The Perfect Girlfriend

The Perfect Girlfriend

by Karen Hamilton

Paperback(Original)

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Overview

You’ve never read a love story as twisted as this.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She even becomes a flight attendant for his airline so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781525831737
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 18,019
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy and worked as a flight attendant for many years. Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. The Perfect Girlfriend is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Present Day

I apply fuchsia lipstick to complete my transformation. All the best ideas are so brilliantly obvious, once you've thought of them. My ref lection in the water-splashed mirror is of someone with thick make-up and dark-brown hair, but my own eyes. The polyester necktie scratches my skin and, although it feels alien to wear the uniform, the starchy trouser suit with eighties-style shoulder pads allows me to morph into an anonymous airline employee. My expression is neutral and professional; calm and controlled. A new year, a new me.

Amy, her ref lection beside mine, wrinkles her nose. "The stench of these toilets reminds me of school."

I wrinkle mine back. "The cheap loo roll and miserable sound of dripping water doesn't help."

We both pause for a second or two, listening.

She glances at her watch. "We'd better go, we don't want to make a bad impression."

I follow her out. Her auburn hair is woven into a bun so neat, it doesn't look real. Her perfume is floral and understated.

Mine is too strong, the sickly smell has been irritating my nostrils all morning. As we merge with the other eighteen trainees filing back into the classroom, Brian, one of our instructors, raises his hand, palm outwards.

"Ahem."

Silence falls. I wonder if anyone else feels like me, suffocating the desire to scream because — seriously — how hard can the work be? I intend to show up, take off, chuck out a tray of food, whip it back, job done. I expect passengers to be capable of entertaining themselves with the in-f light entertainment system once fed and watered. After landing, I imagine I'll have plenty of time to chill by a hotel pool or explore local markets.

I realize that Brian is still speaking. I force myself to listen.

"There's no need to sit down as we'll be heading into the mock-up area for an examination of the training equipment."

We traipse out and gather in the corridor, before being herded along by Brian's partner in crime, Dawn. We follow her downstairs and through the main reception area. Dawn jabs a code into a keypad and we enter a small room. The walls are lined with pegs, hanging off which are mounds of dirty-looking overalls.

"Listen, please, everyone. We'd like you to wear an overall over your uniform. Place your shoes on the racks at the bottom and put on the white feet-protectors."

I freeze. Everyone but me starts lifting overalls off the pegs and checking them for size. God, I can't do this. They are filthy. They look as though they haven't been washed since ... ever.

"Juliette? Is there a problem?" Brian's expression is of exaggerated concern.

"No. No problem." I smile.

He turns away. "Now, ladies, for those wearing skirts, make sure your legs are properly covered. Velcro on some of the equipment wreaks havoc with your tights."

Crap. I'm going to have to do it. I slide my arms in before doing up the buttons. I don't know why I bothered to get my suit dry-cleaned. I look ridiculous in the baggy jumpsuit, complete with elasticated material around my ankles. All that's missing is a face mask and I'd look like I'm about to investigate a crime scene. Even Amy looks less immaculate than usual. "This is going to be fun," I whisper under my breath to her.

She beams. "I can't wait to try out the practical drills. I've been dreaming of this since I was small."

"Really?"

Why would anyone dream of becoming a waitress, albeit a f lying one, from childhood? When I was young I had plans.

Big ones. Proper ones.

"Any time today, Juliette." Brian is holding open a door. He is really getting on my nerves and yet I still have another five weeks of his company to endure. I follow him into a giant warehouse containing sections of various aircraft; some at ground level, some on raised platforms with stair access. We catch up with the others walking alongside the building. The front door of a plane bursts open and several overall-clad people fly out and down the slide. A male, uniformed crew member operates the door, barking instructions above a shrill alarm. "Jump! Jump!"

We whisk past until Dawn and Brian stop beside a blown-up, silvery-grey mass, not unlike a kids' bouncy castle. "Now, before we board the slide-raft, I'm going to talk you through the survival equipment. A landing on water will, from now on, be referred to as a "ditching" ..."

Dawn's voice fades as I zone out. I know the statistics. They can call it what they like, but the chances of surviving a plane crash on water are not good.

* * *

At five on the dot, we are released through the secure gated area and back into the real world; the airport perimeter road. The roar of low-f lying aircraft and rush-hour traffic is briefly disorientating. I inhale cold, crisp air. My breath mists as I exhale. The group divides into those going to the car park and the rest of us, heading for Hatton Cross. I only half-listen to their excited chatter. The group splits again; those catching buses head off first and the rest of us, including Amy, enter the tube station. I walk alongside her as we make for the platform.

"Not on the westbound side today?" she says. "I thought the train to Reading leaves from Heathrow?"

I hesitate. "I'm going to visit a friend. In Richmond."

"You've got more energy than me. I'm so tired, I don't think I could face going out tonight. And I want to go through my notes."

"It's Friday night," I say.

"Yeah, but I want to recap whilst it's all fresh," says Amy.

"Fair enough; I'll know who to sit next to in the exams." I smile.

Amy laughs.

