Thursday, 26 April 2012

After Fifty review: Strangers by Barbara Elsborg

Barbara Elsborg
Publication date: 2nd Nov 2009

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.

after fifty
 After Fifty rating: 5 out of 5
Hot romance Thumbs up
Hero with issues/dodgy past Thumbs up
Hero with protective streak Thumbs up
Hero that can sing with his shirt off Thumbs up
Billionaire (probably) Thumbs up



  1. Do you mind having one from the author?? Thanks so much for a lovely review. I'm glad you enjoyed Strangers. The one I've written closest to it is 'An Ordinary Girl' - that tugs at the emotions too but Strangers remains my favorite book.

  2. Squeeeeeee! Thank you so much Barbara I absolutely LOVED your book and I plan to have Charlie as a book boyfriend post soon too he was just so loveable. I will definetly be checking out An Ordinary Girl now too.

  3. Wonderful review..i love when a book keeps you up and sends you on an emotional rollercoaster...adding to my list.

    1. Thank you kimba, you need to read it soon and tell me what you think!

  4. I second your opinion on Strangers...but then I've been shouting from the rooftops everywhere--and to everyone--what a fantastic read this novel is. Truly an unforgettable story!

    1. Youre spot on Laurie it is absolutely an unforgettable story. I loved it to bits.


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