- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (June 14, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765306557
- ISBN-13: 978-0765306555
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,189,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understudy Hardcover – June 14, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"An absolutely sensational story... a fast-paced, vivid and exciting read...Lush, vivid, emotionalSolid Gold!" -- Marilyn, Romance Designs, May 2003
"An exhilarating romantic suspense. Contemporary romance readers will be pleased with this fine work." -- Harriet Klausner, AllReaders.com, April 2003
"Impossible to put down! Very highly recommended. An exhilarating romantic suspense...rich with psychological insight." -- Cindy Penn, Midwest Book Review, May 2003
"UNDERSTUDY grabs your attention on page one and never lets go an emotionally charged story told by a master storyteller." -- Betty Cox, ReaderToReader.com
"UNDERSTUDY is filled with unforgettable true to life characters, and a fast-paced story with some unique plot twists " -- Carol Durfee, The Word On Romance, July 2, 2003
"UNDERSTUDY mixes lust, intrigue and deceit in an erotic cocktail which proves that the grass definitely isnt always greener." -- For Women Magazine, UK
"With skill and compassion, Carole Bellacera explores the rich terrain of friendship, love. . . and deception...will keep you turning...pages." -- Diane Chamberlain, Award-Winning Author of KISS RIVER
Captivating and wonderfully written, emotional and shocking makes UNDERSTUDY a fantastic read. -- Tracey West, The Road to Romance
Should be made into a movie. It would be a blockbuster! ...the best book I've read in a long time. -- Melissa Alvarez, RomanceFiction.about.com
Strong characters and a storyline that's very detailed come together to make an engrossing read. Hard to put down! -- Tami Sutton, Romance and Friends
From the Author
Hello, Readers. I'm thrilled about my new hardcover, UNDERSTUDY, and I hope you will be, too. I had a great time writing about Amy, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who covets her best friend's life and family. When fate gives her a choice to actually live Robin's life, she discovers that living a lie can have consequences far worse than she can ever imagine. Even realizing Robin's dream of becoming an accomplished day-time soap star can't assuage the guilt she feels at living a life that doesn't belong to her. She is caught up in the ultimate masquerade, playing the role of a lifetime twenty-four-seven. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Top customer reviews
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It seems the perfect solution for a woman with no family. She continues the role of beloved daughter, filling the gap for Robin's family and sparing them tremendous grief. Although Amy is in love with Robin's brother Paul, it is not until a year and a half later that she learns she gave up his love with the identity switch. Further, the ideal impression she had of Robin's family does not bear up under reality. Amy's identity switch brings professional success, when she becomes a well-known soap opera star and marries a fellow actor. But as things come unraveled, she soon feels as though she is trapped in her own personal soap opera.
Author Carole Bellacera pens an exhilarating romantic suspense with UNDERSTUDY. Switched identities may be a long favored plot device, but Bellacera finds a way to add her own exciting flair, resulting in tale that readers will find impossible to put down. Although Robin and Amy are complete opposites, Amy's transformation is incredibly believable. Further, the secrets of Robin's life become driving motivation for Amy to confront the truth of the past as well as her own personal truths. Secondary characterizations are likewise memorable, especially Bellacera's thoughtful and insightful handling of Amy's husband's complicated feelings toward her and his past. A novel rich with psychological insight, UNDERSTUDY comes very highly recommended.
The contrivances in the story, combined with the taboo feel of the romance (although there is no actual taboo), makes it feel like something I would have read in high school. What saves it from being just a pulp novel is the sympathy the reader garners for Amy. Bellacera's smooth prose and top notch characterization of her two female leads takes the edge off what could be considered a trashy romance. You want Amy to be happy, so you go along with some of the over-the-top-ness of the plotline. The last fourth of the book just whips by.
I'm not so sure I'm keen on the story's structure. The vast majority of the book is told in flashback format. The prologue is the accident, and then the entire first part of the book details how the two girls met and everything that led up to the accident. It's done again in smaller sections throughout the rest of the story, too, and it takes some of the suspense out of it as a whole.
But the author's easy prose and strong characterization make up for it. I ended up devouring it, though I wouldn't read it again.