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Both Pasha and Ed are contestants in a British version of American Idol type singing show. Pasha tells everyone he wants to win it for his mother and bring it home to Scotland. Ed states he only wants to win it for his dead friend’s family (by winning and singing the song his dead friend wrote the family will get the royalty money).
Pasha has some talent but a lot more style. Ed has a lot of talent, but as Pasha says, he’s vocally lazy and doesn’t have much panache.
Ed and Pasha overhear the producers talking and it looks like they won’t be “voted in” next round due to an overall lack of marketability. So they hatch a plan wherein they allude that they are lovers and play it up in the social media.
Neither man knows for sure if the other is even gay and both are being cagey about it in front of the cameras.
What happens over the course of the last few weeks of the program is that the “playacting” they do in front of the cameras begins to feel real.
In the end, the final three competitors must all make a decision because the producer is more or less blackmailing them to get the winner the advertisers want.
Once the show is over, the question remains: do Ed and Pasha have what it takes to be a couple once the cameras are off?
Con Riley is a great writer. She has given us two really unique characters who continually surprise us with their personality twists and turns. You can never guess where the story will go next and she does this in a way that is skillfully tricky not blatantly deceptive.
I cringed at the look behind the scenes of the pop-star/reality show life she depicted and it felt real, even if it was all made up.
The secondary characters are wonderful and the bad-guy is villainous without going over the top.
Though there were times when I was a little lost myself in some of the twists and turns – you have to read this book carefully to appreciate all the nuances – I enjoyed the fresh writing and the ability to spin a story that wasn’t predictable.
(As a little sneak peek – there is some first time gay sex to enjoy as well if you like that sort of thing – which I totally do!)
Matthew Lloyd Davies does a lot of narrations for British books and he’s really good. I liked the differences between Pasha and Ed – they really suited the characters. I think that taking the time and listening to this as an audiobook really brings forth the nuances of the story and makes you appreciate the author all the more.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
True Brit isn’t a book I would’ve normally gone before mainly because of the reality show aspect of it. I don’t watch reality singing competitions so I don’t read about them. However, I’m glad I gave this one a shot. It’s a wonderfully romantic story between two amazingly complicated and realistic men.
Their characterizations were right on and they always seem realistic. I’ve never read anything by Con Riley before but I will now.
As always Matthew Lloyd Davies did an amazing job. I love his voice so much I could listen to him read a dictionary. He nailed the characters here and made all of them unique.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful