Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba

Synopsis: When reality TV turns to murder, it's sink, swim or die. Ambitious personal trainer Cassidy Novak has gained national fame for starring on Sink or Swim, nicknamed SOS, a hit reality game show set aboard a Tall Ship. She hopes the prize money will help to launch her dream of owning a chain of fitness centers. Not only does she lose the competition and have to walk the plank in the finale, after the game show ends, the terror begins. Upon returning to her small Massachusetts hometown, Cassidy discovers she has attracted a stalker masterminding his own twisted game. She struggles to focus on her health club job and celebrity endorsement opportunities, but her stalker has other plans. As her former competitors get knocked off one-by-one, Cassidy refuses to play by his bizarre rules. She's also being shadowed by hunky photographer Zach Gallagher, who has been assigned to capture her personal moments for a spread in the local newspaper. She wants to trust Zach, but fears he may not be the nice guy that he seems. With or without Zach's help, when the stalker forces a showdown by threatening her family, Cassidy must once again walk the plank - this time for her life.

My Thoughts
I don't watch alot of reality television, just some sporadic shows.  However, I realize how they work and sometimes question what all the contestants have to go through to win.  I cannot imagine how it would feel to go through all that they require to up the ratings, and then lose.  Cassidy went into the contest hoping to win so she could realize her dream of owning fitness centers.  She loses by five points... five measly points.  Ouch! But with head held high, she walks the plank. 

Cassidy is a character you like almost immediately.  She's friendly, nice, intelligent and she has a backbone, you won't walk right over her.  I found myself rooting for Cassidy right from the beginning.  When she arrives back home, it was pleasing to see her still get some celebrity endorsements and newspaper time.  But someone is her biggest fan, and they aren't happy Cassidy lost.  They begin to stalk her - but who is it? Is it the photographer taking pictures of her? Is it another contest from the show she had a thing with? Or is it Reggie, the egotistical and obnoxious winner of the show?  Cassidy will have to figure it out quick or she may be sinking until of swimming next time. 

Stacy Juba pens an entertaining tale with just the right mix of suspense.  The pages flew by quickly as I found myself immersed in Cassidy's story.  The characters are vibrant and well developed set against a realistic reality show.  The stalker isn't easy to pinpoint either! Ms. Juba navigates us through twists and turns and surprises that will leave you with a highly satisfied conclusion.  A very gratifying read!

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