Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: Like A Fly On The Wall

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Like A Fly On The Wall
Author: Simone Kelly
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: Paperback; 448
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Harper Collins / TLC Book Tours
Genre: Suspense / Contemporary

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy intrigue mixed with some scenes on the steamier side.

Add it on: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
From talented debut author Simone Kelly comes this suspenseful novel that crackles with intrigue, sex, and plenty of surprises—perfect for fans of Eric Jerome Dickey and Carl Weber.

Meet Jacques Berradi. Moroccan-born and Manhattan-raised, his genuine, sexy-smooth allure goes hand in hand with a unique gift. Since Jacques was young, he has had the ability to read peoples’ energies, communicate with spirit guides, and even catch glimpses of people’s futures. Now a professional “intuitive counselor,” Jacques’s clients pay him handsomely for his insight. Unfortunately, Jacques’s psychic abilities don’t come with an off switch to tune out the world’s noise, nor do they always provide him with easy answers; recently Jacques has begun having dark, alarming dreams about his beloved father, a Moroccan immigrant who died when he was a boy.

Meet Kylie Collins, an adventurous, Miami twentysomething who is trying to find her footing after being laid off from a cushy music industry job. When a mishap brings them together, Kylie is instantly mesmerized by Jacques’s cool demeanor and intuitive abilities, and he’s captivated by her outgoing charm and breezy good looks. Seeking to learn more about her family history—including the identity of the father she’s never known—Kylie visits Jacques’s office to gain some insight about her future, and about her free-spirited and headstrong Jamaican mother, True.

But on the night that they meet, a rolling blackout cuts off power throughout Miami. Kylie and Jacques, and a few of his clients, head to the only place in the neighborhood with enough light to see: Like a Fly on the Wall Detective Agency. There, Kylie serendipitously lands herself the perfect new job as an apprentice private eye.

As partners, Jacques and Kylie are an unstoppable duo. Can Jacques’s intuition reveal the scandalous history of Kylie’s mother and father? Will Kylie’s newfound detective skills uncover evidence about the death of Jacques’s father? And will the chemistry that charges their friendship bubble over into something much, much hotter…?
This book is a little tricky to fairly rate, because I don't think I was quite prepared for how dark and steamy this was going to end up to be. To be fair, Like A Fly On The Wall definitely doesn't skimp on the descriptive writing. I met Jacques, and then Kylie, and it's like I could see them in my mind. Sitting, chatting, flirting. That's an impressive feat. Unfortunately, the plot and character development weren't quite on par with the writing itself.

The reader is kind of thrown, head first, into Jacques existence. The prologue, while steamy as all get out, is a bit disarming in how bluntly it shoves Jacques and his relationship into the limelight. I liked that he was nothing but himself. As the story progressed, and I got to know him better, I appreciated his honesty. Jacques knows himself, and he's not afraid of who he is. It was kind of refreshing. Kylie comes into the story a few chapters in, and it takes a little longer to discern exactly who she is. I can say, that as these two came closer and closer together, things were definitely not boring. I only wish the plot had been a little bit stronger.

Which is true of the whole book, honestly. Their story is laid out in a way that would suit a movie brilliantly, but as a book kind of falls flat. There's not a lot of actual story line present, and so it takes a lot longer than expected to finally find your footing in this book. I had made it 50% of the way before I could honestly feel confident telling you what the purpose of Jacques' abilities were, or how Kylie fit into the picture. In fact, it wasn't until the very end that I finally felt fully rooted in the story. Due to this, it took me a long time to finish this book. It wasn't badly written, or uninteresting, just a tough read because of the way it was laid out. A lot happened, with very little explanation, and I had to wait patiently for the book to catch me up.

In terms of strengths, I'd say this book definitely hits the mark with its descriptive writing. If only the the plot and the character development had gotten the same treatment, this book would have been a solid debut. As it stands, I wavered between a two and three star rating. I ultimately decided on three because, despite feeling confused, this was a really easy read. Jacques was likable, Kylie was interesting, and this 400+ page book flew by. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next from this author.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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