ARC Review: Notorious by Olivia Hayfield

Morning Everyone,

Hope you’re all keeping well and have had a good week. I’ve not had the greatest week in all honesty. Work has kicked my backside and I’ve spent every evening feeling completely drained and exhausted. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this long weekend we have ahead of us in the UK.

Book πŸ“–

Thank you to @littlebrownbookgroup_uk for this advanced copy of Notorious by @suecopseyauthor in return for an honest review. Notorious was published on 30th August 2022 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

The Snows are a family that everyone has heard of. Belle is a world famous singer, her husband Teddy is a serious actor by day and a wild party animal by night and their children Emma, Pearl, Crystal, Elfred and River are dragged along for the ride.

Emma doesn’t buy into fame like her parents. All she wants from life is to be a successful writer, own a cat and to steer well clear from family friend; Rowan Bosworth. Rowan is darkly handsome and carries with him some equally dark baggage from his past. Emma never knows where she stands with him. Does he want her or does he want to push her away forever?

One Valentine’s Day a tragic event rips through the Snow family, taking Rowan and other bystanders down with them. As an investigative journalist, Emma is determined to find out the truth, even if it means unearthing all of her family’s dirty secrets.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I went into this one knowing absolutely nothing about it, so when I started and saw that it was loosely based on Richard III and The Princes in the Tower mystery, I was pleasantly surprised and was excited to dive in to the story. I was happy that it certainly was a “loose” connection and I would say the story gives the odd nod here and there to the historical events which was nice. I was glad it wasn’t a straight modern day re-write.

The story itself was easy to follow but very entertaining. There was a bit of everything thrown in there; romance, sex, drugs, rock n roll, elitism, celebrities and all of it made for an exciting read. Of course I love having a mystery to solve, so that aspect of the book definitely kept me engaged.

Characters πŸ‘«πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬

There were quite a lot of characters in the story but I didn’t struggle to keep track of who was who which is something I have been known to complain about. I had some firm favourites and some characters I’d love to meet in real life and give them what for.

Firstly, I loved Emma. She wasn’t perfect by any means and made some questionable decisions, but her heart was in the right place. It was interesting to see her childhood crush on Rowan turn into something a lot deeper and more serious and heartbreaking to see it crumble time and time again and her feelings get stomped all over. However, this didn’t mean I didn’t like Rowan. In fact I really liked Rowan and I had a feeling all through the book that there was a softer side to him that was waiting to come out.

Henry on the other hand, I could not get on board with. He gave me psycho vibes from the time he came into Emma’s life. His obsession with tidiness; weird. His insistence that he knew what was best for Emma’s career and financial decisions; super weird. His relationship with his awful mother; urgh. The red flags were waving high.

Writing Style ✍️

I haven’t read an Olivia Hayfield book before so I didn’t know what to expect from her writing. I enjoyed her tone and I particularly liked her pacing. At times, the story skipped forward significant chunks of time and I was appreciative of it as it never felt like there was filler or supplementary bits of story to move from one event to the next.

It has taken me a while to finish this book but that’s on me and my reading slump, nothing at all to do with the book or the writing. In fact it was good that I was able to put this book down and come back to it multiple times without having to re-read sections or get my head back into the characters and the story.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–

Everything about this book felt juicy and entertaining; the story was full of drama but also intrigue and mystery and the characters were colourful, each one of them I either loved or loved to hate. The nod to the historical story of Richard III was a nice touch, but I also liked that it wasn’t a pre-requisite to know everything about that time in history to understand the loose connections. If you’re a fan of books with family drama, secrets and dark pasts then you will enjoy Notorious as much as I did.


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