Book Review⎜Lies by Kylie Scott

RATING

The premise was interesting, the execution not so much. Let’s say there was no consistency to what I read.

Book Infos

Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancé dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

Author : Kylie Scott
Title : Lies
Series : –

Number of pages : 
Publisher : –
Release Date :  July 21st 2019
Genre : Romance, Contemporary

My Review

I can fully admit that I’m the kind of romance reader that will go down for a thirsty cover. Yes, I’m aware the man on the cover isn’t showing any skin but he’s giving me Keanu Reeves/John Wick vibes and this shit is enough to entice me. That’s right, I said that.
What made me really fall for it though, is the blurb. I loved the premise of “Lies”. It sounded fun, a mix of romantic suspense/adventure—which I love— and comedy. Having very much enjoyed the author’s previous books, I was pretty sure I’ll end up with a feel good book. I was also super curious about Kylie Scott venturing out and dipping into RS. Yes, I had some expectations.
But that’s enough about why I decided to read the book.

“Roger that.”

The story literally starts with a boom: Heroine no sooner decides to dump her fiancé because of reasons (among other things: he’s boring/not remarkable/always away/not invested enough) that she learns he’s actually a badass secret agent. To protect her they’ll have to go through forced proximity and hero will have to win back her trust. Like, was it even real or all part of his cover?

“We’re recruited from all over the place. It’s not something we can talk about.”

Ok so, don’t get me wrong.
I know this story is told through the heroine’s POV. I assume Betty, the heroine, has most likely no firsthand knowledge about the spy or military world and it wasn’t lost on me how her lack of familiarity with covert operations made her also kinda endearingly clueless. (I’m saying “kinda” because her ingenue act was irritating AF to me) Like how she kept disrupting the hero’s plans to put distance between them and their enemies by questioning his MO for shit and giggles, sure it’s kinda cute the first time, but repetition made it turn ridiculous. Just like her sudden interest for guns and pointy objects… Anti-gun heroine turns over a new leaf under false bravado. For all her many reminders that she wasn’t stupid, Betty acted rather mindlessly. I assume the author probably had in mind comedic relief? I wasn’t receptive to it.

Nor was I to the heroine’s moaning about her big girls struggles. I’m so over the curvy/poor me characterization. I like reading about curvy heroines but I guess I prefer mine not falling in the “big girls are treated poorly” category. Give me some heroines that won’t use their curves as a way to bring sympathy. That pity party sailed a while back for me.

“That happens with big girls. People tend to think we’ll be happy with the scraps.”

Oh please!

The author’s ineptitude to make it look like the guys were actually part of a secret agency was what ruined any potential interest I had. Remember, I came in expecting some suspense, adventure and probably rom-com. What I got instead was a mix of all spies parodies in mind. I do enjoy Austin Powers, mind you, only… to an extent.
Throwing in some random badass military lingo here and there and give the secret agents animal codenames for good measure doesn’t make the military aspect convincing at all. Sorry.

Not for one second this whole set-up made me believe these guys were highly trained operative agents. At most, they were regular guys playing with cool guns and pretty cars. A kid with a Nerf Gun set reenacting Rambo would be just as convincing though. Even Totally Spies dare to look more credible.

“I watch thrillers and spy movies. I know stuff.”



The dialogues didn’t help either, the overused “It’s classified, can’t talk about it” as a smoke-screen or the use of their codenames throughout the pages did not not make any of this conceivable in the least. I understand agents using theirs codenames on the field, but within a compound you share with your teammates? Odd. To me it read like a blend of all secret agents movies out there, with all the clichés, overkill but with no coherence. Even the description of the one woman on the team made me laugh/roll my eyes.

“She’s wearing a little green dress with a large knife strapped to her thigh.”

I’ve read my fair share of suspense and thrillers, but also many romantic suspense books, and this was without a doubt the most unrealistic (don’t come at me telling me this is a fiction book—I KNOW) display of a military op I’ve ever read. Did I expect a Clancy/Ludlum level of intel ops knowledge? Well, no, but some realism would have been nice to ground me to the story.

One thing I’ll conceide is the hero’s dedication to blend in and act normal, so much so, he admitted giving the heroine mediocre sex so as to not arise suspicion. That’s some covert skillzzzz! And while we’re on the hero’s subject, my John Wick expectations of a graceful, deadly killer fantasies went up in smoke rather quickly. Thom was not fantasy material in the least. I wanted John Wick, all I got was Johnny English. Talk about lowering your expectations.

What I expected:

What I got:

So this is me. I’m seeing so many readers loving this, you could too, I just really couldn’t suspend my disbeliefs enough to stay for the romance. Up until 50% I’ll dare to say there wasn’t much romance to be seen. Some mild lust at most. Both heroes are rather awkwardly throwing lusty looks at each other.


The premise was interesting, the execution not so much. Let’s say there was no consistency to what I read.

Author Bio & Links

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Other books by the author

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