Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I’m not sure if you will see this review. You oftentimes do and bless me with a quick comment, but for some reason, I feel compelled to write directly to you through this review. You see, I was going to start the review by discussing the attributes of the tortured hero, a character deftly developed in Dominic, the hero of your newest book, The Lie. I was going to discuss your impressive capacity to write this indomitable type of hero. With Dominic, it’s clear that the tortured hero must have suffered some kind of personal loss, one that has made him feel as though he needs to control his world by erecting an almost indestructible emotional wall that is difficult to penetrate. It is only with the “right” heroine, someone like your heroine, Faith, who can make it crumble. And that collapsing becomes like the equivalent to a Rocky training scene. Your heart swells as a hero such as Dominic allows the heroine to see his soft side. In The Lie, you construct this so beautifully, turning an incredibly masculine, decidedly grumpy Dominic into an attractive, emotionally available hero who loves his Faith beyond any measure. It’s those moments that make your readers fall in love with you and your beautiful ability to write these types of stories. In fact, my mom is currently reading your Floored. I’ve introduced her to you, and she just told me this morning, as I was driving her to the airport, that she loves, loves, loves your books. Coming from her, that is high praise.
But I digress from the intention of this letter to you/review of The Lie. What really connected me to this book, however, revolves around a singular moment in your book. It’s the moment when the other Washington Wolves players are away with Dominic for the week, a time for them to to develop a cohesive relationship. James, the quarterback, has invited Dominic to his home, a feat given that Dominic isn’t the most well-liked player on the WW. When he makes the conscious decision to flay his soul open and lay it bare to the other guys, one of them, the rookie, Cartwright, gives him an important lesson. While Dominic is struggling to repair the situation with Faith (c’mon this is romance, so there will always be something to remedy), Cartwright says, “[y]ou let it be uncomfortable.” He goes on to summarize all the ways that Dominic hadn’t allowed himself to sit in that discomfort, something, I might add, that is difficult to do for a controlling person such as Dominic. Cartwright ends his monologue with this beauty: “…And you can be afraid to admit something to Faith, but don’t make some rash decision to make that fear go away because you’re not actually solving it. You face her like a man and say, I love you and I’m afraid to lose you by telling you this. Then you wait and trust she’ll believe you.” He eventually goes on to say that he was “living in the tension, m-fers.” And it was at this moment when my heart swelled because you placed the sage advice in the most rookiest of rookies. Even more, you touched a place in me because I’ve been living in the tension for two years. It’s uncomfortable and difficult, and like Dominic, it doesn’t have a clear resolution beyond me continuing to work on myself. And for a control freak like myself, this is so. DARN. HARD. Right in this moment, and for the rest of The Lie, I felt completely seen, and isn’t that the most powerful part of writing stories? Isn’t it the way that authors connect themselves to their readers AND to humanity? It’s because of this scene (along with other great parts of your book) that I fell madly, deeply in love with Faith and Dominic. They have definitely set the bar high for Lydia and the broody driver for the next book.
But I guess I wrote this as a letter to you because I simply wanted to say “thank you.” Thank you for writing these stories that are a combination of “sweet, steamy, and sensitive.” I can share them with my mom and my friends, and I know that they will come away from them feeling fulfilled.
So that’s it. That’s what I wanted to tell you.
In love and romance,