Valérie Lieko

Valérie Lieko

Hide and Seek PARIS-SXM, they talk about it: reviews

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Review by:      James Ereg Thalin   on Jan. 29, 2016 :                                    

Excellent writing, a little bit of everything: thriller, romantic love, lots of cool action scenes, sentimental attachments with friends and families that you can identify with, sympathetic characters. No politics or PC bias. You’ll get some French culture and medical lingo – one of the main characters is a Parisian doctor, Victoria. But she hides this from the handsome guy she meets on vacation in the islands. She also does a ‘makeover’ of her looks, accent, clothes, everything, and figures he’ll be just part of the vacation fun… That love interest, and second main character is Massimo, who has about half the book as narrator (they switch back and forth). And he fakes who he is, too, tells her he teaches people how to sail and gives tours on sailboats. His real job is policeman in the French drug enforcement, so he hides his real identity. So they end up in a game of hide and seek, and she ends in tons of trouble. Like a good story, both characters change and grow. The scenes are described in “full color” and you feel like you are in the Caribbean islands, or in Paris… Never been there, but I learned a lot about the place – not like a guidebook, but absorbing it through the settings described throughout the story. Surprising ending.


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Helpful Customer Reviews

      By          Nereid Galatea   on January 17, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Hide and Seek Paris-SXM is set in Paris and the Caribbean, especially the island of Saint Martin, aka SXM. Author Valérie Lieko’s narrative technique makes the story flow wonderfully, and keeps us in suspense right to the end. The two main characters, Dr. Victoria Gray and Massimo Baldini, narrate their stories separately, taking turns chapter by chapter, “speaking” first-person, present tense over the course of a year. They reveal to us their “befores,” then how they meet, then how their lives intersect throughout a series of dramas and finally their “afters.”
Victoria has a job, a home, friends, family, but…at thirty-something, she finds her life drab, inglorious, routine. Her story matches that of many people: we’ve worked hard to build a “successful” life, but we’re still unsatisfied. It’s not that she’s unhappy; she just isn’t happy. Difficult co-workers, friends who seem more like enemies, broken family ties… Above all, she’s never found real love.
Massimo, an undercover cop trying to recover from what he thought had been a true-love relationship, transfers to a post in the Caribbean, to St. Martin. His cover job is sailing instructor, and his life has become a round of exotic bars, one-night stands and his investigations, currently into the mysterious gains of local-boy Miguel and his new, very rich friends from South American. Massimo is getting tired of the playboy life, though, and at 35, starting to wonder how he’ll ever find “the right girl.” And he finally does, he thinks.
Meanwhile, Doctor Gray decides to step outside her limits, and take her next vacation in the Caribbean. She finds herself in dreamland – from Paris winter to Caribbean year-round summer, and thanks to a full-body makeover, she goes from dark-haired, hospital-pale urban professional to California-blonde sex-bomb, and transforms from sweet do-gooder to (supposed) bad girl, stepping into flashy bikinis and revealing clothes, adventures and dangerous situations she would have instantly rejected “before.”
Massimo sees only that new side, because when they meet, her transformation is complete, and she tells him her name is Vicky Golden. But to protect his cover, he also lies to her. Their lies spiral out of control when they end up falling in love.
When Vicky goes back home to Paris, she has to renew her persona of Victoria, now even more dissatisfying to her. She rebels against all the constraint she had lived under, fights with her family and friends, deals with the complications of her lies to Massimo – he thinks she’s a florist in Florida – and hold on to their relationship long-distance. He visits her in Paris, and a few months later, she returns to SXM with her three “best” friends, and gets into all kinds of trouble – drug-dealers and shootouts, plane crashes, illness, storms at sea, playing hide-and-seek with police and DEA agents, with ruthless killers and with each other.
Now, do they ever find a way to erase all the deception and start over? Well, I won’t spoil it for you. Victoria and Massimo learn many things about themselves and about the Caribbean and its Amerindians, Creoles, customs, places of interest – anyone who’s traveled there, or wants to, will appreciate the topical references and tropical settings.
Hide and Seek Paris-SXM spoke to me in a Nike kind of way: just do it, go for that new experience, that new look, leap into a conversation or a plane! Otherwise, how can life ever change and, hopefully, improve? But this novel is above all a fun read, a book you don’t want to put down, with exciting action and suspense, and emotions that ooze right out of the pages.

So thanks a lot for these reviews!!
Valérie Lieko
Indie Author

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