Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Innocent Lies by J.W. Phillips

Innocent Lies
by J.W. Phillips

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 30, 2014
 Tour Host
Tour Host

Most would view Dylan’s life as a living Hell, but she discovered what Hell really was.
Twenty year old, Dylan was minding her own business when twenty-six year old Ethan sat down at her table. All she wanted was peace from her past. He offered her the protection and calm she had never known. That was until she learned how much of that past he was a part of.
If life had taught Dylan Summers anything,
 it was that not everyone gets a happily ever after.

Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.


My Review
The book opens with a four year old Dylan being told by her father that "sweetie, you only get to be a child once. Dance, laugh, be happy, let the wind mess up your hair, get dirt under your fingernails. Because one day soon you'll be older, life will get hard, and the one thing that will get you over the mountains is the magic of a happy childhood."

That is one of the last happy moments you will read for a while, so enjoy it.

After Dylan's dad died, her mother's heart broke. Essentially abandoned in her own home, abused by the constant stream of men her mother brought home, and taunted by the other students at school, Dylan finally escaped to college.

Although her dreams are living nightmares and she still struggles with self-confidence and acceptance, Dylan is doing okay. She's made a few friends and found work.

All that changes the day she meets Ethan. Charismatic in a way that Dylan want's to resist but somehow can't; Ethan verbalizes his undying love for Dylan. His actions never seem to quite match his words or the look of love and devotion in his eyes. Unexplained absences and sudden moments of chilling attitude changes are only two examples of Ethan's questionable behavior that leaves Dylan wishing she could quit needing his presence in her life.

Ethan isn't the only one keeping secrets, and when the situation finally reaches a breaking point, both Ethan and Dylan must decide if they are willing to wipe the slate clean or start fresh, vowing to be honest and trust each other.

The premise of this story is one of pain, the healing power of love, coming of age and learning acceptance. The difficulty is in the reading. The story flow is significantly fragmented; at times I'd get bogged down in the overly descriptive wording, only to have the next chapter begin in a completely different time, feeling like I'd missed something important. While secrets are hinted at and promises made to reveal the whole story, it never really happens until closer to the very end of the book. I also found the sexual scenes to be poorly developed and at times downright unbelievable. Dylan is a young woman with a traumatic past, and Ethan is supposed to be highly experienced in the BDSM lifestyle, which was not only difficult to reconcile with his character. The third significant issue I had with this story was an abundance of missing and/or misplaced details within the storytelling, along with numerous editing and formatting errors slowed down the reading process even further.

Both J.W. Phillips and Innocent Lies have a lot of unmet potential. I wanted to enjoy this book much more than I did. I had a similar reading experience with the author's previous book, Finding Home, and had agreed to review Innocent Lies with the hope that some of the development and editing issues would have been resolved.

A copy of Innocent Lies was provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review.

J.W. is a stay at home mom with two on-the-go kids, an amazing husband, and a lovable dog. She lives in a small town in Tennessee, where she enjoys writing, reading, and talking. She was told from a young age that her dreams of writing were ludicrous. However, after a talk with her daughter she pulled out her old laptop and rediscovered her desire to tell stories. She doesn't consider herself an author, more a teller of tall tales.


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