At seventeen Luna left her old life behind and disappeared to a new town. She meets Mr. Cooper the owner of an auto body shop and is mentored in everything automobile. The people in that shop become her family and Mr Cooper a father figure. When Mr. Cooper takes on a partner, Luna puts a smile on her face determined to be happy in the face of Ripley’s grumpiness. One day, Luna tells a lie for Ripley and he is determined to return the favor, to even the score. When Luna finally asks him for help it’s the start of a friendship and then so much more.
Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn romance novels where the build up of the relationship is 90% of the novel. Luna and the Lie didn’t detour from Zapata’s norm however it is a little bit of a darker novel than she usually writes. I wasn’t surprised by Ripley’s character. He is gruff, grumpy, and talks by grunting a lot. Pretty typical of her alpha male hero’s. What was surprising was how he had to overcome Luna’s, dare I say damaged (?), persona. Luna is determined to be happy and live the life she has always dreamed about. When I say determined, I mean she hangs onto that emotion with a fierceness I am just not used to seeing in a romance heroine. Ms. Zapata writes sassy, independent women, which I love! Luna is sassy and independent, but she also lives in her head a lot. Reminding herself of how she is loved, has a good job, and is happy. Repeatedly. Like she is talking herself into those things. When the relationship between Ripley and Luna finally happens, I am so happy that she is finally getting that dream that she’s been pursuing, and with a man that will love and protect her at the risk of his own life.
This novel was one of my most anticipated releases in the latter half of this year and it did not disappoint. It did make me think. Ripley was an interesting character and although Luna’s thoughts and dreams revolved around him, he wasn’t the heart of this novel. Luna was. Ms. Zapata did such a great job of portraying Luna’s despair and hope that it was those emotions that I felt when the novel concluded. Yes, despair that the book was over and hope that she’ll write one quicker than the last, but also that hope that those who need love and security from others will find what their heart needs. Not all do in life, but in fiction we can write our own happy endings. The despair part is still sitting in my gut. This is a novel that will stick with you for a little while. It was wonderful, but it was also hard to read and yet I want to pick it up again immediately because I believe that’s what I need to exorcise these feelings.
If you’ve read this novel I’d love to hear if you had the same visceral reaction I did. Let me know!
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Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved