THREE TO THREE AND A HALF STARS!
I downloaded this freebie on Amazon and saw that it was recommended by someone that I'm currently following and thought, why not? The blurb looked promising and the beginning went well for me with lots of angsty feels and unspoken longing, all ingredients for a great read. Though the book started to lose some of its spark after its halfway mark, leaving me frustrated and at odds with what I should rate it.
A Beautiful Lie is the story of three best friends, Parker, Garrett and Milo, who've known each other for eight years. Parker and Garrett has always been each other's all but some things in Parker's past causes her to shy away from those strong feelings and pick Milo as a partner as she feels he would be the "safer" option. But all is not what it seems when the tragic death of Milo send the other two on a mission to his last known location to find some answers. What ensues is the beginning of the end game relationship, major plot twists that I dare say you wouldn't have seen coming, and heartbreak for the lives destroyed.
*ANABELLE PARKER. Let me tell you about this BAMF Anabelle Parker. If you're like me, and you're sick of seeing women depicted as weak and dependant, always waiting around for a man to come and save them, then you're gonna love the hell outta Anabelle Parker.
"You have a mouth on you, Miss Parker. A lady shouldn't behave the way you do," he replied.
"Its a good thing for me I'm not a lady," Parker said with a smile as she kicked her foot out in front of her, slamming it right between...[his]...legs."
I can't delve into too much without spoiling her character but suffice to say that she has the brains, the attitude and a whole lot of bad in her, which makes her one feisty character.
* The plot twists. There were some I saw coming and some I didn't and towards the end when all the action finally unfolds, I get bombarded with all these answers to questions that plagued me in the beginning. And then some.
* I got a sense of female empowerment in this book that I was really pleased with. Not only is Parker such a strong and resilient character, I found that some of the secondary characters portrayed were also strong, even if it was in a more subtle way than Parker. Margarita and Catalina's friend especially, knowing the dangers that they faced (and I felt so horribly for Margarita, that poor woman) and still doing their part to help.
Unfortunately for me, there ended up being more bad than good in this book.
* My ultimate disappointment was in the hero of the story, Garrett McCarthy. He starts off as a great character for me (even if it was a bit cliche), and I couldn't help but simultaneously sympathise and admire a guy who stood and watched his best friend with the girl of his dreams for a period of eight years. I can only imagine how crazy it would have made me standing on the sidelines and longing for something I couldn't want.
What annoyed me about his character though is how much I thought he didn't behave as a navy seal on a secret operation to gather intel. Now granted, what I know about espionage and the likes are all things I've watched in movies or read in books, but I thought it wouldn't have been too much to ask of them to do a bug sweep every time they entered their villa, knowing the power held by the man they were after. Not to mention there never seemed to be an air of preparedness or an ability to reign in his emotions and work out the problems like you would think a man of his station would. Instead, he seems to have knee-jerk reactions to anything and everything and then blunder his way along.
But even more than this, what annoyed me the most was how bloody emotional he would get at any damn thing that didn't go his way. He spent most of his time bitching at Parker when he was in imminent danger of having his feelings hurt, going into a hulk rage over Parker getting hurt because he'd do some stupid crap and then telling her how much he loved her and baby this and baby that, or ignoring people trying to talk some sense into his stupid ass. His team mate summarised him perfectly for me:
"What's wrong?" Garrett asked.
"You have got to be the dumbest fuck in the entire world," Brady muttered...
Honestly, I just couldn't with that guy by the end of the book. If he wasn't inherent to Parker's happiness, I'm not even sure I would have wanted a HEA for him.
* I found parts of the book to be somewhat repetitive, causing it to drag on. It overemphasised the miscommunication between the two when it came to conveying their feelings for each other. I didn't mind the first few times but it seemed the point had to be beaten to death before it could be let go.
* I didn't really like about this book was the flashbacks and how they were utilised throughout. I thought there could have been a better job with working the flashbacks so that they could have flowed more seamlessly within the story, as it was, it seemed like it was all disjointed, and read as very awkward passages, which really had me struggling to continue reading.
* There were also minor mistakes like spelling errors and such but they weren't so bad that they would distract too much from reading.
Overall I would give it 3 to 3.5 stars. While there were some really great parts to the book, I found a lot of it frustrating, even with its great plot twists. Just didn't quite hit the mark for me.