 😱

📚 "𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕 – 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕.
𝑾𝒆’𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕.
𝑷𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓𝒔." 📚

So why did I like this book...?
1. The heroes are not too young, they are close to 40 years-old, which was totally refreshing. 💙
2. The male character, James, is all sex appeal (and he also has a cleft chin that would impress Superman himself!) 😍
3. The female character, Olivia, is a whacky writer and her inner dialogues are so funny and witty- They allowed me to get into the mind of a real writer and understand their crazy. 😂
4. THE SEX SCENES. I have nothing to add here... just help me convince my husband that we should copy them together, please!!! 🙏
5. Twist after Twist ... Surprise after Surprise ... God, this book was not what I thought it will be! 😱

📚 “𝑼𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒍 𝑺𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 ���𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒌 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒎𝒚 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓, 𝒘𝒆’𝒓𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒅𝒂𝒚 𝒂𝒔 𝒊𝒇 𝒊𝒕𝒔 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒕. 𝑵𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒔. 𝑵𝒐 𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒐𝒓 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅. 𝑱𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕. 𝑴𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒖𝒕𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕. 𝑴𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒆 𝒃𝒐𝒕𝒉 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒆 𝒈𝒐 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒕𝒐 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔.” 📚

I'm dying to share my full experience with you, but I won't elaborate because all I want to say will be a spoiler! 😬
So briefly:
Olivia is a writer, but after a tragedy in her personal life, she struggles to keep going, so she travels for 3 months to Paris to find inspiration. 💙
She meets James, a beautiful stranger, a talented painter and a VERY hot man. 🔥
Besides their immediate chemistry, Olivia recognizes in him the same pain she has - and they agree to share her brief time together in the city, without sharing details - no last names or significant conversations - just a passionate affair... 💕

📚 “𝑰 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒎𝒚𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒂 𝒇𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒕. 𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒈𝒆 𝒅𝒆𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆. 𝑺𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒍, 𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕. 𝒀𝒆𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝑰 𝒂𝒎, 𝒘𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒇𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒄 𝒊𝒕 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒎𝒚 𝒃𝒐𝒐𝒃𝒔 𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒍𝒐𝒖𝒑𝒆𝒔.”
“𝑯𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒚𝒅𝒆𝒘 𝒎𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒔.”
“𝑹𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕. 𝑺𝒐𝒓𝒓𝒚. 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝑰?” 📚

But you know what they say about plans...? they never work! Eventually, everything explode in their faces- secrets, lies, surprising revelations and crazy twists! 💥💥💥
The story begins slow with passionate chemistry and humor - then suddenly... BOOM! Everything I thought I knew about romance novels just evaporate. 💣

📚 "𝑶𝒖𝒓 𝒆𝒙𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒖𝒕𝒆𝒔. 𝑺𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒔. 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒔. 𝑻𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒗𝒂𝒍𝒖𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒐𝒅𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒘𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆, 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒊𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒃𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅. 𝑶𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒆… 𝒊𝒕’𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓. 𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒐 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒆.” 📚

And although I was surprised, I have to admit that the amount of twists in the plot was a bit too much for me - it felt like they came at the expense of the romance... Still, the characters were complex and intriguing, the plot was well developed and surprising and the writing pulled me in from the first page. 👑
J.T. Geissinger proved again that she is a genius writer! 🎉

So if you want to read something different that will totally surprise you... read this book. 💙

*** 𝕀 𝕣𝕖𝕔𝕖𝕚𝕧𝕖𝕕 𝕒𝕟 𝔸ℝℂ 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕒𝕦𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕣 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕒𝕟 𝕙𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕥 𝕣𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨 ***


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Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
Want to read
June 27, 2020
I love this author so much. I love her creativity! I love her sense of enormous and somewhat awkward but fully intelligent humor ! Lately most of my all time favorite writers deny to write romances and they try to do something different.
I understand J.T. Geissinger did it, too. But I don't want to risk myself to give her one or two stars for the book. I can sense a surprising twist is coming but not Black Lies or Jersey Six kind of twist(by the way I also gave two stars to Jersey Six,even the surprise so good but heroine was trash for me) so I'm passing this book and waiting for her write new, complex, twisty, edgy ROMANCE just ROMANCE books that I can happily devour at one sit :)
Profile Image for Carol.
1,310 reviews219 followers
October 2, 2019
I just started reading this but I already know from two of my friends that there is a twist coming and that neither of them liked it very much.....so we shall see what I think shortly!!!

