Title: True Brit
Author: Con Riley
Publisher: Figment Ink Limited
Pages/Word Count: 174 Pages
At a Glance: The story is engaging and strong throughout, but I especially loved the last few chapters.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Winning the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn’t have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple—he’ll make the British public love him.
Ex-soldier Ed Britten has a different agenda. Winning means he’ll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.
Ed and Pasha’s discovery that the contest isn’t a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there’s more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.
Review: Con Riley is great at “the hook”. She grabs you at page one and keeps your attention for the whole ride. If you’re a fan of her other work, as I am, you know that the hook is usually emotional. It’s easy to fall for her characters and feel their plight, whatever it may be. With True Brit, though, the hook is largely the entertainment of it all. That’s not to say there aren’t emotional moments; you’ll definitely get sucked into both Pasha’s and Ed’s backstories. But, this story is also a lot of FUN.
Pasha Trueman is a kick in the pants. So vibrant and full of life, his character is instantly likeable. He has clearly worked hard to earn his spot on BritPop!, Great Britain’s most popular singing competition. Pasha’s command of the stage, and the television audience, has garnered him a nice fan base and gotten him much farther than his voice alone would have. He keeps his motives for going on the show mostly to himself, giving vague answers like, “I want to bring the trophy home,” when asked directly; but, it’s perfectly clear that he wants to win.
Ed Britten is much more reserved than our dear Pasha. He doesn’t take many risks on stage, or let his personality shine, instead letting his voice do all the work for him. Apparently it’s not enough, though, to have a great voice, or to be popular with the voters, if the powers-that-be decide they want someone else to win – which is exactly what Ed and Pasha accidentally find out while doing some promo for the show.
I absolutely loved where Con Riley took this story. The chemistry between these guys is EXCELLENT, and the storyline is fresh and fun. When they embark on their fake romance, they are all-in from moment one, and they give a great show! Unfortunately, they are so good that they draw the wrath of the show’s creator, and end up having to work extra hard to stay together, and see their plan through to the end. It’s wonderful to see their strength, both individually and together, and to watch them work through things as a team.
The story is engaging and strong throughout, but I especially loved the last few chapters. The twist at the BritPop! finale is fantastic, and the epilogue is feel-good perfection. I fell in love with these guys, and you will, too. #TrueBrit forever!!! 😉 Another solid win from Con Riley.
You can buy True Brit here: