Review: A Diamond In The Rough (Book 1) by Elisa Marie Hopkins


25-year-old model Sophia Cavall has a seemingly nice life walking the runway until she begins to receive death threats through social media and is almost kidnapped by a masked figure. She tries to fight off her assailant, but luckily the attempt ends in failure when mysterious business magnate Oliver Black intervenes.

Sophie doesn’t know it, but the stakes are high: her life and her heart. Desperately needing support, she turns to a few trusted people, and to Oliver most of all. But can he be trusted, who speaks the truth, and the question on everyone’s lips: who is the man in the mask?

Her checkered past returns to entangle her. She will come to realize that it is not dead after all…it is still very much alive.

A Diamond in the Rough is a love story, a thriller, funny in parts and moving in others. Most of all, it is a gripping debut novel that will have you guessing and turning pages until you reach the end.

Review:

The author provided me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

I responded to the author’s request to review because I rarely see models as a protagonist. Usually models are either bitchy jealous ex – girlfriends or they are the bitchy frenemy to the heroine. So of course I was intrigued enough to respond favorably  to the request.

“No matter what you chose to be, become role models, not supermodels.”

Sophie Cavall is a 25 year old almost out of work supermodel. “Almost out of work” because she is getting too old to be in the modelling business and is still in a lot of debt to her own agency.

And if financial problems weren’t enough, there is also someone who is sending threatening notes, messages and tweets to her. Though, she doesn’t take it seriously, not even when there is a botched kidnapping attempt on her.

“You kept the truth from me because you thought I couldn’t handle it. You were so wrong! I can take it straight up! That’s what hurts me the most. I’m not some fragile thing that needs to be treated like a glass house, Oliver. It’s humiliating and it just pisses me off that you pretend like I’m not strong. I get that you’re a man….you feel the need to protect me. I get that you’re afraid and my strength feels dangerous to you. And you know what? It should feel that way, because it is.”

Sophie took a little time to grew up on me. It was hard to get a handle on her. Here is this beautiful girl, who is little insecure and is now getting threats (even a botched kidnapping attempt that tries to play off as a random mugging) but she never takes it seriously? Can we just say WHAAAT?

She is irritatingly stubborn (like I am the one to talk) and independent as hell. But what I loved the most about her character was that, even though the book was in her POV, she herself was an enigma to me. It wasn’t until she revealed her past to Oliver that I even knew what happened. Isn’t that awesome? She was a mystery and I loved piecing together the puzzle that was Sophie Cavall.

“A man like him needs someone twice like him. Twice as stubborn Twice as strong. A woman who can handle all that he is and all that baggage he carries.”

Now, Oliver Black wasn’t a puzzle, but boy was he taxing. I met Oliver Black when he helped Sophie during a botched kidnapping attempt and then later turns up at her apartment to give her hat back (Major creeper vibes there!!).

I did not trust Oliver at the start. I thought it was too convenient for him to be present at the exact time when Sophie is about to be kidnapped.And the fact that he turned up at her house? Nope just nope.

“You are the woman in my life, the only woman. I don’t see why you shouldn’t accept my help. I’ve done more for less important people. You have to trust me, otherwise what’s the point? I wish you would come to me with your problems, Sophie, because I have solutions.”

But Oliver also grew up on me. He was this self confident, highly intelligent, mcoking human being who believed that he knew the best for everybody. But to be fair, he did, but he forgot in caring for others that sometimes just sometimes, being there for the other person is more important than finding solutions. He is independent yet never understands why others need to be.

It doesn’t make him a bad person or even a controlling one, it just made him inexperienced about caring for others. But he grew up through the course of the story! He really did! And by the end of the book, I absolutely adored him ❤

“I don’t want you to walk in my shoes, Sophie, nor do I want to walk in yours. I want you to walk besides me, as will I do the same.”

But the romance between Sophie and Oliver? I am sorry but I could never feel that chemistry between them. It somehow felt forced at least till the end, where in I could see the love they had for each other.

Don’t get me wrong, Oliver and Sophie were both amazing individuals but seeing them together, somehow felt forced. Maybe it was the fact that these two instantly fell for each other, or the fact that there was still a smidgen of doubt between them. There were a lot of things unanswered when they professed their love for each other (which is the biggest issue I had with this pairing to be fair!). But now that they are together, I kinda want to see where this relationship would go now that they are together.

“We don’t lie to protect the other person, Oliver. We lie to protect ourselves from the consequences. We lie because we don’t want to deal with our own feelings. We lie because we don’t want things to change. Not by our hand, So a wall starts to build.”

But I have to admit the one thing I stayed for was the mystery. Usually when a mystery is the sub – plot for a book, I tend to figure out quite quickly what actually is going one (definitely not bragging, but it’s true!) but with this one, I did not and that had me quite hooked. And trust me, even if you could figure it out at the start, you definitely won’t be able to guess who the perpetrator actually is.

“What does your heart say?””That’s the number one on my unenlightened organs. It believes anything it hears. It’s screwed up in some way.”

This is Ms. Hopkins debut novel, so as such there are some improvements to be made, but her writing is amazing and has the ability to actually hook you in without you even realizing it. And has me intrigued enough to want my hands on the second installment the moment she is done writing it.

Rating:

4 / 5 Stars

Recommendation:

I would recommend this books if you are more interested in the mystery of the plot than the romance. And definitely recommend this book if you want to fall in love with the protagonists.

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