I pretend to join in, then stare out the window; the light inside reflects us into the outside darkness.

Amy gets off at Boston Manor. I wave and watch as she walks towards the exit steps, tall and proud in her uniform.

After changing at Hammersmith, I am the only uniformed person among the crowd of passengers. Alighting at Richmond, I cross the road, pulling my coat around me tightly. My bag cuts into my right shoulder. I aim for the familiarity of the alleyway, my heels clicking and echoing with each decisive step. I avoid a broken bottle and head for the outskirts of the Green. Stopping outside a set-back period mansion block, I lean against the railings and pull off my heels, exchanging them for ballet pumps. I pull up my coat hood and let it drop over my forehead before treading along the path. My key slides into the communal door. I enter, checking for sounds. Silence.

Taking the steps to the third and highest floor, I let myself into apartment 3B. Once inside, I stand still and inhale the welcoming scent of home.

I rely on the glow of the fish tank instead of switching on any lights. Sinking down into the sofa, I remove clothes from my bag. I undress, folding my uniform carefully, then change into black jeans and a jumper. Using my phone as a torch, I pad, barefoot, into the kitchen and open the fridge. It is almost empty, as usual, apart from beer, some chillies and a readymade macaroni cheese for one. I smile.

Heading back to the living room, I risk switching on a side lamp. From my bag, I remove a photo and place it on the mantelpiece. In a perfect world, it would be framed, but I like to keep it close so that I can look at it whenever I like. In the picture, I am grinning happily, alongside Nate, the man I am to marry. I fold my uniform over my left arm and make my way to the bedroom. Next, I place the trousers, blouse and jacket on the bed and bend down, burying my face into his pillow. I inhale deeply before lifting my head and shining light around the room. Nothing has changed since I was last here. Good.

As I roll back the mirrored sliding door to the wardrobe, a reflective f lash of my beam catches my eyes. I blink, whilst my sight readjusts. Nate's spare pilot's uniform, his jackets, shirts and trousers, all hang neatly, but not as neatly as I can hang them. I carefully space them out, each roughly three centimetres apart. I leave a gap as I hang my uniform next to his. The way it should be. I stand back to admire my work. Light catches the gold emblem on his hat. I slide the door closed.

My last stop is always the bathroom. I check the medicine cabinet. He's had a cold recently; the menthol inhaler and cough medicine are new.

Returning to the living room, I help myself to an apple from the fruit bowl. I press my forehead against the living-room window, crunching small bites whilst looking down below. I can't see anyone. Rush hour is over and, presumably, most people are at home, cosy and settled. Unlike me. I am on the outskirts of my life.

Waiting. That's what I do, a lot of waiting. And thinking ...

I know so many things about Nate: that he loves skiing and always smells fresh; the scent of citrus soap clings to his skin. I know that he wants to be promoted to captain before he reaches his mid-thirties.

I know his background inside out: the childhood holidays in Marbella, Nice, Verbier and Whistler; tennis, horse-riding and cricket lessons; the lack of approval from his father when Nate chose to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot instead of following in his footsteps as an investment banker.

His younger sister admires him, but she doesn't like me.

From social media photos, I can see that he could do with a haircut; his blond curls almost touch his collar.

But what I know, most of all, is that deep down he still has feelings for me. Nate just suffered a temporary fear of commitment. Although it was crushing at the time, I now understand things a little better. So, when the perfect time comes to disclose that I now work for the airline too — when he appreciates the lengths I've gone to, just to save us — everything will fall into place.

Until then, I have to be patient. It's difficult, though. Whenever I see a fresh image of him, I find it hard to eat for days afterwards.

My phone alarm reminds me that it's time to leave. I've had to train myself to do that, because the thing I've realized is that you get away with something once. Then twice. Then, before you know it, you are taking bigger risks. Time passes in a daze and gets cut too fine. I check to see whether Nate's flight from Chicago has landed. It has — five minutes early. I rush to my bag, and fumble. I wrap my apple core inside a tissue and pull out a packet of mini chocolate muffins. Nate's favourite. It's a habit I can't break — adding his preferences to my own food shopping. I open the freezer door, causing white light to illuminate the wall. I shove the packet towards the back, behind the meat that I know he will never defrost and the peas he never bothers with. I'd love to leave them somewhere more obvious, like by the coffee machine, but I can't, so this will have to do. When he finds them, hopefully he will take a moment to think of me. My shopping lists were always full of food he loved. I never forgot anything.

I retrace my steps to the bedroom and yank my uniform off the hangers which swing, then clatter, as they hit the back of the wardrobe. Returning to the living room, I take down the photo before reluctantly replacing it in my bag. I put on my ballet pumps and switch off the side lamp. The multicoloured fish stare at me as they complete their lengths. One, in particular, watches, mouth gaping. It is ugly. Nate named it Rainbow. I have always hated it.

I swallow hard. I don't want to go. This place is like quicksand, it sucks me in.

