Joint Review: The Innocent Liar by Elizabeth Finn

innocent liarReviewed by Shelly & Jaimie

Shelly: This is a new to me author and I was very excited when I read the blurb. It sounded like it would be such a good read and it was a good read, but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. When I see ‘a woman hiding from her past,’ I expect great drama and tons of angst; don’t know why, I just do.

Fiona shows up one day at Eli’s store looking for a job. She’s been told that she doesn’t have to do anything for the job – just show up and it’s hers. Well, Eli’s not so easily swayed. Even though he’s doing his father a favor by taking the interview and promising to hire sight unseen, Eli understandably still wants to know something about the person that he’s going to be hiring under the table. These two get off to a rocky start and I found the road they traveled to be somewhat dusty, uneven, and not very scenic (except for the sex scenes).

Jaimie: Any time I read a blurb that has a woman on the run with a secret, I’m pretty much sold on the book. So when I read the blurb for The Innocent Liar, I couldn’t wait to dive in. This was my first experience with Elizabeth Finn’s work and I really figured this would be a no brainer great review. Unfortunately that’s not how it went at all. I could not get a feel on Fiona at all and at times she outright annoyed me. Eli came across as an asshole who the author was really trying to make us like, but it just was not there.

There are a lot of books where the guy starts off as a bit of an ass, but by the end I totally loved him. That was so not happening here. That really stood out for me in a scene where he flicks a condom at “Fiona” and it hits her in the face. I’m sure in Ms. Finn’s mind this played out as cute but for some reason his amusement about this agitated me. Not quite sure why I had that reaction but my only explanation is that I just didn’t like him so really nothing cute was going to work for me.

Shelly: Like Jaimie, I wanted to like this story because I really don’t enjoy reading book I don’t like. And I wanted to like these characters. I wanted to learn about Fiona’s troubled past that was so bad it made her not only fear for her life, it made her run away from it. I wanted to find out about Eli’s trouble past that was so bad it hardened him into such a jerk. The premise was there, the characters were there and what, to me, is a good scenario to build these characters through their past and the choices made. I found myself disappointed when the more out of their past was a single paragraph for each character.

Jaimie: When you have a build up in a book about any type of secret, you expect that the actual secret and the big reveal will be a huge part of the story. It just did not happen here. The reveals for both Fiona and Eli were just “meh” and anticlimactic and I think that was largely because of how long we had to wait for it. Mind you, even if it came in the beginning I’m not sure I would have had any more impact than it did and this really disappointed me. I’ve come to expect a certain formula from these types of books and while I do love books that throw me curves even with my tried and true tropes, this one tried too hard to be different and it backfired.

Shelly: From the beginning, I didn’t find Fiona fit the mold of what I would expect of someone who’s running away. Yes, we know she’s running but we, the audience, aren’t even privy to what she’s running from, which I’m fine with, but I expect to have something that I can root for from her. We find out when Eli finds out – which isn’t for quite some time and by then I didn’t care what she was running from because I didn’t care for her. There was nothing about her time since meeting Eli that would suggest she’s had a traumatic past – no triggers, no fear of Eli’s shouting, no fear of loud noises, and no glimpses of nervousness – so much nothingness that it was really weird to me when her past was conveniently brought to light. I didn’t even have any problems that she wouldn’t tell Eli about her past, even her name, but I did have a problem with her sleeping with him so quickly and without revealing anything about herself. I mean seriously, how is this romance? Sex yes (there’s a lot and it’s graphic), romance not so much.

Jaimie: Honestly with a lot of sex scenes I find myself skimming because they all start to sound the same after a while. In this case the bit I did read, felt like a re-read of many better written ones I had read from other authors. It felt more like a booty call than actual love or romance and I think this contributed to my dislike of them as a couple. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of booty-call scenes I like reading – but they aren’t packaged as a sudden burst of true love.

Shelly: Then there’s Eli who I couldn’t stand from the first introduction on. There was nothing about him that was redeemable in my eyes. He’s a jerk to everyone, including the people who work for him and let me not get into him sleeping with the only female employee – keeping it classy, I guess. I absolutely wasn’t surprised that one of his employees made a move on Fiona and things turned bad. Well, that turned out to be a good thing for this reader because that finally got things rolling to finding out a little bit about Fiona’s past. It didn’t last long but it was a nice bit of action. Back to Eli – I never saw him in a light where he was a good choice for Fiona because his possessiveness, jealousy and mean streak seemed a little like what I would suppose Fiona was running from. Regrettably, I won’t ever know what that was because I know that they talked about it – the actual conversation wasn’t revealed.

Jaimie: Overall I just could not get in to this story or buy these two as a couple. There is chemistry between them but its minimal and not enough to have me rooting for them. I will probably give Ms. Finn another try at some point because I don’t like to judge authors by one piece. Hopefully the next one is better.

Shelly: There was enough missing from Fiona’s story that I couldn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to.

Happy reading folks!

Shelly’s rating: C
Jaimie’s rating: D+

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Innocent Liar
by Elizabeth Finn
Release Date: April 10, 2014
Publisher: Musa Publishing

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