Review: Dirty Little Lies

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dirty Little LiesDirty Little Lies by Lora Leigh
Series: Men of Summer #3
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 30, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 320
Goodreads

“Once she put two and two together, the realizations of the scope of the betrayals from those she loved would destroy her.  And it would destroy any bonds she had with those who’d lied to her.  Zach included.”

FINAL DECISION:  Lacking emotional intensity between the characters, this book is more about secrets and deceptions. There are many twists and turns but I didn’t like the romance as much as the prior book in the series.

THE STORY: Zach Richards has been avoiding getting involved with Grace Maddox because he knows that the sweet innocent Grace would not be able to deal with his secret life.  When Grace is hurt because people believe she has information from her traitor mom, Zach has to come and protect her.  Thus, Grace and Zach learn that neither is the innocent that they thought the other was.  In order to protect Grace, Zach insists that the two act as lovers. Then the long simmering fire burst into a hot conflagration.

OPINION:  There are a lot of lies in DIRTY LITTLE LIES.  For me, the book was slow going for the first third and then got much better.  The first third had way too much exposition and explanation. The pace picked up when the serious action started.

This book had a lot of twists and turns, I only wish that I cared more about the characters here.  There was so much action, intrigue and drama that I often lost track of what should have been the emotional center of the book.

I liked the story, but I missed the drama and emotional of the second book of the series which I liked much better.

On thing I really enjoyed about this book is that Grace is a strong willed woman of her own.  While she pretends to be innocent, she is perfectly able to take care of herself.  After all the lies and deception she has been forced to endure, I am surprised that Grace is able to trust anyone again.  I liked how she gives Zach grief and doesn’t allow him to run over her with his alpha ways.

WORTH MENTIONING:  For readers of the series much of the continuing story is revealed and resolved here.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DIRTY LITTLE LIES is the third book in the Men of Summer series.  I think without reading the other books in the series, a reader might be lost in places because there are a lot of characters and situations continuing from the prior books.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

Review: Wicked Lies

Review: Wicked LiesWicked Lies (Men of Summer, #2) by Lora Leigh
Series: Men of Summer #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Goodreads
four-stars

“They knew she was here now. They knew, and they wouldn’t stop until they killed her, just as they had killed her mother and her uncle. And she still hadn’t figured out who it was or why they wanted her dead.”

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed this book and it is good for readers who want a very hot read. I especially liked the relationship between Jazz and Kenni. Kenni is strong and able to take care of herself. Despite her troubles, she is a survivor and no shrinking violet. The book was emotional because Jazz had loved Kenni for so long and had been grieving for her.

THE STORY: Jazz Lacing had loved Kenni Maddox even when she was too young for him. Then she was gone, killed in a fire with her mother. In the decade since, Jazz has grieved the spunky, determined young woman. He had begun to think about the new Kindergarten teacher, Annie Mayes, however. Jazz knows that something is off about Annie and he is determined to uncover her secrets. What he finds out, however, is that Annie is really Kenni in disguise. She has been on the run for ten years trying to hide from those who are determined to kill her. Jazz knows that he won’t let Kenni go again and he will make her stop running and start trusting.

OPINION: I liked this book much better than the first in the series. The relationship between Jazz and Kenni is very sexy and very emotional. Jazz is an extremely strong and confident man but it is clear from the beginning that he is completely committed to Kenni. Their story when she was sixteen is incredibly sweet, but that sweetness becomes hot and sexy and adult very quickly when the secret of Kenni’s identity comes out.

Kenni’s character is especially strong. She is frightened and uncertain, but she is not helpless. She knows how to take care of herself and she is a perfect match for Jazz. She refuses to succumb to his demands. She insists that she deserves the right to make her own decisions and not to wait to be saved. I liked her spunky personality as it came out as she reclaims her own identity.

There is an interesting plot regarding who is out to kill Kenni. I figured out the culprit early on but that was okay. What I didn’t like was that the resolution was really rushed. I never got an identity from the villain and that made it hard to be satisfied in the ending. I also kept wondering in the beginning what is the Kin? It doesn’t get defined until well in the story and it kept interrupting the flow of the story when the reference appeared.

WORTH MENTIONING: I can guess who the next couple is and I can’t wait.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED LIES is the second book in The Men of Summer series. It has overlapping characters but this book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

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four-stars

Review: Loving Lies

Review: Loving LiesLoving Lies (Men of Summer, #1) by Lora Leigh
Series: Men of Summer #1
on February 14th 2006
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 259
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Just Felt Disjointed to Me

FINAL DECISION: This book was a disappointment because of the unrealistic reason for the hero deserting the heroine and then his continuing to keep secrets after his return. On the plus side, the story is hot, the characters are well drawn and at times there is deep compelling emotion.

THE STORY: Jessie Benton has loved Slade Colter forever. He had been putting her off until she grows up. Finally, when Jessie is twenty-one, they have a weekend exploring and satisfying their sexual fantasies. At the end of the weekend, however, Slade walks away and marries another woman. Five years later, Slate returns intending to reclaim Jessie.

OPINION: I was disappointed in this book. I really liked the characters and the story was at times very sad and painful in its powerful emotions. The best part of the book was the heartbreaking scenes when Slade and Jessie had to be parted. If the entire book had been that powerful, this would have been a great book.

Unfortunately, the story turns on a stupid plot device. The reason that Slade left Jessie is never strong enough to justify the pain he put her through. Then he returns and instead of groveling and explaining himself, he is arrogant and continues to keep secrets. Jessie should have slapped the guy and found someone else. Most of the time I can suspend disbelief even with outrageous storylines, but this one just didn’t feel well done to me.

The story is also really hot and the focus is definitely on the sexual relationship with the exception of the parting and the end of the book where I really felt that these characters loved one another.

WORTH MENTIONING: The ending of the book hints at the romance in the second book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: LOVING LIES is the first book in The Men of Summer series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2.5 stars.

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two-half-stars