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.
“The truth is just that–the truth. It’s fact. Indisputable. With lies we can delude ourselves into believing something that doesn’t really exist. If you tell yourself something enough, it begins to feel like the truth, but that’s just another lie.”
“You can only bury the truth for so long because it always comes back, and she was my truth–the future, the life I forced myself to abandon, but there it was right in front of me. Mine for the taking. And I was finally going to claim it.”
“Everyone is a liar. some lies we tell are bigger, and some smaller. A lie, no matter the size, can tear people apart. Lies define us. And me? I was the biggest liar of them all. I lied to Liam. I lied to everyone around me. I was buried so deep in lies that I was beginning to wonder what was real and what wasn’t.”
Absolutely amazing! Micalea Smeltzer has totally knocked it out of the park with this book. The Lies That Define Us is unlike anything she’s ever written. The Lies That Define Us is raw and deep and utterly captivating. From the moment that you start reading Liam and Ari’s story, you become lost. These characters are so easy to connect with and to understand. You can’t help but get caught up in these two guarded, broken characters. You become desperate to know help more. You are desperate for the truth of what haunts them. You want them to break down their walls. And it’s those reasons that make their story become a part of you. Your heart aching for all the pain and heartbreak these two have experienced. But, at the same time, your heart is filling with love and hope. Hope, that these two characters can move past the ghosts that haunt them. Hope, that they will be able to let someone in. Hope, that they will be able to take that risk and fall in love.
The Lies That Define Us is beautifully written and utterly captivating. This story is darker and bit more intense that what we normally see from this author. She took a risk writing this book and let me tell you, this risk paid off. This book took me on such a journey. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It frustrated and angered me. It broke my heart and devastated me. It gave me hope and made me fall so in love. Liam and Ari’s story was so raw and so unexpected. I can already tell you that this will be one of those books that stays with you. This is one of those books that reminds you of just how cruel the real world can be and at the same time open your eyes to the kindness of people you never thought you’d meet.
I honestly can’t say enough about this book. I loved every single thing about it. The story totally consuming me. I highly, highly recommend checking this one out. Micalea Smeltzer has really stepped up her game with this story and I couldn’t be more excited to see where her writing will take us next.
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.*
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.
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.