Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Release Blitz: The Lies That Define Us by Micalea Smeltzer

Title: The Lies That Define Us
Series: Us Series #2 (standalone)
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: Romantic Suspense
 Release Date: February 9, 2016


Ariella Geller is on the run from some very bad people and Liam Wade doesn’t know what he’s running from.

Freedom has been an elusive dream for Ari, but when her chance for escape comes, she takes it. She finds herself in California and forced to accept help from strangers in order to stay off the streets and avoid being found by those she ran from.

Liam Wade is sick of living in the shadow of his famous father. All he wants is to make a name for himself as a professional surfer, but it’s impossible when the media focuses on every other aspect of his life. All he wants is respect, a chance to prove himself, but when it never comes he finds himself running and hiding from the ones who love him the most.

When their paths collide Ari and Liam are forced to confront their demons, and in the process they just might find a reason to stop running.

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4.5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

The Lies That Define Us is Liam Wade’s story.  I could not wait for this one.   I was so curious about his character.  This is Mathias’ son, so of course I wondered how much like his father would he be but also what was troubling him.  When we met him it seemed that he had moved to California and has not been home, in a way pushing the people that he loves away.  So I needed to know his story.  And Micalea did not disappoint with this one at all. This is probably my favorite book of hers and I have read them all.  There is a bit of a darker side to it with some suspense and angst added it, being very different from her other books.  But I loved it!!

This is Liam and Ari’s story.  Ari has just escaped the hell that she has been living in for the past 5 years.  She is now free, but the problem is that she has nothing.  No money, no ID, no place to go.  She runs into Talia and Ollie, two strangers who want to help her in any way that they can.  She really has no choice but to accept their help.  While Talia and Ollie’s place is a bit too small for the three of them, they find her a place to stay.  Their best friend Liam has plenty of room and he has agreed to let her stay there. 

When Ari meets Liam she really is not sure what to make of him.  He certainly isn’t the friendliest of people, and you have to wonder how two people like Talia and Ollie who are kind and friendly, are even friends with Liam.  But just like Ari, he has his own secrets and demons that he has been fighting.  And those demons is what makes Liam the bitter angry person that he seems to be.  Well that and let’s face it, he is Mathias’ son.

Ari and Liam have an interesting relationship in the beginning.  It would seem that they hate each other.  But for some reason Liam likes to push her buttons.  And in a weird way I think they have this connection that they cannot explain.  As time goes on they learn to open up to each other, fighting their demons together.   But Ari is running from her past.   And as much as she knows that she has completely fallen for Liam, she knows that she cannot be with him.  Her past can hurt him in a very bad way.  So she has to decide if she is going to stay or if she is going run from the one man who she has ever loved or felt safe with.

I really loved the chemistry and connection that Liam and Ari had.  I saw so much of his father in him but at the same time he as also different.  When he finally opened up you saw this other side of him that was refreshing, I guess you could say.  I understood completely why he had his guard up.  Once you hear his story you will feel so bad for the guy.  But Ari was what he needed, was someone that he could trust but as I mentioned she had her own secrets.  This girl had been through so much in the past five years but she was so strong. 

This book is a little different than what Micalea usually writes.  I was completely sucked in from the prologue. I needed at that moment to find out what happened to Ari.  You knew at any moment her past would come back and it would come back in a huge way.  I was just waiting for it, with the turn of each page wondering if that would be the moment.  But when it did happen, oh my God.  I never saw it coming.  The twists in this book completely shocked me.  I had knots in my stomach, tears in my eyes and prayed that it was not really happening.  But it did and it’s those unexpected twists and turns in this book that made this story even better. 

I had trouble putting this book down from the moment I started reading it.  I needed to know if Ari and Liam would ever let their guards own.  I needed to know how and if Ari would truly become free.  This book had my emotions all over the pace.  There was drama, angst and suspense.  I not only fell in love with Ari and Liam but Ollie and Talia managed to capture my heart as well.  They were the best friends a person could ask for and together they were just so adorable.  And I loved that we got to see Mathias and Remy.  It is always fun to see the characters all grown up taking care of their won children.  Another amazing job!!

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I laid my head against the cool glass of the bus window and watched the rain slick against it. The water beaded against the glass and then slid down in little rivulets that I traced with my finger.

I wouldn’t miss the rain.

I wouldn’t miss anything about Oregon.

That place wasn’t my home. Never had been, and never would be.

With a jolt, the bus roared to life, startling me, but I relaxed a moment later when we pulled out of the station.

Freedom was so close to being mine.

I watched the people on the street as the bus pulled away. I was searching for buzzed brown hair and eerie black eyes, but he wasn’t amongst them.

He didn’t know I’d left yet.

And hopefully, by the time he did, I’d be long gone.

I adjusted my hoodie so my face was hidden from the other people on the bus and wiggled around, settling myself in for the long ride to California.

Unlike the other people on the bus, I didn’t have a cellphone to keep me company. Cellphones were traceable so I’d ditched mine. I couldn’t risk him finding me, because if he had I was certain he’d kill me. He would’ve eventually killed me if I stayed, too. My only option had been to take the risk of running away. I would have rather died on my terms than his, but if everything went according to plan, I’d be free and he’d never find me.

He called me Scarlett, but Scarlett didn’t exist.

Scarlett was a lie.

My name was Ariella, and I was reclaiming my stolen life.

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Author Bio

Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.

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