- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Echelon Press Publishing (November 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590804643
- ISBN-13: 978-1590804643
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,855,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understudy Paperback – November 1, 2005
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Captivating and wonderfully written, emotional and shocking makes UNDERSTUDY a fantastic read." --The Road to Romance
"UNDERSTUDY mixes lust, intrigue and deceit in an erotic cocktail which proves that the grass definitely isn’t always greener." --For Women Magazine, UK
About the Author
Carole Bellacera's work has appeared in magazines such as Woman's World, The Star, Endless Vacation, and The Washington Post. Her latest novel, Chocolate on a Stick, was released in trade paperback by Baycrest Books in September 2005.
Her first novel, Border Crossings, a hardcover published by Forge Books in May of 1999, was a 2000 RITA Award nominee for Best Romantic Suspense and Best First Book, a nominee for the 2000 Virginia Literary Award in Fiction. It was also a 2000 finalist in the Golden Quill award and in the Aspen Gold Award and won 1st Place in the Volusia County 2000 Laurel Wreath Award. Her work has appeared in various anthologies such as Kay Allenbaugh's Chocolate for a Woman's Heart, Chocolate for a Couples' Heart, and Chicken Soup for Couples.
A resident of Northern Virginia, Carole has been married to Frank, a retired Air Force man, for thirty-two years, and is the proud mother of two grown children. As a military wife, she has had the privilege of living in some wonderful places, including Hawaii, Greece, Colorado, and North Carolina. In addition to her writing career, she has worked as a medical technician, a librarian, an executive secretary, and a receptionist for a member of Congress on Capitol Hill. When she's not writing, her most favorite thing to do in the world is downhill skiing.
She considers Picabo Street her personal heroine, and if she wasn't a writer, she'd love to be a ski racer.
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.