One thing I know for sure, I will be impatiently waiting for the next Wild Minds book from Charlotte West. Good Lies, West’s debut novel and first in the WM series, was a wonderful surprise, filled with romance, humor, and family dynamics that had me turning the pages as quickly as I could.
There are so many things to love about this book. I loved Addy. Though she may have let all the secrets linger just a tad too long, her motivations rang true for most of the book and I loved the depth that West gave to her. Addy’s background is not swept under the rug, her daddy issues are just as important as her struggles with her husband, and her insecurities drive the story. It was obvious that Good Lies had a depth to it that I don’t always find in romance novels. Of course, there’s the “misunderstanding” that’s always present in a second chance romance, but even though I’m not a big fan of the “not talking things out which results in a (insert period of time) separation”, the event the leads to Warren and Addy being apart for 3 years felt true because they were basically kids when it happens and kids say and do stupid things.
At the heart of Good Lies is the relationship Addy has with her father, Billy, and her husband, Warren. Left for 4 days with no food after her mother dies of an overdose at the age of 4, Addy has abandonment issues. Though she’s inherited her father’s wild side, she’s always anxious that she’ll do something to lose him. When he catches her and Warren together after a concert, he sends her away, cementing her belief that she’ll lose his love if she makes him angry.
When Addy and Warren meet, they’re both really young, 17 and barely 19. Despite being raised on the road, Addy has been isolated from most of the sex and drugs that can be found around the music industry. She accidentally walks into Warren’s dressing room after a concert and the hormones flow. There’s instant attraction and a sizzling kiss that’s broken up by Billy, resulting in Warren’s band Wild Minds getting bumped from the tour and Addy sent to live with family friends. Even after a year goes by Warren hasn’t forgotten Addy, contacting her and convincing her to join his band’s tour in Europe instead of starting college. Throw in a secret marriage and misunderstanding and Good Lies is up and running.
I love that Good Lies doesn’t rely only on sexual intimacy between Addy and Warren to move the plot forward. Many books today rely on the “sex every chapter” mantra, thinking this is what romance readers are looking for. And, there are readers that want that. This reader, not so much. Sex between characters is an important part of the story, but it’s not everything. Was I anticipating the moment when Addy and Warren finally fell back into each other’s arms? You betcha. Was I happy that the author chose to focus on them as characters afterward (not that Good Lies went totally PG, not at all)? Absolutely. Sex every chapter between Addy and Warren without the emotional development of their relationship would’ve confirming Billy’s feelings on them as a couple.
West’s characters are really what makes Good Lies standout. Aside from Addy, who I love, there are an overabundance of fantastic characters. Warren is sort of an enigma. As the story is told from Addy’s POV, we’re not privy to his thoughts as Addy leads him down a rocky road. Despite that he jumps off the page, his expressions and mannerisms telling the reader what they need to know about him. Even so, I would’ve like to know more about him, his background, and his love of music. Addy’s Dad, Billy, is the quintessential rocker and larger than life. When he learns he’s got a daughter he doesn’t back down from parenting and dives in wholeheartedly. While his parenting techniques are questionable, his depiction is exactly what I’d expect from his character.
The secondary characters are just as likable and provide much of the lighthearted humor to the story. The members of Wild Minds and Wanks and Janks (love this name!!) are fun and loyal. West sets up at least one more book for the WM series, as we learn about Warren’s twin, Ash, and his messed up relationship with Addy’s best friend, Lily. As I loved both these characters, I’m eagerly anticipating their book!
4.5 Stars for Good Lies. Heat level: 3.5
I received Good Lies from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
Good Lies was published in May 2017 by the author.
Available at Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Charlotte West writes romance about strong heroines and the sexy alpha males who love them. She lives in Washington state with her husband and very large dog (think miniature pony size). She spends way too much money on books, and way too much time reading. When she’s not reading, she’s feeding her reality television addiction, eating chocolate, or traveling. She’s been known to eat her weight in Girl Scout cookies.
She has a degree in Science and a Master’s in Education, neither of which she is currently using but is still paying for. Occasionally, she moonlights as a YA author.