Author: Brandy Jellum
Source: Publisher offered ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Elizabeth Lewis was the child of Hollywood’s darling couple, until her father murdered her mother.
Six years later, she has traded her flashy, luxurious lifestyle for one of safe anonymity as a literary agent. With a different name and appearance, Liza Winter is living the life of her dreams—one where she’s known for who she is instead of what her father did. Except her apartment should be condemned, her car only starts when it wants, she hates the romance genre she has been assigned, and the CEO’s deliciously attractive nephew is out to ruin her carefully laid plans.
Reid Harder has never met an obstacle he couldn’t overcome. When his new position in the romance department comes with a benefit his uncle didn’t mention, he decides to wage a war against the intelligent, beautiful Liza to destroy every argument she has for turning him down. Still, the closer he gets to winning the prize, the more he realizes that the woman is keeping secrets that may endanger not just her life but his.
Will Liza overcome her mistrust of Reid to reveal her secrets before he learns the truth and walks away? Or will a grudge-wielding apparition from her past make her the next deadly Hollywood headline?
Flirty Review: THREE LIP BITES
The premise of the book is that Liza Winter who is really Elizabeth Lewis has been in hiding for the past six years. Now the reason why she's been in hiding is flimsy at best. She "changed" her identity to escape all the media and hoopla that surrounded her mother's murder by her father. But yet, she has stayed in the same city she lived in before and lives relatively close to her childhood home. She called it hiding in plain sight. Which I don't really understand since she did nothing really to hide, but people who knew her very well appeared to not even recognize her. I'm sorry but people don't change looks that much in six years. And the media, being creepy, wouldn't forget her face given something as sensational as the murder of her very famous mother. (And what was her mother famous for again? I forgot because it was mentioned so little.) The media circus would never end. Look at the OJ Simpson trial. It's been over 20 years now and there was a spread in People about it, featuring Simpson's kids. The murder of her mother wouldn't be forgotten after six years and the the hoopla she wanted to escape would still be there. Plus, how much has she changed looks since then? There is no mentioned of plastic surgery, no losing or gaining weight, no anything. She should still look like the same person even if she changed her hair. It just seems all too contrived and convenient.
Anyway, Liza works for this literary agency or agent house and becomes infatuated with her new boss but won't let herself get infatuated because she has these rules which aren't really explained, but then gets infatuated anyway. Reid Harder is equally infatuated but I was left scratching me head as to why exactly. There never really was a "get to know you" part to their relationship. In fact the majority of their relationship was either Liza or Reid running away because either one of them misread or misunderstood the other or pushed each other away because they didn't want to open up. I kept thinking, "Why are they attracted to each other other than physically here?"
Plus Reid has his own secrets which he doesn't tell and later we find out lied about anyway once he told them but constantly is harping on Liza for not telling him about her secrets. Ugh.
The real meat and bones of the story is the mystery about who is sending Liza threatening letters wanting to exposes her. First, what would it do if she was exposed? She didn't kill her mother, her father is in jail, and she's not in any threat of her life. So I'm guessing it's because she is guarded of her privacy but yet the threats are about exposing her to Reid and it's presented like he would hate her or not love her if he knew the truth. Now I would get if she felt threatened because her father was getting out on parole or he wasn't in jail, or maybe the killer is still on the loose, but not not the flat reasons given in the book as it is.
And was there almost a love triangle between Liza, Reid, and Eli? I thought there might have the makings of one but again it felt flat like a lot of the subplots in the book.
And I want more backstory on the relationship she had with her parents. The author hinted that Liza and her mother didn't have a good relationship (Liza's nightmares) but we never are shown or told why.
And I want more backstory on Heidi. I mean a lot. Okay, I just want more backstory on a lot of things.
And....There are many more things I found needed more attention content wise in this book. I don't want to give them away because it would tell the ending. But I will say that the ending of the book left us on a cliffhanger that made no sense whatsoever. It felt like the author was saying, "Hey, I want to make this a trilogy, so what can I throw in there to prolong the drama. I know...dun dun dunnnnnn!"
If I Say Yes was written well. It has so much promise but completely fails in my opinion. I really want to sit down with the author and help her. Really, delve into the story. She has the bones of a great mystery if she just gets her ducks in a row and get off the contrived story train. I ended up giving this book three lip bites becasue the romance wasn't bad, the writing was good, and pacing was well done. This book just needs a trip through a content edit because I don't think it had a decent one.
About The Author
When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing after her husband, her four children and her black lab Diesel. Or curled up on her favorite corner of the couch with her newest book.
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