Erryn reviews ‘Fade to Blank (London Lies Book 1’ by C.F. White. The ebook was published July 27, 2020 and was 342 pages.The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Piers Ryman, released October 20, 2020 and is 8 hrs and 14 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved the District Line series.
Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, vilified celebrity Jackson Young enlists the help of rookie journalist, Fletcher Doherty, to clear his name and write his biography.
Jackson has a secret, though. One he must keep from becoming public. But Fletcher’s dreamy green eyes, Irish drawl, and effortless charm makes it hard to suppress those long-buried feelings, even if it could compromise his innocence.
Uncovering the murky past behind Jackson’s rise to fame, Fletcher grows closer to a man he’d once declared as talentless and their intense attraction starts to affect not only his professional integrity, but the life he’d made since moving to London.
Falling for the subject of his book could be fatal for Fletcher, and Jackson should know better than to trust a journalist.
Fade to Blank is the first book in the London Lies trilogy set in 1999 and is a slow burn, enemies to lovers, hurt/comfort romantic suspense.
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I really enjoyed Ms. White’s The District Line series. Two guys from opposite sides of the track trying to make it work. Well, Fade to Blank is also two guys from very different backgrounds – only this time there’s an element of mystery. Of suspense. Of, dare I say it, romantic suspense.
Fletcher is just an average reporter writing for an online gossip rag in late 1999. This book made me somewhat nostalgic, and wracking my brain for what technologies actually existed back then – only belatedly realizing it doesn’t really matter. I can’t remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone when text messages became a thing. I was always about ten steps behind anyway, but I did work for a computer company just before Y2K. That was a thing.
Anyway, Fletcher is stuck in a dead-end job that he’s not really good at and certainly doesn’t enjoy. But it pays the bills. Or helps, anyway. He’s reliant on his much-older boyfriend Heston who is a bit of a pompous, arrogant, self-absorbed asshole. But that’s a whole other thing.
Then there’s Jackson. Child star, idol to many teenage girls – and maybe a few young gay boys. He’s had success beyond his wildest imagination, and his family has taken full advantage. That is until he’s accused of murder. The book starts with him being released from prison – but not because the authorities believe he’s innocent. No, they just don’t have enough evidence to prove guilt.
Fletcher wrote a scathing review of one of Jackson’s live theatre performances and Jackson hasn’t forgiven – or forgotten. But he also needs someone to write his side of the story – and Fletcher is just the man to do it.
The odd couple, to be sure. Neither trusts the other. Neither likes the other. And yet…
Okay, I only want to whet your appetite because I know there is so much more to come. There were a few turns in this book that I didn’t expect, and I can’t wait to see where the series goes next. Really well done for the mystery and that hint of romance.
Finally, Piers Ryman. He’s just perfect for these London stories and I’m so glad he and Ms. White have teamed up again. On to part two…
9/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
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Brought up in the relatively small town in Hertfordshire, I managed to do what most other residents of the town try and fail. Leave.
Going off to study at a West London University, I realised there was a whole city out there just waiting to be discovered, so much like Dick Whittington before, I never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold; slowly coming to the realisation that it is mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of stare at them endlessly whilst holding a polystyrene foam cup of watered down coffee.
Eventually I moved from West to East along that vast District Line, and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles, and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job, creating a life, a home, a family.
Having worked in Higher Education for the most proportion of my adult life, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper, having written stories as a child but never having the confidence to show them to the world. Now embarking on this writing malarkey, I cannot stop. So strap in, it’s a bumpy ride from here on in.