The Lie, by Karina Halle

the lie

Grade: A

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

Book Description:


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)

Fassy

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.

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Burying Water, by K.A. Tucker

burying water

Grade: B-

Doing it at: 38%, but not again till 64%

Catnip: Amnesia; Multiple Timelines; Russian Mobsters; Dangerous Criminal Villain; Hot Cars; Cheating; Dual Narrative; Hot Car

Shame scale: Beige. There’s a plot, decent writing, not much doing it. The cover looks YA, so that’s got to be a tiny bit shame-y

Fantasy casting: Ten years ago Milo Ventimiglia, Hayden Panettiere

Book description: 

“Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him? Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried. The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.”

Burying Water starts out with Jesse finding a girl beaten almost to death in the snow in the middle of nowhere. The rest of the book is told from Jesse’s perspective in the past and Alex’s in the present. We pick up with Alex in the hospital, where she wakes up with horrible injuries and total amnesia – no idea who she is, no memories of her life at all. She makes friends with her doctor (Jesse’s mom) while she is recuperating, and when it is time for her to leave, her doctor sets her up in an apartment on their next door neighbor’s property. Alex begins building a new life, but struggles to know who she was Before. We know that Jesse clearly has a history with her, (from the past storyline chapters), but we don’t know why he’s keeping her life a secret from her.

Meanwhile, in the past – Jesse meets Alex – a sad, beautiful woman who is married to an awful Russian mobster. Jesse is a mechanic, and Alex’s husband hires him to fix up some kind of impressive classic car (that meant pretty much nothing to me because car speak is gobbledygook). While he works on the car, he gets to know Alex, sees how unhappy she is with her scary husband (who is indiscreetly indiscretion-ing), and the two begin an affair.

Neither of these characters really stood out to me in a big way. Jesse seemed like a nice twenty-something guy who falls for a girl, but he’s almost passive about the whole thing. He sees that Alex’s husband is abusing her, but he does nothing to fix the situation. When she cuts off contact with him, he doesn’t chase her. Jesse in the present was much more appealing to me, but his rationale for keeping Alex in the dark (about her whole identity!) felt shaky to me at best. And Alex…was kind of weak. She felt like a generic nice girl, who married a mobster but honestly didn’t see what an asshole he was until well into the marriage?

This one started out really strong for me. I was texting Cleone that I found a great book she absolutely HAD to read. All the catnip was there: Multiple timelines, Russian mobsters, cute boy with a hot car, danger, freaking AMNESIA… But things started to drag towards the middle of the book. While the plot seemed to have a lot of potential mystery, all of the questions were pretty easy to guess the answers to. I felt like they gave too much away. And when the big reveal happened and Alex found out who she was and that everyone had been lying to her, she accepted it pretty quickly and they wrapped up everything with a big bow. By the end of the book, I started skimming, because everything felt like a recap of the first half of the book. The main conflict towards the end of the book was Jesse recapping the events that led up to Alex’s beating, and that was all information you could pretty much infer from the first half of the book.

It was a good story, interesting format, and overall, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. Like I said, the characters felt weak, and things dragged a bit, then wrapped up too neatly. As a shame read, it was pretty beige (like this review, HA!). Nothing made me blush. K.A. Tucker is a great writer, none of the dialog made me eye-roll. Very little sex, and vanilla at that. I’d recommend this one if you could get it out of the library or borrow it from a friend.

Amazon