Cover Image: Unperfect

Unperfect

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Member Reviews

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” —Shakespeare

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: 🖤💜🤎💚💛
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📙📕📗📘📙
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌍🌍
Character development: 😍😕🙃☺️🤩

The heroine: Mia (a.k.a Number Five) - just out of an extremely abusive relationship, Mia is hiding from her ex. She has cut her hair, died it black and wears heavy eyeliner. She is homeless and recovering from a vicious attack which left her with some broken ribs and a fractured and dislocated shoulder.

The Hero(es): Max - a brilliant architect with an up and coming firm. Max has recently gained some fame after speaking the truth in his own grumpy growly way. He is prone to outbursts in the office when things aren’t going his way, and he doesn’t think they need an IT person since he is used to things the way they are. 

The story: Mia gets a job working at the architectural firm Max co-owns with his friend Verity using a fake name and altered references thought her background in IT is solid. She tries to stay as invisible as possible but Max notices her from the very start.

I liked how deeply this book went into the psyche of Mia as an abused woman in hiding. However, I thought in this day and age the people she worked with must be pretty dim witted not to have picked up on her situation a lot earlier. There were a ton of things that spoke to her being abused and homeless, not in the least the way she flinched from men and how she almost never ate at work, but the few times meals were provided for her she ate like she hadn’t seen food in days.

Aside from that, the book was very good. I loved that the Author (Susie Tate) put titles on all the chapters, it seems like authors don’t do that much anymore, but I liked how they were a tiny blurb of what is to come in that chapter. The book was told in both the Hero and the heroine’s POV which I love as well. 

I liked the fact that Max was grumpy, abrupt and easy to yell out his frustrations, but really was a big teddybear inside. It was cool that his nature was compared against Mia’s abusive husband Nate who was cold and calm but then lashed out violently which made her more anxious because she never knew when it was coming.

I think the author has either been in an abusive relationship or did some great research because some of the situations in this books between Mia and Nate were chilling to read. I was married to a man like that, though not as rich and some of the passages in this book could have been from my life directly. It was that realistic. I liked Mia’s strength and determination as well as the people she ended up surrounding herself with.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
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Unperfect, A Grumpy Boss Office Romance, Susie Tate

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:Romance, Women's fiction

Gah, bl!!dy Women's Fiction again...there is no place for that in 2021 IMO! 

Aside from that, what a whirlwind of a read. I loved it. At times it did need a suspension of belief, who really gets a job on the day they interview with immediate start, fake name, no refs? But its fiction, so I can accept it, and without some suspension it would be hard to write some things. Mia needed that job to open up right then, or it would have been a very different story ;-) 

I loved the characters, a terrific mix and so realistic. I want people like that in my reading, folk I can relate to. Then Mia and whats she's been through, sadly so true for many people. It was heartbreaking reading about her rough sleeping, and trying to cover it. Her situation did make me tearful, even knowing in this instance its fiction, because for many its reality. 
That bullying her ex did, that insidious constant telling her in so many ways she wasn't quite good enough, building her reliance on him, its what bullies do, so that everything then becomes the victims fault. “ If only you'd listen. If only you didn't make me angry. If only you'd dress, walk, talk, behave differently...” etc. We all think we'd see through it, wouldn't accept it but these people – of any sex – work carefully to break down our confidence, and make us think what they say is true. Its small steps, but by the time a person is in the state Mia is its hard to leave. She knows if she doesn't the next attack, or the one after that, will kill her. I was in awe of her bravery, and her determination to rebuild her life. Of course I didn't understand at first why she wouldn't go to the police, but that comes out later and I then saw her fears. 

That abuse gives her so many triggers that poor Max unwittingly presses, his loud voice, his bluff, overbearing manner, his sheer size. He doesn't understand why Mia dislikes him so much. He doesn't realise its not dislike but fear. There were so many things that showed how well Susie understands this situation, I guess as a GP she must have met similar folk to Mia. Things like her needing to squeeze into small space, to avoid rooms with windows, open spaces, places where she's vulnerable to attack, why she preferred to sleep in wardrobe, they all made it seem so very real. I could picture Mia doing these, feel her fear, feel her heart racing. 

