LIE TO ME (Redemption # 1) by Chloe Cox
Genre – NA/Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date – November 7, 2013
The man who saved her is also the man who destroyed her…or is he?
Seven years ago, I decided I wanted to be a fighter. Marcus Roma showed me how.
Six years ago, my parents died in a car accident. Marcus Roma picked me up off the ground and held me until I could stand on my own two feet.
Five years ago, I fell in love with him.
And then Marcus Roma disappeared. No warning. No explanation. Just gone.
Yesterday, he came back.
And now I have to decide who’s telling the truth, and who’s lying. Who wants something from me, and who wants…
If I guess wrong, I could lose everything. I need to think clearly. But Marcus makes that impossible. Marcus makes me weak. Marcus makes me want, in a way I’ve never felt before.
Marcus Roma will make me fall. The only question is—will he be there to catch me this time?
LIE TO ME is a new adult / adult contemporary romance novel about truth, lies, and redemption. It is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
When I think about how to describe my reaction after reading this beautifully written love story between Harlow and Marcus, the first adjectives that come to mind are intense, powerful, and bittersweet. Themes of love, loss, abandonment, betrayal, and redemption are all intricately woven into this emotionally-gripping plot that will tugged on my heart-strings and left me breathless by the end.
Harlow Chase’s character is “real” the type of young woman you would like to get to know, if she would even let you after all the heartache and loss she’s experienced. Trust doesn’t come easy for her since her one and only love, Marcus Roma walked away from her five years ago, leaving her devastated and emotionally broken. However, Harlow is stronger than she thinks; she’s a fighter, determined to give her young brother a loving, stable home since the death of her parents. She’s worked very hard to get in control of her life, to create a sense of normalcy until Marcus returns, bringing to the surface all of her unresolved feelings of abandonment, anger, pain, and desire for the one man who has the power to bring her to knees all over again.
Marcus is no longer the naïve nineteen-year-old who left Harlow behind thinking he could have it all, given a little time. Working for his ruthless godfather, Alex Wolfe, has hardened him, made him become a man he no longer likes nor recognizes, a man full of pain and regret, haunted by the decisions he’s made that took him away from, Harlow, the only woman he has ever loved. She’s held his heart in her hands since she was fifteen, when she boldly walked into a men’s gym, asking to learn how to fight. The mystery behind Marcus’ sudden disappearance is slowly revealed over the course of the book, and although my suspicions were correct, when the entire truth is finally revealed, it’s still hard to imagine the guilt and loneliness that Marcus has had to endure. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
The story is told from both Harlow’s and Marcus’s POVs, and as they reflect upon their history together, a vivid, touching picture is painted that shows just how inextricably bound these two still are despite the aching gulf that now separates them. Cox does an exceptional job of pulling you into their lives, making you feel and understand the depths of the hurt, pain, and longing they have both experienced along with the intense passion that still exists between them. I had to take frequent breaks while reading this book, and by the end I was emotionally drained but so glad I made the journey with them.
I received an ARC of this book from the author for an honest review.
“That doesn’t work, Marcus. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t work for the man who’s trying to destroy my home and be my…what? What do you even think you are?”
Marcus puts those big hands on either side of me on the kitchen counter, penning me in, and leans in until his mouth is only inches from mine.
“I’m the guy who’s going to keep you safe,” he says.
I shiver as I feel his breath on my neck, and my heart breaks as he says those words. “Oh. Is that all?” I ask.
His lips graze my ear, my cheek. He rubs his face against my neck, and then licks it, ever so lightly.
“No,” he says in my ear. “That’s not all.”
Oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God. The physicality of this man, and my attraction to him, removes all sense from my brain. I feel like a zombie, or like I’m hypnotized, like he could tell me to strip and my clothes would be half off before I even knew what was happening. Like I’m drunk on him, drunk and deranged and prone to making bad decisions. This should be illegal. You should not be allowed to drive a human body while under this kind of influence.
“Marcus, I can’t do a repeat of this,” I say, and my breath is already ragged. “Please.”
And I push against his chest, gently.