1.5 stars.
Oh, Hell !!!!......What is going on with all my favorite authors lately.....Mia Sheridan.....Jewel E Ann and now J.T. Geissinger.....all their newly released books had such unexpected departures from the individual author's usual writing style and more typical storylines.

confused x factor GIF by X Factor Global
This is definitely the one that I liked the least though.👎
In fact I really didn't enjoy it at all once I got a little past the half way point.
There are multiple twists to this story and I was certainly fooled by them all but they are also the same reasons that turned me off from loving this book.
The final twist once unveiled is kind of clever in it's own way but it comes too late for me.... by then I was over this confusing book and it is like the romance never really existed at all.
confused new girl GIF

THE MULTIPLE TWISTS AND CONVOLUTED STORYLINE REALLY SUCKED ALL THE PLEASURE OUT OF THIS BOOK READING EXPERIENCE....sorry but that's how I really feel !!!!..... which super-sucked as dammit.... the writing was really great.

Spoiler Alert:
October 8, 2022
Surprisingly unpredictable!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Narration: 🎙🎙🎙🎙🎙
Romance: 💚🖤💙❤️💜
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📕📗📙📘📔
World building: 🌏🌍🌎🌏🌎
Character development: ☺️😉😀😘🥰

The heroine: Olivia - She is a writer who has suffered a terrible loss and has been suffering from writers block ever since. She is spending some time in France at the apartment of her agent to try to get her writing mojo back.

The Hero: James - He is an artist who is doing portraits of people suffering from grief. He sees Olivia who is living in the same apartment complex as him and is interested in her from the start. He wants to paint her but he wants more as well.

The Story: Olivia is at first very skeptical of James after he approaches her in a café. Though after meeting him in a gathering at the apartment complex and seeing his artwork. She agrees to sit for him and is candid about wanting an affair with him for the time she is in Paris. He eagerly agrees and things heat up quickly.

The book was told from Olivia’s point of view via duet narration which I love and I will not give 5 points for narration without it. This is where the male narrator does all the male voices and female does the female voices no matter who’s point of view the chapter is told from. The narrators were Troy Duran, Veronica Pace and Marnye Young. They all did a great job and I just love Troy Duran’s deep and sexy voice.

The story was great, both Olivia and James had a story and have suffered in different ways. They had chemistry from the start and it just kept growing. I love how they grew to know each other and the book was super steamy as well. The two of them had a plan not to get personal in the time they are together so a lot of hints were dropped about certain things without much clarification until later in the book.

I was pleasantly surprised at the direction this book took and loved that it was unpredictable. I thought I knew exactly what would happen at the end based on some of the things that happened, but something completely different happened and It isn’t very often that a story can surprise you like that.

Profile Image for J.T. Geissinger.
Author 34 books11.9k followers
September 23, 2019
Amazon Worldwide: https://geni.us/Perfect

*** SNEAK PEEK! ***

We end up closing the place down.

We eat, drink, laugh, and talk until we’re the last ones in the restaurant and the wait staff are clustered near the kitchen doors, collectively glowering in our direction.

Not that I care. I’m having the best time I’ve had in years. I never want the night to end.

I say, “Ugh, I can’t believe you like Hemingway! He’s so unbearably macho.”

I’m rolling my eyes but smiling as I lick from my spoon the last morsel of an incredibly delicious chocolate mousse we shared. James ordered no less than five different desserts, because I couldn’t decide on just one.

For that, he’s getting major bonus points. I’ve got a substantial sweet tooth that hasn’t been indulged in too long.

“And I can’t believe you’re such a literary snob,” James shoots back. “Macho or not, the man was a genius. Look at his legacy. Look at his body of work—”

“Genius? Please. He was a bully and a braggart and wrote some of the worst fake biblical prose ever to hit the market. ‘I am thee and thou art me…’ What bullshit. Combine his love of three word sentences with an almost pathological aversion to words that end in –ly and the man is insufferable. I can’t believe he’s still being taught in schools.”

“Do you object more to his writing style or to his personal character? Because you have to separate the artist from his work. Otherwise we’d have to burn every Picasso. Now that was an arrogant asshole.”

I nod in agreement. “A womanizer, too. Like Hemingway.”

James shrugs. “Many famous and successful men are. Imagine having beautiful women constantly wanting to sleep with you—”

“I’m straight, but thanks,” I interrupt drily.

