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. Ex-soldier Ed Britten has 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.
Such a different take from the Con Riley we’ve all gotten used to—this story is sidestepping and dancing and singing and I was simply waiting for the bomb to drop.
But there was no melancholy or sadness; there is just life after losing a friend and finding a love.
These boys danced into my heart, and will stay there for a long time. The friendship between contestants is uplifting in this dog eats dog world, and two grown men helping and befriending a 16-year-old girl made me giddy with happiness.
Riley is adding more diverse figures in this story, with a backdrop of London, Cornwall, and Afghanistan. Soldiers, mothers, mansions, and project housing, all in one huge swirl of her paintbrush.
I loved this. I loved the fandom aspect (that not everybody will get, but that’s okay), I loved that Ed (-ward) got whiplash, and I loved the nod to the boy bands out there. I loved that the bad-guys don’t always win, and that smarts can still out-maneuver them.
Yeah. I loved this.
Uplifting seems to be my go-to-word when it comes to Riley’s books. Here it is again.
5 uplifting and shiny stars
I was given a free pre-edit copy of this book by the author, and a positive review wasn’t promised in return.
RELEASE DATE IS FEBRUARY 18th, 2015.
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