4 out of 4 stars
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The Genuine Article by Carol Purroy tells the story of a young woman who was emotionally scarred as a result of her naivety in her early twenties. Ashleigh Alexander, a young and super attractive CEO of a highly reputed gem corporation, is obsessed with ensuring that “Graham McCulloch” gets served some well-deserved payback for toying with her heart and swindling her out of her financial inheritance in the most callous of ways. After three years of eating her heart out, pining away in search of the perfect plan to strike back where it hurts, she discovers Graham’s Achilles heel in his love for jade gemstones and gets a priceless jade Buddha relic duplicated for this very purpose. ‘Leigh returns to Singapore, the scene of the scam, convinced she would get her revenge by selling the fake Buddha to Graham after authenticating the original one.
At the meet-and-greet set up by her late parents closest friends, Rand and Cora, Ashleigh is introduced to a charming gentleman whose suave and demure manners are sensually engulfing, yet comfortable and relaxing. The air sizzles between them, and a second date is subsequently formed. While idly flipping the contact card he’d handed over to her, Ashleigh is shocked to realize that she’d been chatting face-to-face with Graham McCulloch, the target of her revenge, obviously not looking anything like the person whom she’d flown all the way from Boston to exact vengeance upon. Flushed, she abruptly exits, her head spinning with conflicting thoughts. If this is the real Graham McCulloch, then who on earth was the other one? What happens to her superb retaliation plan now? As the story pans out, how does Ashleigh’s innocent albeit costly mistake generate a more tempestuous situation with “the silver fox,” Graham McCulloch? Can she so much as hope for any sort of healing?
Published by A-Z Publishing on August 7, 2018, The Genuine Article is a fresh morality tale woven around naivety, mistaken identity, revenge, love and forgiveness. Spanning across settings like Boston, Singapore, Taiwan, the Maine seacoast, Sri Lanka and Scotland, this 29-chapter book is divided into four parts and offers the specific month, year and location in which each scene takes place. I liked this format as it is reminiscent of how I write my journal entries.
The characters in The Genuine Article were realistic and flawed. Ashleigh Alexander was a graceful, posh and matured young woman shaped by the negative experience she’d undergone during her first visit to Singapore. Still, I couldn’t resist wagging my tongue at her total guilelessness as I read through her flashbacks on encountering the fake Graham. McCulloch himself, although being scrupulous and honorable in promptly sorting out the mess made by his first mate, also proved rather stubborn and pigheaded at the worst time imaginable. Sometimes, I felt like giving him a good old-fashioned shakeup to bring him back to his senses. The other characters in the book ranging from Ashleigh’s dramatic aunt, Lucy, Rand and his coquettish wife, Cora, to Graham’s practical and level-headed mother, Amanda Lara, all had adequate background stories meshed together to form a fulfilling whole. What I liked the least was the presence of some too-good-to-be-true moments with a few of these characters, almost bordering on fairy tale endings, but that didn’t disturb my reading experience. In fact, I was able to note down certain descriptive expressions throughout the book which I intend to use as examples while teaching my Creative Writing pupils.
Purroy expertly explored all aspects of the plot in a relaxing and easy flowing manner. One specific one was the theme of harboring grudges and resentment and how damaging it could be on any determined avenger. When her revenge went awry, Ashleigh was forced to dig deep, and then she realized just how deep-seated her anger and resentment had been. She declared, “More than three years I obsessed over him – despising him, using up precious emotion on him, plotting and scheming revenge – while he never gave me another thought…The only person I hurt was me. He didn’t even know he was being hated. And if he had, he probably would have reveled in it. But, oh my god, look what it’s done to me. My life is in shambles.” Honestly, this was my favorite aspect of the book because I’d started to feel quite exasperated with Ashleigh and wondered how much longer before it dawned on her that she was wasting her life plotting a plan for someone she may never actually meet again. Not only that, but it also served as a personal reminder to myself, hammering on the folly of keeping scores.
The book was largely professionally edited as the errors I observed were minimal, mostly revolving around a few misused prepositions and punctuation omissions. One case of awkward sentence structure can be found on location 627, “He’s the merely world’s most divine man.” There is no profanity used in the book, neither are there any erotic scenes. The aforementioned errors, while noteworthy, do not warrant the loss of a full star. Therefore, since we can’t offer a 3.5-star rating, I would go ahead and award The Genuine Article by Carol Purroy 4 out of 4 stars. I totally enjoyed the clean, and dare I say, old-school romance evident, and was quite satisfied with the tome’s climax since there weren’t any loose ends. I recommend this read to lovers of morality plays with clean romance and lessons learned such as perseverance in righting one’s wrongs.
The Genuine Article
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