January 13, 2014

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: All The Pretty Lies (Pretty #1)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

All the Pretty Lies (Pretty #1), by M. Leighton
Published November 11, 2013
e-book, purchased
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
“Live, no regrets”

Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.

In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It’s never had to be. He’s lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he’s nothing but controlled. He’s a man on a mission, one who will let nothing and no one stand in his way.

Nothing in their lives could’ve prepared Sloane and Hemi for what they’d find in each other—distraction and obsession, love and possession. But the one thing they can’t find is a future. Neither one has been totally honest. And they’ll soon learn that the devil is in the details. In the details and in the lies.
How far will two people go to live in the now when the now is all they’ve got?

It's been awhile since I read a book by Michelle Leighton. Too long. I had forgotten how very much I enjoy them. All the Pretty Lies was no exception. The chemistry between Hemi and Sloane was sooooo hot. The slow burn between them was done perfectly. There was a lot to love about this book.  

Sloane has been sheltered her entire life by her father and three brothers - all cops. When she turns 21, she's decided she's had enough, and her first act of rebellion is getting a tattoo. But, when she walks into Hemi's tattoo shop, her goals become realigned. Hemi affects her in ways she never even imagined. He provides her with infinite inspiration for her art. And, for Hemi, Sloane presents as a means to an end. At least, at first...

In this first book in M. Leighton's new Pretty series, she presents we readers with plenty of new fodder for our book boyfriend dreams. There's Sloane's three brothers, Steven, Scout and Sig as well as Hemi and his brother Reese. Thank you, Michelle. 

So, Hemi is the first of these incredible guys we get to see in action. And, whoa. his actions made me tingly. I loved his dedication to his family, first and foremost. All of his motivation for most everything he does throughout the course of the book is for his brother Reese and his deceased brother, Ollie. No matter the decisions or mistakes he makes (and, yeah, he makes some mistakes that made me want to clobber him), his intentions were pure. 

Sloane, poor thing, has had a rough go of it. After her mother dies of leukemia, she's left alone with her father and three brothers who have vowed to protect her and shelter her from all the bad things. Admirable, but so stifling. For awhile, I was really angry at Sloane's family. They were completely unreasonable and seemed very self-serving. But, there is a point where you see that their motivations are also pure, like Hemi's. Despite the mistakes THEY make as well. 

And, in the middle of it all is this fledgling relationship between these two creative people. Sloane is trying to find a way to make her artistic talent work for her. Hemi offers to apprentice her, and tattooing becomes something that Sloane realizes she's not only good at but something she loves to do. And, something she loves to do with Hemi. 

Because these two have chemistry. Holy crap on a cracker, do they ever. It's not insta-love, exactly. More like, insta-attraction. Insta-lust. Insta-iwanttodoyourighthererightnow. Of course, it grows into more than that. And that's when things get real and the past catches up to both of them. The developing relationship between Hemi and Sloane was so fun to read and so dramatic. You just knew that both of them had secrets they were keeping from the other, and they both come out around the same time. And, from that second, I swear, NOTHING was tearing me away from this book. 

"You are my hope. You are the promise of my future. Without you, I have only regret. Nothing good. Or colorful. Or beautiful. Just death and sadness. You brought me to life, Sloane, and I don't ever want to be apart from you."

All the Pretty Lies is told in dual POV, so we have the opportunity to get inside both Sloane's and Hemi's heads. I've made no secret about the fact that dual POVs are my favorite. I hate being left out of a good secret, so I love knowing what's going on before the characters do. Of course, sometimes it has that train wreck effect, like in this case. You just know something bad is going to happen when it all comes out, and yet, instead of stopping or skipping ahead, I just couldn't put it down. The other thing that kept me glued to the pages was M. Leighton's signature scorching heat. It's here in spades. Again - thank you, Michelle.

The second Pretty book, All the Pretty Poses, is about Reese. The third is as-yet-untitled, and it's about Sig. Based on what I saw in All the Pretty Lies, this series is gonna be AMAZING.

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