*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Well knock me down with a feather!
I had so many reservations upon starting this book, my friends said I was going to hate Leah so I braced myself for the inevitable. As the story began I thought right lets do this, then I waited, then waited a little bit more, then at 60% I thought ooh she must be about to do something really despicable that I’m gonna hate. I was prepped and ready and then….then the story was over! What just happened? Why was I not cursing this red head? Why was I not wishing her an untimely demise? And why was I not angry that she was keeping Caleb and Olivia apart?
The truth is I felt no anger towards Leah at all and that surprises me and it definitely surprised my friends! What I felt for Leah was an overwhelming sense of sympathy. Leah spent her adult life clinging on to someone that was never hers in the first place. Leah spent years distorting her reality, it was either that or admit defeat and acknowledge that her husband had never given her his heart, he simply couldn’t as Olivia held it in the palm of her hand from day one.
So yes Leah was manipulative and was the master of deception but she wanted Caleb to be hers so badly that nothing was off limits. Even the innocent people in her life were used as pawns. I know someone’s upbringing and social circumstances can’t excuse all their behaviour but I did really feel for Leah and the life she led. How could she love unconditionally with no strings attached if she was never on the receiving end herself?
I really liked the structure of the story. Each chapter alternated between the past and the present. The past filled in the gaps of what we already learned in The Opportunist but it wasn’t repetitive as we uncovered the secrets through Leah’s eyes. And then the present showed us the state of Leah’s marriage and the struggles she face trying to grasp any minuscule chance she had left with Caleb.
Tarryn Fisher’s writing is excellent, I was gripped immediately and she made me sympathise with the woman who should have been the villain. The story flowed well and we were drip fed information, keeping me on the edge of my seat wondering what bombshell was going to be dropped next.
And yes I am Caleb’s number one fan, I do have a soft spot for the sexy man but I was mad at him! Yes I was, Caleb should have manned up! Why he put himself, Leah and Olivia through this emotional roller coaster I have no idea. I do believe he convinced himself he could make it work with Leah, I did question if he was being manipulative or in fact he was just confused and trying to do what he felt was best. In the end the truth is I just don’t really know and that is props to the author, she had me questioning everything. This triangle is so fraught with treachery and lies I don’t know who to believe any more!
I shouldn’t like this book or even this series for this matter, it has all the ingredients I hate in a book; a love triangle, lies, a manipulative bitch and no HEA but to my greatest surprise I really enjoyed it! Each character was so rich, I felt like I knew each and everyone of them, all their moods, flaws and idiosyncrasies.
This is quite a departure from my usual smutty read and truth be told I didn’t even miss it. The Love Me With Lies series is a perfect example of great story lines backed up with excellent writing to sell books on pure entertainment alone.
I’m just sorry I left reading this series for so long and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I need to read Thief now!! I’m hoping Caleb reminds me of all the reasons why I swooned for him in book one!
“I am who I am. My name is Leah, and I will do anything to keep my husband.”
“My father gave me a prestigious job at his company to prove how little he thought of me. My boyfriend gave me smiles that didn’t reach his eyes. My mother gave me love so thin it felt like sugarcoated contempt. If someone had cared enough to say: Leah it’s all in your head…all I would have to do was to refer them to the three people in my life who didn’t really want me there.” ~ Leah
“I knew he never loved me like he loved her, but I wanted him anyway. I knew his love for me was conditional, but I wanted him anyway. I knew I was second choice, but I wanted him anyway.” ~ Leah
“He was a liar. He was a thief. I wanted to crumble to the ground right there, and admit defeat. Die and die again. Die and take Olivia with me. Die.” ~ Leah
“Love is illogical. You fall into it like a manhole. Then you’re just stuck. You die in love more than you live in love.” ~ Caleb