Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Where did you get the arc: Arc offered by the author
Release date: Out now
Reviewed by Has
A double life with a single purpose: revenge.
Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.
But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.
Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.
Just as he did to her.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
I heard so many, many good things about JANE DOE by Victoria Helen Stone AKA Victoria Dahl, so when I got invited to review the book, I jumped at the chance, and oh my days it was such a ride and a hoot to read!
The book starts off with Jane under a fake identity and on the quest to gain revenge to the man who was the cause of her best friend’s suicide. While Jane is closed off and doesn’t show any emotions other than to pretend and mimic reactions to disarm and manipulate those around her. I could not help but like her funny and acerbic commentary about the people around her. She is cold and calculating but she also does have a sort of moral code to those who really deserve it, and you can’t not help root for her. So when her best friend dies, Jane loses her touchstone, because it is Meg who allows her to experience feelings and empathy.
So when Jane decides to go on a path to destroy Steven and everything he holds close to his life like his father’s approval and respect is clueless that he is the target to her machinations and the path of his downfall. He is a self entitled, self centered and arrogant. It was funny to see him assume he was the dominant figure when he catches sight of Jane and thinking he is the assertive person in their dynamic. And Jane is like a spider in a web drawing Steven in her trap.
I also loved how the plot went in different directions, because at times you really think Jane is going to go kill Steven a few moments throughout the book, and I actually felt like he deserved it because he was such a horrible toxic, radioactive specimen of masculinity. With each encounter they have with each other and on their dates, Steven just dismisses her as a human being, and her desires. But the ultimate revenge that ends up as the climax of the book, is beyond perfect and it was delicious because it was not only a sharp and cutting commentary on toxic masculinity culture but it was also very funny and Jane’s sharp and caustic commentary about it, was a highlight of the book. She is a fantastic anti heroine and even though her moral compass is definitely skewed, it is a good thing that it is aimed at the right people that deserve it.
I am so glad that Victoria has announced a sequel, because this is a memorable and colourful character and I am curious to see what mayhem she will cause to some unsuspecting, but most deserved figure is next on her hit list.
I give JANE DOE a B+!