Book Review – The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

by Maryse on May 14, 2012 · 42 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Opportunist
I loved this book so much that it seems like I’ve highlighted the whole thing! And this isn’t a sweet and cuddly kind of love, either. This book’s “feel” borders on a mix of two emotionally devastating, tumultuous books from our reading past (How to Kill A Rockstar + Thoughtless – just the feel, not the story itself). Books that we loved, but only because they had us reeling, crying, and delightfully angrified ;) . Sighing in love and then gasping in shock as certain truths came to light (stuff we knew that they didn’t. Stuff they knew that WE didn’t).

In “real life”, I wouldn’t want to be a character in this book (my heart couldn’t survive it), but when it comes to my reading entertainment, this is totally my sort of thing. But how to put it into words? How can I convey exactly what the characters went through, what I went through, while reading this, while keeping it spoiler free? My head is a jumbled mess of emotions, and scenes. In fact I’ve been pacing all day, trying to put my smorgasbord of thoughts in a clean, clear cut and precise row. But why bother? There is nothing, clean and clear cut about this book, because human emotions can be messy, messy things. And there is plenty of that in this.

I have gotten myself into a situation where I am going to lose him all over again. The first time was bad enough.

I emotionally exploded all over my Facebook page (while trying to keep it spoiler free), and also in my spoiler forum (of course I dedicated a specific discussion to this book), and even to my friend Tina. I fell asleep last night after finishing the book with some sort of comfort level in place (despite the roller-coaster I had been on). I was secure in my perception of what I read, I handled my emotions well. Oh sure, I couldn’t put it down until I was done at 3am. Oh sure, I’ve been living and reliving the scenes in my dreams, and all day. Oh sure I was a book zombie, but I pulled myself together, ’cause I was so excited to tell the world about this titillating new book, and to go over a few details that still had me perplexed, feeling-wise.

As I discussed it with those who’ve read it, things started coming to light. I started realizing things that I didn’t quite grasp with my sleep-deprived mind at 3am. And I started crying! CRYING!! At work of all things! Not just once, either. Over and over again. Work a little… cry a little. Discuss the book a little, handle a phone call, cry a little more. Clear up some paperwork, remember a scene, cross reference it to another scene… cry again.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Rebecca… Great recommendation!! I stayed up until 3am finishing it and dreamt about it all night. It messed with my head and I loved every minute of it! The lies, deceit and selfishness but all for love. SO SO very human though. And I must say. I’m angry at something in there. So very very angry, I *gasped*. And now I need to discuss it in the talk forum… grrrrrr!!! I need to get this out before I review it tonight. Join me?

Nancy: Now I know what I am reading next, but I’ve been such a mess since finishing STOLEN that I haven’t been able to read anything. This sounds like it might be able to get over that mess.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Nancy. You’re just gonna walk into another mess, I’m telling you. But it was delicious fun!!! Oh it’s not YA, but it’s more of a “fade to black” in those kinds of scenes (and their aren’t many), so not steamy per se. But the drama aspect and the intense emotion, romantic angst and game playing. That makes up for it.

Gitte: Have put it on my list…will I cry though? I need to be prepared cause I’ve been caught out so many times lately!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I didn’t cry. I was more angry, but I tend to get angry over crying, so I dunno. There were probably some cry-worthy moments. OH YES!! Oh wait. YES. I didn’t cry because I was furious, but yes. There was a cry-worthy moment for sure. Shook me up. As I mentioned in the discussion forum, this one had a feel (feel only, not story, but feel) of: “How to Kill a Rock Star” mixed with a bit of “Thoughtless” and sure. Why not. A little bit of that “Desperate Housewives” drama too (although …

Kari: Im looking forward to reading this one

Gitte: OMG I cried my way through HTKAR!!! And Thoughtless I LOVED..and Nancy..Stolen had me in a mess for days after…Hahaha I sound crazy for reading books like these that make me cry but I LOVE them cause they make me feel…Right I am definitely reading The Opportunist next then ;0)

Trisha: Sounds so good! I really liked how to kill a rock star even though I got really mad and upset a few times. Loved loved Thoughtless. Haven’t read Stolen yet….to tell you the truth I’m a little scared to go there LOL.

