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Strangers

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Author: Barbara Elsborg

Published: November 2nd 2009 by Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc (first published November 1st 2009)

Format: ebook , 309 pages

Isbn: 9781419922060

Language: English


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Kate Snow's had enough of bad boys until a one-way swim in the ocean puts her on a collision course with a man she can't resist. Charlie Storm has turned being a bad boy into an art form. Already a famous pop star, mega-success in the movie business beckons until his inner demons send him spiraling out of control and right out to sea. The last thing he expects to do before Kate Snow's had enough of bad boys until a one-way swim in the ocean puts her on a collision course with a man she can't resist. Charlie Storm has turned being a bad boy into an art form. Already a famous pop star, mega-success in the movie business beckons until his inner demons send him spiraling out of control and right out to sea. The last thing he expects to do before he dies is crash into a suicidal woman. When the worlds of these two strangers collide, their lives take an upward twist. In surviving the waves, they find they can't stand to be apart, in or out of bed. Kate seizes a chance for happiness, seeing in Charlie a man she can finally trust to love her. Charlie can't let go of Kate because she's the only woman able to see the man he wants to be.But the price of fame is high and when the world wants to drive them apart, life only seems safe in Kate's bed.

30 review for Strangers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Blacky *Romance Addict*

    A wonderful story where an attempted suicide brings two people together and gives them a reason to live

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mysza

    **** 4,5 stars **** "I love you because I can be honest with you. I trust you. I love you because you’ve made me see I’m more than I thought. I love you because you’ve made me real. " I didn't expect this book to be so emotional. The story is about famous former singer, now actor Charlie and Kate, a waitress. They meet in rather unusual circumstances and form this extraordinary bond. He is spoiled and destroyed by the life of celebrity he has led. She had a horrible childhood and gene **** 4,5 stars **** "I love you because I can be honest with you. I trust you. I love you because you’ve made me see I’m more than I thought. I love you because you’ve made me real. " I didn't expect this book to be so emotional. The story is about famous former singer, now actor Charlie and Kate, a waitress. They meet in rather unusual circumstances and form this extraordinary bond. He is spoiled and destroyed by the life of celebrity he has led. She had a horrible childhood and generally not an easy life. And meeting each other is their blessing. From lust to love, their love story is full of heartbreak, pain and drama, but also full of devotion, learning how to trust each other and hot sex and smart humor. I really loved this one, writing is brilliant, characters wonderfully done and the story original. It also pulls out so many emotions, from laugh to sadness, from anger to happiness, compassion, excitement.... Long story short, very good book!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dija

    I've read many books with suicidal characters, but usually only one of the protagonists is depressed while the other one helps the former heal. Strangers is the first book I've read where both the main characters are suicidal and it proves that two self-destructive individuals can rarely, if ever, have a healthy and healing relationship. Charlie's a mega-star with a drug, alcohol, and sex addiction whereas Kate's a waitress with low self-esteem, little to no self-respect (at least where Charlie' I've read many books with suicidal characters, but usually only one of the protagonists is depressed while the other one helps the former heal. Strangers is the first book I've read where both the main characters are suicidal and it proves that two self-destructive individuals can rarely, if ever, have a healthy and healing relationship. Charlie's a mega-star with a drug, alcohol, and sex addiction whereas Kate's a waitress with low self-esteem, little to no self-respect (at least where Charlie's concerned), and no note-worthy people-reading skills even after everything she has been through. I was more than a little curious about how Elsborg would pull off a relationship between these two, but I'm actually very disappointed with the way things played out. If only Elsborg had taken a few chapters in the beginning to get the reader better acquainted with Charlie and Kate as independent adults before having them fall instantly in lust love, I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed the story a lot more. My main concern is how abusive their relationship felt. Charlie physically hurt Kate twice in his anger which is the exact number of times he got that mad. The first time, (view spoiler)[he about raped the poor girl (hide spoiler)] and the second time (view spoiler)[left a bruise as well (hide spoiler)] . If Charlie had gotten angry a third time, I'm sure he would have harmed her then too. There are also numerous scenes that went somewhat like this and further strengthened my belief that these two are not good for each other at all: KATE: I'm so mad at him! I knew he was just using me for sex and now it's been two days and he hasn't even called! What was I thinking, believing The Great Charlie Storm could actually be interested in little old me? CHARLIE: Hey, Kate! Sorry I didn't contact you; I lost my phone again . I didn't mean to ignore you. I'll make it up to you, promise. KATE: *grumbling* If you say so... CHARLIE: C'mon, Kate, don't be that way. I love you! I need you! You're the best thing that's ever happened to me! KATE: Well, okay... CHARLIE: So I'm forgiven? *smiles his mega-watt smile* KATE: Of course! Let's fuck! Kate and Charlie have undeniable chemistry, even during their most depressing moments, but that's pretty much all they have. That, and novelty.There's no trust, an unhealthy (at least for Kate) addiction disguised as love, and pure lust taken for genuine care. Kate and Charlie made the same mistakes over and over and Elsborg didn't manage to convince me at all about the likelihood of a superstar and waitress being a forever-and-ever type couple. And if there weren't enough signs already, within a week of Kate and Charlie breaking up over the most ridiculous misunderstanding, Charlie nearly (view spoiler)[slept with another woman. He would have gone through with it as well, had he not been interrupted (his words, not mine) (hide spoiler)] . It wouldn't have been that huge of a deal had it happened when they were initially starting out, but after all the declarations of undying love have already been said, after they've even met each other's parents, within the last 5 chapters of the book, he goes and does something like that? It certainly proves exactly how much he's changed since the beginning. Which is, evidently, not very much at all. That said, there were a couple of positive points too, like how the dialogue was completely natural and the writing style thoroughly absorbing. Charlie and Kate had some pretty sweet moments as well, I admit. If only the abusive and character development factors had been modified, this could have been a truly heart-warming story. For more reviews, visit my blog.

