Author: S.L Jennings
Publisher by: Self-Published
Published on: February 9, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Page Count: 249
From International Best Selling Romance Novelist, Hope Hughes, comes a gripping, heartfelt tale of two lovers, fighting for the freedom to…
No. Scratch that. Too cheesy.
…two people, torn apart by the tumultuous tides of life, only to discover refuge in…
WTF? What does that even mean? DELETE.
…two people, confused as shit as to where they should be and who they should love and none of this means a damn thing because it’s all lies!
I’m not Hope Hughes. I’m not some fierce woman romance machine. Hell, I’m not even a woman.
I’m a liar.
And while I refuse to believe my own BS, deceit masked in heartfelt phrases of love and devotion, I want to make her believe them. Because maybe—just maybe—if she can find the soul within my words, she’ll also be able to find the truth scribbled on my heart.
You see, I once lived for the perfect plot twist.
I just never expected to actually live it.
This is my story. Well, maybe her story. I just wish I could make it our story.
The one I’m still writing.
I’m still living in the pages of Ink & Lies….this is a book that as soon as you’ve read the last word you instantly want to start at the beginning and read it all over again. This is a story of friends to lovers that takes it to another level with added treats of rom/com that will have your sides aching from laughter, angst that will have you wanting to scream at the characters, tear jerking that will have you grabbing the tissues, and a plot twist that will make your heart stop!
“Romance, love, marriage…it’s all fine and dandy between the whimsy pages of beloved novels. But that’s the only place it makes sense. In the real world with real interpersonal relationships, love is a grand, elaborate lie, manipulated by retailers to sell cards, flowers, albums, movies, and of course, books. I should know.”
^^^^Haven’t we all felt exactly as this quote describes at some point in our lives? As romance readers do we believe in the romantic HEA or read because we believe we will only ever find it in books? August Rhys Calloway (ARC), is a writer that colors the pages of his books with fictional romance to whisk the reader away to that desired HEA but he believes that is the only place it will ever exist, to him it is all a fairytale. As a single sexy man writing romance he fills his bed with plenty of muses but his main inspiration for creating these fairytale novels is his best friend, his number one fan, his constant supporter, his everything…Fiona Shaw (Fi).
“Anyone that loyal and dedicated to her literary love was pretty fucking perfect in my book. And to me, Fiona was every heroine in every book that I ever cherished.”
Fi and Rhys have been each others constant for the past ten years no matter what or who has come and gone they have always had each others back. Fi is a true romantic who loves to lose herself within the pages of her romance books with her Heros…”Darcy, Heathcliff, Roark, Blythe, Rochester, Grey, and Cullen”, and she fully believes in fairytales and is searching for her happily ever after. The relationship and banter between Rhys and Fi is sweet, fun, comical, and their connection is so strong and deep that it is felt throughout the whole story.
“My cheek rests against the top of her head as we sit in the silence of unspoken dreams. I hold her like she’s water in my palms, and she holds me like she’s trying to grasp an ocean.”
But often times when it comes to matters of the heart/love, what should be obvious, what is right there in front of you for so long, is the one thing/person that you don’t see and when your heart reveals what your mind has been denying you may find yourself facing “the ultimate plot twist” and holding your breath with hopes of finding your own HEA…one you never believed existed. Rhys and Fi’s forever friendship evolves to a place that they never saw coming and are faced with choices that will be forever life changing….is it the end for them or will they find their HEA together?
“The most epic love story I’ve ever written is the one I’m still living. So everything I’ve ever wanted to say…everything I should’ve said a long time ago is in these pages. And when you’re done, I hope you’ll come find me. I hope we’ll find each other.”
After typing that quote, GAH…I want to devour the book again!! Before ending my review I want to give a shout out to two favorite secondary characters, the Colonel (Rhys’ grandfather) and Bartleby the cat…both were so lovable and the story would not have been complete without them. Ink & Lies is an outstandingly fresh and unique twist on the friends to lovers story that has that magic within each and every page that will have you taking in each word and holding it close to your heart for long after you’ve read THE END.
“Yeah, but…” Her eyes grow wide and glossy as she tries to sift through all the reasons why that theory shouldn’t apply to her. In the end, she relies on her heart. “You said I wasn’t like those other women…that those other women weren’t me.”
I should tell her she’s right. I should put her out of her misery and reassure her that the last ten years were as real and meaningful to me as they were for her. That even though I may sling gift-wrapped bullshit for the general public, only she knows the true, honest parts of my heart. But with my tongue possessed by the taste of her rejection, I play the petty card, and do just the opposite.
“I guess I was wrong, especially considering yesterday’s events. Maybe you’re no different from them. And maybe you were right about me…that I do sabotage with sex to keep people at arm’s length. Because in the end, that’s all I want anyway, right?”
“You don’t mean that.”
I nod. “Yeah. I do.”
“So what are you saying?” The hurt is so thick in her throat that I can barely hear the words.
I suck in a breath, and scrub a hand over my forehead. “You were right about me. About us. We shouldn’t have done…what we did. And we can’t move on and pretend that it didn’t change us. What’s done is done.”
“I agree,” she nods, with a tinge of hope in her voice.
“So, maybe we should just see this for what it is—the end. You’re starting your life with Joshua and moving away, and I’m going on with mine.”
“Wait, August. No, that’s not—”
“You didn’t actually think we’d be able to keep this up, did you? What, you thought we’d turn out to be the modern day Cathy and Heathcliff? I’m not some swoony, literary hero, Fi. I’m not here to rescue you from your shitty love life that stems from your shitty childhood.”
“I never said you were—”
I’m rambling, spewing verbal diarrhea all over her blue cashmere, but I can’t stop. I can’t shut off the bile that has been choking me since this morning when she disclosed her impending nuptials. “You have Joshua. He’s the one you chose. He’s the one you want. You made that perfectly clear. So what the fuck do you need with me?”
“I thought we were friends, August. I thought you and me were—”
“Well, I guess you were wrong. Friends don’t fuck each other and then five minutes later get engaged. And why would you want to be friends with some empty, misogynistic prick like me anyway?”
“I-I didn’t mean,” her voice cracks, and the first tear escapes. She quickly dashes it away, refusing to let me play witness to her weakness. But I’ve already seen it. I share that very same weakness that has her bottom lip trembling. I’m just too much of a coward to show it.
“Look, I’m sorry. I think we just need a break.”
“A break. Yes,” she nods, dashing away tears. “You’re right. We both said things we shouldn’t have. Let’s just take a few days to…”
“No. A break from this,” I clarify, gesturing between us. “From us. This isn’t working anymore.”
“You’re being melodramatic, August. We’ve had fights before. We’ve said things we didn’t mean, and we always were able to work it out.”
I shake my head and look away, refusing to acknowledge the dejection on her face. “But I meant everything I said.”