The Other Boyfriend (英語) ペーパーバック – 2013/7/24
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Sarah Jamison is on a mission to find a boyfriend for her lover's business partner and constant companion before her own 40-year-old hormones succumb to menopause. Her best friend comes to the rescue with an idea so crazy that it just might work. Enter the enigmatic Mike Connor, smug and full of himself. Sarah hates the man on sight, despite the fact that her body tells her otherwise. Even so, Sarah thinks that, with his help, she can finally be with Jeffrey, the man she loves, and start a family before it's too late. If this means scheming and working with the devil himself, then she will do it, all in the name of love! Instead of getting closer to her goal, however, Sarah finds herself increasingly thinking about the very man she despises the most--the other boyfriend.
Sylvia Massara is a multi-genre author based in Sydney, Australia. She loves to dabble in wacky love affairs, drama, murder, sci-fi (or anything else that takes her fancy) over good coffee. Born in Argentina from Italian and Spanish descent (with a bit of Swiss thrown in) and transplanted to Australia at age 10, Sylvia describes herself as a bit of a "moggie" cat by way of mixed pedigree. She is also a citizen of the world as she has travelled widely throughout most of her life and she's the proud owner of three passports. From a creative perspective, Sylvia has been writing since her early teens and her work consists of novels, screenplays and freelance writing. She has also dabbled in acting on and off, songwriting and even had her own band during her teens/early 20s where she performed at various venues. As with most authors, Sylvia draws on her varied experience from the often puzzling tapestry of life. A few years ago Sylvia resigned from the human race because she discovered the animal kingdom was a much nicer place to be. Currently, Sylvia lives with her cat, Mia; and always vicariously through the many characters in her head. Occasionally, Sylvia ventures into the world of humans, and she cherishes genuine friendships as they are a rare find.
The book is set in the far east among the ex-pat community. Sarah is involved in "network marketing" which as an American I hadn't heard of but assume is some sort of direct sales sort of job. She works in the UK, Hong Kong and Taipei. Jeffrey and Moira both work for the same company. Jeffrey claims that he and Moira have a loveless and platonic relationship but their business is heavily intertwined and "it's complicated" for him to move on.
Sarah asks her friend Monica, who is an investment banker in Hong Kong for help. They hatch a scheme to set Moira up with a new love interest. They figure if she had a new boyfriend she would let Jeffrey go. Enter Mike Conner, a devastatingly handsome banker from Hong Kong whose recently been dispatched to Taipei.
Sarah is immediately attracted to Mike but he rubs her the wrong way. He suggest that they should also make every appearance to be dating, in hopes of making Jeffrey jealous. The plan quickly becomes increasingly convoluted and uncertain as Sarah struggles with the twin questions: Does Jeffrey in fact ever plan on leaving Moira? and why does Mike want to spend time with her?
I liked this book. It's funny and light hearted. I really, really did not want to like the main character. She is, for all practical purposes, dating a married man. She should have more self respect than that. She should have more respect for Moira than that. I didn't want to like her. But I did. She's lovable and lost. She seems to have a good heart.
As an outside observer I can see through Jeffrey's excuses, but I can also see why she buys into them. She frequently misinterprets Mike's actions and feelings and again as an observer you can see this. You end up rooting for her, wanting her to wise up before it's too late. You want her to end up with the right boyfriend.
The Other Boyfriend is an easy read. It's light hearted and fun. It's not a life changing drama by any stretch of the imagination but it would be a great book to have on your ereader on a long trip, or to curl up with at the end of a stressful day.
There are probably simpler ways to try and pry a man away from his main relationship, but I'm glad Sylvia Massara has more imagination than that, because The Other Boyfriend is an excellent read and delightfully twisted.
Despite the other reviews I found this book to be shallow and one dimensional. The plot was fairly obvious and the characters were simplified and not real. Even with the exotic locations there was little sense of place. This book wasn't as bad as some kindle only books I've tried, at least I finished it, but it certainly is no 5 star book in my opinion.
Needs more work, maybe a good editor and a few re-writes.
I wanted to like The Other Boyfriend by Sylvia Massara. But it was hard to. While I thought the plot could have gone a lot of different ways, it turned out to be exhaustingly predicable and one-dimensional. The business that Sarah, Jeffrey, and Moira are in is a big part of the story, but it was never explained. I had no idea what they were doing, and each time business was talked about, I just became confused. And the book should have been run through an editor. I got tired of reading about Mike's "sea-green eyes" for every description. It was a fast read, but too predictable for me to recommend.