Jenny: I’ve got to read this! You sold me on the HTKARS and Thoughtless comparisons and you definitely have me intrigued!

Melissa: i dont think im in the mood for any mental abuse at the moment lol

Maryse’s Book Blog: Yep. Something was pointed out to me in my discussion. And NOW there were tears. At work of all things! Grrrr!

Jenny : Oh no! I just started it. Darn insomnia and I’m hooked and now you say there’s crying….. Oh oh! Oh well, too late to turn back lol. Will let you know how I go x

Rebecca: The Opportunist should have a warning on the cover that you will be completely fixated with it for weeks afterward. It has been 2 weeks for me and I’m still getting over it. Sigh.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Agreed. I’m still at work. Still crying on and off in spurts. Maybe I need to quit listening to the soundtrack for the book the author made. It is TOO close to re-reading the book and keeps setting me off again… The book has affected me more after the fact then during it. *gulp* lump in my throat is back.

Melissa: haha its a good book then if it can do that to you Maryse

Rebecca: Haha, I am listening to it right now too! The Scientist by Coldplay, now I am just going to have to go ahead and reread the whole book. Darn it!

Jenny: The Scientist is on the Playlist?? That’s it! I’m doomed! There will be tears.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Oh yes. Apologize, and OMG the Adele one. Kill me now. Oh and I want to personally thank (being sarcastic here) Rebecca and Lise for popping me right out of my delusional bubble. Couldn’t y’all have just left me there, and giggled amongst yourselves until book #2? Huh? Couldn’t y’all? tee hee!!! *sob* Darn tears won’t quit!

Gitte: Sounds like there’s no hope for me then if this is how you feel Maryse….

Maryse’s Book Blog: No Gitte. You’re doomed. I’ve literally been crying all day… *shakes head* I was fine this morning. Then someone(s) burst my happy pink bubble. MEANIES!

Gitte: Maybe I will be in the same bubble and then I can avoid your forum where it gets burst??!! Or I should go get another batch of man sized tissues…

Maryse’s Book Blog: hehehe… sigh… I still want to believe my perception. LOL! I’m going with that. ;) Get man-sized tissues anyway. And I promise… it’s totally worth the read, and there are 2 more books coming (and she’s writing BOTH!!! as we speak). It’s okay. My version. ;) ‘K?

Maggie: sounds good, just downloaded it

Lise: Maryse- whatever makes you feel better. It hurts so good. Can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks, been waiting for two weeks!

Maryse’s Book Blog (Paranormal & Urban Fantasy) It does Lise. I love books like this…

So what’s it about? Love. And how a few of the characters would lie, cheat, manipulate, deceive, hide, and do anything for it. Not for hurtful reasons (mostly). For human, selfish reasons. They love, and they would do anything to keep that love, however they have to manipulate it to continue to be. And sometimes the deception is ugly and just downright awful. And sometimes it’s just sad and desperate yet, so touching. Human reactions. You root for them. You get angry at them. You love them. You hate them.

Circumstances present themselves, first chances, second chances…. third chances? And there’s the right way to handle it and the wrong way. Somehow, someway… these guys always manage to start things right and then mess things up. Big time.

And so starts a series of flashbacks (how it all started… where it all went wrong) and living with them in the “present”. Because you see, one day, a few years after their tumultuous love affair, Caleb bumps into Olivia…

I still love this boy. The realization scares me. I thought I was over it. I thought I could handle something like this; an impromptu run in. I’ve had therapy; I’ve had three years to…

Get over him.

Fester in my guilt.

… and instead of being openly hostile to her, he’s pleasant. Polite. ‘Cause he doesn’t remember her at all. Amnesia, you see. LOL!! Don’t roll your eyes. It could happen!! And all I could think of, was OMG where is this going!!!??

Nothing makes sense. Nothing fits together. Caleb doesn’t know who I am. Caleb doesn’t know who I am! With every step, he takes toward the door I become more desperate. Seomewhere in my head I hear a voice scream, “Stop him!”

