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The Girlfriend by Abigail Barnette

The GirlfriendWhy I read it:  I had this one on the TBR and I started it immediately upon finishing The Boss because I don’t do cliffhangers.  Fortunately, it’s only 99c so the two books cost less than $2.00.

**SPOILERS FOR THE BOSS FOLLOW – BE YE WARNED** 

It’s possible some may consider my review to be spoilerish for The Girlfriend too.  But I can’t talk about the book without talking about these things so… I have hidden the worst of it under a spoiler tag.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Unemployed, blacklisted, and pregnant, Sophie Scaife’s life is totally upside down. Her relationship with publishing magnate Neil Elwood is on the rocks. Her best friend’s career is igniting. And Sophie is afraid she’ll make one of the toughest decisions of her life alone…

When a devastating diagnosis forces Neil to return to London, Sophie throws caution to the wind to follow her heart across the Atlantic. Keeping a scorching D/s affair as red-hot in sickness as it was in health is a challenge, even for two lovers as inventive as Sophie and Neil. But Sophie is more than willing to try anything her Sir commands, and their fantasies of control become a welcome refuge from the daily stress of illness.

While Neil’s wealth and privilege make adjusting to her new situation easier, Sophie finds herself rebuilding her life around an uncertain future. And while both of them face the changes between them head-on, they’re all too aware that their happiness may be fleeting—and Sophie could lose Neil forever.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  In this second book in the series, Barnette dials up the angst factor but she does it in a way that, at least to me, felt organic and believable and… grown up.  I don’t really have a clear understanding of what “id vortex” reading is (I’ve read a few definitions but they’re all slightly different, which I find confusing, so as a concept it’s still pretty vague for me)  but I guess this series would probably fall into that category.  However, while it does have plenty of drama, I felt it was grounded in  reality and not ridiculous jealousies, stalking and such.  Authors manipulate my feelings all the time – it’s part of why I read (or watch tv or see movies for that matter). There are times when I willingly go along for the ride even though it’s a bit ridiculous. Which is how I’d describe something like the Crossfire series – over the top and with a side of cheese; I say this with some affection.  (Even though I only read to the end of the second book, I had been enjoying the series. I would have read the third book but then the whole saga was extended to five books and I was out.)  I have fond memories of Bared to You and Reflected in YouThis series seems different to me. The set up of the characters feels smarter and more believable and the problems they deal with feel more real world.  Yes, Neil is a billionaire but as the book shows, while his wealth can give him some serious advantage, it can’t protect him from everything.

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