Carrie Blake – The Woman Before You

Carrie Blake – The Woman Before You

Isabel Archer is the typical girl from the Midwest. Having grown up only with her mother, she has high hopes and big plans for the time after school. She dreams of a career as an actress in New York, but soon finds herself rejected in every audition and due to lack of money selling mattresses. The only moment when she can still take over a role is when she dates men she finds on Tinder. When she meets Matthew, things change, she is immediately attracted by him and definitely wants more. Matthew, too, has some kind of liking for her, but first of all, his boss needs a woman to support him in the little jobs he does for him. Isabel could be the perfect partner for these strange little games. But soon not only Isabel has to asks herself who is playing games with whom.

Carrie Blake’s debut novel starts quite interestingly and I immediately could indulge in it. However, I quickly had the impression to find some kind of prop and cliché I had read many times before. Even though Isabel was described in the first chapters as a young, intelligent and aspiring woman, she then is reduced to the dumb girl waiting for the boy to call her. She loses all her independence and there is a huge lack of motivation for whatever. From the attractive woman she turns into a pretty facade with nothing behind it. Matthew however, is simply a handsome and ruthless man who is the marionette of his boss without any will of his own.

Thus, I was a bit disappointed in the two protagonists who tell the story alternatingly. The plot itself has variations of “How do I seduce her without having actual intercourse” which was a bit too much for my liking of a thriller. I missed the real thrill and suspense since most of what happens is quite foreseeable as it is based on just a few pieces of information.

All in all, I was quite deceived by it, since most of the plot seems to be a pretext for having the characters go to bed and it strongly reminded me of “50 Shades of Grey” in the setting and character make-up.