  4. 4 out of 5

    edzkie♥§*.*§♥

    10+++++++♥♥♥ I love HIPPO & MERMAID! i can read this book again and again and ill never get bored. One of my fave. The story begin when two broken souls crash with each other in the middle of the sea on attempt to end their lives. Ending up saving each other from their fear of seaweeds & sharks. They both shared their secrets, fears & bed, but Charlie's popularity as a star drives them both apart. Reading this book is a roller coaster of emotion. Even if they both commit mistakes you will stil 10+++++++♥♥♥ I love HIPPO & MERMAID! i can read this book again and again and ill never get bored. One of my fave. The story begin when two broken souls crash with each other in the middle of the sea on attempt to end their lives. Ending up saving each other from their fear of seaweeds & sharks. They both shared their secrets, fears & bed, but Charlie's popularity as a star drives them both apart. Reading this book is a roller coaster of emotion. Even if they both commit mistakes you will still wanna see them both together in the end. They are both funny, witty & hot in/out of bed. This book definitely worth all the time I've spend looking for an eBook version & reading it while i'm not feeling well! two thumbs up!:)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    “I want you so much I’m scared,” “I’m scared I want you so much,” A MUST READ AND YOU'LL DEFINITELY FALL IN LOVE! Now this is definitely worth the read...I laughed, I cried, felt the anger, the jealousy ouch it hurts and all then I smile in megawatt haha...then fall in love all over again:) yeah my heart plummeted on the climax of their argument between Charlie and Kate... guess what, I let myself sink in to this book all day and sulk in the couch hahaha..AMAZING!!! Great plot, Character “I want you so much I’m scared,” “I’m scared I want you so much,” A MUST READ AND YOU'LL DEFINITELY FALL IN LOVE! Now this is definitely worth the read...I laughed, I cried, felt the anger, the jealousy ouch it hurts and all then I smile in megawatt haha...then fall in love all over again:) yeah my heart plummeted on the climax of their argument between Charlie and Kate... guess what, I let myself sink in to this book all day and sulk in the couch hahaha..AMAZING!!! Great plot, Characters you'll love over and over and scenes that will make or break your heart.. Oh My Goodness I reread it after I read the word 'hello'. This is a first to me...I think I'm finding ways of some kind that there's still something hidden phrases on this book...I have other books to read but I'm still stuck with Kate and Charlie sigh*:) and this is how I pictured them in the Happy ending!=) [image error] [image error]

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    A-MAZ-ING!!! I loved this book!! It was not at all what I thought it was going to be, it was soooo much better. This is one of those books that grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. These characters consume your every waking moment. From the odd first encounter, until the hand wringing, heart wrenching ending. There were times that I had to remind myself to breathe. The author takes a very serious situation, suicide, and actually puts a little humorous spin on it. I can't imagine tha A-MAZ-ING!!! I loved this book!! It was not at all what I thought it was going to be, it was soooo much better. This is one of those books that grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. These characters consume your every waking moment. From the odd first encounter, until the hand wringing, heart wrenching ending. There were times that I had to remind myself to breathe. The author takes a very serious situation, suicide, and actually puts a little humorous spin on it. I can't imagine that it could ever be funny, but the way these two meet, had me smiling. It's at this moment that Kate and Charlie, thinking they have nothing to live for, suddenly realize the need to save each other, and just maybe, they have everything to live for. The book is chocked full of sex scenes, but yet they felt like so much more. You can truly feel the desire Kate and Charlie have for each other, and that this connection is bringing them back from the brink. As they fall in love with each other...you'll fall in love with them. Kate and Charlie have a little piece of my heart.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Farah *Professor Dean's Beauty*

    4 Stars! I really enjoyed this book. When I began reading, I admit that at first I wasn’t really interested as I thought it was a bit over the top of a coincidence but as I carried on reading I completely understood it. Two broken people who want to end their lives because they are so unhappy, Kate and Charlie meet by strange coincidence… both trying to kill themselves by drowning at sea but maybe it was a sign… he thought Kate was a mermaid - I found that so cute! Kate... Kate has no idea that C 4 Stars! I really enjoyed this book. When I began reading, I admit that at first I wasn’t really interested as I thought it was a bit over the top of a coincidence but as I carried on reading I completely understood it. Two broken people who want to end their lives because they are so unhappy, Kate and Charlie meet by strange coincidence… both trying to kill themselves by drowning at sea but maybe it was a sign… he thought Kate was a mermaid - I found that so cute! Kate... Kate has no idea that Charlie is a famous singer/movie star because she lives a simple life with no tv/radio etc. Famous Charlie... After the night on the beach, they go back to Greenwhich at Kate’s house and one thing leads to another and they find themselves in this bubble. Having steamy sex and revealing their lives to each other. "Oh God. I want to come all over you. I want to fuck your navel, fuck your breasts, fuck your sweet mouth. I want to shoot my cum all over your belly. I want to rub it into your skin. I want you to taste me. I want to taste you.” Kate learns who Charlie is but she likes him for himself and not because he is famous. Along the way we learn that both Kate and Charlie are damaged in different ways and finding each other makes them strong. They are the glue that hold each other together. Kate has secrets and so does Charlie. Offcourse they cannot live in a bubble forever. Charlie is famous and Kate is a waitress. They go through trying to be together while the outside world tries to break them apart. "She was frightened. Allowing herself to love meant giving someone the power to hurt her. And Kate had been hurt so many times, because people always let her down. They said they loved her and then they left her. Or hit her. Or threw her out. Or walked out. Or died. So it was better not to fall in love. Better and safer. Only it was too late. Too late for Kate, anyway. People fell in love with Charlie all the time. She was one in a long line. It wouldn’t last." Their conversations were really funny! I loved how they spoke to each other. Kate was real- she didn’t say things to make Charlie feel better she said what was the truth. Kate met Charlie's family.. Bad things happen to both of them but the truth will always come out and Charlie and Kate will feel the love which they both desire so much and the place where it all began is the place that it ends… "And although I love fucking you, it’s far more than that. I love you because I can be honest with you. I trust you. I love you because you’ve made me see I’m more than I thought. I love you because you’ve made me real. I’m trying to ignore the fact that my dick gets excited when I even think your name.” I noted that this book has a lot of similarities to Love Unscripted/Rehearsed and The Unidentified Redhead series so if you liked those than you will love this!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    You all must think I'm crazy because I rate so many book's 5 stars, what can I say but I guess I just pick the right book's for me. This book was WOW! and OMG! I don't think I've ever read a book with H&h that had such tortured pasts. This story just took my breath away it was that good. It was also an erotic book with many of steamy love scenes. Fantastic and Amazing does not even begin to explain just how good this book was for me. I highly recommend to this book to anyone who likes their book's You all must think I'm crazy because I rate so many book's 5 stars, what can I say but I guess I just pick the right book's for me. This book was WOW! and OMG! I don't think I've ever read a book with H&h that had such tortured pasts. This story just took my breath away it was that good. It was also an erotic book with many of steamy love scenes. Fantastic and Amazing does not even begin to explain just how good this book was for me. I highly recommend to this book to anyone who likes their book's with a fantastic story, great dialog, lots of emotions and plenty of heat.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞

    4.5 ★'s So, we have a book that starts off with two people trying to commit suicide by drowning, that is, until they literally crash into each other...well, that doesn't like much of a romance novel does it? But...wait, just pull your big girl panties up and hang on because this book is one wild rollercoaster ride of emotions that will leave you wanting more! And make sure you have the day free because you will get pulled under the spell of ♥ Hippo & Mermaid ♥. If you are like me and an emotional 4.5 ★'s So, we have a book that starts off with two people trying to commit suicide by drowning, that is, until they literally crash into each other...well, that doesn't like much of a romance novel does it? But...wait, just pull your big girl panties up and hang on because this book is one wild rollercoaster ride of emotions that will leave you wanting more! And make sure you have the day free because you will get pulled under the spell of ♥ Hippo & Mermaid ♥. If you are like me and an emotional book junkie, this book is perfect for you...even though I must admit some parts are a bit over the top and dramatic. But...it is a story and for the most part, it will make you hurt sooo good. The angst is almost overwhelming but I didn't want it to stop. The problem was I couldn't quit reading and before I knew it, It. Was. Over. :( Kate has some problems but she's spent most of her life keeping them bottled up inside. No one really knows the real her but she feels a strong connection with Charlie from the beginning. We slowly get to find out bits and pieces of what has happened to her and what a train wreck her life has been. How can one person go through so much and still function? I felt much worse for her than Charlie. But somehow she endeared herself to me and I especially loved her bed (and the reasonings behind it) and how she made such cute bras and panties! Charlie is someone who has gotten everything he has ever wanted...and more, so he lives in excess. Excessive drugs, excessive alcohol and excessive women...and whatever else he fancies and everyone wants him or at least a piece of him. And just like Kate, we slowly find out about him and what's happened in his life and what's been missing. Once Kate realizes who Charlie is she knows this will not last so she decides to take life by the reigns and do what she wants. Enter the "love fest"....it's almost as if Charlie has given up all his other addiction for his addiction to Kate and having sex with her. There are some hot scenes....and some interesting scenes, some scenes that push the comfort zone and I have to admit I was a bit surprise by Kate but totally supportive! ;) Then enters real life...Charlie has to go to work and that includes social functions. Problem #1 - that bothered me is that he wasn't exactly forthcoming about what he was doing and it was hard reading about Kate finding out from the papers and then not hearing from Charlie. Geez...the anxiety! Next, he actually has her met him at a club where he basically ignores her until he can't stand his jealousy over other guys talking and being with her. Again, that didn't pertain to him having his arm around another woman in front of Kate. But...the whole celebrity thing made sense especially with all the paparazzi. Luckily, Kate has some good friends...she just doesn't really realize that they are there for her even when they kind of get caught up with the celebrity thing too. But it was great seeing Kate's walls come down and how she let herself enjoy life and what it has to offer. Of course, there are some oh so not nice people. Problem #2 - was with one particular person...how could Charlie not notice this was going on and that things weren't adding up? Especially when they 'both' noticed the undergarments! This person caused so many problems, it wasn't even funny! Problem #3 - was with Charlie himself and seeing his ugly side. The first part was after they left his parent's house and were at the car park...that was a bit surprising from him and sort of surprising that Kate would be so accepting especially after what she had been through. The next part was after the article came out...I get that he was hurt and worried but he said some horrible things and the way he acted. Ughhh...my heart went out to Kate. Then, of course, was the hotel...luckily, things could have been much worse. Don't get me wrong...even though I have these concerns, I loved all the emotional drama. And with all the lows comes all the highs...the sweet, romantic, lovable parts are just oh sooo good and they definitely make up for any problems. (LOVED the post it notes and the star necklace...and the song!) I loved that there was an epilogue, I only wish that we had a bit more between the last chapter and the epilogue! More of that part that I can't tell you about! ;) But the epilogue was fantastic and I loved where it ended....with "HELLO". Good news...this book is a standalone and if you love The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred or God Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo, this has a very similar feel. And it does bear mentioning that the author is British so there is a lot of British terminology. It's not too hard to figure out most things. Favorite quotes: ♥ “If you’re my reward for all the bad things that have happened to me, then what am I for you?” Kate asked. “My angel.” ♥ “I want you so much I’m scared,” he whispered. “I’m scared I want you so much,” Kate whispered back. ♥ “And although I love f*cking you, it’s far more than that. I love you because I can be honest with you. I trust you. I love you because you’ve made me see I’m more than I thought. I love you because you’ve made me real. I’m trying to ignore the fact that my dick gets excited when I even think your name.” He kissed the end of her nose and then pulled back. “Do you love me?” “Yes, I love you.” She ran a finger along his lips. “You’re my other path, Charlie. Of course I love you.” ♥ “I need you so much,” he whispered. “You’re the beat of my heart, the air in my lungs. You make me feel safe. I don’t want to live without you. I want to spend my life making you happy. I want us to grow old together and when we die, I want us to die in each other’s arms, because I can’t live in a world without you by my side.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle [Helen Geek]