“—literally throwing themselves at you day and night. A man would have to be a saint to resist that kind of temptation.”

“Funny, that’s exactly what I thought about you the first time I saw you. Every woman in the café had a spontaneous orgasm when you walked in.”

He scoffs. “You’re exaggerating again.”

“If I am, it’s only a teeny bit. Even some of the men looked at you like they wanted to lick you from head to toe.”

When his expression sours, I laugh. “C’mon, James, don’t be modest. You must know how gorgeous you are.”

He pauses for a moment, staring at me in a strange, weighted silence. Then he drops his gaze to his empty bourbon glass and says darkly, “Only on the outside.”

A little tremor of recognition sings through me. It’s the same feeling I had when I looked at his portraits. The animal sense of awareness of one’s own tribe.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Though we’re still not much more than strangers, I know intuitively that he and I are alike.
Suffering is the great equalizer of humankind.

I recall him standing there surrounded by admiring women at the party, looking miserable and alone, and how oblivious he was to all the stares he garnered walking into the café, and realize with a jolt that this is a man for whom most other people have ceased to exist.

The happy ones, anyway. The normal ones who still have light in their eyes.

It’s only people like me he can see or connect with. People submerged in their own darkness, the way he’s submerged in his.

I say urgently, “Whatever bad thing happened to you, it hasn’t made you less beautiful. There’s beauty in darkness, too. It just takes a different kind of vision to see it.”

When he lifts his head and looks at me, the anguish in his eyes pierces my heart. His lips part. For a moment we simply stare at each other, our surroundings forgotten.

Then he reaches around the table, grasps me by the arms, and drags me onto his lap.

He kisses me with a fierce desperation that takes my breath away. With one arm wrapped around my back and a hand gripped around my jaw, he eats me with kisses, his mouth hard and demanding, until I’m shaking and making soft noises of need low in my throat.

He breaks away, breathing roughly, and mutters, “Fuck.”

My fingers are clenched in the front of his shirt. My armpits are damp, my nipples are hard, and there’s a throbbing ache between my legs. I’m dizzy and almost panting, my taste buds and nose full of him, my skin in flames.

Without opening my eyes, I whisper, “More. Please, more.”

He doesn’t hesitate: his mouth slides back over mine. Gentler this time, slower, but somehow even hungrier. He takes my head in both hands and makes fists in my hair, holding me still for his tongue to probe deeply as he takes what he wants and gives me what I need, his erection big and stiff against my bottom.

This time when he breaks away, he’s softly groaning.

And I��m about to explode with desire.
Profile Image for Apoorva .
166 reviews172 followers
October 10, 2020
Okay now I'm awake enough to write this.

First, however you expect this to end? So not going to end that way, my friend.
I really liked the story as it progressed. I liked James, even though he was being mysterious as heck. At some points there was a small voice in the back of my head, this is so OTT, but I crushed it with my heel because I was too busy liking the plot.
Then in the last few chapters I had a reaction, just the one- WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED? I almost had a whiplash.
So that's it because whatever happens in those chapters and the epilogue pretty much takes the earlier plot in a different direction all together.

But if I'm being honest, I loved the earlier plot and I seriously don't think that the twist was necessary because for me it took out the charm of the story. It was simply unnecessary to hurt me like that. And there's where we lose the one star. The four is just for the part before the......twist, you could say. This author has written some of my most favorite books and there's always something unexpected in the end, a little extra sometimes but in this one, instead of pleasing me, it just annoyed me, even though it was an HEA- sort of.
Profile Image for TJ ☾.
690 reviews1,151 followers
February 14, 2021

how you gonna do me dirty w a plot twist like that?? HOW SWAY?!?? I was practically prancing my way through this, having the best freaking time, and then all of a sudden I was TRIPPED and had a BUCKET OF ICE WATER DUMPED ALL OVER ME. Was this author on drugs when she wrote this?? I can already tell I'm gonna be mad about it for a while *fights the freaking air before sliding into angry calm*

I don't even know how to rate this now. James was amazing. Up until 85% was a solid 4.5 stars. Ya know what, fuck it it's still getting 4 stars, that's how much I liked it before it crashed and burned into an unsalvageable mess. Live footage of me cherry picking everything I loved and erasing from my brain everything I hated:

My ability to lie to myself is truly my best quality. Still can't wait to read Ruthless Creatures and JT Geiss is still my girl but if she tries to play me like this again I will take it to heart.
Profile Image for Aisling Zena.
635 reviews461 followers
December 21, 2020
4 stars


This was me after reading the end of the second twist late last night. Due to the multiple twists, the ending/epilogue felt a bit unreal to me. And I don't know if it's the period talking but man did I sob And because one perfect HEA ending was swiped from under me I just couldn't trust the actual ending.


