Author note: This book cover has been recently updated. Both books have been combined into one book. New cover on Amazon and here under the 2nd edition. The new title for this series is Lie to Me (The Layla Duet Complete) Thank you.
At the age of seventeen, I woke up Christmas morning, to gunshots instead of presents. I know my life already sounds morbid, and yes that’s how it starts. The one good thing, that came out of me moving in with my aunt is meeting, Cade Teller. I don’t even think I was breathing when I locked eyes with him for the first time. My entire world came to a halt. He was my cousin’s best friend and my new crush. Little did I know, my love life was the least of my worries. My aunt was up to something, and I would do just about anything to find out what it was. She was my mother’s sister, they hated each other, and for a good reason. Is there more to their story? Whatever it is, I will not stop until I get the answers I deserve. My mom and dad were taken from me and I want to know why. Who is this man, that has been following me my entire life? Is there anyone I can trust, to help me find answers? All I know is that it's up to me to find out what my aunt is hiding. This secret is monumental but it's ok, because I have Cade, and he is the only person that makes me feel whole again. I just hope he stays…
L.Aquila lives in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and enjoys a nice Pino Grigio on occasion. She is a self-publishing author of romantic suspense and psychological thriller books. She will keep you wanting more with her exciting and riveting stories. Get yourself ready for this author's fast-paced stories.
For the life of me, I will never understand why people call this a "romance" or rave about it. Yeah, I get everyone has different likes and all the crap, but what is so entertaining about reading something where over 98% of the story, both MCs are with OP?
So I ask again, what part of this was a "romance" or at all entertaining to be giving it 4 & 5 stars? Sheesh.
H married ow because she got pregnant during the time that H thought h was dead (she was being abused and kidnapped) h disappeared less than a year and he went to ow for comfort. H cared about ow. H chose ow bc she was pregnant. H heard h and OM making out. Thanks for small miracles.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I don't understand. I admit I got sucked in by the pic on the cover and thought it would be a sweet 2nd chance romance, but "romance" like others stated is not what this is about - at least not with the 2 MCs that I was supposed to be reading about.
I am curious though if the writer is still peeking in reviews, may I ask you a question that is not at all intended as an attack on you personally or your writing style?
I am being honest when I say that I don't mean any disrespect. I am just curious to understand why we are getting so many of these plots lately where writers have the MCs with OP for most, if not all, of the story. Where they cheat, marry, have kids with OP, etc. I find nothing about this type of trope "romantic" or entertaining. I don't think I know anyone who would ever take such a jerk back in RL and certainly don't want to read about it either. So why romances? Why is it a favorite & overused plot with so many writers but not with non ARC readers?
I hate writing bad reviews, but every now & then I have to shake my head as to what is written these days.
I've seen so many Goodreads & Amazon readers in the least 2 years stop reading altogether because they are tired of bad writing and I can't blame them. I don't claim to be a writer, but I AM a reader and when I choose to pick up something to read, it's a privilege to that author I chose their work and I expect it to be what the blurb says it is. What I didn't though expect in this is to find a story about 2 MCs who are supposed to be so in love with each other that they spend 99% of the story with OP.
A "Suspense Romance" which has Hero not once saving heroine??!!! Huh? A "Hero" who chooses someone else other then the love of his life? Why? There was no other million plots to add angst that didn't include cheating & him choosing someone else? And then a lame HFN ending to tie up all the shit we had to endure?
Come on people. Who the heck are you writing for?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Do not read this authors romance books. MCs with op for 90% of the book. H hooks up with the ow while the h is kidnapped, gets he ow preg. Marries the ow, then only get back with the h at the end because ow died.
ARC reader of this book! [02-2021] L. Aquila is a self-published author and asked around for people to read her books and give an honest review. I signed up for it and here we are!
ROMANCE The main love interest in this book is Cade Teller. Cade and Layla Crawford, the main character, met when they she was seventeen. She moved to her aunt’s house with Cade being her cousin Tommy’s best friend. Due to some incidents, Layla leaves town without any explanation, leaving any chance at their love out of the picture. We have a ten year time jump, showing that Layla has not moved on from Cade at all. Because of problems arising back on Rhode Island, she visits again and meets Cade after the long time that has passed. He is very angry at her for never giving him the possibility to understand why she left, thinking he could’ve been there for her.
”Promise me you’ll never walk away from me again, Layla.”
They end up making up for it and giving their love a new beginning. Along the journey, I thought their relationship turned out to be quite toxic. Cade had had a fling with one of his bartenders at the bar he opened with Tommy and she apparently hadn’t gotten the memo Cade was taken now – how would she if Cade never did anything to tell her off? After a severe loss, Cade keeps blaming Layla, only adding to her own emotional damage. They both always come back for each other, even though Cade wanted like twenty breaks to cope with things Layla went through. I, personally, rooted for a character that gets introduced later in the story named Eric. He was gentler and more understanding with Layla. On that note, also Keith, Layla’s best friend, would’ve been a better fit. The endgame still stays Cade.
I need Cade like I need oxygen.
