I don’t want you.
You mean nothing to me.
I never loved you.
I turned my words into swords.
And I cut her down. Shoved the blade in and watched her fall.
I said I’d never hurt her, and I did.
Years later, I’m faced with all the little lies, the untruths, the false realities, the damage I inflicted, when all I wanted was to indulge my obsession.
Lavender Waters is the princess in the tower. Even her name is the thing fairy tales are made of.
I used to be the one who saved her.
Over and over again.
But I don’t want to save her anymore.
I just want to pretend the lies are still the truth.
A standalone angsty new adult romance.
Heroine: Lavender Waters (Alex and Violet Waters’ youngest daughter, PUCKED and FOREVER PUCKED couple origin, Pucked Series )
Hero: Kodiak (Kody) Bowman (Rook and Lainey Bowman’s son, A LIE FOR A LIE couple origin, All In Series ) (Goodreads)
For a book that is a spinoff of a spinoff, this book hit it out of the park (or some equally appropriate hockey reference). Though, funny enough, while hockey was still mentioned, it wasn’t up front and centre. Sure, a lot of the offspring of the hockey players we met in the Pucked series play hockey and are very serious about it, we never went to a game or a practice. Instead, it’s just mentioned in passing. It could be that these guys aren’t at the NHL level yet and are still in school.
Anyways, let’s talk about who makes an appearance in this book. So, we know we are focusing on Lavender Waters (daughter of Alex and Violet from the first book), but we also get to meet her brothers Maverick and River. We get her cousins, too! Miller and Sunny’s kids — Liam, Lane, Lovey, and Lacy, as well as BJ (Randy and Lily’s son). Then, the one who isn’t related to anyone, Quinn, the son of Lane and Poppy. Then there is Lavender’s love interest — Kody (son of Rook and Lainey).
Of course, even more people are mentioned, mostly siblings who are too young still or are away at school somewhere else.
PHEW – I broke out in a sweat writing all of that. Are you still with me? Good.
Besides the reunion of all reunions spanning two series, this book was full of gems (or Easter eggs) to remind us of all the things we loved about the original series:
- Alex’s pothead dad is called Grand-pot
- Super MC’s costumes are mentioned. Yes, the kids eventually figured out that they weren’t superhero costumes for Bananas
- BJ is a figure skater just like his mom (sparkly costumes and all)
- Violet’s mother is still wildly inappropriate
- Robbie (Alex and Violet’s oldest child) is following in his grand-pot’s shoes
The best part — there are a ton of couple set-ups for future books. YAS. (Word on the street is that she is already working on Maverick’s book!)
I know, at this point it sounds like the book spent a lot of time doing fan service. Ya, it touched on all the things the readers would love and appreciate, but it also tackled a big topic – mental health.
Both main characters struggle with severe anxiety and have since they were little kids. What’s great is that she didn’t make their anxiety the same. Through the use of flashbacks, we go on this journey with Lavender and Kody as they learn how to cope in situations that are triggering to them, but also how they learn to be with one another.
I’m not going to get into the particulars of it all because I am definitely not an authority on the subject, but it does a good job at bringing anxiety to the forefront. It’s something we should be open to learning more about and discussing more. At the end of the novel, Hunting does include a little write-up about the topic. Be sure to read that, too.
Another great part of this story was the set up for River’s story (Lavender’s twin). He spends a lot of the book centering his focus on Lavender and her struggle with her anxiety. It’s super sweet how supportive he is. However, he has come to define himself as her protector. Even though he isn’t the main character of this story, he does some growing and realizes he needs to start seeing himself as separate from his twin and family (he already plays football instead of hockey). It’s during this revelation that he comes out to his family. I loved this so much. I loved the immediate acceptance from his friends and family. I loved that a romance series that is so focused on professional sports finally has a gay character. We. Needed. This.
So, while I loved this book, I didn’t give it four stars. The only reason I held back is because I feel like it tried to accomplish a lot. In some cases, too much. There was a lot of set up that sometimes took away from Kody and Lavender. Perhaps it’s because she didn’t know if she would continue, but I am happy to hear she is. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
Have you read Little Lies? Are you planning to? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!