 I loved the way the story unfolded, bringing in Verity, Yaz ( wonderful Yaz, who's for a bit of mindful yoga?). Heath, Teddy and of course Nasty Nate.  And Roger – special lad there, dogs know when we need simply reassurance and contact. I liked that Mia hadn't been Miss Perfect in the past to her family, and yet we knew she still loved them and they her. It was easy to understand her actions and feelings, encouraged of course by Nate. Loved seeing the family issues resolved. 

The romance takes time ( the best kind IMO) but is so very real, and we learned even kind, confident Max isn't without issues of his own. I really enjoyed the way the story played out, and the drama at the end. A fab read. I'm off to read Kira's story next, its on KU!  
And yay – thumbs up for the British slang, as a UK reader that's a treat. 

Stars: Five, a romance with real people, genuine themes and multi stranded plots. I love those, something more than boy meets girl and they lived happily ever after ;-) 

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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Oh my God, that book was filled to the brim with heavy feelings, i kid you not i teared up more than once.
The book was really engrossing, it would hook you up from the first chapter.
The writing style was immaculate, apart from the British slang which some would find a little bit hard to understand at the beginning, but after a few chapters you would get the hang of it.
The main character, i don't think i can really criticize or judge her, when a character is a victim you can't just say your opinion because you don't know what would you do if you fall in her situation.
The book structure was really strong and done really well.
I really enjoyed it.
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I have not read a book by Susie Tate before and found UNPERFECT to be unexpected.  Unexpected because it dealt so eloquently with the issue of domestic abuse.  The writer made us feel the emotional toll the abuse takes on the person that was abused and the people around them who try to help the person recover.

This is a book with critical secondary characters, and Tate made them memorable.  We watched Max’s teenage stepson Teddy transform as he saw the contrast in his life and Mia’s and become the kind of man Max was.  Max was a complex character, coming off as very real because he could read the situation but not always respond as he wanted.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and look forward to Yaz and Heath’s story.

I received an advance copy of this book and am providing my voluntary review.
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CW: domestic violence // gaslighting 

I picked this one up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised, I had a really great time reading it. The characters are great and the dialogues are so fun and heartfelt. I loved how the main characters formed such a tight-knit group, their love and support for one another warmed my heart. It's not my place to judge whether or not the sensitive themes were handled correctly but it did feel like the author made a great effort to aproach the matter with responsability. I felt like I didn't have enough time to truly get to know Mia because her life and even herself were taken away from her and I hope the author will show us a little bit more of her moving on from her past in the next book of this "series" (which I'm already craving). 

Thanks to Susie Tate and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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DNF
 I like women's fiction as a genre, but this was so childish and a lot of telling instead of showing and repetition of certain sentences and descriptions made my head buzz.
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When Mia shows up for the interview at a well-known architecture firm, she only has 27p, a squashed loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter to her name. She needs this job. Even if she is scared to death of the owner of the company.

Max has made a name for himself as that grumpy northern architect off Grand Designs, after he told Kevin McCloud that designing affordable, environmentally friendly homes “wasn’t rocket science” and that most of the other projects featured on the programme were for “reight poncy bastads who want to spend a grand on a shite tap.” It turned out that the whole gorgeous-but-rough-around-the-edges-Yorkshire-man vibe was just what the country was looking for – the episode had gone viral and Max was the new, extremely reluctant, pin-up of the building industry.

But to Mia, huge, grumpy men weren’t sexy, they were simply terrifying. She knows from experience that even men of average size can be dangerous. If she wasn’t so desperate, she’d run. She’s used to running. Running away is Mia’s special talent, together with invisibility – survival techniques she’s perfected over the years. So, she’ll put up with Max and his moods, ignore him calling her a teen emo freak (he’s not to know that her black hair used to be honey blonde or her heavy eyeliner isn’t by choice) and just bloody well jog on. Just try to survive. Try to hide.

It’s easy to hide when nobody really sees you. But what happens when Max finally opens his eyes?
Gripping, loved this story
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Mia has been abused by her husband for years.  after she escapes from her husband, she is homeless and in search of a job.  She finds a job working for Max who is grumpy and rude towards her and seems to be dealing with his own dramas. I did find Mia’s character a bit weak and hard to feel for at first but she did grow on me and given what she had been through it was understandable.