Do you, really? The entire relationship does not have aa fundament and solely revolves around physical touches, blandly, sex only. They started off by Cade cheating on his girlfriend with Layla when he was eighteen and ended up with toxicity and co-dependence.
what to find in this book - sexual content - mafia, of sorts
PLOT Layla’s parents have been shot. The book starts of with their funeral, following Layla’s move to her aunt, who her mother despised. A little later on, you get to know that there was a break in of at least five masked men, hurting her parents and killing them, sparing Layla. She swears to herself to find out who send those men. After searching her aunt’s house, Layla finds a folder of photos, documenting her parents on every step they took. Assured it was her aunt who got them killed, she gets her arrested. Alog the story, you learn there’s more to it. Sara, her aunt, is head of a sex trafficking organization, that is part of Layla’s family inheritance. The entire story basically develops from there. Layla gets kidnapped once, but what felt like ten minutes after her knight in shining armour, Cade, saved her. After then suffering through the loss of Tommy and finding out she was adopted, we also acquire that Layla seems to have some kind of psychic gift that came out of nowhere, seeing as she talked to dead people and could feel presences and dreamt of things vividly. I thought the plot finally somewhat developed when Layla gets kidnapped again (actually this time), meeting Eric – technically her guard, but actually a mole trying to save his sister. They develop a plan and Layla manages to escape and back to Rhode Island’s normal life. There she meets her biological father, though, who threatens her to get a locket back from her mother’s house in South Carolina – which, of course, she does. There, she comes across Hyde, the soon-to-be head of the sex-trafficking organization, who makes sure to get the locket from her and to threaten her to make sure she knows he’ll come back for her. Turns out, Eric’s sister fell in love with Hyde while being kidnapped and had Hyde obsess all over her, ending in her death. Layla seems to resemble her a lot, explaining why Hyde is so interested in her now. She ends up working for Hyde, undercover, having the job of finding and luring in the girls for him. Eric and her have a plan to save the girls, involving the police. Layla gets shot, and her knight in shining armour, Cade, saves her, of course. Uncle Frank, Tommy’s father and Aunt Sara’s husband, threatens Layla too, wanting her to take down Sara. Of course, she does – but she was set up and therefore ends up being kidnapped again. And again, Cade saves her. Eric, Cade and Layla team up to finally take out the organization, coming up with a plan. They sneak up on the closest headquarters, actually freeing the captured girls. They all end up being captured as the last few sentences of the book tell you, though. There is a second book, no worries!
CONCLUSION This book felt like one of the Wattpad stories I read when I was fourteen. It was fast-paced, which I have been told. I didn’t really like how soulmate-y the relationship of Cade and Layla felt in the beginning, and I hated Cade and Layla’s toxic relationship turnout. Layla’s way of thinking towards men was very superficial, and no matter whether she was in a relationship or not, every man was “hot” and Cade was “sex on a stick”. Cade also had a superficial way about him when it comes to Layla. The character development wasn’t happening, if I’m being honest. Layla stayed right in her mindset. Of course, she always wanted to help those kidnapped girls and the organization, but her ways about social relationships stayed exactly as they were. This might be because no other character, except maybe Cade, had the opportunity to develop themselves, because they were mostly introduced out of nowhere and didn’t have much relevance or plot participation. Cade also didn’t develop at all – he sort of made me feel like he had a personality disorder, jumping between declaring his love and, on that note, making love to Layla and whining about how Layla ruined his life. Generally, I couldn’t connect with the characters, except for maybe Keith slightly. I also didn’t like how mental health was treated here. For one, Layla had a vivid dream about drowning, and taking a shower to recover from that – this felt weird to me. The emotional pressure put on Layla wasn’t descriptively shown much: she had dreams, she was whining, she had sex. Of course, she suffered, but only for short descriptive periods. Also, after Cade suggested seeking professional help, which would’ve been very recommendable, Layla freaked out, asking herself whether she was crazy and telling Cade she couldn’t be with someone who suggested she needed professional help. The story development was quite an up and down. As I mentioned before, I thought the main plot point was reached when Sara managed to kidnap Layla and hope was gone. That turned out not to be the climax I thought it was. There were lots of potential climaxes that weren’t built out at all. A book needs to follow a structure, reaching a climax and finding a solution. Both was partly there, and I liked how the book ended. I did like the teaming up and freeing the girls, ending with the tragedy of still being captured. The plotting of the plan should’ve been part of the story. Though this was easy to understand, it was like we jumped from moment to moment rather than living it with Layla, as a first-person narrative would suggest. I really liked where this book was going, where it started off and what it covered. Sex-trafficking is most likely a problem to this day and should be talked about. This book also didn’t romanticize mafia organizations, which I also thought was a bonus. Though I knew it would be fast-paced, I still don’t think two days can manage to offer a love story to break your heart and an entire mystery solution about your parents’ deaths. My suggestion would be to lengthen out the process of trying to find her parents’ murderers, as a climax finding out it was Sara, trying to take her and the organization down, getting kidnapped. Layla would meet Eric, get attached to the other girls, wanting to help them. After managing to escape, she wants to go back, managing to free the girls with Eric and Cade, though being captured. This book offered too many stories at once. I do understand the urge to make a lot happen and to mess up the characters with many problems to create a worthy ending, though this book was at least a three in one. It wasn’t really for me, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad book. If you’re into mafia drama and lots of emotional strain, this might just be the right book for you! Have fun reading!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This book was a trip! I don’t usually get to gasp in surprise in the first couple chapters of a novel…and then they keep coming. These characters are flawed and need a ton of therapy but you love them and hate them, worry for them and want to scream at them.
