I had the pleasure of buddy reading 🎧︎Devious Lies by Parker S. Huntington with Brandee over at (Un)Conventinal Bookworms. Read on for our views on this age-gap, enemies to lovers billionaire romance which we both enjoyed.
**15 hrs, 46 min** From USA Today bestselling author Parker S. Huntington comes an enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romance full of revenge and a dash of fate. “She could enjoy her pretty, perfect world a little longer. Soon enough, everything she owned would be mine.”
I had a plan to escape the friend zone.Step one: sneak into Reed’s room.Step two: sleep with him.
But when the lights turned on, it wasn’t familiar blue eyes I saw.These were dark, angry, and full of demons.And they belonged to Reed’s much older brother.
Four years later, Nash Prescott is no longer the help’s angry son.I’m no longer the town’s prized princess.
At twenty-two, I’m broke, in need of a job.At thirty-two, he’s a billionaire, in need of revenge.
Who cares if my family ruined his?Who cares if he looks at me with pure loathing?Who cares if every task he assigns me is designed to torture?
I need the money.Simple as that.
I’ll suffer his cruelty in silence, knowing there’s one thing he wants more than revenge…Me.
Note: This is a 145,000-word standalone in the Cruel Crown world. Welcome to Eastridge. Enter if you dare.
Brandee:Age-gap and enemies-to-lovers tropes are probably in my top 5-7 favorites. Getting them combined was good stuff. I particularly liked how Emery and Nash were acquainted. That his family had worked for hers. And that she’d spent more time with his family than her own. I also appreciated how Huntington wove together the different timelines so we got the backstory. Honestly, I could see they were meant for one another from the beginning but it was entertaining to see them figure it out. How did you feel about the setup of their relationship?
Nadene: Both tropes are also on my top favourites list. So when I discovered 🎧︎Devious LiesI knew I needed to get my greedy little hands on it. From the moment of Nash and Emery’s introduction, I knew they belonged together. It took them awhile to figure it out. However, this made the story more fun. I knew the moment she snuck into Reed’s room to seduce him she would be in for a major surprise. One that would have her rethinking what she believed she felt for him. That moment changed everything. I also like the fact that both their families shared history.
Brandee: As a person who loves words, I really enjoyed Emery’s love for “magic” words and her ability to work through difficult times and/or emotions by putting words on tshirts. But I could see how the special words could become tedious, even though they became something special between Emery and Nash. Which camp are you in?
Nadene: I found the concept of Emery creating special words entertaining. I understood her need to create those words as it helped to navigate difficult situations. Especially when dealing with the woman who gave birth to her and later on in interactions with Nash. Also, I found the idea of placing these made up words on her T-shirts fun. The fact it irritated her mother made it extra special.
Brandee: I’m so happy you liked the words element too! And yes, the fact the tshirts irritated Virginia was the cherry on top! I also giggled at Nash always looking to Emery’s chest to see what the word of the day was. That scene when the word wasn’t there? Too funny!
What are your views on the rift between Nash and Reed?
Nadene: To be honest, I don’t know what was Reed’s problem. He had it good and didn’t appreciate it. Nash would have done anything to protect him, while he was willing to think the worst of him.
Brandee: I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t understand what Reed’s problem was. I mean, I understood him and Emery being hurt by the one secret that was kept but still. Reed was the beneficiary of a lot of Nash’s good deeds and it allowed him to grow up without some pretty hefty burdens. So yeah, I didn’t get the rift. I wonder if Reed gets a book? Maybe we’d understand him more.
Brandee: There were a lot of moving parts in this story. Emery and Nash together and separate, Emery’s dad, her mom, the business deals, and the SEC investigations to name a few. I felt like they worked well overall and made the story richer. What did you think?
Nadene: All the characters brought something special to the story. I loved Emery’s relationship with her before the lies associated with the SEC investigations damaged it. Her mother, OMG! Virginia is a piece of work. The hell she put Emery through. I suspected she was somehow behind the events leading up to the investigation. What I never coming was the twist with Emery’s Dad. Then again
Brandee: I, too, loved the dynamics between Emery and the secondary cast. The memories of the things she and her dad did before were so heartwarming. And Virginia was…well, she definitely was NOT my favorite character. She was awful but I liked how Emery accepted that her relationship with her mother was what is was and she got her digs in. Oh how I loved her digs. The dress with dead flowers? LOL
Nadene: I have quite a few favorite moments, but the two that stood out most for me were
The notes Nash included with the lunches he prepared for Emery
The conversations they had via the app not knowing they were actually texting each other. However, I must admit I found their reaction to discovering that they were actually texting each other all this time underwhelming.
Brandee: I have quite a few favorite moments as well. And Nash’s lunch notes, both in the past and present, were absolutely a favorite. The conversations they had together not knowing who they were to each other were also a favorite. I’m with you on the underwhelming reaction to finding out they’d been each other’s anonymous “pen pal.” I think my other favorite moments were any time Nash made himself vulnerable, whether it was with Emery or Delilah. He tried so hard to keep that stone-like exterior so it was nice to see his soft inside.
A lovely story enhanced by a solid audio performance. I enjoyed Desireé Ketchum and Sebastian York’s narration. They both did a wonderful job in bringing 🎧︎Devious Lies to life. I look forward to listening to more of their work.
I had fun buddy reading 🎧︎Devious Lies but judging from Brandee’s five star rating she enjoyed it more than I did This was my first experience with the author and I have no qualms with reading her work again.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: