Faith Morrissey is overdue for an adventure. After 20 years in the same small town, she sets out on a yearlong study abroad trip, fully expecting to fall in love with the wonders of Budapest. She certainly doesn't expect to fall for Wes, the mysterious stranger who sweeps her off her feet mere days after her arrival. It seems almost too good to be true.
Weston Abbott is a ghost. In service to his country, he's done unspeakable things, the kinds of things that make settling down or falling in love out of the question. That's never been a problem - until he meets Faith. No matter how many times Wes tells himself that she's just a mark, he can't deny that she rattles his composure like no one else. And he can't seem to shake the forbidden feelings that stir to life whenever he's with her. Wes knows better than anyone that the line separating fact from fiction is almost as fine as the one between love and hate. And if the truth comes out, it may erase their love along with all the lies.
©2014 Julie Johnson (P)2016 Tantor
"Suspense, mystery, intrigue, romance, humour and passion...." (Totally Booked Blog)
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"WITH EVERY WORD IT DREW ME IN MORE & MORE"
Faith's from a small town - she's discovering the world and herself for the first time in Budapest where she's studying, has made a best friend who helped her get her job as a Bike Courier and they lived together, worked together and were loving life. Faith was a bit naive, loved everything, saw only good and was a ray of sunshine..... until she accidentally fell into a handsome and sexy strangers arms. Oh, she wasn't going to realize her world would spin, crash and topple from it's axis straight away, no it was going to come after a beautiful confusing romance with Wes.... the stranger that caught her that fateful day, the stranger who showed her love, taught her strength and with him she experienced so much joy - the stranger who had stolen her heart and soul. Then, like an apparition, he suddenly disappeared leaving behind someone else to uncloak the truth and Wes' lies would shatter her heart, reshape her future and leave bitter painful memories behind.
Wes is an Operative for the CIA, he has a mission and Faith was just going to be an easy mark - collateral damage in the ruthless cold world he survived, thrived and inhabited. He never really had a childhood, no good memories to stick into an album and no one to love or be loved by and that was good because in his job you didn't, and couldn't, afford the luxury of feelings. However, the more he watched the beautiful, full of life, intriguing redhead, the more he became infatuated and then, when he finally touched and spoke to Faith, the deeper he fell.... until the day his Orders changed.
Yes, he knew he had a job to do and he'd to do but he was forever fighting his conscience over not hurting Faith which resulted in an off-on hot-cold relationship and that opened a crack in his defences which let in, for the first time ever, light, feelings, empathy, warmth, happiness, compassion, desire, love.... and Faith. There was no putting the Gene back in the bottle, no starting over again to pick a different mark and no way of turning his feelings off but he had a Mission to finish.... he just didn't know that it would end in bloodshed, tears, heartbreak and two broken hearts. Apart for three years they would both mourn and cope in different ways, they had touched souls and found Heaven but Fate, Destiny and Kismet wasn't clouding Faith's eyes anymore and Wes couldn't forget Red or let her go.
Right from the Prequel you knew the future but not the outcome - the story then goes back in time unfolding one enticing and enjoyable Chapter after another and the more they each revealed the more captivated I was as the clues, lies and emotions peaked. The storyline was deep - there was suspense, secrets, emotional turmoil, smooth banter, dry humor, sex, danger, twists, passion, romance, heartbreak and redemption as two soul mates very different worlds spectacularly collided and the fallout was dramatic, gut wrenching, explosive..... and beautiful too. Dual POV's, standalone, a HEA ending and SY and AA brought Julie Johnson's descriptive, well written, riveting, emotional, multi-layered and devious storyline out from the pages of a book and turned them into mental images where the characters breathed, lived, loved, lost and then found each other again.
Worth a credit? Yes, Wes called her Red as in Little Red Riding Hood because he thought of himself as The Big Bad Wolf and he wasn't wrong.... but this is no Fairytale. If I had to criticize it - then it could of been hotter (but that's just my taste) and it cried out for an Epilogue but other than that, IMO, it was very creditworthy.
"YES! I FOUND AN OUTSTANDING AUTHOR!"
I couldn't put this listen down! This is my first by Julie Johnson but it won't be my last. Her dialogues were quirky and totally believable. I was drawn to both characters and felt each of their emotions were real and their subsequent actions (for the most part) were justified. Faith was so likable and as her misfortune caused her to change, she only gained strength without losing her soul. As for Wes... he was such an emotional mess, see-sawing between his duty and his heart, he captured mine in the process. I only wish he was described more physically so I could paint a better mental image of this serious and determined man.
