Friday, March 1, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway: Otherwise Engaged

By Sara Steven

Life is sweet for New Yorkers Molly and Gabe: They’re young, in love, and newly engaged.

But when Gabe sells his first novel—a thinly-veiled retelling of his wild love affair with ex-girlfriend Talia—and it becomes a national sensation, Molly can’t help but feel like the third wheel. To make matters worse, Talia reappears in Gabe’s life, eager to capitalize on the book’s success and to rekindle what she had with Gabe… at least, that's how it seems to Molly. But even more concerning? Gabe doesn’t seem concerned at all. Instead, he’s delighting in his newfound fame and success.

Jealous, paranoid, and increasingly desperate, Molly starts to spin out of control. Her social life, work life, and love life all go to pieces. As fact and fiction, and past and present, begin to blur, Molly realizes the only way out of this downward spiral is to fight her way back up. But what—if anything—will be left of her life and her relationship when she arrives? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I’ve found that in times of chaos, relationships are often tested. The more chaos, the more opportunity to find the cracks within a couple’s foundation. In the beginning, it seemed that Molly and Gabe, while engaged and seemingly happy, already had a few cracks that were hidden by glossing over the areas of trouble, of going through the motions on autopilot. A situation that many of us have found ourselves in within our own lives at one time or another. The introduction of Talia brings forth the issues that have been hiding beneath the surface for Molly and Gabe, and it was done in a way that really caught my interest, making it difficult to put Otherwise Engaged, and in essence, Gabe’s novel, down.

Otherwise Engaged is a novel within a novel. While we’re reading about Molly’s experiences, we’re also reading through her eyes when she delves into Gabe’s novel, giving us backstory on both characters. While there were a few times where I had to reacquaint myself on whether what I was reading had been from Molly’s life and perspective, or from Gabe’s novel, I fell easily into the scenes, and felt just as cheated and in shock as Molly did when she would read up on what she thought were moments from Gabe’s past. How much of Gabe’s story really happened? It doesn’t help when Talia, the ex-girlfriend who Gabe’s antagonist is loosely based off of, makes a hasty return to his life. It’s in that moment where the foundation Molly and Gabe have built their world on, really begins to get blurred and shaky.

In order to find some semblance of normalcy, Molly looks to the past, in the things and people who used to make sense to her. Only, she finds herself not really knowing anymore on where she belongs, or with who. I felt the scenes that depicted Molly’s confusion were written honestly, and felt very real. Not to mention the need for self-preservation, which is something that had previously been void from her vocabulary. Instead of relying on others for her happiness, maybe it’s time she relies upon herself for that. A lot of turning the tables and pivotal moments that made Otherwise Engaged an engaging read.

Thanks to Lindsey J. Palmer for the book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Skyhorse Publishing for sharing a copy with one lucky reader.



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Giveaway ends March 6th at midnight EST.

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vera Wilson said,

Since retired had hoped to do a little travel, but health not that good right now. Maybe later.

snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

Julie Holden said...

Only in contact with an ex due to having a son together, otherwise no contact with any other Ex's, lol.

Linda May said...

What has changed my life & turned it upside down was losing my husband to Stage 4 Kidney Cancer two years ago and learning to live without him. Thanks for your generosity.

Diane Markowitz said...

Moving to another state disrupted my life.

Arletta Boulton said...

So many things have disrupted my life, one being when our oldest daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age four. Talk about a shock to the system. We had to learn a whole new way of eating/managing food.

Janine said...

My ex is one of my best friends.

Suburban prep said...

I lost my father a year and a half ago and that has disrupted my life.
I am not in contact with any exes.

Tatum Rangel said...

I'm not in contact with my ex.

Mary C said...

I am in contact with an ex.

Rita Wray said...

No I am not in contact with an ex.

Mary Preston said...

Moving across country disrupted my life.

Linda Kish said...

An unplanned,but successful, open heart surgery on Christmas Eve disrupted my life for a bit.

bn100 said...

no

Kate Vocke said...

One of them. On facebook but thats about it.

Dianna said...

Not in contact with an ex.

Kelley B said...

No no contact with an ex! My parents passing has left a hole in my life.

Dianne Casey said...

I have no contact with my ex.