Page Count: 333
Release Date: 23 April 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance (Amazon)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author, via Book Monster Promotions, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, as part of the Behind the Lies virtual book tour
Of the six Montgomery brothers, golden-boy Zach has always walked on the wild side. He rocketed to fame playing a hero in a movie, but offscreen he's living in the shadows. Zach's dark secret: he leads a double life as a CIA operative. When a mission to stalk a terrorist goes horribly wrong, Zach's cover is blown. He's on the run and fighting to stay alive long enough to discover whom he can trust and who betrayed him.
Jenna Walters thought she'd married the 'perfect man' until she unearthed his terrible secret. Now, desperate to escape his crosshairs, she and her son take refuge in Zach's secret hideaway. Sparks fly between Zach and Jenna even as danger explodes around them.
From Afghanistan to Turkey to the mountains of Colorado, assassins track them and are closing in. Not only is Zach's life at stake, but now Jenna and her son are targets in this high stakes game.
[NOTE]: Click here to read my review of In Her Sights, the book that started the Montgomery Justice series. Both novels read fine stand-alone.
Behind the Lies is Zach's story; Zach, the third oldest Montgomery brother: a man of honor who doesn't always do what he wants... just the thing that's right. He happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Jenna Walters finally decides to make a run from her perilous life—young son in tow; Zach's strange desire to help the beautiful, troubled woman out, brings the two lost—and nearly hopeless—characters together, which just may change both of their lives forever.
The characters are so well portrayed and complex—definitely one of the highlights of this novel. Readers will fall in love with Zach as they discover that as solitary as he is, he deserves greater care and more love than he will accept. He doesn't show it, but he feels deeply; this gift—or curse—makes him a good actor but brings him hurt even he cannot recognize and that most do not even begin to understand.
Jenna has never been exposed to this kind of honorable male figure before. In the midst of escaping her past, her abusive marriage, and herself, she is both shell-shocked, and completely disoriented, that such a kind, honest, person would be willing to help save her and her son's lives. But her surprisingly strong instincts tell her Zach is more than a renown actor, more than a pretty face—he's hiding something from her, too. Could he just be another liar?
Perini's grasp of the pen is intelligent, articulate, and forms a great story but I don't think it's particularly affecting. I love how her fiction always has confidential government and military aspects, though. She expertly captures the deadliness of lies and the helplessness of someone forced to be acquainted with crime when there's nowhere left to run.
One thing I wasn't fond of is the unrealistic scenario; I just can't grasp how such an emotionally detached and legally coveted character like Zach would suddenly risk all to help a random woman especially when he's got more pressing matters at hand. I really liked everything else, though, from the sizzling chemistry to the heartbreaking personal development.
Fabulous characterization // The Montgomery brothers........ // Pitch-perfect suspense and emotion // Super sexy romance!
Stylistically plain // Starts off slow // Unrealistic situation holistically... the individual scenes are so real and raw, but the entire way Zach and Jenna meet and stay together seems a little forced
Jenna stepped to the stove, peering into the simmering pot. "So, a man who can cook, too? Are there any more surprises?"
Zach gave her a wicked wink. "None with a G rating."
I enjoyed Behind the Lies, the second installment in the Montgomery Justice series much more than I did the first. The emotional turmoil and the hot attraction between Jenna and Zach definitely hit home. Robin Perini knows what she's doing, spinning a roller coaster ride of a romantic suspense about two fallen souls finding each other. I'm looking forward to trying the next book, for sure
8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended (x)