~~You can read reviews for The Brat below ~~
Single Titles 7th Oct 2010
Sensuality Rating: sweet
Star Rating: 5 stars
At his estranged mother’s funeral, Ben Kourvaris sees Gina Williams and wants to know what her attachment is to the woman who sent him away at age ten. Gina tries her best to keep her distance from Ben, but when he buys the publishing company of her books it makes it difficult to steer clear of him. Gina has a past that could destroy her career, the more he learns about the elusive author the more he realizes he wants to have her as his wife, the only problem is Gina does not want to be married, ever.
A heart wrenching story about a woman who has gained strength by overcoming the horrors of her childhood and vowed never to allow another to control her. When Ben explains the arrangements of a one year marriage in order to gain control of his ailing father’s company, something about the loyalty he shows pierces through Gina’s damaged heart. As they begin to open up to one another, Gina realizes that the next part of her journey is learning to trust again.
The Brat is a written with such delicacy to Gina’s past that it envelops you into this engaging story. I thought it was memorable and a story that makes you think about it again and again once it is finished. A real treasure.
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Romance in the Backseat 4th Oct 2010
Review by Pepper
The Brat by Sherry Gloag is an intriguing and very moving story about Gina, a trouble young woman, suffering from the psychological after-effects of child abuse. She struggles to overcome her fears and live her dream life as a wealthy, successful author. One who has everything she needs or wants. Or so she tells herself. But throw Ben into the mix, and Gina’s dream life implodes into her worst nightmare. Afraid to love or be loved, she hides in her writing and stubborn pride until circumstances force her to face not only her fears, but her own untapped passions.
Ben’s life also is complicated by childhood traumas, and he’s plagued with memories he doesn’t understand. At the age of ten, Ben’s divorced mother sent him away to his father who was a stranger. The move was a traumatic one for Ben and has left him believing love can’t be trusted. So Ben has grown into a cold, practical man, who keeps his emotions tightly locked away. He doesn’t want in marriage and isn’t looking for romance. Until he runs into Gina.
Although, The Brat touches on some of the darker aspects of society, including child abuse and the illegal practice of selling of young children, Gloag handles these issues with amazing sensitivity. I felt immediately sympathetic to Gina and suffered with her as she struggled to overcome the problems caused by her abusive childhood. I understood her need to succeed in her chosen career, as well her tendency to fight her private demons by refusing to acknowledge them. And I could easily imagine how her world could turn inside out when faced with Ben Kouvaris, a determined Greek whose assets not only include wealth and family reputation, but physical characteristics reminiscent of the gods of his ancestors. In Ben, Gloag has created the kind of man few women can resist. But then, why would any woman want to?
Ben’s character is as complex as Gina’s. A very rich and successful man, Ben rarely gets no for an answer. And when he does, he doesn’t listen. He’s charming, demanding, relentless, and determined to get what he wants. The fact that Gina isn’t what he planned on wanting doesn’t keep him from pursuing her for his own ends. But Ben’s deeply buried feelings can’t resist his father’s devotion or Gina’s honest vulnerability, coupled with her surprising strength. I especially liked the fact that Ben isn’t a hero. He starts out as selfish, cold, and practical. I really enjoyed watching him change and grow into someone Gina can’t resist.
The Brat is filled with fresh and enchanting characters, delightful touches of humor to offset the darker glimpses of child abuse and abandonment, and plots twists that keep the reader on his or her toes from beginning to end. Not the typical, run-of-the-mill romance, The Brat is a honest and very moving story of how the human spirit can overcome any obstacle to achieve the deepest longings of the heart. Once read, The Brat will not be easily forgotten. I strongly recommend this book.
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How does an author make my very exclusive auto-purchase list? By defining a new romance. An author must write a book that moves me to the core. Create a title that takes me on a journey. Changes the habits of my heart. Gives me strength. Renews my hope. Reminds me that there is more than one kind of love.
Here are 3 reasons why Sherry Gloag has made my auto-purchase list?
(1) The Brat is flawless. Sherry Gloag creates three dimensional characters who have more than one hang up, more than one fear, more than one secret, more than one desire, and weaves their complicated relationships together like Parisian Couture.
(2) Sherry is daring. She doesn’t hesitate to develop a story that touches on the darker side of life. Death. Jealousy. Hate. Fear. Pain. By fearlessly exploring these emotions, it makes the journey real, human, and reading about the rewards after experiencing a hard fought struggle is that much more pleasurable.
(3) Sherry maintains her own voice. You can tell that The Brat is first and foremost a book that happens to have romantic parts, not a book dedicated to romance. Although this is her debut novel, she has stayed true to herself and her original thoughts, and that uniqueness definitely shines through in her work.
Here are my auto-purchase list and the books that have changed me.