The narration ROCKED because anything Andi and Sebastian do together, always rocks.
WAVING BOTH THUMBS UP HIGH!
Probably among my TOP 3!!! Intriguing storyline, so much romance, gritty, real and oh my God....where is the sequel?????
Faith was great. Not too fake, witty, funny and realistic...
THE VOICES make you want the story to NEVER END!
ALL OF IT!
IS THERE A SEQUEL>>>>>>>>>> Please say yes!!!!
"Don't Erase This Book!"
Look, this is a terrific book and listen. I initially selected it based solely on the narrators (Andi Arndt and Sebastian York), so it was my first Julie Johnson read/listen. And, boy howdy, she is a keeper! I am a visceral reader and reviewer, so don't expect a lot of quotes or detail What I can tell you is this is one talented writer and this book is a blast. The story line was very nicely done right from the get-go/prologue. Being a child o' the 60's myownself, the description of Faith's family was spot on and very believable. There was outright laugh-out-loud humor (the 'pee' scene was priceless); the settings in Budapest made me actually want to go there; the juxtaposition of the Points of View was nicely done so we didn't get too much of one before the other intervened and the characters of Faith and Wes were so real, I actually miss not hearing any more from them. The coolest part of this book to me was the dialogue and banter between Faith and Wes. The push/pull dance of getting to know each other tempered with Faith's trepidation and Wes' outright fear of falling. Her free spiritedness was lovely but not without some quirks (the Chain Bridge) and Wes' seeming command of, well, everything belied his inner angst of actually caring for someone. Another reviewer wrote that they sorta missed an Epilogue and I sorta did too but after more thought, an Epilogue would not be in keeping with the future that these two would most likely have...either that, or the Epilogue would itself be another book.
As for the narration, this is one of my most favorite audio books simply because Andi Arndt and Sebastian York brought these two terrific characters to such animation and vitality by nailing their emotional responses to a myriad of situations and events.
IF you want a really really really good listen, by all means, have a little Faith (and Wes), sit back and enjoy.
Shame it doesn't have an epilogue but overall it was a good read. You can never go wrong with Sebatian York and Andi Arndt always a good narration they're the best duo!
I finished this book just to be able to write an honest review. WTF! Is it normal to wish the heroine fall victim to some tragic accident 1/4 of the way through the book.
Good gawd, the narrators were good, I can't hold them responsible for trying to make a meal out a steaming pile of S@?$...
I won't give a review full of spoilers, but I will say if you love comparisons of moonlit skies, and dark abyss and the ability for each character to read the exact thoughts of the other by the glaring, steamy, or soul searching look in their eyes. And for everything, and I mean literally EVERYTHING to be soul crushing, soul pleasing, soul whatever, then this book is for you.
For fucks sake, the story had so much potential, except wait...no it didn't because the plot, twist and angst was spelled out for you in damn prologue.
And you would think the author would make up for ruining the suspense by hot steamy sex scenes...pssshh...completely a soul crushing failure.
Do what you will with this review...but I'm hoping to the Lord Audibles lets me get my credit back.
This one seemed a little slow to start. Once it got going though I couldn't put it down! Narrators were awesome too!
"Good Book Great Audio"
The book itself I found was OK. For me it drug on a little bit. I loved the storyline and the characters.
The reason I even chose this book was because I'm a huge fan of Sebastian York. I find his voice sexy as hell. I'm also becoming a quick fan of Andi Arnbt. I think the team works well together. I give the audio 10 stars.
"Too slow of a story development"
For a ten hour book this story moved to slow for me. I loved the narrators but the story didn't develop quick enough.
"3.5 Stars. Didn't get into this book"
I don't know if I have this book the proper attention that it needed or if the story was just not my cup of tea. Usually I can do multiple things and listen to a story and get the full effect and never want to put it down. It took me a week to listen. I might go back when I can give it my full attention and see if I just didn't follow.
You have a girl who is the youngest of many children taking an opportunity to study abroad. She gets a job as a bike messenger not knowing that she is working for the bad guys.
You have a man that works for the CIA and is trying to stop the bad guys and gets tied up when he meets Faith and is instantly thrown into her spell.
Skip ahead 3 years after a botched sting and they meet again being chased by the same people that broke them apart so long ago.
I got this book because it was in the 2 for 1 sale and I love the narrators. I've never read a Julie Johnson book before. I think the book took so long to get the the point and the point was over in a matter of a few chapters. Perhaps that's what threw me off. I will go back and listen again at some point and re-review when I get there.
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