I can’t look at him when he steps back because I know I’ll be right back there, unable to think clearly through my desire for him. Not just for him, but for everything to be right between us. That was the worst part about sleeping with him again—seeing a glimpse of how it could be. Knowing I love him now more than I ever did, knowing that learning more about the world in the last five years has made me realize just how lucky I was to have him in my life at all. And then the hangover: remembering that it’s not all right. That he still hasn’t explained why he left, that he might do it again at any moment. Remembering what happened to me after he left the first time.
How could I bring him back into my life under those circumstances? How could I ever bring him into Dill’s life under those circumstances?
That’s why I kicked him out. Didn’t seem to do any good, though. He’s still in my life. Even if he weren’t standing in my kitchen, looking down at me with such tender concern that it makes me weak, he’d still be in my life. Because I don’t think he’ll ever be out of my thoughts.
“Lo,” he says.
“Goddammit,” I say. I still can’t look at him. I’m actually sweating, I’m so turned on, and I still have to say no. I still have to be responsible. And I am furious. “Why can’t you just tell me? Why can’t you just explain? Why can’t you help me to understand so I can maybe, maybe, trust you again?”
He starts to speak, but he’s got me going now. I have to get mad or I’ll start to cry. I think about all those sleepless nights after he left, I think about all those men who treated me like crap, I think about Dylan in the bar. I think about how much I hated myself, how I thought I was just unloveable, if after all that Marcus Roma could leave me so easily.
I push him in the chest again, harder this time.
“Do you have any idea what it did to me when you left?” I ask him.
I can feel the anger roiling through my blood, twisting around the lust, the love, turning it all into something potent and powerful and destructive, and if I thought I was drunk on him before, I had no idea what that meant. I am no longer in the drivers seat. Something else is happening here. All those things I never said, all those things I felt: they’re coming out.
I shove him, hard enough to surprise him.
“Do you know what happened to me?” I shout.
Marcus’s eyes glitter softly, so softly, and when he speaks, his voice is gentle. “Tell me,” he says.
I love to tell stories. I especially love romance, only with all the good and sexy parts left in, and sometimes with a little kink, too. I cry at the dumbest commercials, I hide behind the nearest person during scary movies (and then make them tell me what’s going on), and I spend way too much money sending my friends gag gifts. (Amazon Prime free shipping is a dangerous, dangerous thing.)
So aside from feeling compelled to sit at my computer and make stuff up all day, I’m an otherwise normal gal navigating life, family, love and the rest. I am also a voracious, omnivorous reader, a disastrous cook (recipes are at best just suggestions), and the human who belongs to two bat%$&! insane cats.
Website – http://chloecoxbooks.com/
CHLOE COX”S FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT LIE TO ME
– Number of jars of peanut butter and peanut butter-chocolate consumed while writing (oh god why did I figure this out): 5 and 4, respectively. I started out with just the plain peanut butter, but at some point in the writing process peanut butter just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. I had developed a peanut butter tolerance. I needed something stronger. And thus I leveled up to this peanut butter chocolate devil mix. It was like a swirl thing? Whole Foods does it. You can get the peanut butter and chocolate mixed together, and it is the laziest snack ever, and it is wonderful. With a spoon, people. I ate it with a spoon.
– Marcus, like one of my previous heroes (what up, Chance fans!), is loosely based on someone I know. Fighter’s hands really are very heavy.
– Actually, I’m just going to throw this out there: boxing is an amazing workout, and the scenery ain’t half bad. You know, if you need to work off 9-10 jars of peanut butter related condiments for some reason.
– Harlow’s never had the time to pursue her own dreams, but she’s actually a very talented self-taught musical composer. Marcus might have plans for her, there…
– I cried like a baby writing the ending.
Amazon: Lie To Me (Redemption)
Kindle Fire HDX 7” Tablet (link to tablet specifications http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DOPNO4M/ref=fs_j)
$100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
5 Ebook Copies
3 Signed Paperbacks
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The Kindle Fire HDX giveaway is international unless excluded. If your country is not on the list that Amazon delivers to, you will not be eligible win this prize.
The signed paperbacks are international.
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All accessories for the Kindle Fire HDX must be purchased by the winner – the prize is the Kindle Fire HDX only and does not include the power adaptor.
Entrants must be 18 or over.