    10/03/2012 Full Review posted on: http://2geekgirlsreviewbooks.com/book... Overall Rating = 4.5 Stars Book Cover / Book Blurb = 3/5 = 4 Writer’s Voice = 5 Character Development = 5 Story Appreciation = 5 Worth the Chili = 3 ($7.69 Amazon, $8.39 Amazon ebook) Original Rating/Review 09/2011 5 BIG Stars. “Strangers” is a wonderful story about two dysfunctional people taking a chance on love. They took the complete randomness of their meeting as a sign. They soon fell head first in a relationship neither was 10/03/2012 Full Review posted on: http://2geekgirlsreviewbooks.com/book... Overall Rating = 4.5 Stars Book Cover / Book Blurb = 3/5 = 4 Writer’s Voice = 5 Character Development = 5 Story Appreciation = 5 Worth the Chili = 3 ($7.69 Amazon, $8.39 Amazon ebook) Original Rating/Review 09/2011 5 BIG Stars. “Strangers” is a wonderful story about two dysfunctional people taking a chance on love. They took the complete randomness of their meeting as a sign. They soon fell head first in a relationship neither was prepared for, but also neither wanted to end. The story goes from here. It starts with a bang and just keeps going. Blended throughout the story are the quirky British euphemisms that make this story so special. I fell in love with the characters. I’m not a terribly visual reader – meaning I get a general idea in my head of what the characters look like, but not the details. Maybe blonde, tall, but not the line of the brow or the sharpness of a nose. With Charlie , I saw Ashton Krutcher throughout the story. His slight smile and dimples; humor. The female character not so much. I rarely give books a full 5 rating, but this will be the second for me this week. I’ve had a run of really wonderful luck with books – all thanks to this website and its’ readers. I will be reading more by this author. Love the humor, but also the depth of emotion and trauma in her stories. If you love a wonderful love story with quirky characters who need love and find love, this is a wonderful book for you. Happy Reading!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    1 star for the first 30% of the book. 2.5 stars for the remaining story. 4 stars for the sexual creativity. 5 stars for the banter. Subtract one point for a few several ridiculous cliches. Don't even think about asking me to do the math on this one. I finally finished the book! Had I known it was going to derail into a drama train, I might have worked my way through Strangers a bit sooner. If you know me even a little bit by now, you'll know of my love/hate dilemma with books which are high in dr 1 star for the first 30% of the book. 2.5 stars for the remaining story. 4 stars for the sexual creativity. 5 stars for the banter. Subtract one point for a few several ridiculous cliches. Don't even think about asking me to do the math on this one. I finally finished the book! Had I known it was going to derail into a drama train, I might have worked my way through Strangers a bit sooner. If you know me even a little bit by now, you'll know of my love/hate dilemma with books which are high in drama. I bitch and moan, yet can't seem to stop reading. It's a wonder I haven't added a "drama" shelf category yet. Addictive, indeed. Let's start off with the first portion of the book. I think it took me at least a week to make it through the beginning 30%. Truth be told, I was bored. I have no idea how an author can take a botched suicide attempt and turn it into something boring, but it was boring indeed. I'll summarize part 1 : Two strangers meet, two lives are spared, two people hole up in an apartment screwing, eating their way through leftovers, and working jigsaw puzzles. For at least 75 pages. Did I mention the all-consuming need the couple seemed to have for one another? I didn't? Yup. It was there. In all its uncomfortable glory. To paraphrase : "Sex with you replaces my need for drugs." Gotcha. I thought I'd retired my finger gun, but it had other plans. Just as I was about to give up on what I thought was a boring erotica book, a page turned and the style changed into a drama-filled contemporary romance. And then there was no way I was stopping the train. Bad cliches aside, I semi-enjoyed the last 2/3 of the book. I'm not going to lie - this book had all kinds of crazy. I put aside my cynical disbelief over the fact that there was no way two people could have so many random crappy things happen to the both of them, and allowed myself to follow the events swirling around Kate and Charlie with actual interest. There were lies, deceptions, borderline acts of sexual violence, and misunderstandings aplenty. But for whatever reason, I felt like this particular couple stood a better chance of coming out of all of this unscathed, when comparing the situation with other high-intensity couples (Travis & Abby, Kiera and Kellan, etc.). Regardless of how they came to find their happy ending, it was easy to see that K & C had genuine feelings for each other - feelings that went beyond their basic survival and what they could gain from using one another. Simply put - two broken people found each other and started the long healing process together, with a lot of bumps along the way. So yes, I had a hate/like/love/intensely dislike/like again with this story. Here's what did shine : The sex was pretty diverse for a one-couple book. Don't look if you don't like sexual details! (view spoiler)[I loved the scene where she performed the long and torturous blow job, and I was amused at the scene where she used the vibrator on him (hide spoiler)] The banter. I loved, loved, loved that they could both dish it out. My husband and I banter like this back and forth and this book reminded me of why I love the relationship with my husband. You know it's love when someone can break you down and you're laughing about it. There were so many quote-worthy moments of banter. If I tried to repost them all in this review, I'd be typing out a good portion of the book. "So you're not a hippo," she said. "What?" Charlie looked back at her face. "I've spent the last couple of hours with your head and shoulders. I wondered what the rest of you was like. Fat, thin, tail, flippers?" "I thought you were a sexy mermaid and you thought I was fat hippo?" "You're not supposed to tell the fifth-sexiest man in the UK, he's got a spot." "Who voted? Senior citizens?" "I really want to fuck you." He growled in his throat. "I really want to be in Hawaii, but we don't always get what we want." "I'm not buying you cigarettes or booze." He glared at her. "You fucking cow." "You don't need them," Kate said. "Yeah, I do," Charlie snapped. I want a line or two of coke as well, to cheer me up." "You've got a fucking cow, what more do you need?" "You've also not helped things by mentioning Crispies because no one knows it's a restaurant. They all think it's some hardcore porno movie." "I know." Kate sighed. "I'm beginning to believe it myself. I've even been offered a part in Crispies Two."

