‘He presses his cheek against mine. He twines a hand into my hair, cradling my head in his palm. He curves around me, protecting me from – what? My own fear, I suppose. My imagination. May past and all its baggage. Myself.’

Well, well, well! Any preconceived ideas we may have had about Perfect Strangers from the synopsis were completely thrown out the window, as our minds were blown by this trippy and twisty journey. Talk about being blindsided in this passionate, confounding and compelling story.

“Whatever bad thing happened to you; it hasn’t made you less beautiful. There’s beauty in darkness, too. It just takes a different kind of vision to see it.”

J.T. Geissinger warns readers, Perfect Strangers is not a traditional romance (is it even a romance per se? – It’s definitely a love story) so if you’re looking for a sweet and sexy romance, Perfect Strangers isn’t the book for you. But…if you like to be tested and enjoy having the carpet pulled from underneath you, and if you’re in the mood for a different kind of love story, then grab Perfect Strangers.

“I love to look at you, beautiful Olivia,” he whispers back, his voice hoarse. “It’s a privilege I don’t deserve, but one I’m so grateful for.”

Our review is going to be vague because anything we say could be construed as a spoiler, and it is the surprise element the author doles out that left us reeling. Our emotions were all over the place as we found ourselves audibly exclaiming WTF! Quite a few times!

The synopsis gives nothing away and neither will we, except to add that this book may have triggers for some readers, so please reach out if you’d like more information in that regard. Otherwise, strap in, and prepare to be taken in by a love story filled with so much complexity. Truth? Lies? You be the judge!

‘Every love story has a beginning. That was theirs. One Look, one locked gaze, and they were both done for.’

The quote above encapsulates the first meeting between James and Olivia when their eyes met across a Paris café. From there, the desire was tangible. For Olivia, escaping to Paris and losing herself in James became a means of coping following a tragedy that was unimaginable and life-altering. Three months of uninhibited passion in Paris was a lifeline they both clung to. How would they be able to walk away after three months?

‘Though we’re still not much more than strangers, I know intuitively that he and I are alike. Suffering is the great equalizer of humankind.’

And James Blackwood? Besides being the consummate dirty talker, what was his story? What lurked in his past, what was he hiding and how was he so perfect? This complex man was so in tune with Oliva and her feelings who appeared to hide a multitude of secrets. Then… just when we thought the story was heading to a point where James’s perfection was bordering on us being unable to suspend reality… BANG! Remember that rug we spoke about? It was ripped right from under our feet and a big AHA was felt. Or was it?

‘We can no more rid ourselves of the past than we could stop the earth from spinning.’

J.T. Geissinger’s writing is enthralling and unique, and whilst we know perfect Strangers won’t be for everyone, for those of you who love being taken outside their comfort zone and revel in being sideswiped by the element of surprise – dive in. There was one element that didn’t particularly work for us, but overall, this was one steamy, addictive, passionate, and very, very clever experience.