All the Pretty Lies was the very first book of M.Leighton that I read and I was given everything I expected. A book that I couldn’t put down until I finished, with an entertaining and intriguing storyline and highly attractive characters. This is an easy read and the chapters almost read by itself. Just the way I love. Also, it has a dual POV, so we get to know the story behind each one of the main characters. I really loved it!!
The story begins with the girl. Sloane is turning 21 and she is ready to be free from the overprotected life that her brothers and father had given to her. Determined to make a statement, she goes to a tattoo studio to get her very first tattoo. And that’s when she (and we) met Hemi. A hot mysterious gorgeous male with tattoos? Give me more, please. He immediately steals all the attention in the book. There is sexy and then there is Hemi. I love him right away. And Sloane does too. Their connection is instant, and you crave to know what is going to happen between the two of them. Too much desire mixed with the evident secrecy that no one is willing to give in.
The moment in the studio is crucial because Sloane finds in Hemi the person that can show to her all the things that she missed, like sex. So, not only the butterflies tattoo is something very meaningful to her, but also the intimacy and the growing sexual tension in the air. As her new motto is to live the present because no one is granted a tomorrow, she attempts a move, but Hemi quickly dismisses it. He doesn’t supposed to want to be with her. He can’t be. And I cannot wait to know why that is!
After their first encounter, Sloane is disappointed and sad. She truly expected he could be the one, she really felt the connection and desire. On her mission of exploring other paths of the way to freedom, she goes to the bar that her brothers usually attend. She asks for a drink looking to prove a point, but the situation ended in a very different way than she had imagined. In the middle of the discussion with Steven, his older and most overprotective brother, Hemi appears. Did I forget to mention that her father and three older brothers are cops, and that the bar is frequented by people like them? You could now picture that the fight wouldn’t end up very well. She finally left with Sig, the youngest and closest of the three, to only continue thinking about Hemi.
In the meantime, Hemi fights about the longing he has for her. He can’t go on that road, but he can’t stop thinking about her. He needs to have her, despite the virgin kind isn’t his type. There’s something that attracts him to her, and he can’t help it. So, he gives in to the proposal she did back in the studio about teaching her how to tattoo, she had the skills anyway. That part was a little too fast for me. He suddenly appears after the fight on her house, and after she accepts (obviously she was going to) they immediately go to the beach, to “observe bodies” as Hemi said. Their affinity was palpable, but too much for him to take. After spending a night in a hotel, they flew away. And without breakfast; he wasn’t that kind of guy. Or he wasn’t used to.
They agreed to have the lessons on Thursdays and Fridays so that doesn’t intervene with Sloane’s art classes, but they weren’t as near as she thought they would be. Yes, she learnt a lot, but she expected he would give in to her. And he didn’t. Furthermore, a woman appeared in his life, someone she couldn’t compete with, so she deviated from her path to freedom and confidence.
I have to make a pause here to clarify that the connection between them was pretty intense, and if it weren’t for their secrets, they would be together right away. They felt like they knew each other even if they didn’t know the basics. So basically, they were constantly fighting about not thinking all day about the other.
Strong-minded about doing something for her friend in need, Sarah, Sloane’s BFF, signed her up for modeling naked on her art class in university. She wasn’t pleased at first, but then she realized that it would boost her missing confidence and it would mean an escape of the tattooing classes. The funny part came when she had to inform Hemi about it, and because of his assistant Paul, that was also attending to that class, she had to reveal her deal. As was expected, Hemi appears in the middle of the class, catching the immediate attention of her eyes. There was an obvious sexual thing about feeling his eyes on her naked body, and she naturally enjoyed it.
I’ve never wanted to touch somebody so bad in all my life. Not one person. Ever. My tongue tingled just thinking about sucking one of those pink little nipples into my mouth. And when you looked up at me, I could see it in your eyes. You were wishing the same thing. You were wishing I was touching you.
I have to admit that I really loved the way he reacted to the whole scene. He was pissed that someone else had the opportunity to enjoy her body in the way he only supposed to. So he asks for her to attend to the studio after the performance, and that’s the moment when everything changes. He reveals his anger and gives in to everything she is expecting from him. Only the sexual part though, he isn’t ready for anything else. And she gladly accepts what he can offer. Right away. And oh my! That one scene was everything we were expecting. And only was the beginning of it…
I don’t want promises. Most of the time, promises are just pretty lies. They’re words designed to make others feel better. But in the end, they’re still just lies. Disappointing lies.
They start this relationship where they pretend it isn’t as deep as it really is. But the truth is she is falling for him very fast. And the feelings that Hemi has for her, are way important than he thinks. Is on the way he treats her that I ended falling in love with him. He is so effortlessly sweet, gentle and caring to her, with the perfect amount of sassiness and dirty talk.
“Just know that, while we’re together, you’re mine. All mine. No one else’s. Do you understand?”I nod.
While they try to explore more of Sloane’s sexuality, we get to know some information about Hemi and his intentions. He is after the dirty cup that killed his younger brother with bad coke almost two years ago. At the beginning, he thought it was Steven. But when that put Sloane in danger, he totally regrets it and even starts doubting about it.
After all, he took advantage of the bad situation in Sloane’s house to take her to his place. Although he knew that the breaking point was imminent, that didn’t stop him from showing her and making her feel what she wanted to. And it was hot, so hot. Hemi was truly perfect…if it wasn’t for the secret. There where so many things we didn’t know, where he came from, about his family and life, why he has so much money, etc., but any of that made him less desirable. It was simply impossible. It was after their flawless first real sexual encounter that she found out about the truth behind the attack to her house. It was very touching to hear the story of Ollie from Hemi’s mouth. But to her, that invalidated everything they had. He used her, no matter what. And part of that is actually true. He took advantage of the position of being his sister, and put all her family at risk. He didn’t worth it.
The weeks they spent without talking each other were the worst. I couldn’t stand of thinking of Hemi being all alone. I really like him. But it was good because they finally found out about the truth. The culprit wasn’t Steven; instead it was his partner, Duncan. He tricked him so every lead pointed to him. Very smart. Anyway, after all Hemi’s attempts of talking to Sloane, her father encouraged her to go after him. She already was a mess, and had everything to win.
As a perfect closure, he admitted all his feelings for her. And when she accepted him with a sweet kiss, it was absolutely perfect! What I wasn’t expecting thought, was what happened next. She suddenly passes out. And for what her father told him, it was something serious. Real serious. There we get to know why everyone in Sloane’s life protected her so much. She had leukemia when she was little, just like her deceased mother. The concern was that it was on her relapse that she had died. So now everybody thought that this could be it for her. I couldn’t think about her being gone, just when they finally got back together. It would have been a terrible ending. But for my pleasure, it was just the flu. Everything after that went as expected. A happily ever after kind of ending. The epilogue was a little short for me. It happened only 18 months after the hospital episode, and they just found out that she was pregnant. A perfect conclusion for the couple.
Right here in this moment, I know I can’t live without her. I can’t even think of what I will do with myself if she dies. Tonight. Tomorrow night. In a year. In then years. I can’t bare the idea of a world without her. Of my life without her.
I really loved this book. The story was great and it was developed in the right amount of scenes. Although, I have to say that there were too many things that I missed, especially from Hemi’s life. For example, his youth, his parents, the women on his life, his dreams. Also, it didn’t quite fit for me the part where he was rich. Besides his house, nothing gave us that idea. If you like a good hot romance with an attractive storyline between the perfect male and a worthy female lead, All the Pretty Lies is a must read.