Thursday, February 11, 2016

review || INK & LIES { blog tour } by S.L. Jennings

Self-Published | February 9, 2016 | 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 s.l. jennings } .

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.

{ excerpt } .

“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.”

{ review } .

This was an interestingly written story. Told primarily in the voice of August, male romance author with the psuedonym of Hope Hughes, we get the story of him and his best friend, tornado of a woman, Fiona -- who insists on calling him by his middle, Rhys. The dynamic between these two was great. They have their bistro and their conversations, they have ten years of history... they are great friends. She loves hearing about his stories, and even more so, loves hearing him randomly draw people out of the crowd and fictionalize them.

August, though, has been in love with his best friend for years -- something that he doesn't want to ruin. Watching as he tries to steer her in the correct direction in life -- not necessarily toward him but trying to be helpful in other endeavours and relationships -- made my heart ache for him. There were a few moments, however, that he comes across as weak, and not necessarily in a 'beta vs alpha' way, but as an unattractive characteristic.

This story is told over a decent span of time with evolving change to what was once a solid friendship. It was great to watch the ebb and flow of these characters, but I wished for a little more between the last chapter and the epilogue. HOWEVER... It is written in such a way that is parallel with August's description of a true love story, as well as further explained in the epilogue in a round-about way.

Just when he thinks the big 'boom' of his love story has come and gone, he just may be surprised...

As a whole, this one was a bit difficult for me to get into. August's voice was cleverly written and I enjoyed his introspect, but I needed more external that what was given. If you're looking for a sweet friends-to-lovers with a bit of a twist in the typical plot line, this is definitely a book to consider.

{ giveaway } .

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