Friday, January 10, 2014

Release Day Review: Illusion by Ashley Beale


Title: Illusion

Author: Ashley Beale

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 10th 2014

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What if everything you thought you knew was just an illusion?

Everything in Zoey's life was destroyed the day her fiance never made it home from the war. Now being a year later, and still dealing with the horrible tragedy, she makes a move to New York City for her job, hoping to finally start healing.

The last thing Zoey ever expects to find is someone she can feel so comfortable and happy with. Everything about Harvey draws her attention, and she can finally feel herself heal. There are times things seem too perfect, but she tries not to question it much as she holds onto the passion she has for him.

When everything unravels and Zoey is forced to face a truth she can't seem to grasp, she has to make a choice to finally move on, or stay lost in a world of illusion.

Sometimes life is simple, sometimes love is unexpected. Sometimes we're exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there.

Then sometimes everything we thought we knew is just an illusion.

This [New Adult] Contemporary Romance novel contains mature themes, graphic sex and language, and is recommended for readers, 18+ in age.Please be advised, this story also deals with PTSD, depression, infertility, attempted suicide, and other very mature situations, and is not recommended for all readers.



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Bec’s Review


Well, it’s actually quite hard to review a book like this without giving away spoilers which would totally ruin this one for you and we don’t want that.  I really want you all to experience this one just the way the author intends – you have to go in blind not knowing what to expect.  Go with the flow and just let it happen, that’s all I can say.


We begin with Zoey at the funeral of her fiancĂ© who has been killed by an IED and never made it home to allow them to embark on the life that they had mapped out together.   It’s an incredibly poignant scene as the depth of Zoey’s sorrow and despair is beautifully portrayed by the author.  Despite the fluidity of the scene, Zoey is almost frozen in time right at the centre, completely lost to her grief – a broken woman.  Zoey’s life is in tatters – from this moment on, she’s no longer living, merely existing.  She broke my heart – her pain is a tangible thing and it was difficult to read.


A year or so further down the line and Zoey is relocated to New York City by the company she works for and, after fighting that all-encompassing depression, she decides that this will be a new beginning for her and she decides to embrace life.  From this moment on, I began to disconnect a little with the story – she meets a whole host of new people including the highly-appropriately named Harvey and begins dating him.  I was a bit non-plussed by this unbelievably perfect new relationship and even more horrified at the things that Zoey does.  Every thing here is picture perfect, it doesn’t ring true and I find myself really quite disliking Zoey for her actions.  I was starting to lose it and, if I’m honest, I almost gave up.


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But, and it’s a big BUT, you will need to persevere as this book is not called Illusion for no reason.  Expect the unexpected and just allow it to happen for you.  I have to say that this is a highly original novel, although it doesn’t appear that way for a long time and I really must applaud Ashley Beale for coming up with something very original and pretty unexpected.  From this point onwards, the novel is gripping and I was utterly spellbound.  Zoey still broke my heart and yet I still wanted to wring her neck but it’s a dark and difficult ride.  Could it be true? The author had me guessing for the longest time – I almost didn’t want to believe it myself!


As it says in the synopsis – this deals with weighty issues such as PTSD, depression, infertility and attempted suicide.  It’s a dark and difficult read and really tugs at the heart strings as this turns on a knife edge from an apparently light and frothy romance to an incredibly dark and serious story.  Totally unexpected and highly original

It’s definitely a story of two halves and the first half hovered around the 3 star mark for me but the second half is a solid 4 so I think I’ll have to average it out and give it 3.5 stars and I would definitely recommend that you all read this just for the originality and the chance to experience something a little different and unexpcted.


3.5 stars




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