I pick up my bag and leave, closing the door quietly behind me, before returning to the station to catch the train to my shoebox, postage stamp, doll's house of a f lat in Reading. I can't call it home because being there is like hanging out in the departure lounge of life. Waiting, always waiting, until the gate to my proper life reopens.

CHAPTER 2

I lie in bed and stretch. Thank God it's the weekend. Although the airline is a twenty-four-hour operation, training is structured around a normal working week. Tonight, I plan to attend a children's charity fund-raising event, at a luxurious Bournemouth hotel. It's an auction, with a seafood buffet and unreserved seating, and I'm looking forward to it, despite the lack of a formal invitation. It doesn't matter, as I've discovered at similar events; as long as I look and dress the part and don't draw unnecessary attention to myself (of course), people rarely question my presence and, with fund-raisers, surely it stands to reason that the more attendees, the better. I get up, shower, change and press the button on the coffee machine. I love the sound and smell of beans grinding. If I close my eyes, for a second or two each day, I can pretend I'm at home. It's the little things that keep me going. Bitterness brushes my tongue as I sip my espresso. In between mouthfuls,

I glance at my tablet. I scroll. Bella, the organizer of tonight's event, always posts plenty of photos of past events. She is in most of them, grinning, not a highlighted hair out of place, and her jewellery, usually gold or sapphires, looks expensive, yet not ostentatious. Faultless, as always. Bella excels at raising money for good causes, making herself look like a real-life Good Samaritan without having to dirty her hands. Anyone can organize a party and swan around drinking champagne, however if you really, truly meant to do good, you'd drink cheap wine and volunteer for something unpopular. But Bella's main life skill is being fantastic at making herself shine. My phone vibrates. A text.

My flatmate decided to throw a party tonight. If you can't beat them ... Fancy it? I'll invite others off the course too. Amy x

I am torn. The more friends I make within the airline, the better things will be for me. And I do need friends. There is hardly anyone left from my old life — apart from those I keep in touch with on social media and a handful of drop-outs from my film extra days — thanks to putting my life on hold for Nate Goldsmith. Being near Bella is like picking at a scab. But ... the closer I am to her world, the more of her luck and fortune is bound to rub off. I stare at my phone, un decided, listening to the rain trickling down the gutters out-side the window.

A fortnight after Nate's bombshell, he'd stood over me whilst I packed my belongings.

"I've paid six months' rent on a super place in Reading. As a gift. I'll even drive you there and help you sort out everything you need in order to settle."

"Why Reading?"

"I lived there briefly during my training and it's a fantastic place for a new start. Full of life."

"Really?"

He wouldn't let it drop, which, given how tight he could be financially, was a hurtful indication of how keen he was to bin me. At least it had stopped him banging on about me moving back to my delusional mother's. The f lat was basic, clean and contained all the essentials to lead a bland, functional life. I had surveyed the living room, in which we both stood rigid, in awkward silence. I think he was waiting for me to thank him.

"Goodbye, Elizabeth."

Elizabeth, indeed, for fuck's sake! What had happened to Lily, babe, darling, sweetheart? He kissed me on the forehead and let himself out, shutting the door quietly behind him. Silence echoed. I gazed out the window, through a blur of raindrops, and watched as his tail lights disappeared, bubbling with fresh rage and humiliation. I loved him and yet I'd been unable to stop him making the biggest mistake of his life. He was mine. As I sat there — mentally deflating on the hard-backed sofa — it was then that my Plan of Action had been born. Elizabeth/Lily was disappearing into her cocoon and waiting to emerge as Juliette — my middle name — to complete a metamorphosis into a social butterfly.

Hmm. So now ... Amy? Bella? Bella? Amy? Eeny, meeny ... I reach down under the coffee table for my handbag, fumble around for my purse and take out a coin. I f lip it. Heads Bella, tails Amy. The coin wobbles on the table and settles on tails. Bella has lost out to someone else, on this occasion. I message Amy back: Love to come xxx.

She sends me her address. The only problem now is that it leaves me with an entire day to fill. I don't have to bother with my appearance as much, now that I am only going to a small house party. It's so grey, it's almost dark. I pace the tiny room. Outside, I can see car lights illuminate stabbing rain in their beams. I should learn to drive. Then, I could head over to Richmond right now. I could sit outside Nate's. He wouldn't even know I was there. It would be so comforting to be near him. I shower, pull on some jeans and a black jumper, grab my trainers and coat, then speed-walk to the station.

