Just a Little White Lie (Haven Hallways)
by Melody Sweet
My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Contemporary/ Contemporary Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
A little white lie to solve one problem is about to snowball out of control…
When party girl Lauren finds herself in bucket loads of debt and having to return home to live with her controlling brother, she thinks life can’t get any worse.
Her brother is living with the world’s biggest irritation—his best friend, Jack—the tower of muscle who loves to tease her.
Humiliated and desperate for a job, she spruces up her resume, turning herself into the world’s best teacher in the hopes of finding something quickly so she can start paying off her debts. It works! She’s invited to substitute at the elite Haven Academy… as a dance teacher. Whoops. Maybe she shouldn’t have made herself sound so accomplished, but what’s one little white lie, right?
She quickly figures out that trying to teach a bunch of reluctant students who can see right through her is an impossible task. They’re not about to dance one step for a fraud. She needs to come up with the right moves to win them over and get them working as a team. And who better to help her than champion dancer, Jack.
But will Jack be willing to show her some moves?
And can she handle dancing with a man who is growing more attractive by the day?
As one little white lie unravels into another, Lauren’s snowball of deception will fall apart and leave her with nothing but the truth—she’s falling in love with her enemy—and it’s about time she tries a little honesty…
Note: My review is for the original version of this book. After feedback from her readers, Melody has changed up the story. There is more focus on the romance now and includes chapters from Jack’s point of view. I haven’t re-read the book yet, so my review is for the version before that change.
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
I was looking forward to starting this new series by Melody Sweet. It took me some adjusting to this book as has quite the different vibe from Melody Sweet’s other series and the further I got the more I got into it. Unfortunately I just never fully got into this book. I didn’t like the set up and the main character at first, although I did really like how Lauren was a teacher and how she sets out to help the misfits at the school. I really liked the teaching part of the story.
My main issue was the whole set up for the plot with the main character. There’s this whole plot with how she lied to her parents and then spend thousands of their dollars on shopping and vacations just didn’t really make her likable in my eyes. Then after that all she didn’t really seem that motivated to fix things and everyone else treated her like a kid and decided what she could do, which meant she had little free agency to live her life. It just didn’t work for me and in my current mood I couldn’t get over that and it kept bothering me.
I also didn’t really get her motivation behind her behavior or even which of the two was her main problem, the fact that she lies or the fact she easily spends money. And neither of those really play a role in the rest of the book or seem to be a recurring thing she struggles with. The lying thing comes up a few more times and there a bit of character development with that, but it mostly takes for the end of the book for that to happen and it didn’t really feel like that was a big part of her character or who she was. I felt that Lauren’s past and set up didn’t really seemed to fit with the rest of who she was when teaching and fighting for the kids.
My favorite part of this book was the teaching and misfits part of the plot. I really liked how Lauren does her best to help out the misfits she teaches and really is there for them and fights for them. I was invested in seeing how this all would turn out and seeing her win the trust of the misfits and telling them they were worthy and showing them. I felt that this part of the book was more the plot than the romance, I certainly was more invested in the teaching plot line than the romance. This book has a satisfying ending and I especially liked seeing how everything with the Misfits and the dance competition worked out. I hope to see more of them!
The romance kinda fell flat to me. I felt like the romance was more the sub plot here and didn’t get enough page time, but at the same time I was kinda glad there wasn’t more as I was more invested in the teaching part of the plot line. Lauren and Jack have a clear mutual attraction and I liked how they connected with the dancing and the helping these kids, but I felt like there wasn’t really much more to it. The ending was sweet and it was clear they were dedicated to one another, I just didn’t really feel their romance.
The Haven school was an interesting setting and I look forward to see more of it in future book. I liked that we got a cameo appearance from Bianca and Cam from one of Jordan Ford’s series. There are also some hints for characters who could get their own book and I am looking forward to see whose stories will be next.
To summarize: This is the first book in a new series by Melody Sweet, I liked the focus on the Haven school and the teaching plot line and am looking forward to see who the next couples are. Unfortunately the set up for this one didn’t really work for me, the way Lauren spend money that wasn’t her own and now she has to live with her bother. I didn’t really get Lauren’s motivation for her past behavior and it didn’t really seem to fit with who she was now and she didn’t really struggle much with those urges. I didn’t really like Lauren who she was at first, although I did warm up to her a bit as the book progresses and I really liked who she is as a teacher. I liked how she would fight for the misfit kids and help them however she could. It just didn’t really seem to mesh with the person she was in the past. The romance fell kinda flat for me and I didn’t really feel it. There is a lot of focus on the teaching plot line which I liked, but that did mean there wasn’t as much page time for the romance. Their mutual attraction was clear and I liked how they worked together on the dance program, but there wasn’t much besides that. I look forward to the next book in this series!
I really don’t like seeing characters spending that kind of money in books. Sure if they are millionaires you expect them to have nice things but I don’t want to go on shopping sprees with them.
Mary Kirkland recently posted…Book Review: Tiger’s Daughter (Shifters Unbound book 14) by Jennifer Ashley
Here it was mostly in the past, but it bothered me how she spend money she didn’t have and that wasn’t her own on shopping and vacations. Like you said it’s another thing if they actually have the money or are millionaires.