Title: Ink & Lies
Author: S.L. Jennings
Release Date: 9 February, 2016
Rating: 3 stars
From International Best Selling Romance Novelist, Hope Hughes, comes a gripping, heartfelt tale of two lovers, fighting for the freedom to…
No. Scratch that. Too cheesy.
…two people, torn apart by the tumultuous tides of life, only to discover refuge in…
WTF? What does that even mean? DELETE.
…two people, confused as shit as to where they should be and who they should love and none of this means a damn thing because it’s all lies!
I’m not Hope Hughes. I’m not some fierce woman romance machine. Hell, I’m not even a woman.
I’m 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 maybe—just maybe—if she can find the soul within my words, she’ll 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 I’m still writing.
“Yeah, but…” Her eyes grow wide and glossy as she tries to sift through all the reasons why that theory shouldn’t apply to her. In the end, she relies on her heart. “You said I wasn’t like those other women…that those other women weren’t me.”
I should tell her she’s right. I should put her out of her misery and reassure her that the last ten years were as real and meaningful to me as they were for her. That even though I may sling gift-wrapped bullshit for the general public, only she knows the true, honest parts of my heart. But with my tongue possessed by the taste of her rejection, I play the petty card, and do just the opposite.
“I guess I was wrong, especially considering yesterday’s events. Maybe you’re no different from them. And maybe you were right about me…that I do sabotage with sex to keep people at arm’s length. Because in the end, that’s all I want anyway, right?”
“You don’t mean that.”
I nod. “Yeah. I do.”
“So what are you saying?” The hurt is so thick in her throat that I can barely hear the words.
I suck in a breath, and scrub a hand over my forehead. “You were right about me. About us. We shouldn’t have done…what we did. And we can’t move on and pretend that it didn’t change us. What’s done is done.”
“I agree,” she nods, with a tinge of hope in her voice.
“So, maybe we should just see this for what it is—the end. You’re starting your life with Joshua and moving away, and I’m going on with mine.”
“Wait, August. No, that’s not—”
“You didn’t actually think we’d be able to keep this up, did you? What, you thought we’d turn out to be the modern day Cathy and Heathcliff? I’m not some swoony, literary hero, Fi. I’m not here to rescue you from your shitty love life that stems from your shitty childhood.”
“I never said you were—”
I’m rambling, spewing verbal diarrhea all over her blue cashmere, but I can’t stop. I can’t shut off the bile that has been choking me since this morning when she disclosed her impending nuptials. “You have Joshua. He’s the one you chose. He’s the one you want. You made that perfectly clear. So what the fuck do you need with me?”
“I thought we were friends, August. I thought you and me were—”
“Well, I guess you were wrong. Friends don’t fuck each other and then five minutes later get engaged. And why would you want to be friends with some empty, misogynistic prick like me anyway?”
“I-I didn’t mean,” her voice cracks, and the first tear escapes. She quickly dashes it away, refusing to let me play witness to her weakness. But I’ve already seen it. I share that very same weakness that has her bottom lip trembling. I’m just too much of a coward to show it.
“Look, I’m sorry. I think we just need a break.”
“A break. Yes,” she nods, dashing away tears. “You’re right. We both said things we shouldn’t have. Let’s just take a few days to…”
“No. A break from this,” I clarify, gesturing between us. “From us. This isn’t working anymore.”
“You’re being melodramatic, August. We’ve had fights before. We’ve said things we didn’t mean, and we always were able to work it out.”
I shake my head and look away, refusing to acknowledge the dejection on her face. “But I meant everything I said.”
4678 stitches of my patchwork soul.
4678 reasons why I'm falling for my best friend.
If you think this is your usual, fluffy and sweet friends to lovers novel, then you are very wrong. Ink & Lies is much more surprising and ‘out of the box’ than you can guess. It’s unconventional, eccentric even and the angst is on the heavy side.
To be honest, it was not what I expected to get and I was not prepared for what’s going to happen so most of the stuff ruffled me a bit. I had a rough start with the story and there was time when I considering DNFing it. Fortunately, I decided to finish it the story picked up besides I grew to tolerate some things… and overall I ended up liking it, although I’m still not exactly feeling ‘the love’ . I will probably be in minority though.
“This…this is me. Giving you my words. Offering you a piece of my soul and hoping you can read my heart between the lines.”
What I liked the most was refreshing and original storyline as well as lighthearted, adorable, LOL scenes that made me laugh like a hyena. Extra brownie points for that!
I also fell in love with the writing - I might have highlighted half of the book. Some quotes were just too good to be left forgotten.
And all of those times when romance stories/authors/readers and certain things connected with it were mentioned were just AWESOME. All those references made me smile and warmed my heart.
So what were my issues?
First of all, I couldn’t stomach the main characters! Fiona was so immature and over the top, I wanted to struggle her. Yes, she did have many sweet, funny moments but God she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box. Her desperate need to find ‘real love’ and HEA was suffocating.
Rhys on the other hand, wasn’t bad main hero, I just for some strange reason couldn’t connect with him. From the very beginning I was struggling with making a connection. I didn’t understand him or his issues, and most of all I didn’t feel he’s truly in love with Fiona.
As the story progressed I learned to accept both of them and enjoyed quite few of their antics. Yet, sadly this couple won’t making to my list of favorites.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from checking SL Jennings’ new release because that would be like telling someone that cookies taste like shit because I’m on a hardcore diet and don’t want anyone to eat and enjoy what I cannot have.
Ink & Lies is probably one of those books I would have loved if I were in different mood or just feeling better. Sigh.
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