Rain, it turns out, is a serious godsend. Who'd have thought, after so many soggy summers, that I would find it such a luxury to hide beneath a hood loitering anonymously in shop doorways and alleyways. Mother Nature is on my side. During this miserable late January day, people are distracted, heads down, shoulders hunched, umbrellas up. Cartwheeling water sludges from car tyres. No one takes any notice of me.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Perfect Girlfriend"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Karen Hamilton.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Perfect Girlfriend 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OK - I apologize in advance to everyone who loved this book. O...M...GOSH. "The Perfect Wife" is terrible. The plot is terrible. The characters are forgettable. The writing is boring I tried and tried to get through the book but finally quit last night, picked it up again this afternoon. and knew I'd made the right decision. The basic plot is just so far fetched, it's laughable. Maybe there were twists past where I gave it up, almost 2/3 read. It doesn't matter to me. "The Perfect Wife" gets an award, it should be for the astounding number of times the word "whilst" is used.
RobinLovesReading More than 1 year ago
Hey. She is the perfect girlfriend and she will never let him go. Exactly. Juliette loves Nate. It is that simple, isn't it? Unfortunately, not so. But Juliette will go to any lengths necessary to make Nate realize how much he loves and needs her. For starters, Juliette becomes a flight attendant on Nate's airline, where he is a pilot, simply to be close to him. Now, it is only a matter of time for Nate to realize what a huge mistake he made breaking up with her six months ago. This may be a familiar trope of an attraction that could and very well become fatal. But I did love how Karen Hamilton developed this novel. Not only do we have Juliette and her extreme focus on winning Nate back, but we have a bevy of other characters that just know something is more than a bit off, yet somehow seem rather reluctant to stop what is going on. The Perfect Girlfriend was a quick read. I am ecstatic that it is a debut novel, because it clues the reader in as to what this new author's talents are. She developed a fast-paced, almost ridiculous read with characters that you couldn't like even if you tried. Kudos! I loved the fact that the book was written in first-person giving the reader opportunity to temporarily dwell in the mind of a loon. I will certainly be around for the next one. Many thanks to Graydon House Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
gisellsamaniego More than 1 year ago
If you ever wanted to know the beginnings of the bunny-boiler, this is it! This is a thrilling novel of obsession, relationships and self-awareness. The twists and turns are magnetic and the overall feel is that of equal parts dread and anticipation. This is a book that really makes you wonder, how far is too far and blurs the line forever. I could not put it down!
vphillips88 More than 1 year ago
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is another book about obsession, but one that I thought was executed very well. When I first started this book I thought it was a bit of a slow read, but after I put it down for awhile and came back to it I devoured the rest of it very quickly. The Perfect Girlfriend tells the story of a crazypants girl named Juliette and her obsession with a man named Nate. They dated for a bit and end up breaking up, but Juliette refuses to accept that as being the end of it. She is going to have him no matter what she has to do... I don't want to go into the plot too much because I think it is best to read it without knowing much. The blurb for this book is really perfect, and basically all you need to know. I've begun to notice that I am really temperamental when it comes to books that focus on one person's obsession with someone or something. Some I like and some I just can't stand. The Perfect Girlfriend made it more interesting for me, instead of being annoying even though Juliette is in fact pretty annoying. Final Thought: There definitely aren't any likable characters in this book, but I don't think there are meant to be. I would also say there isn't anything too surprising in here, but the writing was great and I couldn't tell this was a debut novel. If you love books about obsession I would definitely check The Perfect Girlfriend out. And I can't wait to see what Hamilton comes up with next! The Perfect Girlfriend in 3-ish words: Scandalous, Devious, & Clever
Micah33book More than 1 year ago
Juliette is the perfect girlfriend and she’ll stop at nothing to get what she wants. Psychotic and twisted, she has a clever plan to win Nate back. After a few months ‘giving Nate the space he needs’ she reinserts herself back into his life. He’s an airline pilot and she becomes a flight attendant with the same airline. The first half portrayed the training of a flight attendant where we see snippets of Juliette’s obsessive behavior. Her love for Nate is not reciprocated and her intrusion into his life and other family events were fanciful and somewhat hectic. But with a background of traumatic events ranging back to her school years, she is delusional and disturbed. Just enough to give us a taste of crazy. After reading the blurb, I was expecting a wilder ride. Instead, I was surprised to find this book to be a much slower burn; a tamer version of psychotic than ‘You’ by Caroline Kepnes. But it still makes for a compelling read. There were a few detracting features. One: the draft copy was hard to read due to unedited sections and formatting. Two: the ending was a little unsatisfying in the same way Gone Girl left a few lose ends. But overall, it was a well written, engaging book. Very many thanks to Netgally, Karen Hamilton and Harlequin for the Arc.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
