I'm so glad that I got on this tour! When I saw the signups on Reading Addiction Blog Tours, I had just finished Play With Me and Ryan Hunter, also by Piper Shelly. (You can read my reviews of those here if you're interested.) Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed reading both of those books! They were so much fun! Loving Your Lies, however, was much more than just "fun."
Loving Your Lies by Piper Shelly
He’s annoyingly gorgeous, provocative, and fast becoming her best friend. But he also has a secret that makes the little hairs on her arms stand on end…
It wasn’t nicking an expensive watch or diamond bracelet that landed streetwise Jona Montiniere in the clutches of the police. It was a darn sweater. A judge decides that she has to return to her terminally ill mother, that god-awful dragon, who dumped her in an orphanage more than twelve years ago. Worse, for the coming six weeks, she has to do charity work on a strange aunt’s vineyards in France.
Yeah, right. Jona is determined to sneak off at the first chance she gets. But then she meets Julian, the dragon’s caretaker. Playful, understanding, and sinfully sexy, he’s everything she ever dreamed of—but she’d be damned if she let him know and break through her stonewall of protection. And then he awakens her mother from the dead with a simple touch…
When the first week in her new home is over, Jona is asking herself two things. One, how could it happen that she ended up in Julian’s arms after only three days? And two, how the hell do you keep an angel earthbound?
I was so screwed.
When they started making plans over my head, and voices mixed to a painful blur, Quinn let me wait outside the room. I had to promise not to run off or pick up a fight with an officer again before he opened the door for me. I restrained from giving him the finger and slipped out.
Elbows propped on my bent knees, I sat on the floor in the hallway with my back resting against the windowed wall. The chain of the cuffs rattled mockingly. With them on, I wouldn’t get far on an escape for fresh air. I might as well surrender to my horrendous fate.
Utterly miserable and confused about my new future, and no less annoyed by the glances of passing officials, my head dipped back, my gaze focusing on the blank ceiling. Out of habit when I was by myself—and stuck knee-deep in shit—I started humming a song I didn’t know the name of. It always had a strangely soothing effect on me. Odds were I had made up the melody myself over the years. But I’d hummed, whistled or tapped the rhythm with my fingers so often that the tune wouldn’t get out of my head ever.
The door to Abe’s room opening opposite me didn’t disrupt my low singing. But when my mother’s blond friend came out and leaned one shoulder casually against the column in the middle of the hallway, the hum died in my throat.
“Hi,” he said with a compassionate look that made me wish the traitor, Quinn, had taken off those damn handcuffs so I wouldn’t look like a complete idiot.
Lips pressed together, my fingers waggled in a feeble greeting. The mere sight of this man sent a quiver of excitement to my stomach.
“That was quite an interesting…situation in there.”
With an evil grin, I hoped to send the message Mind your own crap, buddy to him. Out loud, I said sweetly, “Glad you enjoyed the show.”
“I didn’t really.” He wrinkled his nose. “Getting involved with Laurel and Hardy in there wasn’t your best idea. Even a smart girl like you might get hurt in a fight with those two.”
Yeah, sure. My eyes narrowed to slits. But his words warmed my heart in an unfamiliar way.
The young man nodded his chin at my tied hands. “They look a little uncomfortable.”
And they bloody well were, but I shrugged it off like it was nothing unusual. “The latest fashion. You heard the judge, I wear them quite often.”
A teasing smile played around his lips that spiked my blood pressure. “Shall we take them off?” he said.
He must be kidding. “Unless you’ve got teeth like a hacksaw, I don’t see how that would work.”
He crossed the hall to me, pulling out a key-ring from his pocket. He squatted, leveled his eyes with mine, and shook the ring in front of my face. The friendly jingle of metal filled the high hallway.
My mouth fell open. “Where did you get these from?”
“You stole them from Quinn?” I pulled my hands out of his reach.
“Of course not.” The blond god gave me a pointed look. “I asked for them.”
Why would this guy ask my officer friend to release me? Frowning, I concentrated on the safety pin in my jeans. “Quinn wouldn’t free me when I asked him to.”
