Beautiful Lies by Heather Bentley

beautifullies

Beautiful Lies by Heather Bentley

From the couture clothes, private jets and homes around the globe, I have the best of everything. But looks can be deceiving, and in my family, deception is an art form. So, I bide my time and count the days until I’m free.

Heiress Christina Harcourt lives a life surrounded by the finest this world has to offer. Unfortunately, what she wants most can’t be bought. After losing her mother in a heinous crime, she tries her best to live the life she knows her mother would want for her. But through her family’s hurtful ways, Christina learns the only way to do that, is to leave this life far behind. Everything is going as planned, until she meets him.

Sexy, carefree CJ Whitford is a hard-working, blue collar guy who can’t get the guarded brunette out of his head. So, he takes a chance and rearranges his life to go after the girl he’s falling for. He quickly discovers that Christina’s secrets are as big as her heart. A heart so fragile that all it will take to destroy it is one more lie … his.

Isn’t this cover beautiful? I keep opening it on my iPad and just staring at it. Its stunning. I actually got a message from Heather, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing her new book. This is her debut book and I am really happy that I said yes.

We start out the story, meeting Sara who is in a small town where she works as a waitress and a bartender at night. Then the book flashes back in time…

This is where we meet Christina (aka Sara). You immediately feel for her. I think the author really captured the discomfort that Christina felt so well. I mean, as I was reading it, I could feel myself cringing along with her at certain aspects of her life. You can see why she doesn’t love her life, even with all the wealth that she has. Her family treated her horribly and tried to keep her knocked down at what seemed like every opportunity.

When Christina and CJ first meet, its at a country bar, outside of town and CJ met Christina as Courtney (her fake bar name), but CJ is relentless and manages to find her at the hospital fairly quickly. I appreciated that the author let CJ find out who Christina was right away. I was pleased that the whole story wasn’t Christina parading around as Courtney and then the drama would come when CJ found out the lie.

I enjoyed seeing Christina’s true nature come out. A lot of the story follows Christina working in the pediatric cancer center, and how she uses her famous name and wealth to bring in more donations and make wishes come true for the kids. She does all of this as volunteer work. But she enjoys it and is well loved by everyone there.

When Christina and CJ first meet, its at a country bar, outside of town and CJ met Christina as Courtney (her fake bar name), but CJ is relentless and manages to find her at the hospital fairly quickly. I appreciated that the author let CJ find out who Christina was right away. I was pleased that the whole story wasn’t Christina parading around as Courtney and then the drama would come when CJ found out the lie.

There was very little that I disliked in this book. The one thing that kept nagging at me was whatever happened to Becca and Nicole. They were so cruel to Christina, I kept hoping for some sort of closure on that. With that said, I can also see why Christina would leave them behind and forget them. She wasn’t interested in the society life so losing those relationships really didn’t mean that much to her. Yes, she was hurt but she was smart enough to know they weren’t worth anything in the big picture of her life.

I don’t want to give out any spoilers for the story, so I don’t want to get more into the actual story than that. For a debut novel, this story was fantastic. I thought the characters had a lot of depth. The truth is, this is Christina’s story. Its really her tale that is woven through the pages; between the truths, the lies, the deceit.

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Something So Right by Natasha Madison

somethingsoright

Something So Right by Natasha Madison

The moment everything changed didn’t happen in that cliché rockets-red-glare kind of way, it happened in the form of a waking nightmare. I caught my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the father of my children, balls deep in a sordid affair.
That was when I gave up on men and love.
I didn’t count on the NHL’s golden boy, the beautiful, arrogant Cooper Stone turning my life and my hockey rink upside down.

My kids are why I wake up in the morning.

Hockey is what Cooper breathes for.

We’re from different worlds and places in our lives but when our hearts collided something so wrong and different turned into something so right.

Okay, Parker is officially my hero. Parker is the heroine in our story and she is just amazing. I’d use lots of expletives but you get my point. Parker is a newly-ish divorced mother of two children, who she loves more than anything. She also happens to be Cooper Stone’s rehab coach. Their first meeting is absolutely hilarious. I loved her confidence and how she just let Cooper have it. (Side note: he totally deserved it too)

Watching Parker and Cooper fall in love was really sweet. In the story, we learn that Parker is 34 turning 35 and Cooper is 30. I appreciated the characters actually being in their 30’s,  and having some more life experience underneath them. It made them more endearing to me. It was nice to have characters be more self-assured and when they shared their vulnerabilities, it just felt like it was coming from a real, and also raw, place. Which is how it should feel, in my opinion.

Another facet of Parker that I valued is that she was very upfront with her kids, in particular her son, Matthew, about her relationship with Cooper. She was obviously nervous initially, but it made sense. We also get to see Cooper stepping up to the plate several times, trying to help not only Parker, but the kids, make new memories in place of the bad ones.

Moving right along…this book is beyond steamy. Like, WOAH! Cooper blew my socks right off (sorry, figure of speech, its hot as hell and I’m barefoot, but you get me here). I will say that for me, I don’t enjoy as many of the steamy scenes as this book had. However, that is only my personal feeling and I know that the average reader will have no issue with this, and will love it. The scenes were super sexy and just…whew! But in all honesty, I’m in just a little bit of a book phase where the steaminess isn’t as appealing to me right now as it normally is. Initially when I read the book, I felt like the sex scenes were too many but as I really read through the book and thought about the book when I finished, I felt like they did make sense.

Part of this story, in my opinion, is Parker coming back to life. Now yes, she was living and being successful but in terms of feeling true satisfaction and happiness, she didn’t have that. Cooper brought those aspects back to her life. I think its easy to get older and feel like you aren’t supposed to have mind-blowing sex, or that if you’ve fallen in love once and it didn’t work out, then that’s it for you. This book blows those pre-conceived ideas out of the water.

In closing, this book is a debut. I can tell you the more I read this book, I was shocked to know this was a debut because it was fantastically written. Cooper and the kids are great, but to me, this story is really about Parker. We see Parker experience so many emotions and experiences throughout this book, but she still remains the same character that we meet in the very beginning of the book. Natasha did a fantastic job and I would absolutely recommend this book.