I've read all but one book that S.L. Jennings has written (it's on my list, believe me) and I continue to be blown away by this author's versatility. She's written heartbreaking and emotional (Fear Of Series), sexy and dirty (Sexual Education Series) and even paranormal romance (Dark Light Series) and all of them she has written extremely well. Ink & Lies is completely different than any of those and it is my favorite of her books to date. The hero, August, is funny, self-deprecating and a bit of a man-whore, but Jesus he's got a heart of gold underneath all of that armor.
The tone of the story was so different and I think that is largely in part to it being told from the male's point of view. I love books written this way and Ms. Jennings absolutely nailed. While I was certainly frustrated with August and Fiona and their inability to just get out of their own damn ways when it came to their relationship, it just made the inevitable that much sweeter. Though I admit I had some serious doubts about the out come here.
I was sucked into this book the second I read the blurb a few weeks ago. Just from those few sentences I knew it was going to be something different and special. And I was right.
|You know those stories where the bachelor is some neat freak weirdo, and everything must be pristine, including his women? He also works 80 hours a week and has time to cook gourmet meals, work out daily and wash his dirty gym shorts. Yeah. That’s not me.|
|She was the beauty in his world of heartbreak.|
|“This…this is me. Giving you my words. Offering you a piece of my soul and hoping you can read my heart between the lines.”|
|One weekend, Fiona decided she wanted to torture me with Twilight. Not just the first movie, chock full of teenage angst and bad acting. Not the second one where Bella gets all emo when Edward bails for no apparent reason, or the third where the cast of Teen Wolf shows up. She wouldn’t even let me skip past to the last set of movies when Bella turns into Gollum and gives birth to Hannibal Lector. She made me watch all of them. Every last fucking movie in chronological order.|
**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“Yeah, but…” Her eyes grow wide and glossy as she tries to sift through all the reasons why that theory shouldn’t apply to her. In the end, she relies on her heart. “You said I wasn’t like those other women…that those other women weren’t me.”|
I should tell her she’s right. I should put her out of her misery and reassure her that the last ten years were as real and meaningful to me as they were for her. That even though I may sling gift-wrapped bullshit for the general public, only she knows the true, honest parts of my heart. But with my tongue possessed by the taste of her rejection, I play the petty card, and do just the opposite.
“I guess I was wrong, especially considering yesterday’s events. Maybe you’re no different from them. And maybe you were right about me…that I do sabotage with sex to keep people at arm’s length. Because in the end, that’s all I want anyway, right?”
“You don’t mean that.”
I nod. “Yeah. I do.”
“So what are you saying?” The hurt is so thick in her throat that I can barely hear the words.
I suck in a breath, and scrub a hand over my forehead. “You were right about me. About us. We shouldn’t have done…what we did. And we can’t move on and pretend that it didn’t change us. What’s done is done.”
“I agree,” she nods, with a tinge of hope in her voice.
“So, maybe we should just see this for what it is—the end. You’re starting your life with Joshua and moving away, and I’m going on with mine.”
“Wait, August. No, that’s not—”
“You didn’t actually think we’d be able to keep this up, did you? What, you thought we’d turn out to be the modern day Cathy and Heathcliff? I’m not some swoony, literary hero, Fi. I’m not here to rescue you from your shitty love life that stems from your shitty childhood.”
“I never said you were—”
I’m rambling, spewing verbal diarrhea all over her blue cashmere, but I can’t stop. I can’t shut off the bile that has been choking me since this morning when she disclosed her impending nuptials. “You have Joshua. He’s the one you chose. He’s the one you want. You made that perfectly clear. So what the fuck do you need with me?”
“I thought we were friends, August. I thought you and me were—”
“Well, I guess you were wrong. Friends don’t fuck each other and then five minutes later get engaged. And why would you want to be friends with some empty, misogynistic prick like me anyway?”
“I-I didn’t mean,” her voice cracks, and the first tear escapes. She quickly dashes it away, refusing to let me play witness to her weakness. But I’ve already seen it. I share that very same weakness that has her bottom lip trembling. I’m just too much of a coward to show it.
“Look, I’m sorry. I think we just need a break.”
“A break. Yes,” she nods, dashing away tears. “You’re right. We both said things we shouldn’t have. Let’s just take a few days to…”
“No. A break from this,” I clarify, gesturing between us. “From us. This isn’t working anymore.”
“You’re being melodramatic, August. We’ve had fights before. We’ve said things we didn’t mean, and we always were able to work it out.”
I shake my head and look away, refusing to acknowledge the dejection on her face. “But I meant everything I said.”
Title: Ink & Lies
Author: S.L. Jennings
Genre: Contemporary Romance
From International Best Selling Romance Novelist, Hope Hughes, comes a gripping, heartfelt tale of two lovers, fighting for the freedom to…
No. Scratch that. Too cheesy.
…two people, torn apart by the tumultuous tides of life, only to discover refuge in…
WTF? What does that even mean? DELETE.
…two people, confused as shit as to where they should be and who they should love and none of this means a damn thing because it’s all lies!
I’m not Hope Hughes. I’m not some fierce woman romance machine. Hell, I’m not even a woman.
I’m a liar.
And while I refuse to believe my own BS, deceit masked in heartfelt phrases of love and devotion, I want to make her believe them. Because maybe—just maybe—if she can find the soul within my words, she’ll also be able to find the truth scribbled on my heart.
You see, I once lived for the perfect plot twist.
I just never expected to actually live it.
This is my story. Well, maybe her story. I just wish I could make it our story.
The one I’m still writing.
About the Author
S.L. Jennings is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance, reality TV junkie, obsessive coffee drinker and collector of crazy.
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