Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
From International Best Selling Romance Novelist, Hope Hughes, comes a gripping, heartfelt tale of two lovers, fighting for the freedom toÔÇª
No. Scratch that. Too cheesy.
ÔÇªtwo people, torn apart by the tumultuous tides of life, only to discover refuge inÔÇª
WTF? What does that even mean? DELETE.
ÔÇªtwo people, confused as shit as to where they should be and who they should love and none of this means a damn thing because itÔÇÖs all lies!
IÔÇÖm not Hope Hughes. IÔÇÖm not some fierce woman romance machine. Hell, IÔÇÖm not even a woman.
IÔÇÖm 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 maybeÔÇöjust maybeÔÇöif she can find the soul within my words, sheÔÇÖll 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 IÔÇÖm still writing.
Êë ┬áÔØñÔÇ┐Ô×╣ÔüÇÔØñ┬á┬áÊë ┬áÔÿå5 Stars Ôÿå┬á┬áÊë ┬áÔØñÔÇ┐Ô×╣ÔüÇÔØñ┬á┬áÊë
SL Jennings really knows how to twist me up. IÔÇÖve read a few of her books, not all. But the ones IÔÇÖve read have done a number on me. When I first read the synopsis, it struck me this might be a more fanciful read. The premise looked like it could be more sweet than angsty but that isnÔÇÖt the case. Ink & Lies contains plenty of funny one liners but at its heart, it’s a story about one man finding out too late just what it is he feels about love and relationships. August ÔÇ£RhysÔÇØ Calloway is a hardened man who keeps his circle of friends small and in well contained boxes.Fiona, his platonic best friend, longs for a relationship with deeper romantic involvement but knows she is firmly in the friend zone. Rhys denounces relationships at every chance he gets.
Rhys is written (channeled) with such precision that there is no doubt as to what heÔÇÖs feeling. Under the guise as a romance writer using a pen name, ┬áRhys is never going to be the man that can give Fi anything more and thatÔÇÖs how they understand and experience their relationship ┬áOne would think that being a romance novelist, ┬áRhys understands and connects with the want and need of being in a relationship thatÔÇÖs more than sex. But that is simply not the case. ┬áAt times it’s really hard to be in his head. HeÔÇÖs not unpleasant per se, but he OFTEN puts his foot in his mouth and he does this at the most crucial of times. He simply made me feel a fair bit of anguish & despair. He can selfless but heÔÇÖs not above dishing out some cruel words when he feels wronged.
As we get to know Fi, we come to understand why she is slightly jaded, yet she remains a hopeful romantic. SheÔÇÖs scared sheÔÇÖll end up alone although she knows sheÔÇÖll always have Rhys (as a friend) and she clamors for the chance to build the kind of relationship that sheÔÇÖs dreamed of. When the story opens sheÔÇÖs already involved with the man that may be this person to her and thereÔÇÖs no reason to suspect heÔÇÖs not genuine. The problem is that as Fiona moves forward in her life, the one where Dr. Joshua King is front and center, the relationship she has with Rhys is put in jeopardy. Rhys doesn’t seem to handle change very well and as the story progresses it gets harder and harder to believe that the their relationship will survive. I could feel his anxiety over this and he acts out in a ÔÇ£not coolÔÇØ way.
The cast of secondary characters, his grandfather ÔÇ£The ColonelÔÇØ, ┬áhis hook-ups and ┬áFiÔÇÖs love interest create a story packed with drama and introspection. ThereÔÇÖs no way to move Rhys and Fi forward without the push these characters provide. We do get the story mostly from Rhys perspective but Jennings drops FiÔÇÖs voice into a few sections and these are timed perfectly to coincide some big moments.
One thing that I loved about the book was the inclusion of the story that Rhys is writing as Hope Hughes. We learn early that Rhys uses his listening skills to map out his stories and it’s obvious he’s paying attention to all the happenings around him. ┬áUsing FiÔÇÖs relationships to fill in details but at some point, he goes one better and gives Fi her story. Jennings does a wonderful job filling in the details of a writersÔÇÖ mind, habits and resources.
As I scan back through to write my review I realize just how complicated RhysÔÇÖ story is. As an artist he feels so much, as a man he denies much of that. ItÔÇÖs a smart and emotional read that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. I kept telling myself I would go just one more chapter but I couldnÔÇÖt put it down until I finished.
~Review by Cyndi
5 stars to this unexpected but not surprising one sitting read.
Signed paperback of INK & LIES by S.L. Jennings