Friday, 12 February 2016

REVIEW: Ink & Lies by SL Jennings


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 sh!t 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.


When I came across this book, a few things happen almost all at once. First, something about the title grabbed me. Second, the cover; there’s lightness to it that felt incongruent to the title, which made me more curious about the title. Third, the blurb; it’s about a male writer masquerading as female romance writer. To a tiny degree, it’s almost reminded me of authors whose works I’ve come to enjoy and like Scott Hildreth who started out writing as SD Hildreth, or say even Sylvain Reynard, who I think to this day, has not revealed his/her identity.

So put all those things together, I have set a high expectation on this one, or even a different expectation, if I may add. It may not be fair to SL but the mind goes where the mind goes, unfortunately. Also, before this, I just read what’s in my mind is THE perfect friends-to-lovers story. Sorry again, SL… 

With Ink & Lies, I’ll start by saying that it’s nowhere near what I expected it to be, sorta’. It doesn’t mean that it was automatically bad but it also meant that it gave me conflicting feelings.

Rhys and Fi were characters that I connected and disconnected with at the same time. Their story is that of a slow burning friends-to-lovers type, as in slow burning. It’s told mainly from Rhys’ POV. And we’re taken thru every nuance of their friendship, as in every nuance. I did get to know Rhys well and what his friendship to Fi meant. And thru Rhys, I saw how good a friend Fi was. It’s an admirable friendship, one that anyone would wish to have.

Where the book lost me a bit, for starter, because I wasn’t expecting it, was the pace of the story. I didn’t expect for this to be focused mostly on the “friends” part. Second, I didn’t understand the decisions they made that led to this excruciatingly long path to get them to the “lovers” part. I actually got pissed along with the MC’s as they were going thru their conflict. Well, the MC’s were getting pissed at each other; whereas I was just getting pissed at both of them, sigh. Third, I didn’t appreciate Rhys’ douche moves. While I understood his conflict, I had a hard time overlooking some of his actions. Fourth, for some reason, there were some remarks which I think were meant to be jabs on stereotypes that felt borderline condescending. Ok, I know this is just me. So pls pay no heed…And fifth, as beautiful Rhys’ words were as a writer, I felt too many pages were dedicated to it. I was getting lost at times with Rhy’s (or Fi’s too for that matter) narration and failing to maintain the fiction within the fiction. Again, I know this is just me…

Where the book did win me over, for starter, was SL’s writing style. Despite my objection over certain parts of this book, SL’s writing is what pushed me thru to finish this. There is a delicate quality to her writing that suited this genre really well. The poetic writing was simply heartfelt. Yes, she elicited all kinds out of emotions out of me that are not all necessarily nice but for me, it just meant she engaged me. I find something about her words is just captivating. And I was actually glad I stuck around because the ending caught me off guard emotionally. Frankly, I was ready to dislike everything but before I knew it, once the dust has settled, I quite appreciated the ending. The emotions by the end were as real as it can get. And of course, I cannot, cannot forget the laugh-out-loud moments. That hasn’t happened to me in a long time; as in cracking up and hubby asking me from the other room what’s happening because I was laughing so hard. Yup! So for that, thank you SL. 

Thanks for dropping by!


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