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by Lora Leigh
Series: Men of Summer #2
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Styx's Storm, Moving Violations, Cops and Cowboys, B.O.B.'s Fall, "Dragon Prime", Primal, Live Wire, Navarro's Promise, Forbidden Pleasure, Beyond the Dark, Black Jack, Tempting the Beast, Dangerous Pleasure, Maverick, Man Within, Midnight Sins, Wild Card, Tied with a Bow, Lawe's Justice, , Deadly Sins, Stygian's Honor, Surrender to Fire, Nauti Temptress, Submission & Seduction, Wicked Sacrifice, Secret Sins, Nautier and Wilder, Shameless Embraces, Wicked Pleasure, Only Pleasure, Guilty Pleasure, Twin Passions, Nauti Enchantress, Shattered Legacy, Intense Pleasure, Knight Stalker, Enthralled.
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Jazz has never been known as a good boy.
A good drinker. A good partier. A damned good builder, and a hell of a good liar. Those are all descriptions that come to mind when the citizens of Loudon, Tennessee, think of the tall, muscular, laughter-filled charmer they know as Jazz. And Jazz will admit to all of them: he likes to play; he likes to tease. And a little white lie surely never hurt anyone.
Until the sexy, too-shy kindergarten teacher, Annie. Annie sets fire to his lusts as well as to his heart. But Annie has a past he wasn’t aware of. A past that will draw Jazz into the heart of a conflict he had never expected to face.
Now, Jazz has to pull in some serious favors, just as he finds himself fighting a woman determined to save the charming liar who has never been serious. A man who has sworn to pass on love. A man who is now is telling the most wicked lies of his life to steal the heart of the woman who has stolen his soul.
Second in the Men of Summer romantic suspense series and revolving around a group of male friends. The couple focus is on Kenni Maddox/Annie Mayes and Jazz Lancing.
Do not expect a list of characters… I couldn’t bear to get that close.
I was not expecting Wicked Lies to be a repeat of Leigh’s The Callahans series, which I essentially hated for the lousy writing.
In this one, Kenni is tired of her wicked, horrible past, ten years of running, hiding, escaping all those assassination attempts by people with whom she was raised. It takes 68 pages before we finally reach some idea of what Annie’s whole problem is. It takes even longer before we find out who Annie really is.
And that’s where the really big problems begin. Leigh needs to make up her mind. In one paragraph she has Annie/Kenni declaring that she’s been avoiding her brothers and father because they are guilty of killing her mother and trying to kill her for the past ten years; in the next paragraph, she’s protecting them, claiming she hasn’t contacted them because she doesn’t want to get them killed. Which is it? Why not create a blend of confusion over whether they could possibly be involved, but how could they? Raise the tension with that confusion.
Instead, all it did was send my eyeballs rolling, and rolling so much that I had to skip entire pages so I could get to the end of this disaster. Yep, I even skipped the sex scenes. That’s how bad it was. Speaking of which, what is it with male characters who think they’re so irresistible that they can take what they want? It’s one thing when the author twists the trope with a dominant male confronting a woman who does want him, but is denying her inner want — which is the case here, although Leigh does NOT make it believable. Actually, nothing is believable.
How exactly is this Kin thing tied to the government? Are Jazz, Zack, and Slade supposed to be foster brothers? Is that what ties them together? Does Annie/Kenni really think she can hang out in her hometown for two years without giving herself away? Why is Cord so paranoid? Is the entire Kin so stupid, that they don’t pick up on the traitors? And why does the Kin need to exist in the first place? Why is/was Jazz so infatuated with this seventeen-year-old that he’d build his entire place exactly as she described? What were the New York City cops doing after the explosion?
Her mother, and then Kenni, have this evidence, and they can’t manage to get it to the family? How about a phone call to beg them to stop sending people to kill her? It either gives her family a heads-up that something is wrong in their organization or they know she knows. Gunny is so brilliant with a computer, but he can’t figure out an anonymous email Kenni could sendto her family and ask why? She returns to the town full of Kin, her hometown, to hide? She’s got all these pictures of the men who have been coming after her, and she can’t scan ’em, send ’em to her family, and ask why?
Leigh kept repeating the issues, over and over and over. I can’t figure out if she was trying to build tension — some show, well, a lot of show would’ve been nice — or lengthen the book.
I think she’s supposed to be a smart woman, but how dumb can you get?