I really, really wanted to like this book. The blurb hints at a dark, thrilling read, and the beginning has some promise. Unfortunately, that promise wasn't fulfilled, at least not for me. We have the unreliable narrator, and Juliette is certainly unstable, but it's way too easy to figure out the why of it all from the flashbacks we're given. We're practically spoon-fed this one, so any twists in the story really aren't surprising. I will say that the scenery of the many locations visited is good, and the details work for giving the reader a picture of so many far away places. What didn't work for me was the sheer amount of detail given about everything else. And I do mean everything. The more I read, the more tempted I was to just skip to end to see how it played out. That's a big no-no for me, but now, I really wish I had done exactly that. Then we have the whole stalking thing, and yes, Juliette is clearly troubled, but her plans and actions for most of the book are just pathetic and weak instead of the dark and dangerous woman I was hoping for. We do get a bit more grit toward the end, but by then, I was just over it and it was too little, too late. Finally, we come to the non-ending of this one. I can get behind a good jaw dropper, and I don't have to always have a justice is done, happy ending, but this one isn't that. It literally just stops - like I was wondering if there were missing pages - which turned my disappointment into a feeling of just being cheated. Maybe, I fell for the hype and expected too much from this book, or maybe it's just not for me, but I can't say that this is one I'll be recommending.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
This was a creepy thriller. The main character, Juliette, stalks her former boyfriend in this story. Some of the things she did, like bring her friends to his apartment while he was away, were so creepy. I can’t imagine doing the things she did. She had some help with technology and social media, but she also followed him around a lot too. I had a lot of questions right at the start of the story because it begins in the middle of things. It took a while for some things to be explained, such as relationships between characters, but this increased the suspense. However, I would have liked it if things were laid out a little more clearly earlier in the story. The story ended abruptly, and I was left wondering what happens next. I enjoyed this suspenseful thriller. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Karenag More than 1 year ago
YOU’VE NEVER READ A LOVE STORY AS TWISTED AS THIS. No truer descriptive words have ever been uttered that these in the description of this book. While I was not a fan of this book, it was very well written with good character development. Those that like psychological thrillers will like this story of a woman obsessed with the man that got away. The description of the lengths she will go to get him back are detailed and a little bit scary. Will I read this book again? No. Would I recommend it to someone what like this style of book? Absolutely! Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book for an honest opinion.
Persephonereads More than 1 year ago
I would like to thank Netgalley,Harlequin for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this fun thriller in exchange for an honest review. 4.75 Stars Juliette knows that she and Nate were truly meant to be. She also knows that she is the absolutely the most perfect girlfriend to ever exist. The only problem? Nate broke up with Juliette a while ago. Juliette is a go getter though. The way she sees it there is no reason for her to just give up on the most perfect relationship ever. Why should she let a little thing like a break up stand in the way of true love? So Juliette sets out to get Nate back. She goes as far as to train to become an airline attendant at the same airline that Nate is a pilot. Juliette is your worse nightmare, she is smart, sneaky and able to change persona at the drop of a hat. Let's just say that Juliette definitely would give Dan from "You" a run for his money. I would definitely have given this 5 stars if it had not taken so long to get things going. Once things do start though this is a fantastic thriller filled with some plot twists. Juliette is the type of character you know you shouldn't like but once again like Dan in "You" you just can't help but like her. She has been damaged and there is a deep backstory for her. I really enjoyed this and will totally reread this another time. Just be prepared that it will take a bit for the story to get off the ground. Once it does though, it is totally worth it!
HomeSweetHouser More than 1 year ago
Calling all Caroline Kepnes fans! All the Caroline Kepnes fans to the building, please. Because if you enjoyed You and Hidden Bodies, chances are you will enjoy The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. I struggle a little bit with rating this book. It falls somewhere between a 3 and a 4 for me. I very much enjoyed the first half of the book. Hamilton presented this idea of a flight attendant using her position in the airline industry to perform these manipulative tricks to her stalkerish-advantage. And it was fascinating to gain some perspective into the life a flight attendant in general. I was on board with the mystery and suspense. Juliette was definitely mentally unhinged and her character was written in a way that portrayed that perfectly. But right around halfway through, it started to unravel a bit for me. I found the story overall very far fetched and unbelievable. I mean, it's a thriller. And most thrillers require you as a reader to suspend reality to some extent. But this was a bit beyond what I would typically think of as a reasonable level of plausability. Do we think this stalker girl can get away with breaking into houses without being caught? Do we think she can continue to plan these "coincidences" and chance meetings with her stalkerish prey? All I'm saying is you need to go into this book with the understanding that you're reading for pure entertainment because the translation to real life is a bit tough. I also struggled a bit with the subplot about the main character's brother drowning (not a spoiler... this is the prologue). I wasn't entirely sure how it related to the overall story, particularly because it was the prologue. I was waiting for it to somehow play into a twist somewhere by the end, and it just never happened. While it was mentioned again at various parts in the story, it could have probably been left completely out of the book and wouldn't have changed the outcome of the story. I mean, all of that being said, it was entertaining and did keep me reading to find out what would happen next. There wasn't a point where I wanted to put the book down and be done with it. I was a tad disappointed with the ending. It felt very rush and unresolved in my opinion, but perhaps the author was trying to leave us with a little bit of mystery to ponder on our own. Overall, it was just an okay read for me. It did not blow me away, but if you're looking for something similar to the You series by Caroline Kepnes, this would be a book to check out. -I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Karen Hamilton, and Graydon House Books for the opportunity to review.-
