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Page Count: 359
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Company (Harper Collins)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Harper Collins and TLC!)
A matter of secrets...
Undercover cop Logan "Kash" Ryan can't afford a distraction like his new neighbor Rachel Masters, even if she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. To catch a serial killer, he needs to stay focused, yet all he can think about is the feisty, long-legged coed whose guarded nature intrigues him.
A matter of lies...
Deceived and hurt before, Rachel would rather be a single, crazy cat lady than trust another guy, especially a gorgeous, tattooed bad boy with a Harley, like Kash. But when his liquid-steel eyes meet hers, it takes all of Rachel's will-power to stop herself from exploring his hot body with her own.
A matter of love...
As much as they try to keep it platonic, the friction between them sparks an irresistible heat that soon consumes them. Can Kash keep Rachel's heart and her life safe even as he risks his own? Will she be able to forgive his lies... or will she run when she discovers the dangerous truth?
People say that being in love is amazing.
They lie. It's freaking terrifying.
They lie. It's freaking terrifying.
An undercover assignment is the last place Kash Ryan should expect to pick up girls, but one look at Rachel Masters has him sighing to himself, "aw, fuck that."
Yes, Forgiving Lies does revolve around a severe case of insta-love—no one believed the "only friends, just attracted to each other" thing anyway—but I enjoyed it immensely regardless.
21-year-old Rachel has been reserved and reclusive ever since the tragic death of her parents, so she doesn't plan on letting anyone in anytime soon... especially after she was hurt by someone she once thought she could trust. Upon meeting Kash, she's rather bitchy and stiff—I disliked her immediately, but when I realized that side of her was just a personal front she was putting up to protect herself, I softened up to her. As Kash, too, begins to comprehend Rachel's defense mechanisms, and finds a way to penetrate them, her actual personality is revealed: smart, saucy, and at her tenderest moments, extremely genuine and sweet. I loved her, and wish I had a BFF like her!
Forgiving Lies alternates between Kash's and Rachel's points of view so readers get to see what's going on in each character's head, as well at what each character is holding back from the other. This makes miscommunications frustrating, but simultaneously, the sexual tension even more delightful. It's clear the two were never meant to be just friends, but the relationship will be strained until both of them fully admit it.
I really appreciate the witty, thoughtful romance in this book. The playful banter will have you smiling and longing for such a fun, yet extremely deep—extremely accomplished—relationship like theirs. Kash is the harmony to Rachel's melody; they are cute and SO amusing together—there were times I'd laugh out loud and times my heart would flutter in my chest from their interactions.
The other characters are lovable, even if a little two-dimensional. We definitely have supporting character archetypes here, like Candi, the super beautiful, super supportive female best friend; Mason, the macho but huggable male best friend (I call this the "Emmett Cullen" trope); the slimy villain, etc. etc. Yeah, it triggered an eye-roll here and there, but it's not something I couldn't get over.
Alongside this adorable relationship, however, is a dangerous reality that even Kash, a police officer who's pretty much seen it all, isn't prepared to face—a harsh, ugly truth that may not only jeopardize his career, but also his life... as well as that of the woman he loves. I can't go on without giving too much away, but this suspense factor is definitely an adrenaline rush, and on top of that, McAdams throws the curveball of an unexpected ending that will keep you on your toes for the next book.
The accuracy and depth of the emotional bond between Rachel and Kash touched me on so many levels. The way Rachel wrenches open her heart and reveals her painful past is distressing, and the way Kash recuperates by promising to love her out of her misery, is ever so beautiful. It's lovey-dovey, yes, but the emotions here are so REAL—it's difficult not to sympathize with them.
Now let me try to get my feelings out about Kash... I saved this discussion for last because I'm really conflicted about him. On one hand, holy mother of god, he is the PERFECT man and I want to have his babies (you had to see this coming), but on the other, he's a bit too demanding and overbearing. I know he's supposed to be the powerful alpha hero with a soft spot, but at times, he seems a little (a lot) clingy... not cool.
He's extremely hot though, and is a really caring, sweet "bad boy," although he's not really bad at all. This annoys me a bit because strong, tough alpha males typically don't get whipped as soon as they meet a girl, no matter how phenomenal she is. And even if they do, they act more on their feelings and less on instinct... but hey, it's a fictional romance novel. We readers can dream, right?
Emotionally sound // Deep personal issues portrayed // Lovable characters // Rachel and Kash were made to be ♥ // Smoldering, swoon-worthy romance // Entertaining flirting // Disturbing suspense plot... this is not just a light NA read // Takes place in my hometown, Austin! And at my favorite school ever (other than my own, of course), UT!
Very unrealistic (the way characters act, the way chance plays out, etc.) // Superficial, trite cast of characters... they're likable, but flatly depicted
Dreamily romantic and heart-pumpingly eventful, Forgiving Lies is the new adult version of Jumpstreet 21 with just as much suspense and twice the sass. The chemistry and clever dialogue between Kash and Rachel are amusing; they add lightness to the novel, but the deep-rooted, honest emotions are what will make you fall in love. The only reason I'm docking a heart (half a star) is because Kash is overly gooey sometimes... the way he so blatantly declares his love for Rachel seems unnatural, but otherwise this first installment of Molly McAdams's new series is a cute, feel-good contemporary romance that's (mostly) relatable in its emotional reluctance and simultaneously terrifyingly grim at its core. Don't be fooled by the fanciful romance and the bold, self-reliant protagonists; this is a somber, serious story about broken hearts and overcoming fears, about betrayals, vulnerabilities, and the slow collapse of emotional shields... and because of its grounded, weightier issues, I'm a huge fan. I foresee a review for book 2 in the future