Monday, October 13, 2014

Forfeit by: Caroline Batten

Getting divorced at twenty-five sucks

Teaching over-confident rich kids instead of designing handbags for Mulberry sucks. In fact, every single aspect of Daisy Fitzgerald’s life is one big…


Enter Xander, a veritable Knight-in-Shining-Cricket-Pads, who knocks her off her wedge heels and into his world of It-girls, players and Michelin stars.

Buoyed up on cocktails & escapism
Daisy agrees to play Forfeit, the ultimate game of dares, where a simple kiss sparks her relationship with Xander. But £25,000 is up for grabs and the game's called Forfeit for good reason.

                                               Blackmail • Betrayal • Revenge

                                        Move over Gatsby, there's a new bunch of bored young things in town.

When I was asked to read Forfeit written by Caroline Batten, I was expecting some of the same ole usual. You know, that usual when boy sees girl, girl sees boy, and a lovely game of flirting and kink-foolery commence. And let’s not forget the horrible break in the story that leaves you waiting months for book 2 so you can pick up where the star-crossed lovers dropped off. Yeah that’s what I was expecting, but that was so not what I got as I continued to swipe right on my reader.

Forfeit, which could be known as Y.O.L.O., was a story about Daisy a twenty-five year old divorcee and Xander and twenty-two year old lover boy, whose paths conveniently cross in a quaint village town and they literally act a plum fool every time they are together. There was never a dull moment once these two collided into each other. Rather day or night or during times of random bantering between the two of them, they kept the storyline going along with an awesome cast of supporting characters that were just as outrageous as KSCP and DAF.

I must say I have never read such plum foolery before from the drinking to the drugs to the random randomness that unfolded as I continued to read. But just as I thought the story couldn’t get any more interesting, enters a game of dares called Forfeit, which was as risky as a turn at Jumanji and required the strategy as a game of Jenga. Any given turn at the game of Forfeit had potential life-long consequences that were higher than the ridiculous buy-in to play a turn. But then just as you have been reading for what seemed like eons, the plot thickens yet again and once you mix drugs, sex, alcohol, bored rich kids and social media, you get a nasty cocktail with a lemon on the side.

I digress. This was not a bad read and the only not so fantabulous thing I can say about this novel was not only was it longer than what I am accustomed to reading. I am use to reading series or serial novels and enjoy the anticipation and build-up for the continuation of the story even though it sometimes takes months and months to finish reading a story.

Overall, I can say that I enjoyed reading Forfeit. I think that this inaugural novel by Mrs. Caroline Batten was well written with characters that made you love them and hate them and love them all over again. There was an interesting storyline here and believe that somewhere there is a Daisy and a Xander living it up and engaging in the most random of random things and could very possibly be DAF as I type.

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Caroline lives in the Lake District with her husband, small child and two Kune Kune pigs.

She daydreams of one day owning a pair of Louboutin’s and having somewhere fabulous to wear them. Until then, she’ll be found plodding up a mountain in her trusty hiking boots.

#forfeit is Caroline’s debut novel. Her second novel, Distraction, is due for publication in February 2015.

With Forfeit being your inaugural novel, when did you know that
you wanted to become an author?

I was nine. I’d read a Sweet Valley High book and whilst I loved it, I thought, Hey, I can do better than that! Of course, I couldn’t at the time, but I never stopped trying.

What was your inspiration for Forfeit?

Would you believe the Antiques Roadshow? Seriously. One undoubtedly rainy Sunday, it was on TV and someone brought along this antique ivory ball with carved numbers on. It looked like this:


The expert explained that it was a Forfeit ball. The Victorians would make a list of dares, roll the ball and do the forfeit. I began thinking, what’s the worst thing someone would do in the name of a dare. And pop! That was it, book racing through my head. 

Is there any truth behind the characters of Forfeit?

If only, Xander were alive. *sigh* Actually, that’s unfair. Although I first wrote Xander years ago (see below), he shares more than a few personality traits with my DH. And Daisy... well, she bears more than a passing resemblance to me in terms of bad habits. I’ve never based any character on a particular person, but I think to draw realistic characters, you have to borrow bits from real life. Does that sound utterly contradictory?

How long did it take for you to complete Forfeit?

Um... depends how you look at it. It was fifteen years from watching that Antiques Roadshow episode to finishing, but there was a twelve year gap in between. I think really, I started typing in September and stopped in December, 210,000 words later. Then I spent a further three years learning to write, rewriting and editing.

Will there be more from the KSCP and DAF?

There’s no sequel in the pipeline, but I totally adore how Jilly Cooper has characters from previous books pop in to say hello – expect the same from me.

What's next for you?
Nearly Almost Somebody – my second novel. It’s set in Gosthwaite, the same village as #Forfeit, but it is a standalone story. It’s about Libby, an ex-ballerina, who moves to Gosthwaite, into the cottage next door to Patrick, the local vet. Remember him? He was the sexy, bad boy trying to hit on Daisy at Clara and Scott’s wedding. I’m not sure you should say this about your own books, but I adore Nearly Almost Somebody. It starts with a murder, is riddled with Wiccan spells and has the best villain. 

What is your 6-word memoir that describes why readers should take notice of you?

Wannabe Quentin Tarantino of Chick Lit

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I unashamedly judge books by covers.


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