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|date=August 2012

Revision as of 20:33, 13 August 2012

The First Time I Saw Your Face by Hazel Osmond

Buy The First Time I Saw Your Face by Hazel Osmond at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: When Mack Stone meets Jennifer Roseby, he is pretending to be someone else. He is keeping up this pretence in order to find out everything he can about her glamorous Hollywood cousin. What he does not expect is to discover how fragile and lacking in self-confidence Jennifer is and how much he is attracted to her. Should he come clean and tell her the truth or will that ruin everything? He needs to make up his mind about what he should do though before she finds out what is going on from someone else.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 501 Date: August 2012
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 9781849164191

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Mack Stone used to be a journalist on a tabloid paper and was not averse to dishing the dirt on whoever he happened to be writing about. He has left that world behind though and is now attempting to work freelance and only write in a more ethical way. However, one day he receives a call from his old boss who has one last job for him to do. When Mack is not keen, he reveals that he has information about Mack's mother – a sordid little secret that he would have no qualms about publicising to the world if Mack does not agree. If Mack wants to protect his family, it seems that he has little choice but to agree.

The job takes him north to Northumberland where he needs to get close to a woman called Jennifer Roseby who is the cousin of Cressida Chartwell, an up and coming movie star. Jennifer and Cressida are cousins and it is well known that Jennifer is the movie star's closest confidante. Under the guise of travel writer, Matt Harper, Mack moves into the small quiet village where Jennifer lives and slowly starts to infiltrate her life. However, when he first meets her, he realises that there is something that his old boss has not told him about Jennifer; as the victim of a car accident, she is living with a terrible disfigurement across her face. She is brave and vulnerable and despite all of his best intentions, Mack can't help falling for her. What follows is a tale that is at times poignant and also a little devious as he struggles to decide what to do for the best – protect his family or protect Jennifer?

This is an enjoyable story that provides lots of twists and intrigue. I did find that it took a while to get going though and with five hundred pages, it is probably a bit too long. However, once I arrived at the midway point, I thought that the story really picked up and the second half was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was slightly predictable in places but with intriguing story lines and strong, likeable characters, it kept my interest to the end.

I liked the fact that much of the story involved many of the characters, who belonged to an amateur dramatic group, putting on a production of 'Twelfth Night'. This certainly provided some lighter moments and introduced the reader to an interesting assortment of lively characters. There was also the element of seedy and sensationalist journalism looking at how many media types do not respect privacy at all. Another aspect that was quite thought-provoking was Jennifer's disfigurement and how it made her feel and how other people reacted to her. This was very moving at times.

Overall, this is an entertaining read that is both funny and poignant. After the slowish start, it picks up pace and keeps you wanting to read more. I would happily read more from Hazel Osmond.

Why not also take a look at Stolen by Susan Lewis

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