 There were a lot of scenes where it was rather obvious what must have happened to her, I loved how supportive Max’s friends and family were throughout the book and was glad when she finally started to open up and let them in. 
Overall the book has a dark undertone of abuse and toxic relationships and is not an easy to read romance, but has a happy ending.
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Mia has given up everything, including her name, to earn her freedom. Now she is in pain from her injuries, running low on money and needs to find a job quick or she will end up on the streets. When she gets an interview she is willing to put up with anything, including a boss who clearly doesn’t like her. Even with all of the challenges, this job and the people she meets there, may turn out to be exactly what she needs, she just needs to find a way to trust them. 

This book was amazing and Mia is definitely one of the strongest characters ever! 

I got an ARC of Unperfect by Susie Tate from NetGalley.
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I was so excited for the new Susie Tate that I read this in a day, now I’m bummed that I have to wait longer for the next book!

 I loved this and was engaged with the story and the characters right from the start. Mia broke my heart and I wanted to wrap her up and protect her but she was so beautiful, brave and strong after everything she went through. She was also wonderfully frustrating in her attempts to handle everything on her own but given her history it was perfectly understandable. I love a grumpy, rough around the edges hero who is really a big ‘ol teddy bear underneath it all and Max did not disappoint. The gradual development of trust and more between Mia and Max was everything.  There were moments where I felt it should have been pretty obvious to him what happened to her but otherwise I liked how he took such care with her. The handling of Mia’s past and the abusive relationship was sensitively handled but the author did not shy away from the grim reality of what had happened to her. Mia working through it and reaching the other side not unscathed but stronger and happy was not easy but ultimately very satisfying. 

The story also had some great supporting characters in Verity (👠), Yaz (🌈☀️) Teddy (🥋) and Heath  (👨‍⚕️). They were all very likeable and the extended group  and how they embraced Mia as one their own felt  very genuine. I am looking forward to Yaz and Heath’s story and hopefully also Verity’s in the future as well. (4.5 ⭐️)
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Unperfect is a powerful fictional look at the results of physically abusive relationships and the emotional baggage and fear that sufferers carry with them even when surrounded by non-threatening people.  The author, a GP by trade as well as an accomplished author wraps her message in a thrilling story that keeps readers engaged until the last period.   I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.  Most highly recommend.
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Susie Tate is an underrated work of art and when I saw this book on NetGalley I screamed my lungs out and binge read it. 
Trigger warning: Domestic Violence
When Mia shows up at Max’s work for a job, she’s broken in more than just a physical sense. Running from an abusive relationship that nearly killed her, this shell of a woman meets our brash gentle Northern giant Max. And they couldn’t be more perfect for each other. The abuse bits riled me up. They made my blood boil. I think they did that because of how accurately it was depicted. The triggers, the neuroses, everything about Mia just touched a nerve and I cried. I bawled. But I also knew that she’d find her way out of the darkness. Max is everything. He was perfect. Literally he’s the perfect man. I loved how Max wasn’t the one to fix Mia. He helped and supported her, but he didn’t glue her up. It was so beautifully realistic. 
As always, the supporting characters in Susie Tate books are a treat. Teddy 🥺. God he made me melt. This sweet emo teenage punk, who taught Mia a bit of self defence, and who’s just really the world’s biggest softie. His relationship with Max is adorable. The three of them together gave me hope. Yaz, is slightly bonkers in the best way. And Verity and Heath too. They were perfect in every way but what made me fall in love with these characters was how they helped Mia heal, how they welcomed her into their midst and ensconced her in their collective warmth. 
When I understood that domestic violence played a part in this book, I almost didn’t read it, but I’M SO GLAD I DID. Something about Susie Tate’s books heal you. I’ve been waiting for a full length book of hers for so long and was so afraid that I wouldn’t get to read one. I’m also incredibly excited for the upcoming book in this series.
Special appearances by England’s favourite PM, and his extraordinary bizarre wife took me by surprise. Made me want to go back and read their own beautiful little story. 
I don’t think I’ve emphasised how much I LOVE SUSIE TATE SO I’LL JUST LEAVE THIS HERE!
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Unperfect is yet another fabulous read from this author who writes the most wonderful uplifting books.
Mia is desperate for a job, homeless with just a few pence in her pocket and a back pack with all her worldly goods she applies for a post at an architectural company run by the very upper class Verity and her grumpy northern business partner Max. Being highly skilled in IT Verity gives Mia a job after seeing what she can do with their computer system.
Whilst being fantastic with the computer it is soon obvious that Mia has issues especially when she appears terrified of Max when he raises is voice and appears angry, though everyone is used to this and ignore him, but Mia flinching away and fear causes genuine concern.
Not confiding in anyone Mia was a victim of severe domestic abuse, and after a beating that left her severely injured she ran away with just the clothes on her back and no access to her bank account.
Gradually with the friendship and support she starts to build some confidence and strength and her relationship with Max grows steadily.
There are some really wonderful characters in this book and I can’t wait for the next which is Yaz and Heaths story, it was also great to reconnect with Kira and Barclay from Anything but Easy.
At times this is a hard hitting book on a subject that is unfortunately all too common, but handled and described well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book,, well written, great storyline with much depth and great characters.
My thanks to net galley and publisher for the opportunity to review this book honestly.
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I needed some time to formulate my words about this book. This is not an easy romance, it has a dark undertone of abuse and toxic relationships.