whatthebook More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced reader copy of The Perfect Girlfriend from Harlequin, Graydon House Books via NetGalley, in return for my honest opinion. The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is a story about the lengths one will go to for love. Nate and Lily recently broke up. He moved her into her own place to help get her started on her own. But Lily’s got a plan to become Nate’s perfect girlfriend – a new job, new friends, a little stalking and even a new name to go with her new persona. Now that Lily is Juliette, she will stop at nothing to have Nate back in her life. Every time she gets knocked down, she modifies her plan until Nate is finally hers with no way out. This was a fast read, perfect for getting lost in. The narrator was definitely a bit off her rocker, you never knew what crazy idea she was going to come up with next.
3900980 More than 1 year ago
The Perfect Girlfriend is the incredible twisted story of a woman named Juliette who has fallen deeply in love with a pilot named Nate. Their relationship as far as Juliette is concerned is perfect. Until Nate decides it's not and breaks up with her. But Juliette's love is unwavering. She will do anything to get him to come back to her. She just knows he still loves her. She will be the perfect girlfriend. So scheme after scheme she begins to get closer to her perfect dream. No one will get in her way. This is the best thriller I have read in a very long time! Karen Hamilton, in her very first novel has created a love/hate story so perfect that I actually began rooting for Juliette! or is that just MY twisted mind! I don't know. I marvel at the intricacies of Juliette's plans and how Hamilton was able to fit it all together and make the story work up until the last word. The story is narrated by Juliette so we are able to read her thoughts and feel her emotions, yet even to us the readers, Juliette never totally gives away all her cards. It is amazing to see just how far she is willing to go to get her happy ending. I cannot tell you how involved I became in her and Nate's relationship! I highly recommend this book.
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
This book is suspense perfection. I literally devoured this in one sitting, and it honest to goodness kept me up until 2 in the morning because I HAD TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. Karen Hamilton writes the most GLORIOUS love-to-hate character with Juliette. Clearly Juliette is entirely nuts, and doing really psychotic and despicable things - AND YET - I found myself time after time hoping she would get away with things, not get caught and get her way. When you can write a character as insane and unlikable as Juliette and STILL get the reader to root for her, you are a writing magician in my books. Everything about this book was enjoyable for me - it was so quick paced and easy to read that I had no qualms with staying up well into the night; the way Karen reveals a little bit of Juliette's backstory at a time so you can start connecting the dots, but still have no idea how things will turn out; the inside look at how life as a flight attendant works. All of it comes together to become this fascinating plot that flies along so quickly you realize you're almost done before you are ready for it to end. I won't reveal even a hint of a spoiler, but I will say that I SINCERELY hope this one gets made into a movie because it would be FANTASTIC. I can't wait to see what Karen comes up with next! I 100% must read for any suspense/thriller lover out there. This one does not disappoint!
Ratbruce More than 1 year ago
Fully developed characters in this very disturbing, first person Fatal Attraction like novel. I really liked the twists at the end where everything more or less comes together. I wish there had been at least one likable character but that's more personal preference than a critique of the book.
Angela Houston More than 1 year ago
Lately, I have been on the hunt for new authors, whether they be debuting or just new to me. When I saw The Perfect Girlfriend on NetGalley by Karen Hamilton, the synopsis had me by "You've never read a love story as twisted as this." Thank you to Graydon House for giving me the opportunity to review this chilling novel in exchange for my honest review. No, seriously, thank you. This was the page turner I have been searching for this year. Juliette is in the relationship of her dreams. Nate is her soulmate, the only man she can ever imagine loving. She is the perfect girlfriend, feeding his fish and looking after his apartment when he's traveling as an airline pilot. She's so dedicated to him and to their relationship, she's even willing to give him the space he's requested. Loving long-distance is no issue when it's true love. Right? Their first anniversary is coming up, and Juliette is determined to get their relationship back on track. Distance is great and all, but why should they waste any time apart when they could be together? And they will be together. Juliette will make sure of it. Because when you think of the perfect girlfriend, you think of a girl dedicated enough to join her man's airline as a flight attendant and keep an eye on him from afar. Oh yes! Karen Hamilton manages this first-person narration of Juliette in a creepy firsthand account of just how far this woman is willing to go to see love win over all. When it's meant to be, there's no possibility of anything—or anyone—getting in the way. From her harrowing backstory to her step-for-step plan to live out the rest of her days with Nate, this novel will keep you up late into the night asking yourself, "Did she really just do that?" I read a portion of this in the car while my husband drove, and I must have turned to him and said "This lady is crazy!" at least six times, despite his having no idea what I was talking about. I loved the jet-setting scenery of this book, with Juliette traveling all over the world, London at the center of it all. I like that Hamilton makes some relevant distinctions about the life of a flight attendant. While her focus is admittedly more on those in a single lifestyle, there were aspects that certainly rang true, even from my secondhand experience of the life (my husband is an executive flight attendant). Reading from Juliette's point of view gives the reader both insight into her state of mind and of her past, as well as a deep sense of foreboding as you contemplate what she might do next. Her thought processes about others are interesting, as she considers almost everyone around her pedantic. She only has nice things to say about people who are “useful” to her, like her friend Amy, and even that is a friendship of convenience. She's driven, focused, organized, and masterful at getting what she wants, and she'll do anything to see her dreams met. "Every moment that we are apart is a waste of time, because the outcome is obvious—we will be together." You know who else should be together? YOU AND THIS BOOK! If you are looking for a psychologically suspenseful narrative, this one is for you! As far as warnings go, there's nothing crass or exploitive, and only mild explicit language. This is a book I'm comfortable recommending to any of my adult friends, and, believe me, with a 5 out of 5 rating, I will be. I appreciate a well-thought-out plot and character-driven narrative, and Karen Hamilton delivers.
