book review
3-stars Reviews

Book Review: A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series comes a romantic comedy about instant attraction, second chances, and not-so-little white lies.

book review

Sometimes I need an escape from the demands, the puck bunnies, and the notoriety that come with being an NHL team captain. I just want to be a normal guy for a few weeks. So when I leave Chicago for some peace and quiet, the last thing I expect is for a gorgeous woman to literally fall into my lap on a flight to Alaska. Even better, she has absolutely no idea who I am.

Lainey is the perfect escape from my life. My plan for seclusion becomes a monthlong sex fest punctuated with domestic bliss. But it ends just as abruptly as it began. When I’m called away on a family emergency, I realize too late that I have no way to contact Lainey.

A year later, a chance encounter throws Lainey and me together again. But I still have a lie hanging over my head, and Lainey’s keeping secrets of her own. With more than lust at stake, the truth may be our game changer.

Overall
Storyline
Characters
Writing

The blurb pretty much covers everything. The story starts with Rook and Lainey meeting on a flight while going on a vacation. From there onwards starts the cheesy, unrelatable, and somewhat unrealistic romance. Rook, captain of Chicago’s NHL hockey team, is a reformed playboy and Lainey is a sweet but somewhat awkward and nervous girl. Rook is instantly infatuated with the innocence of Lainey and Lainey is obviously attracted towards the handsome male specimen in front of her. I struggled warming up to Rook’s and Lainey’s relationship at the beginning of the novel. A dump cottage, fear of thunderstorms, a nervous heroine and an ever-helpful hero couldn’t be more of a cliché. I mean a thunderstorm shouldn’t push the heroine right into hero’s bed. The silly turn of events weren’t able to convince their feelings to me.

Anyways, Rook and Lainey enjoy some steamy moments in their cozy little love nest. There were some sweet moments thrown in there but that didn’t make up for the lack of a relationship development. Things happen, Rook and Lainey get separated and are reunited a year later. Rook’s lies could have resulted in some great moments of tension, drama, angst but that didn’t happen as Lainey figured out Rook’s lie quite early in the story.

Second half of the story was a huge step-up from the disappointing first half. However, I didn’t want to wait for 50% of the book to pass to get something more from the story. There was some major groveling on Rook’s part owing to his lie. I liked how Lainey’s character grew over the past year and turned her a lot more likable. The thing I love about second-chance romance is how the characters fall all over in love again. They build up their trust, respect, emotions, and the sexual chemistry again. Such romances show significant character growth, which was done well in this story and is the reason for my 3-star rating.

I do have a gripe with Lainey’s character. I did not like her for the first half of the book. She wasn’t realistic enough for me. Within minutes of meeting each other, Lainey’s head is buried in Rook’s chest because she is feeling airsick. I don’t want to judge the situation with my microglasses on but who does that? Secondly, I don’t feel the title of the book is justified. A lie for a lie hints at an “eye for an eye” kind of situation. Here, Lainey’s lie wouldn’t even lie in the category of a lie. The first half of the book clearly messed with my interest in the story. The story was set up in a good way bringing together characters with such opposite nature. The characters needed to develop some connection in an “opposites attract” kind of setting before they actually get towards the attraction stage. There was ample opportunity to develop a great chemistry between the characters early on but it was done much later in the book.

A relationship should have an engaging dynamic. Here, the leads ran at a static pace where they were all sweet and cuddly at the start and except a sweet little mini bump in the road, they continued to enjoy their sweet and cuddly moments. As a reader, I want the story to be unpredictable enough to keep me interested. I wouldn’t want to be like oh! I know this will happen then what’s the point of reading and wasting my time? There has to be a sense of unknown. Here, the Hero and heroine meet, get lovestruck, play house and separate. Their relationship wasn’t fluid enough for me. The situations created to put them in each other’s proximity were a bit forced.

It was a fine read mainly due to the second half of the story. I know I am in the minority here when I say this book wasn’t something amazing or anything I would remember by the next week. It might be a case of “it’s just me not the story”. Don’t let me dissuade you from reading this one. Let me know what you think of it!

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2 Comments

  1. Great honest review! Such a shame about the characters though. I totally feel the same about you when characters meet and then through unrealistic circumstances they end up in bed together within five minutes. Like, who does that? What? It honestly sounds too insta-lovey for my liking now! Which is too bad because the blurb sounded really good. I’m curious enough to check if it’s available on KU, but I think I’d face the same issues as you, so I probably wouldn’t buy it lol

    1. Thank you so much.

      Insta-love can be a hit if the characters are strong enough to carry it. But that wasn’t the case here in my opinion.

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