Review: Heartfelt Lies by Kristy Love (Undone #2)
Note: This ARC was provided by Patchwork Press Cooperative via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“I can’t do this tug-of-war with you, Cassie. I still want you, so much, but I can’t take the back and forth. One second you want me around, the next you’re giving me shit, the next you act like you want me. I never know what you want from me. Do you want me to keep begging for forgiveness? Do you want me to grovel? Tell me what the fuck you want from me!”
Tears slid from her eyes, the inner conflict she was fighting flashed across her face. “I don’t know what I want,” she said, the words coming out quietly, getting lost in the pounding rain.
“Then call me when you know.”
Cassandra Brennan and Jaxon Morgan fell madly in love with each other five years ago. She had just turned twenty-one, was a single mom to her two-year-old son Ben, and was working as a waitress. He was twenty and a college student living with his mom for the summer in order to keep her company and make sure she was doing okay as a recovering addict. Their respective lives were already complicated and cluttered with issues they had with their parents and taking on more responsibilities than most people their age were saddled with. When they got together, things seemed to be really good...until they weren't.
It's been five years since Cassie and Jax ended their relationship. They've both moved on in their own ways, with Cassie about to marry her best friend and Jax has dealt with what caused him to spiral out of control. News of Cassie's impending marriage makes Jax desperate enough to go to the church and ask her to not push through with the wedding and he tells her that even after all this time, he loves her. Cassie is torn and confused. Her head tells her the right thing to do would be to say "I do" to her groom but her heart reminds her of the one thing she's tried to remedy and to deny for five years: that she still loves Jax.
Heartfelt Lies is the second novel in the Undone series by Kristy Love and while I loved the first novel, The Fragile Fall, this sequel was simply extraordinary and it was at times gut-wrenching and other times heartwarming. This story takes place a couple of years after the events in book one and the Jax we met there has done a bit of growing up but still has a ways to go. Meeting Cassie is one of the best things to ever happen to him and as they fall in love with each other, Jax falls in love with little Ben as well. Unfortunately, life deals Jax a devastating blow, one that sends him further down a rabbit hole that's filling up with secrets he keeps and lies he tells Cassie, his sister Ryanne, and his best friend Will Mathers. I don't want to go into too much detail about what happens because I don't want to spoil it for anyone else.
As was the case in the first book, the story is told from the points of view of the main characters, Jax and Cassie, but what's different here is that we also have flashbacks, allowing us to better understand what happened five years ago and what led to the events occurring in the present. Jax and Cassie's relationship in the past seemed destined to fall apart because you could see that Jax's behavior and actions were sabotaging what they had and could have had. Cassie's decision to leave Jax was perfectly understandable because there's only so much you can do to try and help and then only so much you can take before you break. In a perfect world, she would have stuck around and he would have gotten the help he needed for her, but he had to hit rock bottom and make the necessary changes and choices for himself, not for Cassie.
This second chance romance felt real and I much preferred that there wasn't this automatic rush to reconciliation. Jax had to work for the redemption he was seeking and he had to prove to Cassie that he was a different man from the boy he once was five years prior. Cassie's hesitation and confusion regarding pursuing another relationship with Jax were reactions I'm sure other people can relate to, especially after the heartache that she went through with him before. Of course, I can readily admit that the whole one step forward, two steps back that Cassie was doing frustrated me as much as it did Jax because he won my heart in this book as he fell and picked himself up again. Heartfelt Lies is a story about falling in love, letting go, and learning to forgive and trust again. This is another 2015 favorite and gets five-plus stars! ♥
Release Date: 08 May 2015
Date Read: 07 May 2015
Learn more about Kristy Love here.
Purchase Heartfelt Lies on Amazon.