Posted in Books

All the Pretty Lies (Pretty #1) – M. Leighton

“Live every day like it’s your last. None of us are promised a tomorrow.”

I’ve recently reviewed a Wild Child novella by Leighton and mentioned how much I love her style and how it gets better with every book she releases. All the Pretty Lies is definitely another leap in that direction.


“Live, no regrets”

Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.

In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It’s never had to be. He’s lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he’s nothing but controlled. He’s a man on a mission, one who will let nothing and no one stand in his way.

Nothing in their lives could’ve prepared Sloane and Hemi for what they’d find in each other—distraction and obsession, love and possession. But the one thing they can’t find is a future. Neither one has been totally honest. And they’ll soon learn that the devil is in the details. In the details and in the lies.
How far will two people go to live in the now when the now is all they’ve got?


How about that cover, ha? Up until I read the book, it made absolutely no sense to me, but now… beautifully chosen.

Not many books will keep me up half the night to finish, but I couldn’t put this one down. While dreading the next page.  Then again, those are the best, the stories that keep you guessing. And my guesses were all over the place wrong. LOL

AtPL is told in alternating POVs. From the start we learn a little bit about them both, and by a little bit I mean not much other than dry facts about their lives: age, occupation and looks. We get a taste of them as individuals; Sloane wanting to break free from the sheltered life she’s led so far with 3 older brothers and a father – all cops. Hemi is a tattoo artist with a commitment issues and a take-no-prisoners agenda.

Hemi is a loner, seems like. He’s gorgeous, older and knows he’s not good for innocent, pure Sloane.

“What if I’m not that innocent?”

His lips quirk in a wry grin. “Oh, you’re exactly that innocent. I can practically smell it on you. Sweet, pure, untouched. And, if I’m being honest, I’d like nothing better than to taste that on the tip of my tongue.”

Sloane, having been protected and sheltered all her life, decides on her 21st birthday that she’s breaking free. She wants to live life to the fullest, to taste adventures and feel deep. Her first stop is the tattoo shop, where her life begins. That’s where Hemi enters it.

Hemi is a contradiction to himself. He is used to getting what he wants, since he normally just takes it, but he’s stopping himself with Sloane and she realizes that:

He’s a compelling, charismatic bundle of contradictions, I’m learning.

And having learned that, and having been told Hemi is a no-breakfast-after kind of guy, Sloane is still determined to grab life and enjoy it, even at the price of getting hurt.

“I don’t want promises. Most of the time, promises are just pretty lies. They’re words designed to make others feel better. But in the end, they’re still just lies. Disappointing lies,” I tell him in a moment of bold honesty. “So don’t worry about making me promises. I’d rather have your truth.”

But does she get it? And does she give her own?

There’s a nice character arc for both Hemi and Sloane. While Sloane grows into her independence and her own sense of what’s true and important, Hemi’s change comes more from the inside, from questioning his own truth, rather than other people’s.

Then we have Sarah, the best friend, the alibi, the partner in crime, the funny one. I love how Sarah adjusts her support and advice to Sloane as things change. She’s a true friend. However, her goal is pretty clear throughout.

“He’s a man. He thinks with his dick. As long as you keep that in mind, you’re golden.”

“You should put that on a mug.”

“I know. I’m like a modern day Confucius.”

As per Leighton’s style, All the Pretty Lies is an emotional, compelling and beautifully written New Adult romance between a man who wants to do what’s right and a woman who wants to do what’s right for her. Hemi and Sloane are both strong and intriguing characters, and I just hope we get at least a taste of them in the coming books in the Pretty series.

My rating: 5


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I read, review, flail and swoon.

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