Oh and it went there. In every which direction, zigzagging, twists, turns, secrets revealed… even stuff WE the reader didn’t know. A big bad “secret” that was dangled in front  of us, hinted at… but. What. Was. It? What DID this?? What was going to happen!? TO them? To us? To her? To him? To that OTHER her!??

Leah Smith. That was the beast’s name. She was as rich as I was poor, as happy as I was miserable, as redheaded as I was dark. He met her at some swanky party about a year after we broke up. Apparently, they hit if off right away, or maybe he hit it right away, I can’t be sure.

Oh yes. It was a delightful mess, and I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood for mind games, heartache, painful revelations, and realizations that if only …

I can never tell him. He will remember eventually and this whole charade will come crashing down around me like a bad game of Jenga. Until then, I have him back and I am going to hold onto that for as long as I can.

Oh right. Never mind. That’s for you to discover.

4.5 stars. Almost 5 stars. I’ll think on it. Oh. And there will be a  book #2 (and I believe the author mentioned a #3, also). Just so you know, I am DESPERATE for #2. Just sayin’.

P.S. for those who have read the book and need to discuss it like I did (in all of it’s glory) here is the discussion forum I set up for it (DO NOT go in there if you haven’t read it yet and don’t want to see any spoilers):

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Ash May 14, 2012 at 7:25 PM

All I can say is…

Airport f*cking blue… is haunting me. ;)

Maryse May 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM


I wanna go look and see that color now!

Trisha May 14, 2012 at 7:53 PM

One question, does it end in a cliffhanger?!? If so I’ll have to wait till the second one comes out before I start it, or I’ll be driving myself crazy!

Maryse May 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

hehe. *sigh* Trisha. *purses lips*

I dunno how to answer that. What I WILL say is that I DESPERATELY want book #2 right now. Does that help at all?

Lori May 14, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I LOVE this review! This is one of my very most favorite books EVER and I am thrilled so many are loving it as much as me. It is worth every sleepless minute!

KristinaT May 15, 2012 at 1:23 AM

What can I say, you guys knocked it out of the park again with this book. OH MY FREAKIN GOODNESS.. I am such a hot mess.. PLEASE LET THERE BE A BOOK 2!! Ok now on to the discussion board lol

Maureen May 15, 2012 at 7:41 AM

I just finished reading this morning. This one requires some recovery time. I’m emotionally spent!

Trisha May 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Thanks Maryse that does help……somewhat :) I Just have to prepare myself before I began! I was so mad when I read How To Kill a Rockstar I had to put it down, even Flat Out Love took me by total surprise…..took me awhile to get over the turn of events on that one.

Maryse May 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

*group hug*

Maryse May 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Kristina – there is a book #2 & from what I gather, a #3 also. YAY US!!!!

Sara May 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Tell me where you see a book 2 or 3 going, because I don’t really get how there can be and I’d love to understand… I was so hoping for them throughout the book but then I got to a point where I just said to myself, “there is no way.. they both f#cked up so much.. not just her, but Caleb as well.. the jerk in his office.. grrr. and I agree with Maureen.. I need recovery time because I’m kinda grrr still. I’m just glad I’m a reader and not a character, because their lives suck!! lol

Maryse May 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Book #2 will be called “Dirty Red” (Leah…)

and the author said these two things on her Facebook page:

“The paperback is coming……so is the sequel……but, you’re going to be seriously mad at me. Good news; there is a third book.”

and then:

“You guys! I’m alternating between the third and second book. I have other things that I need to be writing, and doing but I can’t leave them alone!”

Sara May 15, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Huh.. yeah.. appropriate title for Leah. I’d love to see her go down in some nasty way!!! .. but maybe since she’s just as manipulative as the other characters, we’ll see what causes her to be that way?? Not liking the “mad at me” comment from the author. lol I will definitely read it, but I’m already nervous!!

Maryse May 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Oh I know… I flinched at the “mad at me” comment she made. LOL!

But then saying “good news there is third book” gives me GREAT hope for good things!

Mint May 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM

What?! Red? Leah! Oh no…..
I hate her. I’m so mad at her already. I don’t think I can read the second book.
I kept thinking “what if” Olivia didn’t run away the second time. Oh… this is so wrong!

