AWRW Book Review: The Girl on the Half Shell, (The Half Shell Series, Book I), by Susan Ward

“The Best Men are like the ocean: They lure you in quietly and drown you. And if you are really lucky you stay lost at sea.”

Pethegirlonthehalfshellople think Chrissie Parker has a picture-perfect life. She leads an opulent lifestyle in Santa Barbara, her father, Jack, is a beloved music icon from the sixties, and she possesses a wealth of musical talent that will certainly lead to a promising future. But behind the façade, everything is far from perfect.

When Chrissie journeys from Santa Barbara to New York City for an audition at Juilliard, romance is the last thing on her mind. She never anticipated encountering British Superstar Alan Manzone, a musician fresh out of Rehab, tormented by his own weakness and troubled past. Alan’s life is everything Chrissie’s is not; exciting, glitzy, and an all-out train wreck.

Chrissie is soon consumed by Alan’s shocking pursuit of her, his dark secrets, and his desires. Determined to save Alan from himself, is it possible Alan, this beautiful and brilliant musician, is really rescuing Chrissie from her artfully concealed secret addiction that even her best friend is unaware of?

Swept away in a passion she is unable to resist, Chrissie is forced to choose between her life in California and Alan’s love for her. Can two lost people find a love meant to last a life time in only three weeks?

Paperback, 388 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Susan Ward


“I jumped into the hole willingly. I wanted to, and I want him.”

 Chrissie Parker, daughter of an American icon, is seduced by British Superstar in crisis, Alan Manzone. Their relationship is rocky at the very best. Alan Manzone is broody, a (slightly) recovered drug addict, and his every move is tracked by the tabloids. Chrissie find herself swallowed up by his world.

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They are both addicts in their own way, and they both use each other to numb their pain. Nothing in their lives is certain, and the reader is left to wonder, who is really rescuing who?

I’m at a loss for words on how to describe this book. It is an edgy new adult, erotic, and at times romantic story. The Girl on the Half Shell will tear at your emotions, and leave you thinking, WTF. Their pain is raw, and the story might just move you to tears. Susan Ward crafted a story that is easy to get lost in. I know there were a few moments where I was tearing up, myself!

Chrissie is the anti-heroine. Where we expect, in a romance, the heroine to be, “I am woman hear me roar!”, Chrissie is not. She is weak, and addled with problems. This really is not a true romance, although I expected it to be.

*Spoiler Alert* Chrisse owes Neil the other half of that dollar! To those who read this and didn’t figure it out, that was NIRVANA who was playing on that stage at Peppers!!!! I was so excited when the Author referenced a three piece grunge band, with the lead singer named Kurt! My FAVORITE band growing up! 🙂 That got a big smile outta me!

Two things that bothered me about this book: 1.) Why on earth was a virgin taking birth control pills for two years, other than to irritate the pope as she said?! That was kinda random. She just conveniently happened to have the pill. C’mon! 2.) She went back and forth, calling her father “Daddy”, and “Jack”…. Somebody who regards their father by his first name, does NOT call the man “Daddy”. -But, Chrissie was a pretty confused girl! *End of Spoiler Alert.*

I think the cover is stunningly beautiful, and when you finish the book you will appreciate the cover in a whole new way. After reading, I looked at it again and I went, ahhhh…. Clever, clever!!

I never got that “ah ha!” moment as far as what the title meant. I wonder if it was in reference to Venus emerging from the sea, brought forth on a half shell, as a woman and not a child. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I am giving it 4/5 stars.

***I was given an E-Copy of The Girl on the Half Shell, by the Author, in exchange for a thoughtful, fair, and honest review.

About The Author:

Susan     Ward

“I’ve written 26 books in 25 years. I write contemporary romance novels about messed up rich girls with perfect looking lives & naughty little souls and the hot mercurial men they take captive…and on occasion messed up rich girls from exciting periods in US and British history, and the poor Lords and Pirates they hold under their spell.” —Goodreads Author Bio


twitter username: @susaninlaguna







5 thoughts on “AWRW Book Review: The Girl on the Half Shell, (The Half Shell Series, Book I), by Susan Ward

  1. Pingback: AWRW October Reading Roundup | A Well Read Woman

  2. I agree about the cover–it’s disarmingly striking. This sounds like an interesting merging of contemporary fiction (trouble, drugs, mistakes) and romance. I like the way you felt they used each other to numb the pain. TBR, I think.


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