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No One Knows Us Here: A Novel Paperback – Jan. 1 2023
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In this gripping novel about obsession, control, and self-preservation, a woman desperate to provide a new life for her sister enters a compromising arrangement with an entitled tech billionaire.
Rosemary Rabourne is already struggling to pay the bills when her recently orphaned half sister, Wendy, shows up at her door. Rosemary will try anything to provide for the traumatized teenager―including offering her services as a high-end escort.
Leo Glass is the billionaire CEO of a revolutionary social app. He wants the “girlfriend experience”―someone contractually obligated to love him―and he thinks he’s found the perfect match in Rosemary. His proposition has its perks: a luxury apartment and financial security. And its conditions: constant surveillance and availability whenever Leo calls. It’s not the life Rosemary wants, but she’s out of options.
Then she meets her new neighbor, Sam, a musician with whom Rosemary shares an immediate attraction and a genuine intimacy she’s never felt with anyone. Falling in love makes it possible to imagine a real new life. But Leo won’t let go of her that easily, and his need for control escalates. So does Rosemary’s desperation―to protect Wendy, to protect herself, and, at any price, to escape.
From the Publisher
About the Author
Rebecca Kelley is a fiction writer from Portland, Oregon. Her first novel, Broken Homes & Gardens, was published in 2015. She also coauthored The Eco-nomical Baby Guide with Joy Hatch. When Rebecca isn’t writing, she is conducting elaborate baking experiments, designing book covers, and keeping up her thousand-plus-day streak in Duolingo. Find her at www.rebeccakelleywrites.com.
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (Jan. 1 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 334 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542038820
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542038829
- Item weight : 340 g
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #620,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #733 in Stories of Sisters
- #9,246 in Domestic Life in Women's Fiction
- #21,940 in Contemporary Women's Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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I imagine the fictional band called Ferguson sounds like the real life band called the Fretless.
Top reviews from other countries
Quite often, I felt uncomfortable when reading this narrative. I could not believe how easily Rosemary is coerced into being Leo's fake girlfriend and how quickly she is submissive to his demands. Despite reminding herself that she is doing it to create a better life for her and her sister, I thought her choices were poor and obviously demonstrative of Leo's controlling tendencies. I wanted Rosemary to pause and question what she was doing, but her mantra that she signed up for this way of living was merely a weak way of justifying everything in her head. It didn't work for me.
What's more, I failed to believe that Rosemary had her sister's best interests at heart. She frequently abandons Wendy, even once they are living together, and I could not understand how Rosemary does not take a more proactive involvement in her younger sister's life. Although there are warning signs that something is not quite right, Rosemary buries her head in the sand, happily blaming her contract with Leo for her failings.
The technology referred to in this story was interesting. It is basically a wide-spread surveillance system that claims to be used for social media and dating. It made my skin crawl, especially as people around Rosemary seem to willingly accept this invasion of privacy. I thought Kelley could have done more with this element of the story, developing it further around Leo's sinister personality. Instead, it is more like an after thought and an added method of control over Rosemary.
I kept reading this book in the anticipation of some clever twists and turns. Yet, despite my wild theories throughout, these never materialised and this made me feel that the plot was significantly lacking in tension. Whilst considered as a thriller, I thought the plot was quite standard, even if the behaviours did make my toes curl. Furthermore, I thought the ending made the story to be too far-fetched for my liking and I thought the writer could have wrapped things up far more quickly. I was not interested in the court case and by this point, just wanted to see Rosemary's future decided.
This was an alright read but it did not set me alight. I was looking for a suspenseful narrative that would have me questioning the plot direction. Instead, I was questioning the sanity of the protagonist, wondering why Rosemary would allow herself to get into such ludicrous situations.
Whilst I expected a totally different story from the editors description, the one that unfolded did not disappoint!
I loved the main character and the twists and turns of the story, kept me gripped almost immediately, and I had to stay up til the early hours of the morning to finish it in the end. I love a book that is that enticing you just have to know how it ends. And the ending did not disappoint. For some it will frustrate, for me it was perfect.
It has really left an impression, I will be looking for other books from this author. Thank you Amazon first reads.
The first thing that jumped out at me about this book is that it is set in and around Portland, Oregon. I think this made it the third book that I’ve read in the last year that was set in this area – the others being “The Family Bones” by Elle Marr and “No Place To Run” by Mark Edwards. While I’ve been to neighbouring Washington state, I’ve yet to go to Oregon. Thanks to these books, the ‘contents tourism‘ side of me is thinking that I should go one day. Perhaps it’s also a good place for authors, so that appeals to me since I write novels too.
There was much that I liked about this book. A lot of the storyline was interesting and the protagonist, particularly trying to appreciate their journey through it, was quite compelling. A few lines in relation to that that stood out for me were,
…his eyes were shooting sparks, and for a moment I let myself think it was all because of me, that I’d awakened him somehow, given him a reason to feel alive. I knew I should stop this line of thinking because, god! How narcissistic could I possibly get?
France didn’t agree with me.
I can relate to this one. Well, technically, for me, it’s more about Paris than France.
I found the idea that the protagonist ‘pretended to go to work like a laid-off Japanese businessman’ interesting due to my work on Japan. I wasn’t aware that this was something that, without any additional detail, is well-known enough that it can be referred to in a non-Japanese novel. Perhaps it’s something that will need discussing in my update to the book “Japan: The Basics” – particularly given that that book challenges how we see Japan as different (a character in the film “The Full Monty” does the same thing, for example, so is the practice so unique to Japan as the phrase may suggest?).
Perhaps the one part of the book that made me stop and think the most were the following lines,
Do any of us understand the truth of our own lives, of the very best and worst that we’ve been through? Probably not. We all have our own filters, our own perceptions and misperceptions.
I find these words very relatable and understandable.
Given the above, why didn’t I give the book 5 stars? It was simply for the villain – there was nothing I could find interesting about him or anything that made him stand out from similar type characters in other stories (many of which I avoid as this type of character tends to be so dull and seemingly reliant on tropes). It wasn’t bad, just uninteresting, so the book lost a star for that and it made me a little less enthusiastic to read it. Having said that, it’s still a very good book and I did, overall, enjoy reading it.