Review: Loving Lucas by Violetta Rand (Lies & Leather #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for an honest review.

When Karlie Augustine met her boyfriend, she believed it would be a love that would last a lifetime. Nearly two years after, she's gone through moments of abusive behavior and less than fulfilling sexual intercourse with him. She wants to leave him but when she tries, she's met by his anger and even as she tries to stand up to him, she knows she's about to be hurt yet again. Then, she's rescued by Lucas Lafontaine, a police officer who puts her ex in his place. When he offers her a place to stay, it's with a promise of no strings attached, but things between Lucas and Karlie escalate quickly, with a connection that's existed ever since the beginning. With both of them having to deal with their respective pasts, Karlie is unsure of what the future holds for them, but Lucas intends to prove to her that they are meant to be .

Loving Lucas is the first novel in the Lies & Leather series from Violetta Rand but can be read as a standalone. Karlie Augustine is a full-time college student who decides to leave her abusive boyfriend in the beginning of the story and is helped out by police officer named Lucas Lafontaine. Growing up, she's always felt unwanted and unloved, and she thought she'd found her happily-ever-after with her ex, only to realize what a terrible person he was. She may not trust easily but she agrees to Lucas's suggestion that she live with him in exchange for being a housekeeper of sorts. Now, I had a bit of a problem fully accepting that someone who's just left an abusive relationship would readily agree to live with a man she doesn't know, and the fact that her best friends encourage her to do it had me shaking my head in such disbelief.

I'm not saying that Karlie is a terrible female lead character, but there were certain choices that she made that simply didn't gibe with her history. On the other hand, Lucas was a good guy who had a history of rescuing women who he felt needed help. But for as much goodness as the man had, he did come off as pushy at times, almost as if he was steamrolling Karlie to make snap decisions when it came to their relationship. Also, I get his need to rescue, but he should have also allowed her to spread her own wings and earn her independence. I have no clue how old Lucas was, but Karlie was only twenty-one and barely had any life experience under her belt, so for everything to happen the way it did, I simply felt like this was another story about a girl who had a lousy childhood and found her prince in the form of a very alpha guy.

There was also a lot going on in the story and whenever this sort of thing happens, there's a tendency to not getting resolutions for all the issues brought up. The situations with her ex and the college frat boy who had the hots for her felt as if they were left hanging. There were also things that I think were included simply to bring in more conflict, but too much of anything is rarely ever good. Had there been a clear focus on one main story line and maybe one or two side stories, I feel this would have been a more streamlined story and one that I would have better appreciated. As far as the characters are concerned, most of them were interesting and had a purpose, though I wish that there was more character development going on as well. Loving Lucas was an okay start to the series but I do believe it had way more potential. Three stars. ♥

Release Date: 20 October 2015

Date Read: 13 October 2015

Learn more about Violetta Rand here.

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