The debut novel by author May Sage ‘And Then, I Died’ is a romantic mystery thriller. William ‘Liam’ Slate is a successful young entrepreneur and committed bachelor living in New York, uninterested in ever pursuing a long-term relationship, when the mysterious Beth Carver suddenly enters his life under slightly strange circumstances, and he starts to reconsider that stance. A straightforward love story, apart from the frequent attempts on Liam’s life, and Beth’s traumatic past and unusual vocation…
As the story centres on a rich businessman and the young woman who makes him question his commitment singledom, it would be easy to draw comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey. However, this would be to do ‘And Then, I Died’ a great disservice. William Slate, our male protagonist, is no Christian Grey. Instead, May Sage has done a fantastic job of creating believable, sympathetic characters, not just in Liam and his love-interest, the mysterious Beth, but the supporting characters of Victoria and Charlotte also feel well-rounded (and it’s good to see women portrayed as successful and independent in a romance novel). I often find I dislike the main female characters in contemporary fiction, mainly as they are often written as one-dimensional or more than a little dim, so it was refreshing to read a fully fleshed-out, likeable character in Beth. Although she is supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous and highly intelligent, she isn’t the ‘impossibly-perfect’ fictional woman trope, instead displaying a range of emotions and different sides to her personality that make her more believable.
The story itself kept my interest throughout. Although this is a romance and there are sex scenes, these elements are balanced with the mystery of Beth’s past and her trying to come to terms with that, and a thriller component from the assassination attempts on Liam. I would have liked a little more on Liam’s backstory and family relationships, as these become an important story but aren’t elaborated on as much as I felt they could have been. The pacing was good for the majority of the book, not lingering on one aspect of the story for too long, but I felt the ending and final exposition was a little rushed. I enjoyed the decision to end the book on a cliffhanger though, rather than tying the story up in an expected ‘happily ever after’.
There were some turns of phrase and uses of words in the book that I found awkward, but overall Sage has produced an easy to read, enjoyable novel, that makes for perfect holiday reading or a book to unwind with at bedtime.
The copy I read included an excerpt from the next book in this series, which from the looks of it will feature characters from ‘And Then, I Died’, but not deal directly with Liam and Beth’s story, which I think is a really interesting way to approach the next books. Initially I wouldn’t have thought I’d become too invested in a story about rich New York businessmen and women, but I’ll definitely be buying the next book in the series when it comes out.
You can buy ‘And Then, I Died’ on Amazon (the Kindle version is a bargain at £1.99), and the author is giving away signed copies on her Facebook page.
This is a sponsored post - I was paid to review the book, however my review is unbiased and contains my honest opinions only.