A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Jina Bazzar and asked if I would be willing to read a copy of her new book, From Fame to Ruin, in exchange for providing a review. Since I am a sucker for a new book, I happily agreed. I’m so very glad that I did, as this was a pretty great book for breaking my fall reading hibernation. There’s more info on the book below, along with my review, but first here’s a synopsis:
What if surviving a murder attempt, a heartbreak, and the loss of the family business wasn’t the hardest thing you ever faced?
Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world.
When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground.
When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life.
Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past.
They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.
The Cliff Notes
Title: From Fame to Ruin
Author: Jina S. Bazzar
Hashtags: #suspense #thriller #romance #rockstars #babydaddy #pastloves
Content warnings: Drug use, kidnapping, minor references to child abuse
Main Characters: Carol and Ricardo
My overall rating:
This is my first Jina Bazzar book, and I’ll admit that romantic suspense isn’t usually my go-to read, but I have to say that I was pleased with what I read.
The basic plot of the story is about Carol and Ricardo, former lovers who broke up years ago under bad circumstances, and who are now forced to work together to save Carol’s kidnapped son.
Carol and Ricardo are both well-written, well-developed characters. They exist as their own unique entities, not to prop each other up or simply to give the other character someone to play off of. This is emphasized with the focus of the storytelling, dual POVs where the plot moves forward from each of their viewpoints. Also, I’m a sucker for a well-crafted independent heroine who doesn’t NEED the MMC to get through the story but is also willing and able to show vulnerability and love where required.
The story is fairly well-paced, but I’ll admit that have some problems with the way that the story jumps around in time. There’s a dual-timeline approach with some back and forth that was really jarring and hard to follow early on in the book. It made more sense later and the gaps were filled in, but I had to push to get to that point because I felt like I got lost a few times. I kept going back to re-read chapters because I felt like I had missed something, and later I realized I just hadn’t been clued in yet.
The mystery part of the story was, in fact, mysterious. I do love a good suspense novel where I can’t figure out the whodunnit in the first few chapters. Looking back, I see the clues that were there the whole time, but they weren’t immediately obvious in the first round.
Lastly, I can’t say enough about the writing. Jina Bazzar crafted a world with her words, providing imagery and background without holding up the pace of the storytelling. That’s no small feat – a lot of authors will either sacrifice the ambiance in favour of the immediate plot, or they’ll get so lost in the descriptions that they forget to move the story forward. This was a balance of the two, and it benefited the overall story.
This book is definitely worthy of the 4-star review that I’m handing to it, and I’m adding this author to my must-read list moving forward.
- I’m a sucker for a past/lost loves romance. I will also say that I believe in closed doors and moving on, but any time this comes up in a book my heart always skips a beat.
- Any time I read a book about rock stars I’m always prepared for the rock star character to be a douchecanoe. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. Ricardo had reasons for his behaviour, and they were legit.
- I love to read about characters who communicate.