on January 2013
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Paranormal Romance
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He’s annoyingly gorgeous, provocative, and fast becoming her best friend. But he also has a secret that makes the little hairs on her arms stand on end...
It wasn't nicking an expensive watch or diamond bracelet that landed streetwise Jona Montiniere in the clutches of the police. It was a darn sweater. A judge decides that she has to return to her terminally ill mother, that god-awful dragon, who dumped her in an orphanage more than twelve years ago. Worse, for the coming six weeks, she has to do charity work on a strange aunt’s vineyards in France.
Yeah, right. Jona is determined to sneak off at the first chance she gets. But then she meets Julian, the dragon’s caretaker. Playful, understanding, and sinfully sexy, he’s everything she dreams of—but she’d be damned if she let him know and break through her stonewall of protection. And then he awakens her mother from the dead with a simple touch…
When the first week in her new home is over, Jona is asking herself two things. One, how could it happen that she ended up in Julian’s arms after only three days? And two, how the hell do you keep an angel earthbound?
My review: Searing, sexy and snarky
When I picked up Loving Your Lies, I thought it was purely a New Adult contemporary but as I read through the depths of its pages, I realised there was a slight paranormal twist to it. It’s all balanced in a ‘believable’ way, even though the mystery behind Julian was pretty obvious from the start.
Featuring a girl from the wrong side of the tracks for once, Jona was an interesting protagonist. She’s snarky, smarmy, and has a whole heap of sarcasm and attitude to boot. However, it’s obvious that she’s adapted that attitude to deal with her painful past – being abused by her mother’s boyfriend and being dumped in an orphanage.
We first meet Jona when she’s getting arrested by the cops for stealing. She’s no stranger to handcuffs and being on trial before a judge, but for the first time in her life, her mother shows up at the trial – with none other than the most handsome guy she’s ever seen in her life. The judge commands her to spend time with her mother in France, as they both live under her aunty’s wing.
Although Jona has the snark and the street smarts to keep her head above sand, she knows she’s done for when the judge raises her dim future in prison when she turns 18. Therefore, she must willingly go and spend time with her mother a.k.a. the dragon, and her handsome caretaker called Julian.
The novel’s journey is pretty predictable, with Jona eventually warming up to her relatives and to her new home in France. As she slowly begins to open up her heart to these new people in her life, she begins to let her guard down as all she’s ever wanted is to be loved. The mystery surrounding Julian was pretty obvious from the get go, but still incredibly sweet to witness. He has a power over her and she’s determined to find out how he got through after just a few days of being around.
I really enjoyed Loving Your Lies as a sweet, fun and light read, compared to a lot of other New Adult reads out there. The way Piper wrote Jona’s voice is just superb, as this is a girl so damaged that she acts quite difficult frequently, but just enough so that we grow to like her. It was really interesting reading a contemporary with a very slight supernatural twist.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4 out of 5
About the Author
Hi, I’m Piper. I’m an Austrian lass—totally uncomplicated and up to anything fun.
I grew up in Vienna, not by free will but because my parents decided to move there when I was only 4 years old. Ugh, that was hard. I hated the city. Everything about it. So I moved back to Upper Austria right after graduation. There are trees now in front of my window instead of just another ugly gray building, and I love to be woken by the singing of birds every morning. One of my favorite movies? Snow White. The dwarves’ house would be one epic place to live.
At seventeen, I met the love of my life, but he was a playboy, and though he was also the inspiration for many of my teen romances, I didn’t make it easy for him to get me. It took him another four years of fighting for me until I finally decided to give that “couple-thing” with him a shot. I’m now married to this man 😉 It’s cool if you can say: I tamed Casanova. What I’m currently reading? The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy.
We have a ten-year-old son, and together we travel a lot…although I sometimes wish the trips were shorter because I can’t wait to get back to my laptop and my many stories. Unless we’re in Disneyland. No stress to go home then. 😉
So, you see, I’m leading a pretty normal life.
