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New Release Review and Giveaway! HIDING LIES by Julie Cross (Eleanor Ames #2)

 

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About Hiding Lies (Eleanor Ames, #2):

At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.

Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.

But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.

Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.

Hiding Lies cover

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Excerpt:

My feet have been dangling. I start to lift them up, attempting to conceal myself. But I’m not fast enough. Warm fingers wrap around my ankle.

“Got you,” the guy says. “How long have you been up there spying on me?”

“Spying? On you?” I shake my head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m waiting for someone. He’ll be here any second.”

The hot guy takes the binoculars and looks them over, analyzing the zoom-in and recording switches hidden on the underside. “Fancy. Not exactly for recreational use.”

That’s because they’re Aidan’s. My sister’s boyfriend. Up until two weeks ago, when he was forced to resign, Aidan was a Secret Service agent. He used all kinds of spy gear in his former job—like these high-tech night-vision binoculars.

I hop down from the tree, assessing the intruder, searching for body language that says friend or enemy, even though I already know the answer. No harm in having a little extra practice. Role-play is definitely a skill of mine, but it’s also a muscle that must be worked regularly. “Just so you know, I am trained in self-defense. Wouldn’t try anything if I were you.”

“Yeah?” He lifts an eyebrow. “That’s good because this place is sketchy as hell.”

We both glance around the deserted warehouse building beside us, the vandalized lumberyard nearby, and the questionable items strewn across the walkway leading to the giant warehouse door—condom wrappers, broken beer bottles, cigarette butts.

“You’re right, it’s sketchy,” I say. “I better take off before something bad happens.”

“Wait…” Hot Guy reaches for me, his fingers curling around my waist. He tugs me until my back rests against the tree and we’re hidden from anyone on the street. “Tell me about this other guy you’re waiting on.”

I stare up at him, taking in the cocky smirk, perfectly messy dark hair, and blue eyes that hold dozens of secrets. “What other guy?”

He grins, showing off two perfect dimples to go with the rest of his perfects. “Good answer.”

Then, before I can refocus on the role I’ve been playing, he leans down and kisses me. It’s only been a week but feels like a month. Maybe longer. His cheeks are cold, but his lips are warm and tender. I bring him closer and closer until his slinged arm is lodged between us.

“Miles,” I mumble against his lips.

“Uh-huh.”

“Miles,” I repeat, too caught up in this kiss to celebrate the slip he just made. “That’s his name. The guy I’m waiting on.”

“Miles. Sounds like an asshole. Forget him.” He pulls away just enough to see my face. His good hand rests against my cheek. He looks like he’s about to dive into kissing me again but hesitates. “It’s really cold out here.”

“And sketchy,” I add. “Why would you pick a place like this? You can’t coast forever on the whole mysterious-hot-guy persona. So if that’s your plan, I’d rather meet at the Y or Planet Fitness like a normal person.”

He rolls his eyes. “Yes, that’s my goal in life. Devote all my time to training to be a spy so I can impress girls.”

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Review:

Phew!

Once again, Ellie and friends lead us on a non-stop ride with twists and turns that no one can possibly see coming. Don’t plan on doing anything until this one’s done–seriously, it’s pretty much un-put-downable. Who’s really on which side? What, exactly, are the sides? Who can Ellie truly trust? Where is Miles, and what has he been doing?

Gah! So. Many. Questions.

So. Much. Stress.

It’s definitely a good idea to read this book with the events of book one ( Chasing Truth ) fresh in you mind, because a lot of what happens here is connected to previous events. Since I’ve literally read dozens of books since I read that one, those events were a bit fuzzier in my mind than I would have liked, kind of like that dream you vaguely remember but can’t quite grasp the details of…even so, this book kept me turning the pages. If you haven’t yet read Chasing Truth, though, I absolutely recommend taking the time to read it before tackling this one.

Ms. Cross left Ellie (and Miles–thank goodness!) in a good spot at the end, but there’s certainly room for another book if she is so inclined…and I for one will be early in line for it if she does, because Eleanor Ames! (I’d prefer not to wait another whole year, though. Just sayin’ ;))

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Chasing Truth cover

About Chasing Truth (Eleanor Ames, #1):

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him – she doesn’t even like him – but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he could be the killer.

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About Julie Cross: julie cross author photo

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.

 

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