Mizula More than 1 year ago
It's not a book it's an OBSESSION -- Karen Hamilton's 'The Perfect Girlfriend' is THE psychological suspense title of 2019. Could not put it down. Addictive fiction.
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
What a WIN for Hamilton’s first novel!! I was blown away by the sheer creepiness of Juliette; while also almost wanting to cheer her on. It was the oddest feeling, but Hamilton delivered a story where you truly wanted Juliette to “somehow” get a piece of happiness in the end. That was part of the awe of this book to me….to feel for such a dreadful character was astounding to me. This is such a remarkably written story; not to be missed!!! Juliette is still in love with her ex-boyfriend Nate, or rather addicted to him…. Once they break up, she does all she can to become perfect in his eyes. She becomes a flight attendant at the same airline Nate is a pilot! She changes her hair color, stalks his house while he is and is not there, lays in his bed, brushes her teeth with his toothbrush, watches him drink coffee at the corner shop from his apartment….and, all of this is nothing!! She gets unleashed!! But, she has had a tragic backstory that you cannot help but develop feelings for. Her brother died when she was only 10. He was 4. Her childhood best friend moved away after the incident. Her school years were rough too. I wonder how her life would be if certain events were different. This part of the story makes you feel a bond of hope for her, which I found rather intense, because it felt so wrong. Falling in love for Juliette changes everything. Read this book! You will devour it!! I will read every book Karen Hamilton writes going forward.
TheBibliovert More than 1 year ago
Highly Recommended! This has been my favorite read this year! Juliette appears to be a sweet, intelligent and a “normal” young lady, but she is delusional and obsessive! Even though Nate has broken off the relationship with her, she just knows that their love for each other was meant to be and she has a plan to get him back. He is everything she could ever want and she is the only one that could ever make him happy. Her infatuation with Nate is over the top, crazy and the level of deception is beyond imaginable. This book will leave you with a feeling of uneasiness. Juliette is driven with a plan that she will see through to the very end. This book was amazing and can be counted among my favorites. Highly Recommended!
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
The Perfect Girlfriend is about a young woman named Juliette who is in the process of turning her life around; she has the perfect boyfriend, the perfect house and all round perfect future laid out. The only problem is that it’s all in her head. The house she dreams of is not hers and the boyfriend she is pining for is an ex who has no idea of her plans but to Juliette this is only a minor setback. This story follows her on her journey as she tries to claw back the life she once thought she had and which in her mind she rightfully deserves. The book is written from the eyes of Juliette and her interpretation of events. Usually with stories such as these we see it from the victims view and can’t fathom what another must be thinking to act the way they do. In this case we get an insight into how someone with a dangerous obsession makes an outrageous act seem perfectly logical. More than once whilst reading I had to stop and think that, actually, her behaviour is not normal. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and could not put it down. Unfortunately, I was not left as satisfied with the ending as I would have liked but I think only a small majority of people will agree with me on this.
Amanda_Dickens More than 1 year ago
This book gave me the creeps. If you like You by Caroline Kepnes then you will like this book. It is pretty amazing when a written can make you emotionally attached to a character with that kind of personality. \\ However, I did feel that it went into too much detail toward the beginning and middle of the book. It really slowed the pacing down for me and was a distraction to the storyline.
Shelley-S-Reviewer More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars I really enjoyed The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. You feel for Juliette and Nate. You can tell from the start something just isn't right with the relationship that Juliette and Nate have. But it isn't until towards the end that it all starts making sense. Juliette and Nate were hard characters to like. However, this book was a very easy read to get lost in. I devoured this book and was addicted to the drama. Juliette was a cruel and relentless woman, full of secrets and deceit. You never knew what she would do next and it added a great amount of suspense and thrill to the book. You will feel such strong empathy for the characters that deserve it as well as disdain for the characters where it is warranted. I savored this fast-paced thriller with a splash of evil romance. Ms. Hamilton's writing was excellent and I think she did a great job of keeping up a quick enough pace that I couldn't help but keep reading. I really loved learning about airlines and what pilots and flight attendants do. This is a good book for anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller and I will definitely be looking for more of Karen Hamilton's work.