Even so I love J.T. Geissinger, she really made me feel very keenly during this book.
Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,506 reviews269 followers
October 6, 2019
Wow. This book deserves an award. Amazing.
The book is completely not what you expect. The author tells a story that is intensely compelling, sexy, and so different from a typical romance. Her characters are awesome and the twists are completely unexpected.

I simply loved it.
Profile Image for Nadine Wilmschen.
Author 5 books92 followers
October 1, 2019
What can I say about this book?

Let's start with something nice.

First of all, as always, it's written beautifully. J.T. Geissinger has a way with words and I love above all else her dialogues.

But this is also where the good things I can say about this story end.

I won't spoil, but there are several plot twists at the end that I hated. I feel betrayed for the story I was promised by the short description. We all know "Last Tango in Paris" with Marlon Brando. And that's exactly what I expected, because that's what was advertised.

Unfortunately, the story you get is completely different. That wouldn't even have bothered me if it had still been a romance. But it is not. It's something else, but I can't explain it in more detail at this point, because that would spoil the story too much. I know I sound very cryptic, but this is the only way to write a review at all. I'm sorry.

If I had known in which direction this book was going, I wouldn't have read it. That's not my genre, which probably explains why I just didn't like the story.

Sidenote: I hated the sex scenes. They were all incredibly similar and there were just too many. (Not to mention that they somehow seemed like bad housewife fantasies.)

Would I recommend the book? Not if you expect a romance.
Profile Image for Robin Hill.
Author 3 books284 followers
October 25, 2019
I read this *quietly* because my friends loved it and there's nothing worse than disliking a book your friends love. For the first half, I struggled to keep reading because I couldn't connect with the characters--especially the h who, IMO, didn't come across as believable, considering what she'd suffered (and on that note, this book really needs a trigger warning).

It was the second half where everything picked up for me. Not only did it pick up, it sucked me in so hard and fast, I finished the book at 4:30 am, sitting up in bed to stay awake, one eye propped open with my free hand.

By the time I reached the end, my initial concerns were no longer valid. Everything I disliked (or misunderstood) about the characters in the beginning suddenly made sense.

Is this a romance? Depends on who you ask. I say yes.

Go in blind (unless you have triggers) and expect the unexpected.
Profile Image for shush.
840 reviews254 followers
September 11, 2021
maybe its coz ive read the reviews saying theres gon be a major plot twist, so i guessed it right (not particularly but i wasnt surprised at all when it came). though i disliked this sm mostly bcs it wuz boring n i didnt care bout anyone / anything. just blah
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,268 followers
October 12, 2019
Why would Geissinger do this to me? I wanted an epic love story, damnit!
Profile Image for jaz.
154 reviews11 followers
February 6, 2022
1.5 stars ✧

i feel cheated, i feel robbed, but most off all, i feel ... homicidal ✨😍
Profile Image for Ursula.
586 reviews139 followers
October 1, 2019
2.5 stars, (I was tempted to give it 1 star) because this lady can write- lovely turn of phrase, literary references and perfect grammar (I have always known it was "you've got another thinK coming"!)

But the plot! The psycho torture she perpetrates on the reader! The endless pages of bondage, spanking and pussy slapping- at the cost of truly deep character development.

Yes, they were very well-written. But there was a lack of tenderness, of emotional connection, that no amount of kink could hide.

I want to do justice to this book. Apparently, it is partly based on the initial meeting of the author with her husband. That is sweet, but it was also telling that I found that information, revealed in an afterward, more interesting and touching than the actual book story.
So here goes- I will not discuss the twist, however. It certainly had me gobsmacked.

And relieved, because the alternative was horrible. So, I thank the author for that.