  12. 5 out of 5

    sraxe

    I read this book way back and stumbled across it again...and I just had to write a review. In the beginning, both Charlie and Kate are trying to commit suicide in the same place. They end up saving one another. Kate was trying to off herself because her latest relationship, she finds out, was a scam and she was just a bet between Richard and his friends when she's stood-up on her wedding day. Anyway, the next chunk of the book is a giant sex-fest. Oh, and it's revealed that when her mother was kille I read this book way back and stumbled across it again...and I just had to write a review. In the beginning, both Charlie and Kate are trying to commit suicide in the same place. They end up saving one another. Kate was trying to off herself because her latest relationship, she finds out, was a scam and she was just a bet between Richard and his friends when she's stood-up on her wedding day. Anyway, the next chunk of the book is a giant sex-fest. Oh, and it's revealed that when her mother was killed, it wasn't her father who stabbed her, but a seven-year-old Kate who did. Kate had heard her parents arguing and had gone in to try and help because she thought her father was attacking her mother. During the chaos, she got a hold of the knife and accidentally cut her mother's femoral artery, killing her. Then, a story breaks in the papers about how Charlie had tried to kill himself (in the ocean, as you'll recall). He blames Kate because she was the only person who knew because she was the only one who was there. She comes to him and tells him she didn't do it but he doesn't believe her. He calls her a liar over and over again. He even says that Richard, the guy who'd bet on her and played with her emotions, dodged a bullet in not marrying her and that she probably lied about him, too, anyway. He also uses her mother's death, and seven-year-old Kate's involvement in it, against her. He says: “You stabbed her. You fucking killed her.” Oh! And the the OW, Jody, is there in his house...wearing only a bathrobe. Telling him the tub is ready. (He later claims he never had sex with Jody...lol k.) AND! He tells her to go finish the job she started in the beginning of the book (read: go kill yourself). “I don’t want you anywhere near me. You’re poisonous. Just fuck off. I never want to see you again. I never want to hear your name again. You’re dead. Do me a favor. Go finish what you started in the sea.” She then asks for her purse before she leaves. And, instead of either handing it to her or leaving it for her to get herself like any decent person would do, he literally throws it at her face. It hits her square in the face and leaves a scratch. She doesn't say a word and just leaves. I can understand him being angry...but to be so horrendous? So utterly vile? Remember, these are ASSUMPTIONS, they are allegations for which he has NO irrefutable proof. He doesn't actually KNOW if she's the one that went to the press, he's only ASSUMING it's her! And on this assumption, he's already invited the OW to his house, said a whole lot of shit to her, called her a murderer, threw something at her face, AND TOLD HER TO GO KILL HERSELF. Fucking hell. And, it's not like she murdered his parents or his dog or his siblings or raped someone or any other heinous thing...he's saying this horrible stuff to her--telling her to go kill herself--because he believes she sold him out to the press. He's telling her to go kill herself because of a STORY IN THE PRESS! And then they just kiss and make up at the end like nothing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    Wow. That was an intense read! Kate and Charlie meet in the saddest of ways. Both make an attempt of suicide by drowning in the sea, and by chance they collide with each other. Their plans are derailed by errant seaweed, a bloodied nose, and humor found in the oddest of moments. Sound depressing? You would be wrong! This story was all kinds of HOT, with a lot of witty banter, and yes, drama. Some intense drama, which thankfully was not too tortuously long. Even though they were from two completel Wow. That was an intense read! Kate and Charlie meet in the saddest of ways. Both make an attempt of suicide by drowning in the sea, and by chance they collide with each other. Their plans are derailed by errant seaweed, a bloodied nose, and humor found in the oddest of moments. Sound depressing? You would be wrong! This story was all kinds of HOT, with a lot of witty banter, and yes, drama. Some intense drama, which thankfully was not too tortuously long. Even though they were from two completely different worlds, Kate is a waitress and Charlie a rocker/actor bad boy, they had so much in common. Both damaged in so many ways. Truthfully, these two were so intense I was afraid they would implode but they ended up being the best thing for each other. Barbara Elsborg has a talent for writing smart, witty, and quick humor. I loved Kate and Charlie's snarky but affectionate exchanges. Here's a quick one: "Told you I'd catch you." He groaned. "My hero. Are you in pain?" "A ten-ton mermaid just flattened me. Of course I'm in pain." The spicy bits were, well, SPICY!! Don't know what else to say there. There were a couple of things, in this story that set my teeth on edge, but for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed this very sexy story!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    Strangers is my first book by Barbara Elsborg and definitely not my last. What a sweet and seductive romance between two unlikely characters that meet in the most desperate of situations. Kate Snow and Charlie Storm were an explosive pair. I loved their moments together, their witty banter and the deep love that developed between these two that really had me at the edge of my seat. I just knew this relationship stood on the precipice of destruction considering their past and present struggles tha Strangers is my first book by Barbara Elsborg and definitely not my last. What a sweet and seductive romance between two unlikely characters that meet in the most desperate of situations. Kate Snow and Charlie Storm were an explosive pair. I loved their moments together, their witty banter and the deep love that developed between these two that really had me at the edge of my seat. I just knew this relationship stood on the precipice of destruction considering their past and present struggles that led them to the sea to end it all. Kate and Charlie’s love story put me on a sugar high! I loved.loved.loved their moments together, especially their ongoing teasing and light hearted dialog that is forever highlighted and bookmarked on my eReader. What a perfect read that I’ll probably re-visit a few times because it truly made me laugh with giddy excitement and sigh with heartfelt emotion throughout the entire book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Awilk -never sleeps-

    I am speechless Barbara Elsborg always stuns me with how talented she is. She took the opposite attract storyline and completely re-worked it. She dealt with the serious issue of suicide, and made a heartwarming story. What it means to be a celebrity, all the downfalls and pitfalls, and made them real to the reader. Her characters worm their way in to your heart, and her writing keeps you turning pages until you get to the end. I am not talented enough to put into words how much I enjoyed this, but I am speechless Barbara Elsborg always stuns me with how talented she is. She took the opposite attract storyline and completely re-worked it. She dealt with the serious issue of suicide, and made a heartwarming story. What it means to be a celebrity, all the downfalls and pitfalls, and made them real to the reader. Her characters worm their way in to your heart, and her writing keeps you turning pages until you get to the end. I am not talented enough to put into words how much I enjoyed this, but I will be looking for more of her work, and telling my friends to read this as soon as possible if they have not already.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Splage

