Book InfoWe Tell Lies by AJ Merlin
Series: Behind Closed Doors #1
Rating: Book ratings explained
Genres: Dark Romance, Romantic Suspense
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Everyone wants to be on TV until you’re the top news headline for months after being abducted by a serial killer.
But that’s in the past, and all I want to do is to move on. I’ve done everything I can to forget my past, but it seems like the past isn’t ready to forget me. With my older sister in need of some long-term help, I have no choice but to go back home to the place where everything went wrong before.
What should’ve been only mildly painful has turned into a full-blown nightmare when I step back into Ashwick, Indiana and am welcomed home by a murder and words painted in red for me to see.
WELCOME HOME, PARKER.
Something’s really wrong here, perhaps more than I’d ever thought there was. Someone is hunting me, intent on a past I want so badly to forget. But maybe I was never supposed to forget in the first place. And with a man I thought I knew well and another that I’ve never met both unwilling to let me go, I’m unsure if I’ll make it out again. They may be…convincing, for lack of a better word, but they aren’t telling me the truth. No matter how they try to distract me from their lies.
And this time, those lies might really be the death of me.
WE TELL LIES is a MMF dark romance. It features MM and MFM scenes, along with graphic violence and killing. It is the first in a three book series.
I really enjoyed AJ Merlin’s Playing With Knives and I had high hopes for We Tell Lies. Unfortunately, while this book was a good read, it didn’t quite live up to the awesomeness of its predecessor. I think there’s a very good reason for that.
I wasn’t sure what I’d been expecting, but Everett standing in front of me without clothes on certainly wasn’t it.
We Tell Lies is the story of Parker and her return to the small town where she grew up. The small town where, at the age of 10 years old, she was kidnapped by a serial killer after her best friend, Everett, was nearly killed by him. In the years since Parker left for college, she has distanced herself from Everett, feeling a misplaced sense of guilt over his near-death experience.
Despite their shared trauma and Parker’s misconceptions, they soon slip back into the playful banter of best friends calling each other out on their bull and taunting each other with the truth. It’s one of those relationships where, if you’d seen them in their younger years, you’d always have known they’d get together.
For a moment, I couldn’t think. I could barely breathe and found that the only point of focus in my brain was his lips against mine, and his tongue coaxing my mouth to open for him.
And well, who was I to deny such a well thought-out request?
The depth of Parker’s character comes from the residual effects of her trauma and the drive to uncover the truth about her past and the events that plague Ashwick. But, if I’m honest, without that traumatic experience, she would likely be just another small-town girl.
Everett isn’t much better. Sure, he’s a man dressed as a god and incredibly sweet, but it feels like he hasn’t yet grown into the person he’s supposed to be. In contrast, Kayn is a fascinating man, with facets I’m sure we’ve yet to discover. When you find out the type of person he is (I’m trying very hard not to drop spoilers here) you realise that he doesn’t fit into a traditional mould. You can see character traits that are begging to be explored and I found myself clutching my fists in anticipation of such things.
I find myself being drawn back to Parker, probably because the story is told from her point of view. Her actions frustrated me and there were multiple moments when I wanted to scream at her to not be so stupid. She truly is a final girl and damned lucky that a killer didn’t take her out during the course of the book. I hope Everett and Kayn do a bang-up job of protecting her because she hasn’t got a shred of survival instinct within her.
This book felt like an epic tease, although some may call it a slow burn. From the moment of Parker and Everett’s first kiss, Merlin hinted at the notion of a steamy scene and then continued to increase the tension until I was sure it would be found on the next page. Spoiler: I had to wait until chapter 17! While it certainly was a hot read, it was entirely too vanilla for my liking and definitely not the MFM the blurb promised.
In fact, Merlin chose to resume her teasing after that moment, and while there are some decidedly sweltering moments, the whole book left me wanting more. I’m still waiting for that explosive event that I know Merlin is capable of writing.
Both of them could do whatever they wanted with me, and all I could do was take it. God, wasn’t that a fucking fantastic possibility?
It may sound like I didn’t enjoy the book but you’d be wrong. The premise of the story is unusual and mysterious. The characters have room for growth, which I hope to see over the course of the series. What I did feel is that I didn’t get enough, that I wanted more, that I’ve been left with half a story. I feel like I’ve put the book down halfway through because so few of the plot points have been resolved and there’s so much more to discover. But, you know what? That bodes well for We Keep Secrets because you can guarantee I’m gonna be there on release day ready to devour the next instalment.
Why you should read We Tell Lies
- Kayn. Kayn. And Kayn. Seriously. I’m rather taken by that man.
- Uncover the story of Ashwick’s new killer.
- Scream at the final girl (come on, you know you love to!)