- Emily Giffin – Something Borrowed, Something Blue
- Philippa Gregory – The Other Boleyn Girl
- Regina Hale Sutherland – The Queens of Woodlawn Avenue
- Elizabeth Adler – Invitation to Provence
- Sherry Gloag – The Brat
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The shocker starts on page one. You are immediately thrown into a tense funeral. Ben Kouvaris openly admits that his dead mother was a drunk, a druggie, and a whore. He is hurt, angry and relieved at his mother’s death. Then you meet Gina Williams, the only other funeral attendee, and a woman who is equally satisfied to be rid of Ben’s mother. As you can see, this is not your typical romance book. Gloag immediately exposes us to the burdens Ben and Gina carry on their shoulders and in their hearts. Through their pain you will instantly feel the trust these characters are placing in your hands – their darkest thoughts, their deepest fears – and you quickly become lured into Gloag’s world. You will get to know Ben and Gina, their family, and their friends quite well. Gloag excels in developing rich characters that continuously pushes the story to new boundaries. If this is just the first few pages, you can imagine how much Gloag has in store for her readers.
The Brat is perfectly paced. The book never drags because there is a unique blend of mystery, intrigue, drama, romance, and passion. There is no way to predict what will happen next, and the surprises are always sweeter than what you have in mind. I also enjoyed how Gloag weaves multiple facets of the heart – familial love, self love, romantic love – into her novel and I believe that is what makes the characters whole, what makes the story come alive. You are not just reading about two people’s journey to sex. You are witnessing first hand how two people hearts have been taught to love.
The Brat is beyond amazing. I’ve never read anything like it. Gloag nailed this story to the ground: deeply developed characters, perfect pacing, mind blowing revelations revealed at the perfect time, intrigue and mystery that keeps your mind spinning, and a journey that will not be forgotten! Go get your copy today! The Brat is really this fantastic. Way to go Sherry!
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Star Rating: 4 Stars
Benedict Kouvaris has returned to England for his mother’s funeral but he doesn’t stand at the graveside. Rather he watches from afar. Ben has little love for his mother—a drug addict and prostitute--since the day twenty-five years before when she put him on a plane and sent him to his father and adopted another child in his place. Ben’s had a good life as the son of a Greek tycoon but his treatment by Anna Kouvaris has always left doubts in his heart. He wants to know more about the child who replaced him, a little girl his mother always called “The Brat,” so he orders his Chief of Security to find out. When he gets to the offices of a publishing house he’s just acquired, however, he’s distracted by Gina Williams, one of his authors. Gina isn’t particularly thrilled by his attention, for, unknown to Ben, she’s “The Brat,” a child bought from her destitute mother and forced into prostitution by Anna after she sent Ben away when one of her customers tried to molest him. Now an independent, self-reliant woman, Gina has vowed never to let any man touch her again, but soon, the lives of these two strangers, already unknowingly bound together,will be inextricable entwined.
Called back to Greece, Ben finds more problems awaiting him. His father’s Board of Directors is preparing to name a new CEO; they want a married man and it looks as if Ben’s half-brother Nik is likely to be chosen. If that happens, Nik’s conniving wife Sophie will run through the family fortune in no time. Father Theo needs surgery but delays hospitalization, insisting he wants to see Ben married and named CEO over Nik, and if his son doesn’t select a bride soon, he’ll choose one for him. Not wanting to be bound to another Sophie, Ben returns to England and asks Gina for a one-year’s marriage of convenience to satisfy the Board and his father. Though Gina eventually agrees, she’s not happy about the whole thing, including the fact that she’s begun to like Theo and is weakening in her resolve not to fall in love, especially since the man she’s falling for is her own husband.
As the two young people attempt to overcome past pain and reconcile their current feelings, Ben’s greedy sister-in-law makes threatening hints of family secrets; the paparazzi dog their footsteps looking for a reason for the hasty marriage. Then, Ben is given a cassette, an anguished recording made by The Brat and addressed to the child he was. Accusations are made and remorse abounds, and a mysterious stalker leaves messages on Gina’s answering machine: “You can’t hide from me forever…”
MY OPINION: This isn’t my usual type of book to review and it’s a such an involved story, I doubt I’ve given it justice with my synopsis. The relationships in the story are so woven together, it’s difficult to separate them for a simple description. The Brat starts out like a mystery but it’s not long before it becomes much more than that--a testament against child abuse of the worst kind: child prostitution. Anna Kouvaris’ one act of love for her son—sending him to his father after he is nearly molested—is also the worst cruelty imaginable, as she buys a child to take his place and forces that child into the same position. The story is also about sins of omission and the fact that not acting when one is aware of a crime is as immoral as the crime itself. Ben is depicted as a strong-willed, tenacious businessman, with that one flaw in his psyche, his belief his mother didn’t love him. Gina is also just as strong in her own way, but her independence comes from a vow never to be under anyone’s domination again. Marrying into an Old World Greek family—even for the wrong reasons—severely tries her promise to herself since those men, with the best intentions, tend to dominate and smother their women to protect them. Whenever she feels herself experiencing love for Ben and his family, she considers she is weakening. The discovery of the identity of the mysterious stalker doesn’t solve their problems but instead makes new ones as two people, unknowingly scarred by the same event struggle to come to terms with their past lives and any future they may have with each other.
The Brat is a story about trust betrayed, love found, lives nearly ruined and redeemed. It shows how a heinous crime can affect even those who have no knowledge of it. It’s a mystery, a love story, and a testament as well as a plea for abused children everywhere.