    2/1/14 Enjoyed this book in audio as well. Thank you Kathleen Young for finding this book. I loved it! It was a heartbreaker though and the second book in a row that I have read (Out of the Dark, also a 5 star for me) that the characters were so broken and there was tragedy after tragedy, but they conquered their misfortunes by the end. There was also a lot of horribly mean people in this story. It made me thankful I have a good life with many loving, genuine people around me. One big difference 2/1/14 Enjoyed this book in audio as well. Thank you Kathleen Young for finding this book. I loved it! It was a heartbreaker though and the second book in a row that I have read (Out of the Dark, also a 5 star for me) that the characters were so broken and there was tragedy after tragedy, but they conquered their misfortunes by the end. There was also a lot of horribly mean people in this story. It made me thankful I have a good life with many loving, genuine people around me. One big difference between Strangers and Out of the Dark is the sex, there were tons of erotic sex scenes in this book, the author could have cut a few out and they wouldn't have been missed, but there were some damn hot ones too.Kate, the heroine, has lots of deep secrets from her horrible younger life, she doesn't trust anyone because of them. It starts out with a cruel joke/bet being played on Kate by her fiancee. She believes Rick loves her and wants to marry her in a quick private ceremony at city hall, but it is a farce and he never shows up, he just wanted to prove to his friends that he could turn the untrusting Kate into a lovesick fool for him. What an A**HOLE!! The hero, Charlie is an extremely famous rocker/actor and a total arrogant jerk. He also has lots of secrets and pains from his past that makes him the way he is. His is a drunk, drug addict, sex addict and uses women horribly and is sick of his life. Some of his past indiscretions are coming back to haunt him. Kate and Charlie meet in a very unusual way, they are both trying to commit suicide and end up saving each other.The character development was wonderful, you really felt for the characters and I learned to love Charlie. The sexual chemistry was WOW!! The story is basically about all these horrible people and events that have shaped Kate and Charlie's lives and continue to use them for their own needs. I loved the whole famous/rocker lifestyle and how Kate was never drawn into it and always stayed true to Charlie. Charlie on the other hand was manipulated by many because people always wanted pieces of him and his lifestyle. Also there were some of my favorite themes in this story, jealousy, other women, and heartbreak. LOVED the ending especially the epilogue. It made you feel good to hear how they made it after all the twist and turns of their lives.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I loved it.... This book really put my heart through some crazy roller coaster emotions and was so much more than I expected. This story had some serious deep moments. Both Charlie and Kate were pretty messed and the book started out with both of them wanting and trying to end their lives at the same place at the same time. What could have been and ending for both of them turned into the beginning of something beautiful. They were hilarious and they were sexy hot. They were also both so sad and I loved it.... This book really put my heart through some crazy roller coaster emotions and was so much more than I expected. This story had some serious deep moments. Both Charlie and Kate were pretty messed and the book started out with both of them wanting and trying to end their lives at the same place at the same time. What could have been and ending for both of them turned into the beginning of something beautiful. They were hilarious and they were sexy hot. They were also both so sad and broken and they were both exactly what each other needed. This book tore me apart. I went from laughing out loud, to hot and bothered, then totally pissed off and then feeling like I was going to throw up from being so upset. I actually had to put this one down for about an hour I was so f'king upset. I love books that can tear so many emotions out of me...where you can't wait to turn the page but scared to turn it at the same time just knowing your heart was about to break. But this was so good.. so so sooo good. There is an absolute awesome HEA and the epilogue seriously could not have been better. So glad I read this one!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 Stars Two strangers find each other in a sea of loneliness and pain. Can Charlie and Kate find love and healing with each other? Or will they only cause more heartache? Charlie and Kate had me at “Hello”! Strangers by Barbara Elsborg holds one of the best teaser introductions I have ever come across in fiction. These characters had me from page one! Charlie and Kate possess such a fun chemistry and banter with each other. The humor just propels this story along through every bump and struggle. 3.5 Stars Two strangers find each other in a sea of loneliness and pain. Can Charlie and Kate find love and healing with each other? Or will they only cause more heartache? Charlie and Kate had me at “Hello”! Strangers by Barbara Elsborg holds one of the best teaser introductions I have ever come across in fiction. These characters had me from page one! Charlie and Kate possess such a fun chemistry and banter with each other. The humor just propels this story along through every bump and struggle. Even when they were breaking my heart in two, Charlie and Kate could make me giggle and smile. I did have a few problems with this book. There are some things I do not like mixed in with my romance and Ms. Elsborg threw one of my biggies in here. But—the fact that I still loved Charlie and Kate’s relationship and story should show you how strong and fun the writing, banter, and hot sex *cough* chemistry really is in this book! I don’t use the word “yummy” a lot, but the word just seems to fit Charlie. I could truly lick that man from head to toe! Oops! Too much information? :D I wanted to provide a sampling of banter, but I find it so hard to pull dialogue like that from the flow and fun of the action. But I had to leave you with something. :) I kept coming back to this part: “…because she was addicted to him, to the sight and sound of him, the touch and smell of him, his soft brown eyes that changed with his moods, his sexy smile and that place behind his ear that sent him wild when she licked it.” Thank you, Ladies for another week of giggles and smutacious fun!

  19. 4 out of 5

    TinaNicole ☠ Le Book Nikita ☠

    When I first read this, I loved it. So much so that I immediately bought and read several of her other books. I can only think of one other, An Ordinary Girl, that I really enjoyed, but thought the others were crazy over the top and reminiscent of the most ridiculous soap opera plots. I remember reading them and thinking she'd gone so far off from Strangers. Upon re-reading just now, I realize that this one is just as crazy over the top and soap-like as all her others. I mean, every character is When I first read this, I loved it. So much so that I immediately bought and read several of her other books. I can only think of one other, An Ordinary Girl, that I really enjoyed, but thought the others were crazy over the top and reminiscent of the most ridiculous soap opera plots. I remember reading them and thinking she'd gone so far off from Strangers. Upon re-reading just now, I realize that this one is just as crazy over the top and soap-like as all her others. I mean, every character is a mustache twirling super villain out to get the MC's. Literally, everyone. I still liked the MC's, but I guess I just wasn't able to ignore all the insanity this time around. *Original review 1/6/13* Great book. I was worried initially because the characters are British and sometimes I have trouble with the slang and such but not this one. The story was engrossing. The sex was steamy. There's a lot of it but there was enough going on that it never felt like too much to me. The characters are at rock bottom in their lives but she does a good job making you feel their struggles and the strength they gain from each other. In my opinion most with the female lead. Shes been through a lot of heartache and pain and even though she feels broken down at times she never whines. All in all I loved it and have re-read and will most likely read it again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam Godwin