Of course, it’ll all change the day my books follow the act of Harry Potter, and I’ll become richer than the Queen. I swear I’ll never again clean my windows myself then. Yeah, one day… LOL
Interview with Piper Shelly
Hi Piper, thanks so much for participating in my interview on Happy Indulgence!
I love to be here. Thanks for the invitation. 🙂
1. Why do you write romance novels?
Ha ha, because that’s what I’m good at. I’m a hopelessly romantic gal, who’s trying to find romance everywhere. Only, in real life it seems to be limited. LOL. So what better to do than invent a super romantic story that touches everyone?
2. Tell us about Loving Your Lies and your feelings about launching it to your readers.
LOVING YOUR LIES is a special story to me. It has some true aspects in it, which I took from my own life, and Julian was based on someone very dear to me. When I started writing this book, lots of things in it were different. Jona was a much nicer girl but with a seriously worse past. In the end I didn’t want to give my readers an icky story of abuse and sorrow, though. They should suffer with Jona, all right, but they should also live through her heights with her. I think it was a good thing to rewrite the book and give Jona this extra layer of personality which made her a snotty brat but lovable all the same. And the funniest of things is, the more people read this book and think about Jona and Julian the more this whole thing seems to come alive. Like it all really happened somewhere, sometime. Or is happening time and time again. I love it when my stories come true in every readers mind.
3. In Loving Your Lies, the main character is heavily flawed. What was the challenge in writing her voice, but making sure that she connected with the reader as well?
Dear me, this was seriously hard. I wanted to make her sassy, streetwise, sarcastic and sometimes mean, but from the start everybody should be able to like her nonetheless. I had beta readers who told me that they didn’t like her at all until chapter 4 when she finally starts to open up a little and reveals parts of her past that led to her screwed up personality. Others loved her from the get-go. Because of that, I worked in one particular scene for a reason. Remember when she bumped into the old lady with the crutches at Camden Market? Jona picked up the crutches for her even though she was on the run. I wanted to deliver a message with it. And the message was, deep down Jona cares. That’s also the reason for Quinn being in the book and her best friend.
4. Loving Your Lies is set in France amongst the vineyards, is this based on personal experience? How did you write the scenery so vividly?
I’ve been to France when I was fourteen. It was a trip from North to South in a trailer together with my cousin and her family. France was beautiful, even though the journey was seriously exhausting sometimes. But the country has such a very special flair. Like it has a personality and I got to know it a little when I was there. And then I watched this film “A good year” and it totally reminded me of that time. The movie showed all the good sides of France and the beauty of the vineyards and there I knew I wanted to set a story into exactly that surrounding.
5. What inspires you as a writer?
Most of all, music. I can’t write if I don’t have the right playlist. I can totally lose myself in a good song and ideas come out of nothing then. Here’s my playlist for LOVING YOUR LIES. The first song is Jona’s and Julian’s. I listened to it about 200 times. http://pipershelly.com/to-loving-your-lies/
Places also give me cool ideas for new stories. Like the highlands of Scotland or trip to San Franciso when I was 17. (You get that in a new book in 2014)
And then the sun. I love looking into the sun, even with closed eyes. It does something to me that is hard to describe. But it’s absolutely amazing and inspiring.
6. What are some of your favorite reads as of late?
Recently I read Fifty Shades of Grey. I totally loved the first book. I loved the character Christian Grey and I loved their email conversations. The second book in the saga, however, was very disappointing for me. I’m still struggling to finish it.
7. A lot of your books feature a bad boy as a love interest. This sounds like it might be inspired by your own love story, could you elaborate?
Well, I wouldn’t say that particularly. Julian isn’t a bad boy, is he? He just knows how to handle Jona to get what he wants. 😉 But you’re right, some heroes of my other books are bad boys, and I just love them this way. In my teen romance PLAY WITH ME you get a lot from my own teenage years. Ryan Hunter, the hot guy, is actually based on my husband…although we never played soccer together. 😉
If you want to hear more about that one, here’s the story behind the story: http://pipershelly.com/2013/05/20/how-i-met-my-hunter/
Thanks again for having me here today. I loved your questions. They were really different for once. 🙂