Please help welcome to Ana’s Attic, TE Sivec! (This is her super secret spy name–sshhhhhh, don’t tell anyone she is the same author who made it to the top of my Top Picks for 2012 List). Well she has a new book, in a new genre: romantic suspense. She doesn’t want to mislead or confuse, so she goes by this pen name for the Playing With Fire series. The first book in the series just released, and I was lucky enough to get an early review copy!
He saw her first, but his friend made the move.
She settled for the safer choice, but her heart knew the truth.
They love, they crave, they lie.
Garrett McCarthy, Annabelle Parker, and Milo Roberts were as close as friends could get. They shared in each other’s joy during graduations, promotions, and engagements. They consoled one another through heartache and loss.
When one of the friend’s life is tragically cut short, it’s up to the two left behind to pick up the pieces and find out the truth – no matter the cost. As they slowly start to uncover the nature of his deception, and the very powerful people behind it, they begin to question everyone and everything, even themselves.
Everyone has secrets – some do it for love while others do it for power. Those secrets can change perceptions, alter reality and sometimes destroy lives.
What do you do when you find out your whole life has been a lie?
When I first heard Tara Sivec was writing a romantic suspense series and leaving the hysterical Chocolate Lover’s series behind, I’ll admit it….I died a little inside, and I went to my room and wept. But then I picked up my big-girl panties, and said “This better be good, or I’m gonna go ballistic and MAKE this bitch write some more comedy!” Well here it is folks, A Beautiful Lie, the first in the 4 book “Playing with Fire” series about hot and sexy Navy Seals. Filled with murder, intrigue and lots of tricky twists and turns, who the hell knew Tara had more than vaginas and vibrators in that wacky head of hers?
“But if you were given the chance to go back, to tell the truth instead of lie to save someone’s life and their feelings…would you?”
I have to admit, I found myself a little nervous I wouldn’t like it and was frustrated at the beginning. I was liking the story, a lot, but I wasn’t LOVING it. Then WHAM! BAM! HOLY FUCK! COULD.NOT.PUT.IT.DOWN.
“This one day, a sweet, beautiful girl walked into a coffee shop and my world came to a standstill. She was shy and had a smile that could light up a room. But there was something in her eyes that made me want to take away all of her pain.”
Anna Parker (referred to as “Parker”) swore she would never get attached to another sole. She would especially never allow herself to feel the all-consuming love her father had for her mother. Because after he mother passed away, her father couldn’t even look at her; she reminded him too much of her mother, and he drove Parker away.
“…Parker vowed to never love like that. She swore she would never let someone take so much of her heart and soul that it would wither away to nothing once they were gone. She gave up on the dream of finding someone to consume her mind, body, and soul. It only ruined you in the end. It only left you broken and unable to live.”
Garrett and Milo are two handsome Navy Seals who grew up together. Garrett stood up to a bully for Milo in grade school, and they were best friends ever since. Garrett’s family took Milo in at a very young age and loved him and supported him when his father beat him.
One day Garrett and Milo enter a coffee shop that Parker is at, in her senior year of college. Garrett and Parker have an instant spark for each other but don’t act on it. Parker didn’t, because she guards her heart and new he could shred it, and Garrett, because Milo called dibs.
“How could Garrett ever deny his friend a woman like that in his life? So he buried his feelings, his wants, and desires and stepped aside so his friend could finally find some peace and happiness. There were plenty of fish in the sea, as the saying goes, and Garrett spent all his time making sure he explored as many willing and able fish as he could.”
So Milo and Parker were engaged, but the three of them become the best of friends….family. Cut to 8 years later…Milo died in service in the Dominican Republic, just before his planned wedding to Parker. Six months later, Garrett and Parker still have doubts about the conditions surrounding his death. Garrett and Parker are still best friends, but the longing between them is growing. They are fighting hard to keep away from each other out of guilt.
“If you were mine, I would never be able to walk away from you. If you were mine, I would worship every inch of your body with my hands, lips, and tongue. If you were mine, I wouldn’t be able to stand in the same room as you without running my hands over your skin and tasting your lips.”
Garrett decides it’s time for him to head to the Dominican to investigate Milo’s murder further. Little does he know, he is going to have some company on the trip, posing as his wife. And some hidden truths come out.
“I didn’t lie to you. I protected you. There’s a difference,” Parker said softly, her mouth inches from his.
Then…..holy crap, twists and turns that you think you might have guessed, turn out to be something else! This book was like The Bourne Identity meets Alias…don’t turn away, so much action and intrigue and twists and turns happen, you just can’t put it down. Add to that the INCREDIBLE sexual tension between an awesome hero and heroine, some very hot sex scenes and a HEA, and you have the makings for a great book!
- Oh Garrett, you are an amazing book boyfriend >sigh<
- I loved Anna Parker, she was an awesome, kickass heroine.
- Holy crap, the depth of the twists and turns in this book! You think you have it figured out, but no….you don’t!
- The sexual tension was hot, and the sexy stuff even hotter!
- No cliffhanger!! WooHoo!
- The 3rd person style, switching back and forth between Garrett and Parker, plus flashbacks, made me have some difficulty connecting at first.
- For some reason, the name “Parker” kept throwing me off a little, I kept thinking of a guy, and confused myself a few times.
- It was a bit of a slow ramp-up.
Rating: 4.25 Stars (the last 20% was a 5!), 4 Heat
Tara is writing this series under a pen name, T.E. Sivec, so there is no confusion between this series and her funny Chocolate Lover’s Series. I really enjoyed A Beautiful Lie, and I look forward to the next in this series that will be all about the Navy Seals we have met in this one. Although it took a little while to get into this book, I think Tara may have found her groove midway through as well, and the next books will be even better. A Beautiful Lie is unique and fresh, and I think this series will be phenomenal.
“When something you’ve wanted for as long as you can remember is finally yours, you have a hard time believing its real. You find yourself wondering if it’s just a dream and in one careless moment it will all be taken away from you.”
Purchase A Beautiful Lie at
T.E. Sivec is the pen name for Tara Sivec. Under T.E. Sivec, she delves into a more serious genre that is her absolute favorite to read – romantic suspense. She loves reading a book and feeling her heart speed up with anticipation and wanted to be able to give that feeling to her fans.
T.E. lives in Ohio with her husband and two children, living the dream of being a full-time writer.
“I’ve always known I was going to write a romantic suspense book at some point in my career. It is my absolute favorite genre to read and I wanted to take my readers in a new direction. One with sexual tension and danger and suspense and twists and turns they never saw coming. I love being sucked into a book and not being able to put it down because you just HAVE to know who the bad guy is and if the leading couple will finally get their crap together and bang all over God’s creation. I wanted to give this to my readers.
Thanks a lot! I was up till 3:30 reading it, and had to get up at 6:30!
“I’ve gotten a few reviews for my Chocolate Lovers Series that they are books filled with one-liners and I should be doing stand-up comedy instead of writing. Which is great, I think I’m hilarious after all. With this series, I wanted to prove that I can actually write! I want to make people’s hearts race and have them saying “WTF just happened?!!” Hopefully I succeeded in doing that!”
Yes, Tara, you did!
Still, one thing I would love to see Tara write is a combination of the two styles….a romantic suspense with some funny characters, a la Kristen Ashley or Janet Evanovich.
Please visit the rest of the blogs on this tour! Follow it here:
- Seduction and Snacks is my New Favorite Book
- My Favorite Books and Bestsellers of 2012
- Partying with the Gang at Seduction and Snacks
- Troubles and Treats by Tara Sivec Interview