I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Having recently moved into her new digs and spending time with the locals at O’Riley’s Bar, Pru Harris realizes she’s got a big thing for Finn, one of the bar’s owners. However, Pru has a huge secret that could put an end to her new friends and comfortable life.
Finn O’Riley is married to his job and keeping his younger brother, Sean, on the straight-and-narrow. But when Pru breezes into his bar, he realizes he is missing something in his life, something that only Pru can fill.
Okay, I'll say right from the start… Generally, I don't enjoy the "keeping a big secret" trope. I think because it stresses me out, knowing that eventually the secret will come out and feelings will be hurt. It's predictable and therefore, not always good storytelling. With that said, I absolutely adored Sweet Little Lies. Ms. Shalvis was able to take a standard story and give it both character and heart. I fell hard for Finn and Pru, so when things went predictably south, rather than rolling my eyes, my heart broke along side theirs.
Finn and Pru both have tragic back stories, each dealing with it in his/her own way. Finn takes control through buying a bar and making a life for his brother and himself. Pru finds happiness in assuaging her guilt through helping those her family hurt. It's almost like two sides of the same coin, so when they connect, they fit perfectly. And both are such likable characters; neither feels wallows in pity over their circumstances, rather each embraces happiness and joy. In the romance department, sparks fly when the pair connect. I love that there is no drawn out courtship or silly games. Their mutual attraction is sweet and extremely sexy.
I also enjoyed each of the side characters. Ms. Shalvis created a world in which I want to live and play. The friendships are tight and fun. The neighborhood is quirky and quaint. The author establishes a strong base for the series and future stories. I'm ready to move in.
The one big issue I had with the book was the inconsistency of Pru’s sobriety. Early on in the book, it was established that Pru does not drink alcohol, and she has a very compelling reason. Yet later on, Pru had beer at a baseball game, and possibly had drinks on a couple other occasions. This upset me because choosing not to drink, especially for the reasons she has, is a serious decision, one in which she wouldn’t just casually have a beer. Her choice was made clear at the beginning of the book and then tossed aside. While it didn’t ruin the book for me, it was an unfortunate oversight.
In the end, although I typically don't care for the “secret” trope, I loved reading Sweet Little Lies. Ms. Shalvis has created a charming world filled with wonderful characters. I fell in love with Pru and Finn’s story and enjoyed being introduced to their little corner of the world. I am really looking forward to reading more titles in the Heartbreaker Bay series.
My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
Review copy provided by Publisher/Edelweiss