Title: Innocent Lies
Author: J.W. Phillips
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: May 30
Tour Host: Dreams Come True Promotions
Most would view Dylan’s life as a living Hell, but she discovered what Hell really was.
Twenty year old, Dylan was minding her own business when twenty-six year old Ethan sat down at her table. All she wanted was peace from her past. He offered her the protection and calm she had never known. That was until she learned how much of that past he was a part of.
If life had taught Dylan Summers anything it was that not everyone gets a happily ever after.
Cliffhanger Warning! I like to throw that out there at the front. I think I will start this review with what I did like - the idea behind the story. This story is a good one, and it definitely has a lot of potential. There is love, there is the struggle for two people that have tough pasts to trust one another, and there is also some really dark stuff that pulls you in and makes you feel for the main female character, Dylan. So, here is the story...
Dylan is just existing in life, primarily due to events in her past, broken promises and broken dreams. She meets Ethan, an assistant district attorney who, very boldly, approaches her and tells her that she will meet him for a date. Dylan typically pushes guys away and doesn't seem at all interested in their lines or their attempts to sleep with her. For some reason, though, she is compelled to follow through and go on the date with Ethan. They have two good dates before Ethan just disappears from her life. Out of necessity for other reasons, Dylan moves apartments and just tries to move on and continue her routine of work and school. About a year later, however, Ethan reenters her life. He fights to get Dylan to let him back in, and Dylan slowly begins to give him another chance...and even more, to give him her heart and her trust. She does not do either very easily, and neither does Ethan. Dylan's past is a huge issue that they must overcome, however, as is Ethan's. Dylan must figure out if Ethan can be trusted with her heart and even her life. Ethan has a very dark past that is actually connected to Dylan's in a way, so they definitely have a long journey to take in figuring out how to care about one another. And yes, this book ends in a cliffhanger...where Dylan, again, runs. This time, it may have actually been a more appropriate action on her part, but it definitely leaves you hanging!
Now, for what made this book difficult to read. To begin with, a major drawback for me with this book was grammatical errors. There were punctuation errors, which I can typically deal with and overlook, but there were also just...weirdly stated phrases or incorrect tenses that were used, so it just read very awkwardly at times. I believe I might have an earlier version, so much of this could have been corrected at this point, but that definitely impacted my connection to the story, at times. Ex: "I was due to had been at work in fifteen minutes". That type of phrasing is throughout the book and not just one or two times. Another thing was how choppy and quick some of the transitions were. So much focus is on what happened to Dylan in her past and how it is affecting her, and I think that not enough focus was spent on developing interactions and making them seem normal and seamlessly transitional, if that makes sense. I often got lost in the dialogue and didn't quite know what was going on before they had moved on to something else, or some major piece of information was shared. Some of that could also be due to the fact that Dylan is a runner. Nothing drives me more crazy than the young female that runs at every opportunity - even running out the back door of a restaurant in the middle of a date because Ethan spoke to another female.
One final thing is that Dylan had a really traumatic thing happen to her - like...really traumatic. Yet, she is a survivor, and she has guarded her heart for many years and not trusted others, especially men. I did really struggle with how quickly she trusted Ethan, as well as how she responded to him physically. For someone that has responded to her trauma the way that she has, her response to Ethan was not a very realistic one in the time that it happened. I think I could have over looked that, however, if their relationship and dialogue was built up more.
So, again...I like the story, and I love Dylan and Ethan. I think that the story needs to be tightened up and maybe have some better, more definite transitions between what is happening.
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