Review: Wicked Lies

Wicked Lies (Men of Summer, #2)
Moving and heartbreaking @SMPRomance #bookreview

Wicked Lies by Lora Leigh

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Just slit my wrists and stab me through the heart right now, it would be less painful.  This is the long awaited second book in the Men of Summer series. Almost a decade later, Ms. Leigh finally brings this story to fruition.  It's a doozy.  Jazz Lancing is a man of his word.  He's also a man who refuses to have any meaningful relationships because the one he wants is dead.  Just as he was going to make a move and court her, she dies.  He never got over it and years later, he still pines away for a ghost lover.  When Annie moves into town as the new elementary school teacher, he jolts awake and starts to feel again.  There is something hinky about Annie which he can't put his finger on, but he will figure it out.  Annie is a survivor and she will do what it takes to bring her vengeance.  She may be the only one left standing in her war against her betrayers, but she will make them pay.  What she doesn't expect is the feelings for Jazz to arise.

The plot to this book is predictable and easy to follow.  This book reminds me of the Nauti boy series.  The evil villain is quickly determined within a few chapters of this book.  Or at least, I knew upfront what happened and who was pulling all the strings.  The conspiracies, betrayal and killing in this story is becoming a trademark of Ms. Leigh's romantic suspense.  It seems to work for the most part.  What really touched me about this story is how three brothers and a father respond to Annie.  The heartbreak and heavy grief these four men experience leaps off the pages for me.  It is this which really pulled me into the book.  I wanted to read more about these men.  I wanted to comfort them.

The relationship between Annie and Jazz is messed up.  The lies and subterfuge make it complicated and a bumpy ride.  I get why Annie does what she does.  It's still feels a bit forced and contrived.  The sex in this story is about medium heat.  Ms. Leigh can crank it much hotter.  This milder one is more sweet with a hint of yearning.  The emotion I feel most whilst reading this book is of regret - lost opportunity.  Time stolen is such a horrible thing and can it be repaired?  It seems that for Ms. Leigh, no one cuts us down more painfully than a family member.  Family drama is highlighted in this book and the focal point.  It makes for a good story but a crappy reality.  Thank goodness for fiction! 

This story did move at a decent pace after the slow start.  I read this all in one sitting and enjoyed it from beginning to end.  It does leave the story with a nice little hook for the next book in the series.  Consider the bait taken by this addicted reader.  Recommended for hopeless romantics who demand and get their happily ever after. 

*provided by NetGalley

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