I had two main problems with this book, and they combine to create a huge sense of disappointment for me, because I have really loved some of the books by this author (the Slow Burn series, Bad Habit series and the Wicked Games series). I do feel, though, that she has started down a much darker road recently, especially if anyone has read the Night Prowler series. Even now, as I re-read this series for review purposes, I remember how horrified I felt a lot of the time, how vividly violent and brutally cruel so many of the scenes in this series are. I’m not sure I want quite so much detail on torture in my dystopian fantasies!

Problem number one: the relationship between Olivia and James is based pretty much on mind-blowing, BDSM (no actual SM) sex. There is mention of their mutual love of books, (many references to Hemingway) but I honestly don’t recall much else in terms of an emotional or intellectual connection. Frankly, while I get the lure of spanking, it went a bit further than I actually like in a CR- this was definitely into erotica territory. Furthermore, dirty talk can be very sexy and arousing, but it loses its appeal for me when the c-word is thrown in. Which it was. Bottom line, nobody actually ever made love in this book. I prefer it when authors mix it up a bit and have that slow, sweet sexy-time as well as the banging wall sex. Alas, there was no relief from the rough fucking to be had here.

Problem number two: I never felt I really understood the MCs. I can see why James seemed especially two-dimensional- and, apparently, a perfect Adonis who put David in the shade. That belongs to the twist, given his role in the novel, but that lack of connection had me feeling uninvested in the outcome. I didn’t care what happened to him and was pissed off that he could only get off with kink. The coup de grâce was his gift of clamps- yup- THREE of them. I’m crossing my legs just thinking about it. Hey, live and let live- all good- but a little warning about this would have been nice! And Olivia was just weird- all three versions of her. (Yes, the twist again). I never warmed to her, no matter how often we were told about her suffering and heartbreak. In the end, she was just as busy as James in getting herself off and chasing that perfect, mind-blowing orgasm. It was almost mechanical, the way these two interacted. I just need a little more than that in my books.

What I did find interesting was the discussion of a break-down and what being catatonic actually meant. Also, the brilliant depiction of what it would be like to suffer from ALS, which we call motor neurone disease in Australia. Absolutely horrific, and it broke my heart. I don’t think I would have forgiven the author if she hadn’t come up with that twist, even if it sucker-punched me, but I was in too much emotional turmoil by that stage to feel fully- compensated!

All I can say, really, is that this was a strange book, one that left me feeling a bit dirty, a bit let down and a bit cheated. I may need to cross this author off my auto-buy list.
If her trajectory from rom-com, with her sexy alpha guys and feisty kickass gals, to dark, kinky, violent heroes living in a horrible world continues, that is a certainty.

Profile Image for Rachael*Caribbean*girl*bibliophile.
1,650 reviews329 followers
September 30, 2019

Up until the initial plot twist this book was a 5* read, I really enjoyed the connection and chemistry between the mcs and of course the sexy times. At plot twist 1 I downgraded to 4 because honestly I expected a romance not what that twist revealed but I could still have handled the ending where they go off into the rain together though I was hoping to see the scumbag husband get his just desserts.....but at plot twist 3 is where the author, unfortunately,lost me. I felt cheated to be honest because to me there was no hea. If that was the real story then I missed the entire romance.....it was an interesting concept and kudos to the author for taking a chance and stepping outside the norm without devolving the book into a soap opera style drama fest, while this wasn't what I expected I was however fully entertained.
Profile Image for Vintage.
2,391 reviews444 followers
December 30, 2019

Total reader betrayal by author who really needs to change up her blurb. I read reviews after I started and am glad I did. No spoilers, but this is more a writing experiment gone wrong from my point of view. A mashup of Somewhere in Time the movie and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Geissinger is a sharp and witty writer who creates passionate characters and can deliver a sexy romance, but the end run around her romance readers is not good.
Profile Image for Debbie DiFiore.
2,017 reviews215 followers
October 1, 2019

That's call I can say about this book. I hated it and I ultimately loved it. It's just so different and honestly I almost had to get a new Kindle because I threw it at the wall. For real. It didn't get hurt but I was that upset and I was blowing snot bubbles out my nostrils because I was sobbing uncontrollably and my husband woke up and thought someone had died or something and when he saw my Kindle lying on the floor, he just shook his head and went back to sleep. I am writing this review and then waking him up again so he can comfort me. That book almost killed me I swear. I can't even say anything about it because it needs to be discovered. I just can't believe what This woman put me through. I am stunned and my eyes are puffy but my heart is at peace. Wow.
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