Review: Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdams

Forgiving Lies by Molly McAdamsFormat read: ebook provided by Edelweiss
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Genre: Romantic Suspense; New Adult Romance
Series: Forgiving Lies, #1
Length: 371 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date Released: October 29, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

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 willpower 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?

My Review:

I didn’t know that “New Adult Romantic Suspense” was actually a thing. Apparently it is now, because Forgiving Lies definitely is one. Is it EVER!

It’s entirely possible this book should come with a trigger warning. The stuff that happens to Rachel was seriously creepy. For a book that is being marketed as New Adult, very bad shit happens to Rachel, and not just in the past that she is getting over, but within the story itself.

And readers should definitely be warned that this story is not complete. We think we’ve reached a happy ending, and then the rug gets totally pulled out from under us. Forgiving Lies does not end, but stops on a horrifying cliffhanger of the awful suspense type.

Lest anyone think I’m revealing the ending, I don’t feel I am because I don’t feel like I got an ending. I feel like I got left in mid-air, dangling. The next book in the series, Deceiving Lies, won’t be published until March 2014, and I’m biting my nails here.

If you hate hanging off cliffs, wait until the next book. It IS worth the wait.

But about those Forgiving Lies

There are certainly more than enough of those to go around in this story, and not all of them are actually forgivable.

Kash and Mason are undercover cops in Tampa Bay Florida. When their cover gets blown, they need to lay low and out of town for a while, until the kingpin who has put a price on their heads goes to jail. Their captain sends them to Austin, Texas to work undercover as part of team hunting for a serial killer.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the women living in the apartment across the hall from them in Austin are Rachel and Candice. This is where everything goes both right and wrong. Candice seems to be a typical bubble-headed, self-centered cheerleader, and Rachel is a woman with too much pain and too many secrets.

Candice and Mason spend the summer as friends-with-benefits, although Mason turns out to be just one of Candice’s many summer playtoys.

But Kash spends the summer not just befriending Rachel, but getting closer to her, even though he knows that he shouldn’t become involved with anyone while he’s undercover.

Rachel’s mixture of pain, vulnerability, bravery and beauty is more than he can resist. When he finally discovers the nature of the ordeal that she’s been through, he vows to protect her in any way that she’ll let him.

He can’t stop himself from falling in love with her, even though he knows there’s a risk that she’ll run when he reveals that he’s been deceiving her the whole summer.

The real surprise is that Kash and Logan’s case has been about Rachel all along.

Escape Rating B: There are some terrific things about this story that made it well worth reading for me. And then there were other factors that drove me insane.

The love story between Kash and Rachel is both heart-warming and sexy. It’s not the typical good girl takes a walk on the wild side, or bad boy is reformed by sweet girl, in spite of what the book summary might lead you to believe. Kash is a cop who enjoys working undercover. He may look like a bad boy, but he is definitely a hero.

Rachel is a strong young woman who is hiding an intense amount of damage. Her parents were killed in an accident and she has never dealt with the grief. Then she was nearly raped by someone she knew and no one believes her. Even worse, her supposed best friend thinks she’s lying and believes her attacker. In fact, she set up the attack, and continues to enable Rachel’s attacker.

Rachel is being stalked by her attacker, and she is certain that no one will believe her. That’s where Kash enters her life.

Even though he doesn’t reveal that he’s a cop, he does reveal himself. And he finally convinces Rachel to do most of the same.

She hides the name of her stalker/attacker, because she doesn’t want Kash to kill him. Kash hides that he’s an undercover cop. They’re pretty even on secrets, and those secrets nearly get Rachel and everyone she loves killed.

The problem character in this story is Rachel’s roommate and supposed best friend, Candice. While I can understand that Candice might believe the best of her cousin, and he’s the man who attacks Rachel in the beginning of the book, what I can’t understand is either her self-centered attitude or Rachel’s willingness to tolerate it. Candice repeatedly locks Rachel out of their entire apartment for the entire night whenever she has a hookup. The entire night! Candice demonstrates a constant disregard for Rachel’s feelings and well-being except when it’s convenient for Candice. Candice’s behavior and attitude result in Rachel’s original attack and assists with the stalking. According to the story, they have BFFs since grade school, but it seems to only go one way.

Kash and Rachel’s love story is wonderful. Kash’s cop buddy Mason is a terrific friend to both of them (and I hope he gets his own story!) But there’s that cliffhanger that steals the ending of the story. There should have been a huge warning label for that.

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