    I'm a whore for British parlance and the banter in this one was a treat. Beyond that, the writing was crisp, the story engaging. The characters lugged a cortege of oversized baggage behind them. While this added a soul-sucking gravity to their identities, they didn't seem as shattered as they should've been over it. Even as they washed out to sea, there was a silly light-heartedness to it. I guess I expected more dark and brooding, less humorous tone. Didn't stop me from turning pages though. In I'm a whore for British parlance and the banter in this one was a treat. Beyond that, the writing was crisp, the story engaging. The characters lugged a cortege of oversized baggage behind them. While this added a soul-sucking gravity to their identities, they didn't seem as shattered as they should've been over it. Even as they washed out to sea, there was a silly light-heartedness to it. I guess I expected more dark and brooding, less humorous tone. Didn't stop me from turning pages though. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I'll read more from this author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    2 to 2 1/2 starts Looks like this is one of those times where everyone loves a book but me. Which is fine. It happens. I'm not fan of manufactured, over-the-top drama, and, unfortunately, to me, that is all this story felt like.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ⓐlleskelle - teamSøren♗ ⊲I like big b00ks⊳

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I don't know how to rate this book. I really liked it but the drama killed 2 stars for me. I loved the circumstances of their meeting. So you're not a hippo," she said. "What?" Charlie looked back at her face. "I've spent the last couple of hours with your head and shoulders. I wondered what the rest of you was like. Fat, thin, tail, flippers?" "I thought you were a sexy mermaid and you thought I was fat hippo?" The humor was great, I loved Kate and Charlie's banter. I love ⭐️⭐️⭐️3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I don't know how to rate this book. I really liked it but the drama killed 2 stars for me. I loved the circumstances of their meeting. So you're not a hippo," she said. "What?" Charlie looked back at her face. "I've spent the last couple of hours with your head and shoulders. I wondered what the rest of you was like. Fat, thin, tail, flippers?" "I thought you were a sexy mermaid and you thought I was fat hippo?" The humor was great, I loved Kate and Charlie's banter. I loved how Kate kept him on his toes, she was really straight forward and I really think she was badass. Charlie was not really a stranger... Well not just not anonymous. Mister Storm, pop-star wannabe actor, his life is constantly under the scrutiny of paparazzi. He is a drug/sex/alcohol addict. So we have our two damaged heroes, we know Kate didn't have an easy past, everything is still blurred at this point regarding what really happened to her. We know she was the unfortunate recipient of a stupid and mean bet, that drove her to the beach with the intention to drown herself. I loved the way those two strangers chose to get to learn about each other. From this point it was really... interesting. ... But it quickly turned boring. UNTIL I know this is fiction, but every page I turned in this book, drama ensured. Every new chapter had its fill of fresh new drama. Kate, particularly has been through so much heartaches and horrible things in her youth, it was for me impossible to not roll my eyes every time she was revealing a secret to Charlie. Then there was the constant push and pull, and I wanted to end Kate's life myself, to spare her the trouble. :/ It didn't help that I didn't know how to qualify the heroine anymore. She was badass whenever she interacted with Charlie, but a doormat the rest of the time. She became everyone's victim, it was maddening. I expected her to explode, to talk back and say her piece, but she kept everything to herself, surely to intensify the level of angst later... It worked. It took me almost 2 whole days to read the last third of the book. It was just too much, and that's really sad because I laughed out loud at Charlie's and Kate's banter, I was in awe at times witnessing their growing love... I just didn't expect that much ANGST. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* I was glad for the HEA. I didn't believe it would happen anymore.

  23. 4 out of 5

    *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

    Kate Snow: “Better not to have anything. Not even love. If you got attached to something, it only got taken away. Child or adult. Toys or people. No difference” Charlie Storm: “I love you because I can be honest with you. I trust you. I love you because you've made me see I'm more than I thought.” Kate and Charlie are broken--badly. Kate from her past and Charlie from his present. Kate has never in her life felt wanted by anyone and Charlie has spent his life being wanted by everyone. Kate is a wai Kate Snow: “Better not to have anything. Not even love. If you got attached to something, it only got taken away. Child or adult. Toys or people. No difference” Charlie Storm: “I love you because I can be honest with you. I trust you. I love you because you've made me see I'm more than I thought.” Kate and Charlie are broken--badly. Kate from her past and Charlie from his present. Kate has never in her life felt wanted by anyone and Charlie has spent his life being wanted by everyone. Kate is a waitress existing in her life. Charlie is a megastar singer/songwriter/actor barely surviving his. Both experience a life-altering event that leads them to each other...that leads them to the sea. The story begins with Kate and Charlie literally bumping in to each other while trying to commit suicide. From their failed attempt comes a journey of self-discovery, learning to trust, and believing in love. Plus a few bumps along the way. This story reminded me a lot of Love Unscripted and also The Unidentified Redhead series. The banter between Charlie and Kate was my absolute favorite part of the book. It had me laughing out loud from the very beginning. I thought both MCs were great....though Charlie was definitely a wanker from time to time. This book is full of angst as Charlie and Kate navigate their relationship and their social differences. They have an all-consuming need for each other. And their sexual chemistry was OFF THE CHARTS! This book had lots of steamy sex. I really loved everything about this book. Once I started I couldn't stop reading. It'll definitely make it to my favorites shelf! "You're the beat of my heart, the air in my lungs. You make me feel safe. I don't want to live without you. I want to spend my life making you happy. I want us to grow old together and when we die, I want us to die in each other's arms, because I can't live in a world without you by my side."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    3.5 Stars This is hard to rate, and hard to describe. At the beginning, it seemed pretty juvenile. The characters act like insecure teenagers full of hormones and drugs. I actually put this one down for a couple of weeks because I lost interest after I realized where the plot was headed. However, I'm really gland that I picked it back up and finished it. This is a couple that has major issues, both prior to meeting and after finding one another. They both have some crazy childhood drama to overcom 3.5 Stars This is hard to rate, and hard to describe. At the beginning, it seemed pretty juvenile. The characters act like insecure teenagers full of hormones and drugs. I actually put this one down for a couple of weeks because I lost interest after I realized where the plot was headed. However, I'm really gland that I picked it back up and finished it. This is a couple that has major issues, both prior to meeting and after finding one another. They both have some crazy childhood drama to overcome, and add their own adult problems by turning to either drugs and alcohol or...suicide? What?! They just happen to pick the same spot in the sea to try to drown. A bit much to believe, really. But whatever... the sex is hot. And when it turns into more than just sex, I realized that they are no longer consumed with their individual problems. They are now completely consumed with one another. Addicted, even. And their relationship becomes rather beautiful. This is a story that is labeled as erotica because it has explicit sex scenes with one or two slightly taboo happy times. But I began to feel so connected to Kate and Charlie. They are in desperate need of someone to believe in them. And it seems as if all they have is each other, so its hard NOT to root for them. The author is British for sure, and that was a little odd for me to overcome at first. Some of the phrases made me pause to really figure out what she meant (the 'boot', or trunk of the car). It also made me smile. Its not often that an author doesn't try to de-culturize their writing, so it was actually kind of cool. Made me feel as if I had escaped to London for a few hours. So, while I didn't quite understand some of the drama and decisions in Strangers, the romance was touching and the eroticism was well placed and necessary. Overall, better than I expected.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gitte TotallyBookedBlog

