Title: Ink & Lies
Author: S.L. Jennings
Release Date: February 9, 2016
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.
S.L. Jennings delivers a fun, fresh, and quirky story of friendship, love, and lies with this novel. Ink & Lies was a breath of fresh air in a sea of dark and angst-ridden romance. Filled with humor, heart, and just the right amount of heat, August and Fiona’s story is truly one of a kind. With only a few scenes from Fiona’s point of view, S.L. Jennings takes up residence inside August’s hilarious mind, giving readers a glimpse at the quirky inner workings of a male romance novelist. S.L. Jennings’ writing is vibrant, passionate, and lyrical. Her words unapologetically dance across the pages of this novel to her own spunky beat, capturing within them so much more than just another friends-to-lovers romance. August’s personality and charm shines blindingly bright, luring readers into his world and taking them along on his witty and well-intentioned misadventures. Fiona grounded this story, providing a comforting sense of reality that could have easily been lost amongst the embellished narrative of August’s life. Together this couple just works. Their sassy personalities, easy banter, undeniable connection, and inevitable chemistry were absolutely addictive.
“From the top of her messy bun to the toe of her knee high socks. She was his muse, his soul mate. She was the beauty in his world of heartbreak.”
August is a total mess. From his double life as a romance author to his repressed feelings for his best friend, his thoughts and actions were all over the place. I’ll admit, I found his total confusion hilarious and each attempt to convince himself that he was not a hearts and flowers kind of guy had me rolling my eyes in amusement. S.L. Jennings did a great job building this character, exposing his flaws and insecurities in a way that made him undeniably genuine and totally lovable. August’s relationship with his grandfather was one of my favorite things about this story. Their conversations, while of few words, were to the point and his grandfather’s insight provided an honest look into August’s real feelings and motives. As the story progressed, August began to identify the true nature of his emotions and he begins to see all of his relationships in a new light. The growth that S.L. Jennings orchestrated with this character is truly satisfying. August’s personal journey was unpolished, unsure, and openly flawed, revealing this character to be undeniably human and allowing readers to really connect with August on a deeper level.
“You can’t have it both ways, August. You can’t have her, yet refuse to let her have you.”
S.L. Jennings did a fantastic job balancing the humor of this story with its true heart, ensuring that readers not only enjoyed the journey, but also felt and connected with it as well. There were several secondary characters that brought their own color to August and Fiona’s story, and while some were a painful part of the journey, they gave our hero and heroine that additional dimension and depth that made them sparkle. While Ink & Lies is very much a lighthearted story, there were moments of raw, honest emotion that made my heart absolutely ache for the characters while strengthening my investment in their happily ever after. I loved the setting and circumstances of this story. S.L. Jennings taps into her own market by exposing the less than glamorous truth behind the polished appearance of writing romance. It was this candor that I simply adored in August and Fiona’s journey. S.L. fearlessly exposed the judgment self-published authors face, poked fun at over-the-top, cheesy romance novels, and unraveled the clichés of the genre – all without breaking a sweat. Smart, sexy, and sarcastic, Ink & Lies had me grinning from beginning to end. If you love to read romance you’ll definitely appreciate this heartfelt and hilarious novel!
Ink and Lies had me so captivated from the moment I read that blurb and then saw the stunningly gorgeous cover. Because I immerse myself in the romance genre, I’m always looking for something to stand out; to offer a unique quality that I can’t find in other books I read. After realizing that this book was going to be from the male point of view, I knew that I wanted to shoot it to the top of my to be read list, and I’m super glad that I did!
“I once lived for the perfect plot twist. I just never expected to actually live it.”
I’ve never read anything from S.L. Jennings before, so I can’t speak to what her style usually is like, but holy heck can she get into the male psyche! She delivered layer after layer of webs from the hero and I soaked every single piece of it up. Rhys was dominating, yet endearing. He was so hard and cold in regards to some aspects of his life, yet when it came to his best friend and the Colonel, he was fluid and seemed to have a conscience. Plus, he was quite humorous which is always a positive in my book! I also really loved Fi, his best friend, and the dual nature of her personality. To the outside world, she was Fiona – a somewhat insecure, people pleaser. However, to Rhys, she was Fi – a beautiful soul who could tell it like it was and just understood him on a different level. She was his biggest cheerleader and it really endeared me to her. Seeing her through his eyes, and the transformation of his feelings, really brought her to life for me especially since the novel was written mostly through Rhys’ point of view.
“You have the heart of a heroine, but this world is full of villains where romance is tragedy and love is merely comical relief.”
Another thing that set this novel apart was the style in which it was written. Similar to the blurb, there are pieces scattered throughout that are in a novelistic style. Readers get to experience scenes through Rhy’s profession – writing. I really enjoyed this stylistic incorporation. I think it helped to tie in the synopsis, but also helped to relate to the hero of the story on a different level. He wasn’t always confident in his writing, so Jennings brought it to life for the reader to see for her (or him) self.
“She was his muse, his soul mate. She was the beauty in his world of heartbreak.”
Overall, I really enjoyed Ink and Lies, both for the overt content, but also for the underlying little quips about life as an author. There is humor, romance, growth, and insanely amazing imagery. Jennings can paint a picture with her words and it was stunning to visualize as I read. I sort of wish we got to see a little bit more of the aftermath, but also understood the author’s reasoning for the way she ended it. I can’t wait to crack open another book from Jennings, especially if they’re all to the caliber of Ink and Lies!
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