Doing it at: 58%
Catnip: Second Chance Romance, Guilt, Cheating, Hot For Teacher, Scottish Brogue, International Romance, #assbiting, Desk Sex, Sexual Healing
Shame Scale: Less than Zero (who’s RDJ & who’s McCarthy?)
Fantasy Cast: Michael Fassbender, Jenifer Lawrence
Their love led to a lie
Their truth led to the end
Brigs McGregor is crawling out from the ashes. After losing his wife and son in a car accident and his job from his subsequent downward spiral, he’s finally moving forward, getting a prestigious teaching position at the University of London and a new life in the city. Slowly, but surely, he’s pushing past the guilt and putting his tragic past behind him.
Until he sees her.
Natasha Trudeau once loved a man so much she thought she’d die without him. But their love was wrong, doomed from the start, and when their world crashed around them, Natasha was nearly buried in the rubble. It took years of moving on to forget him, and now that she’s in London, she’s ready to start again.
Until she sees him.
Because some loves are too dangerous to ever indulge.
And some loves are far too powerful to ignore.
Their love just might be the life and the death of them.
Cleone: Let’s kick this off by talking about how Karina Halle has the best book boyfriend muses, last time it was Tom Hardy, and this time we got Mr. Big Swinging Cock himself, Michael Fassbender. #swoon
Mary: I think the phrase is Mr. Big Swinging Dick? Googling Big Swinging Dick vs. Big Swinging Cock does not route you to any grammar pages, just FYI! Ugh. This is the only stuff we fight about. Either way, if you’re the kind of gal who has painstakingly looked up every dirty Fassbender gif that the internet has to offer, all that work is going to pay off for you when you read this book and have the perfect mental library to back it up. (#TeamPervert) (All of those are NSFW by the way)
C: I mean any Halle book is going to be 100 shades of scorching, but picturing Fassy sure doesn’t hurt! We were singularly excited for this one.
M: We were SO excited. Like, the surprise of getting an early copy of this book kept me from driving my car off of one of Pittsburgh’s trademark bridges to end the singularly horrible nightmare that 2016 has thus far shown itself to be. Plus, C had her period. We needed this book like donuts need holes.
C: We should get the disclaimer out of the way first, this book that does feature what I would categorize as MILD infidelity. Any hint of cheating is usually a big no for me in a book, though it doesn’t bother Mary as much. However, I had zero qualms about the cheating in this book, less than zero even. So, if cheating is a trigger for you I would urge you to give this one a try anyway.
M: It’s like, cheating lite. There’s no penetration or exchange of fluids. Almost respectful infidelity. I give the protagonists zero dirtbag points in this one.
C: The Lie is the story of Brigs, who we met in The Play & Winter Wishes, and the lovely film student Natasha. The two meet when film professor Brigs hires Tasha to be his research assistant for a book he’s writing. Brigs is handsome, smart, funny, and stuck in a loveless marriage with a woman who has all the warmth of Oymykon, Russia. Which is to say she’s ice cold and has no interest in trying to fix the multitude of things that are broken in their marriage. In fact the only good thing in their marriage is their son, Hamish.
M: Ironically, I couldn’t stop picturing her as the woman that Daniel cheats on Bridget with. The one who calls Bridget fat. You can root for Brigs and Natasha with zero qualms.
C: Natasha blasts into Brig’s life, filling it with humor, heat, and sunshine. For her part Natasha is quickly infatuated with her Professor Blue Eyes, even though she knows that she can never have him. He’s drawn to her, as well, they seem to be attracted to each other on a chemical level:
I meet her eyes as she looks up through long lashes. I can feel my pulse in my throat, her gaze completely bewitching me. We hold each other’s eyes and the air between us swirls and spins, a slow tornado changing the pressure until it’s hard to ignore. It pulls and pulls, and the magnetism sets my skin on fire. I don’t know what’s happening. But it’s never happened to me before. And it’s absolutely terrifying.
C: Then something awful happens, a tragedy that forces the pair into darkness and away from each other.
M: It’s in the first chapter. We’re trying to be better secret keepers but you find out right off the bat.
C: Four lonely years later Brigs, now single, is teaching a film course at King’s College. He’s getting his life back on track, trying not to be crushed by the guilt of what his passion for Natasha inadvertently led to, when he sees her again:
How can you know someone by the back of their head? Because you spent months memorizing every inch of her that you couldn’t touch, I think. Your eyes did what your hands and mouth and dick couldn’t.
C: Natasha is understandably wary of spending any time with Brigs ever again, he absolutely destroyed her life, and she’s still kind of hanging by a thread to her sanity. But the two can not stay away from each other. Halle details their love, their lust, the way every moment they spend together feels fated in heartfelt prose that had me highlighting every single line. The woman can write about love without being cloying, and she can write a sex scene that makes me blush.
M: The first half of the book has epic smoldering-tension, and all of that explodes in the second half. It felt like there was maybe less sex in this one than in the previous books in the series, but that could be because I’m coming at this one fresh from The Play, which was twice as long and had an absolutely delightful, decadent amount of doing it. If there is less though, you probably won’t care – this book is toe-curling hot.
I want him to make me come, I want my clothes off, his clothes off, I want to be fucked silly on this desk until I’m screaming his name. If he wants to spank me after with a ruler, I wouldn’t complain. My god, I haven’t gotten laid in so long.
C: I’m just really into Hamilton right now, if you’re into musicals you owe it to yourself to check it out! This book is high on my list of Things Cleone Can’t Stop Thinking About, as well.
M: C is really into Hamilton and I am not, not even a little bit. I’m ok with her having this one thing that I can’t share with her though. We’re accepting of each other like that.
C: The Lie does a wonderful job of bringing Natasha and Brigs back together without pretending the past has never happened. They’re different people than they were when their infatuation began, and the baggage that they’re bringing to their new relationship isn’t something they can ignore. Parts of the story are gut wrenching, but you never give up hope, or stop rooting for the characters to have their happy ending.
M: There are so many emotional hurdles for these guys, and none of it feels contrived the way it can sometimes feel when a book couple’s main obstacle is their emotional baggage. As with most KH books, you’ll find yourself completely wrapped up in this story, so make sure you have a big chunk of time to devote because you won’t want to put it down once you start.
C: And not to be flippant, but let me reiterate that the sex scenes are magna cum laude:
“Are you ever going to get naked?” I ask breathlessly, looking up at him.
“When I put my cock inside you and fuck you on this desk, yes,” he says, his voice hoarse. “For now though, I want to taste you.”
M: For real. I wish my sex life was like a Karina Halle book.
C: If you’re a fan of Karina Halle, a fan of Fassy, a fan of professor’s who #cangetit, or a fan of books that are both torrid and touching get your hands on The Lie.
Check it out: