Friday, April 10, 2020

Mariana Zapata - Luna and the Lie

The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep collecting.
Luna Allen has done some things she would rather no one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing.
With three sisters she loves, a job she (mostly) adores, and a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to.
But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient.
Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.

Comment: I've decided to go through this author's complete work and I'm actually a little apprehensive that I only have three more books to go before I'm stuck in waiting mode so I have been delaying the read of the books. This way I'll have books to read for this year and the next but I wish the author would hurry but then again, she is as a slow writer as slow are her romances; I guess one needs to wait for god work!

In this book the heroine is Luna, she works in what one might consider a man's world for she paints cars in a car shop. There's some method to her work, she is good at it and she is especially thankful to her boss, a man who helped when she needed the most, who has helped while she worked and raised her younger sisters and to whom she feels she owes everything.
That is why she bears with a co-worker she dislikes, whom she knows cheated on one of her sisters and also why she keeps her sunny disposition with the new co-boss, Ripley, a many who doesn't seem to like anyone.
Luna knows she is in a good moment of her life but everything changes when she receives a phone call regarding her life before she arrived at Houston. Will Luna be able to cope and to hold on despite what it seems to be the world against her?

I don't tend to like books in the first person, especially romances because - I've said before - often it means just one POV doesn't allow the romance to feel balanced.
I'm already used to this author's work so I o manage but the feeling of something lacking never disappears. The heroines this author develops are incredible and extremely likable to me, but it does get a little odd at times when they only understand the hero right at the end - even though the reader get it sooner by reading between the lines.
For me, this means the romance gets to a point where it seems very one sided and the guy's feelings seem to come from nowhere, even if we know they have been simmering all through the narrative.

Obviously, the same tactic happens here and we get so much focus on Luna, the hero does come across as being a bit too harsh in his dealings with her. I must confess there were two or three scenes where he acted and behaved like a possessive jerk and he had no reasons for it - since we follow Luna's actions all the time and know her thoughts are correct.
Anyway, overall the romance was slow as the author promises every time, there was plenty of time to make the main couple interact, slowly know things of one another... Again, the hero has a background...I can understand why, the contrast with Luna and the happiness they achieve feels more validated but.... if he is such a smart guy why couldn't he have gotten his bearings way sooner, before causing himself and others so much worry? (He is 41 during the narrative) Oh well...

Luna's personality and live is, of course, the main focus of this story.
I liked Luna because she was a heroine who was a little down on her luck, with some self esteem issues and who keeps thinking about the good things in her life to avoid thinking about what was and is worse. I sympathized with her immensely, thinking about the sacrifices she did and how some people, namely two of her sisters through the novel, didn't seem to recognize it or at least count on her in a way that would be obvious they trusted her.
I could feel how the negative thoughts would crowd her head and could bring her down but often she kept a smile on her face and carried on.

The fact she was so likable and down to earth is also why I feel she could have had a slightly better hero to counterbalance her. It's not that he is bad per se, but some scenes here and there and the why he is perceived as having been a "bad boy" felt a little disappointing. I wish she could have had a hero that was a little sunnier in disposition. I don't mind the slight age gap nor the fact they aren't very alike in some things but I do wish the balance between them could be a bit more obvious.

There are some situations that dragged a bit in the middle. One would expect this in a long slow burn novel but most times it doesn't even feel time is passing by while reading. To notice some of the tactics used to delay revelations or explain why the characters take too long to add one information to the other to understand things is never a good element but for the most part I could overlook it, as long as I could still be carried along with Luna's emotions and feelings and how she attempted to have a brave front but sometimes couldn't.
I liked her and her personality and that is why I didn't mind the details I liked less.

Everything considered, this was an enjoyable story, not my favorite by the author but it did match many of the boxes I usually look for in romances.
Grade: 7/10

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