Lie to Me by Natasha Preston ~ Sarah A’s Review

At nineteen, Savannah Dean escaped her family, leaving behind a note and the people who caused her so much pain.

Now, she lives on her own and keeps to herself.

At nineteen, Kent Lawson’s girlfriend betrayed him, leaving him behind with a broken heart and a whole lot of mistrust in women.

Now, he lives on his own and shares himself with nearly every pretty thing that walks by but only for one night.

When Savannah and Kent meet, they can’t stand each other.

Kent knows she’s hiding something, and he despises liars.

And Savannah has nothing but secrets.

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Lie to Me had highs and lows.  Some parts were so poignant I could feel the emotion as if I were experiencing it with the characters and other moments seemed so ridiculously overblown I had a hard time reconciling them with the rest of the story.

Once I got rolling with the story I was hooked, I wanted to know more about what had happened to Savannah and her family, Kent’s previous relationship intrigued me, and I loved everyone in Kent’s life.  Kent and Savannah’s back and forth, their contemptuous interactions were highly entertaining.  On more than one occasion I found myself chuckling at how ridiculous they were being.  And their chemistry?  I totally felt it; it oozed off the pages even before they really acknowledged there was more than physical attraction between them.

Lie to Me is a tiny bit insta-lovey, but sometimes, when you know you know.  Despite the expediency of Savannah and Kent’s relationship, it felt real.  The vulnerability they demonstrated, how they felt like they were themselves again, it all screamed trust and love.  Savannah and Kent had a connection that went beyond a physical connection, it was a soul-deep connection, and I loved witnessing them explore it.

My first struggle with Lie to Me came as soon as I opened the book.  It was obvious it took the author some effort getting this book off the ground.  The writing felt forced – there was a lot of strange over-explanations and awkward telling-not-showing moments.  To the point I nearly DNF’d the book before I had really given it a chance, the writing was that off-putting.  Fortunately, I had the foresight to look farther into the book to see if the writing improved, because so much of this book was terrific.  If Ms. Preston could get some help refining the first few chapters, it would make a world of difference.

My final struggles with this book all came around the same time.  There were a couple different climaxes in this book, and I struggled with both of them.  The first felt too overblown, regardless of any history of any character the reaction demonstrated didn’t feel realistic, especially given the circumstances, for the reaction.  I just didn’t buy it.  The second, more significant climax was a little better, but again, I didn’t understand the motivation.  The secondary character who was at the apex of that scene needed more fleshing out for me to get on board with his actions.

Lie to Me is a standalone novel.  I would love to see another couple books in this world, as some of the secondary characters were so intriguing.  It is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Savannah and Kent.

Natasha Preston is a new to me author, and I can see that she has promise.  I feel like she could be a phenomenal writer with a little more practice and a bit more concentration on fleshing out the motivations of her characters.  Having a little more backstory would have gone lightyears for me to have really bought into the entirety of the story.

Wednesday rolls around way too fast. I have a whole evening with Savannah. It’s been really nice these past four days that she’s been out of my life. Yet, the whole time, I’ve been craving the way we snip at each other.

I need help.

I cut my engine outside her building and look up. Apparently, she lives up on the first floor and faces out toward the road.

Is she looking at me right now?

Why I feel the need to get out and buzz her apartment, I don’t know, but somehow, I find myself getting out of the car and walking toward the building. I stop at the front door, realising that Heidi told me what floor Savannah is on but not the number. Or she might have told me, and I just didn’t listen.

This is a great start.

I’m about to call my sister when I see Savannah through the glass, walking down the stairs to ground level.

Fuck me.

Has she always looked like that?

She’s wearing a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and a grey off-the-shoulder shirt, but she looks sexier than any other woman I’ve ever seen in a little dress.

Why don’t I like her again?

Her steely eyes, looking even more prominent with the colour of her top, warily eye me. Our last encounter wasn’t exactly pleasant.

She opens the door and smiles. “Hi, Kent.”

My back stiffens. “Savannah.”

“Are you sure you don’t mind taking me tonight? I can Uber.”

And there it is. This is why she fucking bothers me so much. I feel like telling her to call a fucking Uber then. She always sounds so unsure of herself, like every tiny thing a person does for her is some massive inconvenience. Why?

“It’s fine,” I spit.

She folds her arms, carefully because her fractured arm hasn’t healed. It does take away a little of the dramatic flair she was going for. “Do you need to take a nap before we go?”

“What?”

“You’re cranky.”

“You’re too polite.”

“Being polite is a bad thing?”

I flex my jaw. “Yes.”

“Fine. Get in the car, and take me.”

The intent behind her words is clear; however, I hear it completely different and laugh.

She rolls her eyes. “Don’t be a knobhead, Kent. Take me to your parents’ house, I mean.”

“Knobhead. I’ve not heard that one in a while.”

Savannah takes another long breath. “I really don’t know why I thought accepting a lift from you would be a good idea. In fact, I didn’t. I still think it’s a bad idea.”

“You always follow through with bad ideas?”

“Tonight, I am.”

Fuck yeah. I love this fighting side of her. It’s like, when I rile her up enough, the cover slips, revealing the real Savannah. I’m not sure if she’s hiding something the way Freya was.

“You should work on that. I don’t do anything I don’t want to.”

She tilts her head to the side, fire and determination in her eyes. “Oh, you wanted me to come tonight? And you wanted to be the one to pick me up?”

“You’re hot when you’re angry, Savannah.”

Actually, she’s hot all the time. It’s just, right now, she’s the whole package.

“You always use bullshit like that to deflect from someone calling you out?”

“You’re the first woman to call me out.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” she mutters.

“Do you want to argue on your doorstep all night or get to my parents’ for dinner? I’m cool with either, just checking to see which way you’re leaning.”

She drops her arms, one still bound tightly in a splint. “I’m hungry.”

“Excellent, let’s go then.”

UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since.

She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.

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