His intense blue eyes locked with mine. “I had to solemnly swear to keep an eye on you. Now hold still.” Cool fingers curled around my wrist to fix my hand while he unlocked the first cuff. Sparks tingled on my skin, my hand trembled slightly.
Why would he give his word to an officer, to free me? Why even care? He’d do well to stay behind that door, holding my horrible mother’s hand instead of setting mine free. With a click, the other cuff came off. I flexed my hands and rubbed my burning wrists. The shackles had left bright red lines on my skin.
“Better?” He tilted his head and arched one beautiful brow.
My head bobbed, but I found no breath to answer.
“Okay then.” He used my knees to push himself up and stretched to his full height.
He probably expected my gratitude following his selflessness. My gaze focused on the ripped hems of his jeans, my lips remained sealed.
When he turned on his heel and marched off to the left, I glanced up. “And now you’re going where?” The words shot out before I could stop myself.
“Bathroom break.” His arched brows dared me to object.
My lower lip threatened to pop from between my teeth as I chewed on it. Don’t speak! “But you’re supposed to keep an eye on me.”
After studying me for a couple of seconds, his expression softened even more. “You’re not going to get me into trouble.”
I let him take another stride away from me. Two. Three. Four. “How can you be so sure?” Shut the hell up, Jona. “After everything you know about me, I’ll probably be gone when you get back.”
A shrug of one shoulder and his beguiling smile struck me silent. “I trust you.” A moment later he disappeared around the corner.
Grover Beach Team series. They completely exemplified my idea of a "summer beach read." They were very sweet and romantic, I loved the characters, they made me laugh all of the time, I never really felt the need to launch them through a wall (though I guess that would be hard to come by on a beach), and, above all, they were fun. I'm not trying to make it sound like they were shallow or anything, but their purpose wasn't exactly to make me question my existence as I knew it.
Loving Your Lies was a whole other story (both figuratively and literally, haha; oh, come on, you know you want to laugh at my dumb joke). I didn't go through an existential crisis or anything, but it made me think about much deeper topics. Jona's relationship with her mother, the "dragon," is the obvious one, but the beginning brought up a lot of really interesting stuff too. Jona was treated like trash on the streets. People acted like she was less than nothing because she lived in an orphanage. Not only that, but they resented her personally for ending up where she was. They said that she had no excuses for living as she did what with all "the system" did for her. The very same negligent system that drove her to steal in the first place. Piper's treatment of that issue was beautiful.
Another huge compliment that I have for this book is a little harder to describe. You know when you're reading, how sometimes a book will just give you a crystal clear picture of what's going on? You're not really sure if it's the writing style, the descriptions of the setting or the characters, or just that the story seems especially real? I got that feeling a lot with this book; in fact, I'm having a hard time trying to think of a time that I didn't.
My favorite parts by far definitely took place in the vineyard. With Julian. Those scenes just drank in the atmosphere of a happy day in sunny France, and I never wanted them to end. The banter between Jona and Julian was ridiculously entertaining to peek in on, and I loved watching their relationship blossom so naturally.
I'd like to say something about the arrangement that was made to bring Julian in to help, but I can't say much without spoiling the book for you! I also can't say anything about how it conflicted with his personal goals, but just know that it really brought something interesting to the book. Something that is definitely worth you checking out. And I just have to give a little shout out to Quinn and Marie for being such amazing human beings!
This book was very different from most others I've read, so I'm having a bit of trouble trying to classify it. There were paranormal aspects, but they really didn't become fully revealed until late in the book, leaving most of it focused on Jona's relationships with her family (both new and old) and Julian. I still hesitate to call it contemporary fiction, though, because the more magical subjects never completely went away, but it doesn't follow the timeline of your typical YA paranormal romance either. I'd say that for people like me - who's first love will always be fantasy but are slowly crawling into the world of contemporary fiction - this book is absolutely perfect.
No answer came from Julian. Instead he eased off the railing and lowered to the floor opposite me. Burning blue eyes studied me for a long moment. "Do you always use sarcasm for protection?"
It protected me from the world. From people who tried to get too close. If I hurt them first, they couldn't hurt me. Especially, when they planned to disappear from my life. "Why do you say that?"