    I just finished Strangers after pulling an all-nighter...I could not put it down! I loved the relationship between Charlie and Kate, the humor and the interaction was really "laugh out loud"!! It was an extremely emotional story as well, every emotion available was experienced!! I adored Kate and I loved Charlie, even though he drove me nuts at times!!! I can't recommend this book enough!! This was my first book by this author but will definitely have a look at the rest..

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    Even after reading the synopsis im suprised about how much I enjoyed this book. I loved the dynamic and dialogue between Charlie & Kate. This book had me laughing out loud to being in tears. One of my most enjoyable reads. Even after reading the synopsis im suprised about how much I enjoyed this book. I loved the dynamic and dialogue between Charlie & Kate. This book had me laughing out loud to being in tears. One of my most enjoyable reads.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Myla

    AWESOME!!! The story is just amazing Review in progress... AWESOME!!! The story is just amazing Review in progress...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    "You're the beat of my hear, the air in my lungs. You make me feel safe. I don't want to live without you. I want to spend my life making you happy. I want us to grow old together and when we die, I want us to die in each other's arms, because I can't live in a world without you by my side." When I first stared this book, I wasn't a huge fan of the beginning... seemed a little out unrealistic to me. But once I got into the book, I couldn't put it down. The two main characters had a ton of issues "You're the beat of my hear, the air in my lungs. You make me feel safe. I don't want to live without you. I want to spend my life making you happy. I want us to grow old together and when we die, I want us to die in each other's arms, because I can't live in a world without you by my side." When I first stared this book, I wasn't a huge fan of the beginning... seemed a little out unrealistic to me. But once I got into the book, I couldn't put it down. The two main characters had a ton of issues and would appear to be all wrong for each other but in reality they were made to be together. Really enjoyable read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    JoJo - JJJ (Jo Anna) Janesko

    I loved this story. It is very spicy however it has a beautiful love story. I found myself almost crying through several parts. Beautifully written and recommended to those who enjoy erotica.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    I stayed up until 3am reading Strangers by Barbara Elsborg, I honestly couldn’t put it down. I laughed, giggled, cried (3 times) my heart raced and I melted into a puddle of goo all in the space of a couple of hours. Strangers is a keeper for sure. Kate and Charlie won my heart, their roller coaster ride was seriously out of control and had everything flung in it but I loved it. Kate’s been humiliated and dumped at the alter and Charlie is a bad boy pop star turned actor who drinks, smokes and bed I stayed up until 3am reading Strangers by Barbara Elsborg, I honestly couldn’t put it down. I laughed, giggled, cried (3 times) my heart raced and I melted into a puddle of goo all in the space of a couple of hours. Strangers is a keeper for sure. Kate and Charlie won my heart, their roller coaster ride was seriously out of control and had everything flung in it but I loved it. Kate’s been humiliated and dumped at the alter and Charlie is a bad boy pop star turned actor who drinks, smokes and beds different women daily. As both their lives spiral out of control they meet in the most bizarre place I’ve ever read: in the sea trying to drown themselves! She thinks he a shark with the body of a hippo and he thinks she’s a mermaid, this starts the most unlikely, hot but tumultuous relationship I think I’ve read in a long time. Strangers has a British setting and has the most fantastic British sense of humour running through it. I haven’t read any British adult romances so this was a lovely surprise. Kate is just beyond amazing as her story unfolds my heart just broke for her I don’t think you could read Strangers and not love her. She’s had a traumatic upbringing and spent most of her youth in care, she lives sparsely but has a gorgeous bed as she promised herself one when she grew up after having to sleep on floors, on couches and on old smelly beds growing up. She a waitress, makes the most gorgeous underwear and doesn’t give a shit that Charlie is mega famous, she just doesn’t care about that kind of stuff. Charlie has real demons despite his wealth and status, he realises Kate is different and wants to protect her from the press who he knows will dig into her painful past and crucify her but at times Charlie was a complete arse to Kate despite having the best of intentions. I loved the scene where Kate and Charlie are at a celebrity filled party but can’t be seen together. Kate is wearing her jeans and flip flops and piles her plate full at the buffet whilst the models and actresses starve and network. I laughed out loud when famous guys approached Kate and asked her where they had seen them before, Kate innocently answers “Crispies?” the cafe she works out and they think its a film and ask her when Crispies 2 is due for release. I went from laughing to immediately sobbing when Charlie ignores Kate to protect her but obviously hurts her feelings. As a couple I was rooting for Charlie and Kate all the way. I loved the humour, I loved the drama (and there was plenty) and I loved their hot romance. There are a number of very smexy scenes that are not for the faint hearted but I didn’t think Strangers was just an adult romance it was so much more than that. Prepare to laugh, cry, near enough faint and stay up to 3am reading Strangers you will love it.

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