Title: Perfection Is Just An Illusion
Author: Rebecca Barber
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 6, 2015
SynopsisJames Thompson is an Olympic swimmer with gold medals, world records, and million-dollar sponsorship deals…
But his fiancée Anna White is just an ordinary girl—or so she believes.
When James takes her home for a visit and encounters her childhood friends and sleazy, jealous ex-boyfriend, Grant, he sees for the first time just how far apart their worlds really are.
Anna’s so-called friends undermine and backstab, but James is up for the challenge…
James is determined to make Anna see that while she might have once been an ugly duckling, she is now a stunning swan, and the only woman for him.
As the London World Championships approach, media scrutiny of their relationship intensifies, and an intimate secret is uncovered...making their promise to each other nearly impossible to keep.
Caught up in a whirlwind of press coverage, and championship competition…
James and Anna find the stress almost overwhelming, and they struggle to maintain focus on their goals. But when victory finally appears certain, an old menace resurfaces and threatens to violate all James and Anna hold dear.
Is it possible to have a perfect life?
A perfect love?
Or is perfection just an illusion…
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Excerpt“When he comes over please don’t say anything stupid or act funny around him. Please. I’m begging you. He’s just a normal guy like you and me,” Anna pleaded, wide eyed.
At the mention of the ‘normal guy,’ Anna couldn’t help but notice the wide, suspicious eyes staring back at her. It was obvious that her comments had had the exact opposite effect than the one she’d been after. Instead of acting natural and normal, now Anna was worried what would fall out of their mouths. And what confused her more was why. After all, they’d all known each other for years, but now and all of a sudden Anna didn’t trust them. Not as far as she could throw them.
But in the same moment the thought crossed her mind, James edged his way around the bar toward them. Daniel was first to see and recognise him. Anna watched on, horrified, as his mouth fell open, his eyes firmly fixed on James’s approaching figure. And slowly but surely, one by one, everyone else’s gaze followed.
Anna hated her home town in that moment. And she knew James would have as well. This was why they never went anywhere or did anything. The whole bar was watching him. Every move he made was scrutinized, and as he passed by tables, Anna was disgusted to notice conversations fell short. People stopped pushing buttons on the poker machines, and even the bar attendants froze mid-pour as the entire club fell silent. But to James’s credit and Anna’s delight, he continued to walk purposefully across the room, his head held high, and took his seat next to Anna, offering her a glass of mineral water and a reassuring smile as she made introductions.
Anna had never felt so many pairs of eyes on them at once. She felt them boring into her soul. So she did something she never would have done if she had been thinking straight. It was Anna’s greatest weaknesses; she was rash and impulsive. And when provoked, she tended to react first and think later. So she kissed James. In the middle of the crowded room, with hundreds of eyes fixated on them, she kissed him. It worked, luckily. Shocked people returned to what they were doing, leaving Anna’s cheeks burning. She could hear their names being whispered amongst patrons, but at least the staring and deafening silence was over. She heard rumours beginning to take shape, about how she—a nobody—had just kissed the superstar swimmer.
Perfection Is Just An Illusion is an expansive romantic drama high in angst and tears. Author Rebecca Barber creates a detailed world of multiple characters with complicated relationships. I found the incorporation of the high pressure world of professional swimming a refreshing change from the standard sports related romance.
Though leads Anna and James are nice characters, I had a hard time connecting to their story. Perfect Is Just An Illusion is told through multiple POV's (Anna, James, and their various family members and friends) and the multiple talking heads slowed the pace of the story for me. Also the majority of the story has a sweet if not innocent vibe which caused me to be caught off guard by a fairly graphic assault scene near the end of the story.
"Those captivating eyes dissolved all her fears and insecurities. The man before her made her feel comfortable and safe and loved. And there was nowhere else she'd rather be."
About The AuthorRebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi. Facebook | Twitter