Book Review: One Tiny Lie

by smithstandard
Book on white bed. The cover is a brunette woman walking away with leaves falling

Do you love yourself an addictive contemporary romance? Because same.

I don’t know why it’s taken me a pandemic to get on board with the Ten Tiny Breaths series, but I’m not mad about it (I mean, I’m not mad about reading the books, I’m still pissed off about COVID).

One Tiny Lie is the third in the series of five, and was written by MY FAVOURITE AUTHOR OF ALL TIMEK.A. Tucker (although it’s a part of a series, it can be read as a standalone).

It took awhile to pick it up because with me, there is a risk of huge emotional investment once I start one of her books. Seriously – sometimes I get so invested in the story I’m reading, I think about it in the depths of my belly even when it’s not in front of me. It can have an effect on everything I do, so I have to spread out books that don’t openly state it’s a “light-hearted and fluffy romance” on the cover.

For those worried, this book was the perfect mix of love, angst, hope and joy.

Gif of Belle from Beauty and the Beast saying 'I've just finished the most wonderful story'

The Plot

(Blurb taken from the back of the book)

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents’ tragic death and Kacey’s self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would … and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she know.

Why you should read it …

The writing

Each and every time, she nails it. K.A. Tucker has been sent from the storytelling Gods to make the world a better place. The way she develops storylines and her characters is second to none. And I’d like to think my opinion is relatively high considering all I’ve been doing for the past year is utterly consuming contemporary romance novels.

The tension

It’s all stolen moments, enjoyable drama and high-intensity passion. From the opening pages I was taken back to the days where everyone would go to parties and dance and drink too much and make out. And whilst my stories rarely involved the “hottest and most popular guy in college” – it was nice to reminisce on the other stuff. All of those old feelings came screaming back to me.

Fantastic drag queen with pink hair saying "it's okay to have feelings"

The messages

One of the other bonuses of K.A. Tucker books is that her stories tend to have important life messages interwoven throughout the story.  But you don’t really realise it’s happening until the end. It’s like she gently guides you through someone else’s story to teach you something about yourself, gives you a gentle pat on the back and sends you on your way to be less judgey and more self-assured. It might sound hippy, but I’d like to think I’ve learned a lot from her books.

Rating

Naturally. I finished the bloody thing in less than two days and I had a full work day in that time. 4.5 IS a no-brainer. Can’t wait to read the next one.

If you haven’t already – go buy her books.

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