Monday, August 3, 2020

REVIEW: Inked in Lies by Giana Darling

iil bt banner

“Inked in Lies has just nudged its way onto my top readers of 2020 list. This emotional rollercoaster is beautiful, steamy, and utterly breathtaking! Darling has brought her A-game, and delivered a story that packs a whole punch and so much more!”-- Dani René, USA Today Bestselling Author

Inked in Lies, an all consuming friends to lovers romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Giana Darling, is available now!

Our Review: 
Shel: This is the first thing I've ever read by Giana Darling and I had no idea I was diving into an established series but truth be told, it was not a problem. Darling made it easy to track characters and relationships and while I probably missed out on some connections and nuances between characters that a true fan would know, I didn't feel lost at all. Court: Yes, she is so good. I snuck in the first of this series, and The Fallen MC was one it did not take any time at all to fall in love with. This was just another amazing story, and I really enjoyed the writing. I already have another of the series queued up so I cannot wait to get more! 

Shel: The main characters, Lila and Nova, and their love story are the epitome of saga--we get to meet them when Lila is a young girl and Nova is nearing teendom and we follow their friendship/burgeoning love story as they grow into their adulthood. Lila's early story is filled with grief and tragedy--grief and tragedy that Nova takes on as his own to help her shoulder the burdens and to try to shield her from as much as he can. Court: The writing of the past really melted my heart. I didn't know where our story would take us...but this was absolutely necessary for us to really understand these characters and absolutely made this story all the more rich. Their whole family (and can I just say that I want more stories of the Booth boys, right?) 

Shel: To be honest, I was initially a little impatient to get to the part of their story that was the "now" part but I'm so glad that Darling wrote it the way that she did. Having that history really made their adult part of the story more meaningful and understandable. You needed those younger years to understand how and why their relationship would be complicated and yet would naturally progress to the one they had. I know not everyone would like or understand the age gap/love dynamic but the way it was written, it really did work. Court: I agree...I was reading that each of these has quite an age gap (which I remember now from the first book) and I think knowing that is helpful...however, also knowing that no weird shenanigans happen is also helpful! 

Shel: As a newcomer to Giana Darling, I wasn't sure what to expect. I discovered, though, that I enjoyed this new to me world. It's an MC world with alpha males, biker babes, and criminal activity (and not by whom you'd expect it from). The sex is hot, the friendships are fun, and by the time you get to the end, it feels very satisfying. In some ways it reminded me a lot of Kristen Ashley, so if you're a fan of her MC books, I think you'd be a fan of this novel. Court: Yes, I definitely have put this lovely author on our list, and cannot wait to go track down more of her work. This world is sexy and hot but also has a lot of heart with this family of biker's and their babes.

Shel: A few quibbles--I wasn't a huge fan of Nova's dialogue (he drops the letter 'g' and adds the letter 'a' to things)  and there were a few things in the subplot that I felt had holes but that may be due to me not knowing things from the previous novel. But overall, I was invested and entertained all the way through the end and will definitely read more of Giana Darling's backlist and future novels. Court: (Sorry babe, but I think you're right. Having read book 1, I think I had a little better understanding of Lysander and King, and a few more of the bunch.) But...we'll get you all caught up!

IIL cover

He moved in next door. Handsome as sin, older in a way that meant forbidden. He had tattoos on his hands and wickedness tucked in his grin. I was a goner as a girl to a man they called Casanova for a reason. He would never love me, at least not the way I needed him to. I tried to move on. But I couldn’t turn my back on him or The Fallen MC. So when they needed me most, I offered the only thing of value I could use to help them. My body. And when helping them meant putting my life on the line, Nova had to decide just how much he was willing to do to get me out alive.

