I was very lucky to receive an early copy of Harriet Evans new book Not Without You and having enjoyed her others was looking forward to it. What I didn’t realise was that the book would be the best in this genre I have read this year so far! Sophie Leigh is a movie star; except her real name is Sophie Sykes and she originally grew up in England even though she now leads the glamorous life of an A-Lister. The early chapters are interesting as we get to meet Sophie and her slightly mad life with the crazy `Hollywood’ types such as her agent. You also get to see the real Sophie too which I liked. She’s a pretty ordinary girl who made it as an actress but she has a real passion for the old time movie star Eve Noel. Eve Noel was a star herself in the 50s and 60s but then disappeared from public life never to be seen again.
At first glance Harriet’s book looks like any other number of books in this genre but what the cover doesn’t convey is that there is a somewhat dark side to this story. We get to see Sophie’s life start to spiral as she refuses to do another `Rom-Com’ movie, and the fans that once loved her seem to now despise her. There are numerous characters appearing in this book and what I really loved is the fact that the synopsis gives just enough away without telling too much. I will aim to do the same so will refrain from going over certain details of the book.
We get to see Sophie change locations so the book is part set in USA and part in the English countryside. I felt myself getting pulled further and further into the book and certain elements had a dark side and I was questioning who was involved in it right until the end. The biggest factor which made this book so enjoyable was the fact that although we see Sophie, we also go back to Eve Noel’s life and her rise and fall from fame. It was done so cleverly that you wonder how the two women’s lives will eventually cross over, or if they will at all. I read this book in a matter of two days and absolutely loved everything about it. It just felt so original and fresh, it really did tale me into their worlds.
I read a lot of books and sometimes every now and then one just makes it mark. Harriet Evans latest release is one such book. It is the best book I have read this year in this genre and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you think female fiction is all about love romance and happy endings don’t be fooled. Harriet Evans’ new book packs in a little bit of everything, creating a story that everyone can enjoy.