Tangled Web (Vallie’s Review)

tangled web
Title: Tangled Web
Author: S.A. Ozment
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 18, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 56
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 0 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

By day Ashley Stevens is a dedicated nurse; by night he runs multiple social media sites for his crush and all-time favorite actor, Sebastian Gray. After a particularly grueling day at work, Ashley drinks away his misery while dreaming about being with Sebastian—only to realize it’s no dream when Sebastian actually contacts him.

Sebastian asks him to officially run his sites and Ashley is thrilled—right up until Sebastian makes it clear that he thinks Ashley is a girl. And maybe it’s the wine, or maybe it’s a fear that if Sebastian knew the truth, he wouldn’t want him, but Ashley never sets him straight. But keeping the secret becomes a nightmare as Ashley and Sebastian talk online night after night, forging a true connection. And the longer Ashley waits to tell the truth, the more tangled the lies become.

A plane ticket from Sebastian along with an invitation to meet in New York City for a fan event brings it all to a head. Ashley must face Sebastian and tell all, but he might not be the only one keeping secrets.

This story was cute but the execution fell a bit short.

Ashley is a nurse with a huge celebrity crush on an up and coming actor, Sebastian Grey. Ashley’s crush does not stop at admiring from afar though. He creates social media pages for Sebastian and promotes the hell out of his work. Eventually, Sebastian contacts him to give permission for Ashley to make the social media pages official. They start chatting and quickly become friends. What also happens quickly though is that Sebastian thinks Ashley is a girl.

The story is only 56 pages so obviously things happen pretty quickly. Their friendship spans a period of 5 months until Sebastian invites Ashley to a fan event and of course, it all comes to a head there. Everything you’d expect from someone finding they’ve been tricked for months by someone they came to consider a friend happens. There are no surprises.

I guess what left me disappointed is that I didn’t buy the whole “I was only infatuated before but now I’ve gotten to know you and I’m falling in love with you” thing. Because of the short length of the story, we don’t get a lot of page time devoted to the characters truly bonding. There are snippets here and there of very few interactions and we’re told about the rest.

There is also no sex in this book. I have read plenty of books with no steam but here it was sorely missed. Ashley’s melodramatic reaction after the inevitable reveal of his gender was very OTT considering they had not really interacted in real life. I am not undermining the strength of relationships built online, but because we didn’t really see the development of this one, I didn’t believe the overwhelming emotion and heartache.

All in all, a cute story but you’d have to suspend disbelief in a major way. The writing…well it wasn’t bad, but I have to say, Ashley did sound more like a teenage girl than an adult male.

Not sure I can recommend this one.

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Galley copy of provided by in exchange of an honest review.

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