Maggi M. May 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Never have I loved and hated a book so much in my life…or maybe it is that I love it but will be forever tortured by Olivia and Caleb… holy heartbreak!

TiNa May 25, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I emailed her on goodreads cause I couldn’t find any definates about the sequel & of course after that ending I was frantic! She says I quote “there will be a sequel its called Dirty Red and also a 3rd book from Caleb’s POV.” So yeyyy! Cant wait for Caleb’s!

Breeyan June 7, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I wish somebody would have told me to wait for the second and third book to come out before reading this one! I can’t concentrate on anything else but the ending. *spoiler* all I want to hear about is O and C. :(

Maryse June 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Breeyan… Definitely check out the spoiler forum I posted at the end of the review… Lots of details about the upcoming book from the author. Just sayin’ ;)

Melanie June 29, 2012 at 7:37 AM

UGGHHHH……I didn’t like the ending at all and not sure if I even want to ready book 2. After all that I wanted a different ending all the craizness for nothing.

Johanna August 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I AM UTTERLY SPEECHLESS!!!!!!! oh boy, this book left me in pieces. It literally broke my heart into pieces and then spit it to the curb. When a book can convey such emotions from the reader you are well aware that the book in question is FANTASTIC. I literally felt like I knew these characters, and found myself screaming at them at laughing with them. This is not your conventional love story with a HEA, but that is one of the reason’s I loved it so much. It opens your eyes, and makes your realize that actions have consequences. I could rant and rave all day and night about this book, because it is that GOOD.. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know!!!!!!!! LOVE THIS BOOK!!!

Monica V September 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Where is the soundtrack information. I need to check it out. I am totally messed up from this. I can’t wait for the other books.

Robin September 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I don’t think I’ll ever recover from this book. My heart hurt like the whole time. I finished it yesterday and I’m STILL consumed. :(

Takisha Bodley September 19, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Man oh man! All i keep saying is wow!!

zizz September 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

So, I put this book off for a time because the summary wasn’t that interesting to me. I finally read it and was hooked from page one. I went through it so fast – late into the night – that the ending didn’t hit me until I put the book down. It’s been over a week and this story continues to haunt me. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m waiting – for the sequel and for the ending that’s probably going to mess with my mind even more. But the book draws you in on such an emotional level that it’s worth it despite the ending?

I’ve been prowling online for whatever continuation I can get. I go to your spoiler forum everyday!

Seriously, this book has me so messed up that any angtsy book blurb has me looking at spoilers first for an HEA. The author has April and Oliver in her Goodreads bookshelf. I’m seeing the similarities to TO especially when it comes to the ending. The queston is :D o I want to go there again?

Robin September 26, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Zizz you have just described me and my reaction. I have been trolling everywhere too. This book messed with my head so much I still think about it almost 2 weeks later!

Zizz September 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Hi Robin. Nice to hear from someone who shares my grief. We should sponsor each other like they do in AA because it feels like I need rehab seriously.

Maryse September 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM

And just wait… book #2 will be from a totally different perspective. I’m curious to see if I end up connecting to Leah as much as I did to Olivia.

Arryn October 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

oh god i dont know whether to read this or not im totally torn!! i have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers! I just get so involved! HELP yes or no!

Arryn October 2, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Ok read the book. Stayed up all night and it should come with a health warning!! I so wanted it to be *spoiler*. Oh god I’m a little broken inside!! Can’t wait for book two. I found the teasers last night and I really don’t want to like Leah at all!! Trying to pick myself up to get to work now. :p I need another book. Any suggestions ? I was thinking stolen? Xxx

bookster October 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I just finished this book. and sob. why did we get that ending?? WHY??????? Why could they not be together??? I will have an awful rest of the day as I sit here and fret and fret about them. Damn Leah!!!!

Maryse October 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Yeah! Damn her!! Yet… I can’t wait for HER book. But then again… I’ve had a lot of time to get over it. heheh

tootsieandem October 5, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Yup crying at the end. Had to come right to this blog to try to get the scoop on a sequel. I do feel broken hearted and will probably keep crying.