MeganLeprich More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much to Harlequin Graydon Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Holy psycho woman. This book instantly hooked me and didn't let go until the last page. The craziness, the plot, the writing style and characters, everything was meshed perfectly together into this great book. When Juliette's (formerly Elizabeth or Lily) boyfriend that she's wildly in love with and obsessed with breaks it off and tells her she has to move out she doesn't take it nicely. Her now ex, Nate, is a pilot so she decides to become a flight attendant as a start to a way to get him back. Trying to show him how much she's changed and grown up she starts immersing herself back into his life, including visiting his house when she knows he's away on flights. Determined to make Nate hers once again she does everything within her power to ensure he will never leave her again. Even if she has to permanently remove some people along the way. I was immediately drawn into this story from the first paragraph. I feel like Juliette suffering such a great loss as a child played a huge factor in how she perceives relationships and how she can't let go of someone. Her character honestly blew me away with how crazy she was and the lengths she was willing to go to get her love back. More than once I felt really bad for her but I also felt bad for the people that had to deal with her crazy antics. I felt like this book ended with a cliffhanger and now I'm dying to know what happened next. What happened after Nate walked into his house and found that Juliette was there again? I sincerely hope the author has plans for a sequel to this because I'm so curious to know what happens between the two of them and if Juliette gets caught for what she did.
Jolie More than 1 year ago
When I started reading The Perfect Girlfriend, I wasn’t expecting the main character to be crazy. I mean it, she was mad. I loved it!! This is the first book I have read that is told from the protagonist’s side. Again, loved it!! Juliette was the perfect antihero. I will admit, I did feel bad for her. Juliette didn’t have the best life growing up. She was responsible for her 4-year-old brother at ten years old. When he fell into the pond and drowned, she was blamed. She became an outcast at school, with kids teasing her or ignoring her. Boarding school was no better. Bella and her friends bullied Juliette. Then, she was used by a mystery boy at the one party she went too. All those incidents helped shape her into a stalker. I thought to myself, at different points in the book, what if she got help when she was younger. What if she didn’t go to boarding school. Would she have turned out differently? Nate bothered me. I couldn’t see what Juliette saw in Nate. There was zero personality. I didn’t see the appeal. He didn’t even treat her nice when they were dating. At the risk of repeating myself, what on earth did she see in him? Of course, it was revealed at the end of the book exactly what the appeal was. Same goes with Bella. I didn’t understand why Juliette was stalking both Nate and Bella. Then it was mentioned that they were brother and sister. I then had a “Gotcha moment.” I still didn’t get the whole obsession with Bella until the end of the book. Then I was like “OOOOOO, makes sense now.“ I loved watching Juliette’s stalking escalate. She started small, breaking into Nate’s apartment/logging into his Facebook/getting a job where he worked. She went bigger, putting a spyware app on his phone and computer/showing up at events where Bella would be/bringing friends over to Nate’s apartment. When she went huge, she went huge. I’m not going to say what, but I was amazed that she was able to pull off what she did. I was not thrilled with the end of the book. The book was excellent up to the last few chapters. Then it seemed like everything was rushed. I wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did. Saying that I was underwhelmed was an understatement. It was the ending that lowered my review from 4 stars to 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At one time, Elizabeth had been living with Nate, an airline pilot. She was in love with him and thought he felt the same way. But one day, he broke up with her saying he needed his space. Now, she is living in a small flat. She can’t stop thinking about him. Elizabeth is in training to be a flight attendant. She is using her middle name, Juliette. She just wants to be closer to Nate by working in the same industry. She still has a key to his flat from the time they lived together. She follows him on Facebook and knows when he is on a flight. Then, the simply sneaks into his flat just to feel close to him for a short while. When she was young, her father left her mother and did not keep in touch. She had a younger brother, Will, and she was tasked with babysitting him when her mother was at work. But one day, she fell asleep and Will accidentally drowned in a pond. She carries the guilt of that with her. After the loss of her brother, her mother sent her to a boarding school where she met fairly wealthy girls. One such girl is Bella, who happens to be Nate’s sister. She kindly took Elizabeth under her wing, but then one day she just pushed her aside for another friend. Elizabeth was hurt by her wishy-washy friendship. Elizabeth, now Juliette, is enjoying her flight attendant career and seeing new places. She is always aware of where Nate is and doesn’t want him to think she is stalking him. Oh, but she is confident she will win him back and do whatever it takes to get that. But, how far will she go to achieve her desire? Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
onemused More than 1 year ago
Five star rating is solely based on the inability I had to put this book down. It has been a while since a book kept me from going to bed at night! "The Perfect Girlfriend" follows Elizabeth Juliette who formerly went by Lily but has now reinvented herself to go by Juliette. Juliette was dumped by her live-in boyfriend of a few months, and she is determined to get him back. Nate is a pilot, and Juliette has trained to be a flight attendant and is now embarking around the world. At the beginning of the book, she knows it is too soon to approach Nate, but she does have plans to get him back eventually. We witness these plans in slow and creepy details through Juliette's first person point-of-view. There is clearly something else going on with Juliette though it remains undiagnosed. She sees friends only for their usefulness and has malicious and intense plans for specific people that she seems to be able to expertly put into place. Through these and past flashbacks, I would give warnings for sexual assault, drugging, child negligence, stalking, and kidnapping (of an adult). My only complaint was the ending. Things escalate and escalate and then BAM, the book ends. I am left with so many questions, and I am not at all sure why that was the ending- I felt like a chapter or two was missing. This book was deliciously creepy, and I found it impossible to put down, reading way too late into the night- for that reason, I am leaving my rating with 5 stars. If you enjoy psychological thrillers and don't mind open endings, I highly recommend this book for you- you will not regret picking this up! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher. All opinions are my own.