Mia has been abused by her husband for years. Mentally at first, but physically later in the marriage and after she escapes she wanders around, sleeping rough sometimes and in search of a job. A job she finds with the company of Max and Verity. But at first she still has no money for food and no place to stay. And Max is rather rude and grumpy to her. It takes a while and a lot of heartache and pain for Mia to talk and admit to her situation. There were a lot of scenes where it was rather obvious what must have happened to her (I admit I cried when I read the scene at the hairdresser) and I loved how Verity, Yazz, of course Max and the others tried to help her and rally around her. But in the end it is Mia who has to overcome her fears and try to go on with her life and choose happiness.

Overall the book is rather angsty and not one full of roses and love. It can be triggering, but is also very satisfying in its conclusion.
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I needed some time to formulate my words about this book. This is not an easy romance, it has a dark undertone of abuse and toxic relationships.

Mia has been abused by her husband for years. Mentally at first, but physically later in the marriage and after she escapes she wanders around, sleeping rough sometimes and in search of a job. A job she finds with the company of Max and Verity. But at first she still has no money for food and no place to stay. And Max is rather rude and grumpy to her. It takes a while and a lot of heartache and pain for Mia to talk and admit to her situation. There were a lot of scenes where it was rather obvious what must have happened to her (I admit I cried when I read the scene at the hairdresser) and I loved how Verity, Yazz, of course Max and the others tried to help her and rally around her. But in the end it is Mia who has to overcome her fears and try to go on with her life and choose happiness.

Overall the book is rather angsty and not one full of roses and love. It can be triggering, but is also very satisfying in its conclusion.
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our and a half stars.

Mia Lantum (not her real name) is homeless, suffering from cracked ribs and a fractured collarbone, and practically penniless when she gets a job at a small but famous eco-architectural practice owned by Verity Markham and Max Hardcastle in the English south-coast seaside town of Bournemouth as an IT tech support person.

Max is a big, brash, grumpy, Northern architectural genius, he takes one look at Mia with her (dyed) jet black choppy hair, black eyeliner, and tatty black clothes and labels her a teen, emo freak, which is a bit insulting for a woman nearing thirty, he is resistant to change and technology but begrudgingly appreciative of the changes Mia makes to the practice's systems.

Max terrifies Mia, whose injuries are not an accident, but under his large, angry exterior is a kind, caring man, and when Mia falls ill, it is Max who rides in to the rescue.

From sulky teenage stepsons, gruff architects, caring A&E doctors, kooky vegan Reiki practitioners and surly pub landlords these characters just jump off the page.

Words cannot express my joy at a new Susie Tate novel. There is something about her quintessentially British characters, their quirkiness, their real-life issues that just resonates with me. Suffice to say, I didn't start reading this until gone midnight and had finished it before lunch the following day. My only regret is that I will have to wait ages for Yaz and Heath's story. For fellow fans of Susie's books we also get to see (briefly) Kira, Barclay and Sam.

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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A very sensitively written depiction of surviving an abusive relationship and finding love again. I felt so much empathy for both Mia and Max, and the self defence tips and coping strategies are very helpful and encouraging to anyone who is struggling with this problem., and I loved the northernism’s. Mia is a very strong character who although feeling weak in herself and her feelings do overwhelm her at times, she becomes an encouragement to others. I really enjoyed this book and will look out for others from this author.
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