Sarah November 15, 2012 at 4:57 PM

So I just got the opprutunity to finally read this one …. Ugh I have so many missed emotions about this book I was really upset going to bed last night thinking this can’t end like that ugh again now that I read your review and see that there is a second and third book I don’t have to be mad at the author lol there may still be hope for me and my scenario’s I can’t tell you how happy I am that I came across your book blog it’s the best!

Stacey Knutson-Hall November 19, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with the world because I am reeling from the way this book ended. I am haunted by this story!!!! The first chapters had me disgusted by Olivia but than BAM I was invested and could not sto reading it. I woke up up at 5 am to finish it. And I was not totally able to let the ending sink in….I truly was having panic attacks this morning… seriously WTF? I reviewed the last chapter and let the tears out. I need something light…I think I will readed Schooled again for some humor!

Kim Cheeseman January 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM

This book sooooo filled me with EXTREME emotions just like Thoughtless….I CANNOT believe how the book ended… I am now starting to read Dirty Red and not sure about the 1st few pages….I don’t like LEAH and I DON”T want to know more about her…..
But here I go……..

Kim L January 12, 2013 at 12:58 AM

I’m posting every where I think I need some therapy. So emotional right now. God help me. Loved it. The author makes you feel EVERYTHING!!!!
Going to go crawl up in my bed with my tissue and cry it out. :-D

Kim Cheeseman January 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I know Kim L, so emotional…I spent an hour on the phone talking about Thoughtless, Effortless, The Opportunists, Dirty Red with a friend…it is UNBELIEVABLE the emotions these Authors can get out of us…and how they can keep us up soooo late to find out what happens…I blame Stephanie Meyers for starting it for me over 6 years ago…Shame on that darn Twilight series…

twilla January 13, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Hi maryse I just finished reading this book. I hated Olivia and then cried for her and Caleb. Dammit it wasn’t suppose to end that way. Well I’m happy that she found Noah. Thanks for listening had to tell someone. LOL on to dirty red.

shienna March 16, 2013 at 8:22 AM

i read this book months ago!! that time, i thought it doesn’t have any sequel.. i cried a lot, with all the sniffing and sobbing while my cousin was sleeping next to me.. i hated olivia’s decisions but i my heart aches for the both of them.. i really can’t accept that it would end that way.. imagine my surprise when i found out last month that it actually has a sequel!! i was so happy thinking that maybe they will still have a chance to be together.. so i read dirty red.. i pity and hated Leah at the same time.. i can’t wait to read the third book The Thief which is Caleb’s POV.. i really hope tarryn fisher will give us a happy!! i invested too much emotions to this trilogy, i’m obsessed to finally see Olivia and Caleb together!!

this is one of the best books i’ve ever read!!
i also recommend Thoughtless trilogy which i just read last week!!
and How to kill a rockstar and Colleen Hoover’s Slammed series..
They’re all great!!

Sookie April 23, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Hey Everyone! I am a complete masochist for how emotionally drained this series has left me so far :) I am beyond in love with their story as I have and am living something very similar to what was written. Does anyone know where Tarryn has the playlist posted i cant find it anywhere??

Teresa February 1, 2015 at 9:40 PM

I’m coming too late to this party. Two reasons: my TBR is too huge and I cannot deal with starting trilogies before the last book is out (within this genre of angsty, emotional adrenaline, anger, deceit and betrayal, I’m not strong enough to let a book leaving me hanging for months before I know it all). So, I had The Opportunist in my kindle for two years before I could start with it. Dirty Red and The Thief had to be there as well before starting. Honestly, I’m totally addicted to this type of books, but also a bit afraid of them. No way I can cope with not knowing how it ends and the wait!!!!!! I actually read Mud Vein before starting with these there. Tarryn Fisher had me crying my heart out for a whole week solid. I love her. She’s clearly have been born to write and we are so lucky that she does it!!!
What a story. Luckily I was on leave from work, because I had to pull a couple of all-nighters to finish. What a rollercoaster of emotions. I feel exhausted, but I know I will never forget this series.

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