iil an

Download your copy today! Amazon: 
Amazon Worldwide:
Add INKED IN LIES to Goodreads:

iil teaser

It was a heady fuckin’ thing, bein’ someone’s sunshine, their rain, their entire ecosystem. But it was dangerous too. ’Cause I would raze that all to the ground with one wrong move, one of my stupid mistakes. And it would be gone, laid to waste forever. This was better, rippin’ out the weeds of romanticism I’d been so stupid to sow in her heart. The other stuff, with time, would survive. We’d always be family, and eventually, we’d get back to our friendship. Two years hadn’t ruined us, what was a few more in an effort to heal her heart and give her the chance to win someone better? I sat on the edge of the bed, dressed, boots tied, hands in my hair ’cause I couldn’t shake this feelin’ I was bein’ a fuckin’ dumbass for endin’ it even though I knew it was right. “Sneaking out?” she whispered. I looked over my shoulder at her, the sheet clingin’ to the curve of her hip, the flowers I’d inked on her back vivid against her dark skin and the white covers. My fingers twitched to trace them. “Nothin’ about this is easy, Li,” I admitted. “I feel like I’m hurtin’ you if I do, hurtin’ you if I don’t. I’m just tryin’ to find the best option here. You might not believe it, but I’m tryin’ to do what’s best for you.” She blinked up at me, those wide, long lashed eyes that had stared up at me for years, so trustin’ and lovin’ were now shuttered, guarded against me. My heart rattled against the cage of my ribs, strugglin’ to get out. To get to her. “I know you think you aren’t good enough. I know you’ve always had that kernel of doubt about yourself because you were different, and growing up, people told you that made you bad. I know Meredith solidified that for you. But I want you to think it about it like this,” she took a deep breath, and I braced for her words. “You saying your not worthy enough? It’s like me saying the same just because Ignacio is my father, and I have his blood. I choose every day to be better than what he gave me, Nova, even though he’ll always be a part of me. You could make the choice to be better than what you think you are, for me, if you wanted.” She had a way of sayin’ someone’s name like that. The same way she said the names of flower varieties, as if each word itself was a novel, and she was tryin’ to convey a summary of the entire thing in one word. I’d memorized the way she said Nova, as if it was the great novel ever written. As if it was a sacred text she’d studied, runnin’ her hands over the pages until they went cotton smooth with use and lovin’. I wanted to be that for her, to try for her, to love her better every day, but how selfish would it be to keep her in this life of mine? Lou and Z had been separated for months by prison, Cressida had lost her King. Wouldn’t I just be condemning Li to a similar fate somewhere down the line? “You know, Nova, I’ve loved you all my life. Since the day I first saw you across the street stepping out of that minivan, I thought you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.” She laughed softly, and I thought I’d never heard a laugh so full of grief and mourning. “But for a pretty boy, you have an ugly heart.” “Lila,” I started, but my voice was wrong, strangulated by the cobra of emotion twined around my throat, squeezin’ the life outta me. “Don’t say that. Not you. I’d fuckin’ rip out my own heart to see you safe, to see one fuckin’ smile on your face.” She was so fuckin’ lovely in her despair, tragic in a romantic way like Juliet before her Romeo. Of course, even my Flower Child made heartbreak look pretty. “That’s just it. You could make me smile every day for the rest of my life so easily. All I’ve ever wanted was your love.” “I love you,” I said instantly, but the words fell flat and heavy when they should have soared, hollow and cheap as a children’s toy dropped to the floor. “Not enough,” she declared with a sad kind of triumph as if I’d put her outta her misery in some horrific way. As if she’d just been waitin’ for me to disappoint her all along. “Not enough,” she repeated softly. “Not enough to even try.” I watched her with my heart in my goddamn throat as she got up, naked and glorious as a nymph crossin’ my path, and went to the bathroom. Before she closed the door, she turned to me and said, “I hope you’re gone when I come back. And you should know, this time? I’m not waiting for you.”

Giana Darling pic

About Giana 
Giana Darling is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Top 40 Amazon bestselling Canadian romance author who specializes in the taboo and angsty side of love and romance. She currently lives in beautiful British Columbia where she spends time riding on the back of her man’s bike, baking pies, and reading snuggled up with her cat Persephone.

Connect with Giana 
Reader Group:

Post a Comment

Comments are bloggy food.

Feed our blog...

© Must Read Books or Die. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.