‘The Rival’ by Charlotte Duckworth


Helena is a career woman with no job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley’s fault?

When Helena hires Ashley to work for her, she’s startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud – maybe this is the protégée she’s always wanted to have. But soon Helena realizes that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley’s drive to get to the top. And when Helena becomes pregnant, everything she has worked so hard for is suddenly threatened, with devastating consequences…


My Review

Prior to receiving a copy of ‘The Rival’, I hadn’t heard of Charlotte Duckworth before.  Sorry Charlotte.  I’ve certainly heard of her now and then some.  Dear oh dear ‘The Rival’ was certainly one hell of a read.  I absolutely loved it but more about that in a bit.

The two main characters are Helena and Ashley.  When we first meet Helena she seems to have it all.  She is an ambitious career woman, who is at the top of her field.  Helena also has a high flying boyfriend.  Helena wants to hire somebody and take her under her wing as a kind of protégé.  That’s where Ashley comes in.  She gets the job and immediately starts impressing the right people.  Initially Helena is pleased that she obviously recognises talent when she sees it but it isn’t long before doubts start to creep in about Ashley.  Helena wakes up and smells the coffee and realises that she had misjudged Ashley and her motives.  Ashley is somebody I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw her and that wouldn’t be far on account of my dodgy back.  Ashley is one of those characters that you wouldn’t turn your back on because she would soon be stabbing you in the back.  Ashley doesn’t seem to care about who she tramples on to get to the top.  Helena becomes pregnant and matters between Ashley and Helena soon come to a head.  Fast forward a few years and Helena’s life has drastically changed.  She is still the determined career woman that she was before but she has no job, she has no baby, she has a partner but she doesn’t seem to love him and she blames Ashley for all her problems.  What happened years ago to drastically change the course of Helena’s life?  Is Ashley really to blame?  What happens to Helena and Ashley?  Well for the answers to those questions and more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves because I am not going to tell you.

‘The Rival’ is very well written.  The storylines in this book take place in two different periods of time.  One period of time describes things as they happened all those years ago and shows how matters came to a head.  The other period of time describes things as they are in the present day.  This way of telling the story works really well.  The chapters interlink brilliantly and the story flows seamlessly.

The synopsis of ‘The Rival’ intrigued me and I just knew that this was one book that I needed to read sooner rather than later.  Well blimey oh riley it was one hell of a rather scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride of a read and then some.  Just when you think that things had settled down then another surprise or twist was waiting just around the corner and off the ride/ read would go again.  There were  a couple of occasions where I didn’t want to turn the page because I feared what was going to happen next but realised that if I wanted to know how the story turned out then of course I would need to turn the page.  Reading ‘The Rival’ soon became an addiction for me.  I just couldn’t stop reading because I am nosy and I had to know what happened and who, if anybody, was to blame for how things turned out.  It seemed like I finished reading ‘The Rival’ in next to no time but in reality was a matter of a few hours.  I was disappointed to finish because I was loving the author’s writing style, the storylines and the characters so much that I just wanted the book to continue.  A couple of times, I smugly thought that I had fathomed out what had happened and to whom only to be sent down another path entirely.  It got to the stage where I suspected everybody and believed nobody.  I wasn’t sure which person’s version of events was the truth.  ‘The Rival’ certainly messed with my head a bit.

To conclude, I really enjoyed reading ‘The Rival’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I can’t wait to read what Charlotte comes up with next.  Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a well deserved 5* out of 5*.


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