This book was one hell of a ride. By the time I read 2 chapters the story had taken a turn! It did hook me right from the beginning.
Layla. at the age of 17, loses her parents brutally and hence is forced to stay at her aunt’s place. She hates her aunts for understandable reasons and the feeling is mutual. The only good thing coming out of this arrangement is - she meets her cousin Tommy who is adorable and Cade, Tommy’s best friend with whom she feels an instant connection. As she stays with her aunt, she realizes there is more to the death of her parents than what she has been told and she is determined to get to the bottom of it.
I found Layla to be very impulsive and someone who does not think things through which was quite frustrating. Further, she refused to take help from anyone for reasons which were not very clear to me and that just added to the frustration. Also, this book tried to cover a lot of topics i.e. romance, suspense, human trafficking, action and so on and hence at a point I felt myself losing the rhythm of the book. Also, the male protagonist appeared to be weak. In fact, I was very confused about him. In some parts of the book, he appears to be strong and confident while in some other parts he appears weak which made it very difficult for me to connect with him.
This book is the first in the duet series. Fast-paced and I mean really fast-paced, with lots of ups and downs this book will hook you right in. If you enjoy a book with multiple genres, this book is for you.
Thank you Lisa Aquila for providing ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Even if the story turned around so fast, it was still great. A page turner!!! A lot of things had happened in this book and Layla was everywhere, sometimes I ask myself "where is she now?" I like the plot of the story about sex trafficking/kidnapping, as it gives a reality-based situation however I really can't connect the necessity of Layla's "dreams" to some of the event, with her mom exposing her true identity through dreams, with Eric (who's still alive). I can't see a deep connection between cade and Layla. It's like watching two movie actors without chemistry.Their relationship seems so shallow. It's all about sex when they're together. (i was warned that there's too much smut)but it's too much which has nothing to do with the story, and the story is actually amazing even without it. I think there is a lacking character development for Cade, he is the main character, but I see Eric has more impact than him. I love Keith and Tommy, they have a relatable character.
The lines used were familiar, I've read it is other novels. Their exchange of conversations are redundant. Like, Cade is always telling Layla she is perfect and so is Layla to Cade, and that their body is made for each other. And I laugh out loud, when they were in serious scene and Layla thought how hot or handsome Eric/Cade is. Especially when Eric and Cade had an argument and she went in the middle of them and thought "It's kinda hot". LOL
Overall, the storyline was really amazing. I can't wait to read book 2 and see what will happen to Layla. Kudos to the smart author for bringing an intense story
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Rate five stars. I would like to begin this review by saying I do not understand the people who rated this book one or two stars, first it is not a self-help book or a guide on how to live your life. It is fiction. Really good RAW fiction. It is a fast paced, plot twist, emotional ride of a book. The exploration of toxic relationships is paramount. In my opinion Layla the heroine of the book has all the characteristics of the textbook woman with low self-esteem, from her desire for being wanted to her sexual prowess it is all there in a pretty, but messy blonde bun. Likely caused by the traumas in her life she overthinks, is impulsive and because of all these human qualities is a very relatable character. I hope that she only exists in Ms. Aquila’s mind and is not drawn on personal experience, but that the empath in me talking. Talented writing is energetic. Good writing avoids errors. Talented writing makes things happen in the reader's mind — vividly, forcefully — that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn't. This book is talented writing. I think if people hated it, as much as it may hurt Ms. Aquila’s feelings that in my mind means she hit this one out of the park. If it was a movie, I am sure a lot of folks would close their eyes because this one stirred up emotions. Big time.
Layla Crawford’s life was going well, until tragedy strikes again and she is force to face her past. She meets her former lover, Cade, and tries to shove all feelings aside for him. As she faces her past, she comes to realize she is more than what happened to her.
Dark mystery romance that concludes what happened in Layla’s life. I was so excited to read this to learn of what happened and was not disappointed.
This series is a ‘duet’ but it could have definitely been an orchestra. This duet could have easily been spread out and written into several more books, there is so much meat to the story I would have loved to read more in depth details!
The lead character Layla really can’t catch a break. Between dealing with a family of organized crime, she had no idea existed, and then a crazy family member looking to get revenge there’s no wonder Layla suffers with PTSD.
The author did a great job at keeping both books connected but was still able to tell completely different stories. The first book develops very quickly with not much character building. I would have loved to read more about the development of Cade and Laylas unbreakable bond. At times I wish these character would just call it quits but by the end of the second book I was happy how their relationship grew, although I still find myself cheering for Team Eric!💙
These books are filled with trauma and an array of triggers but the romance is still there. I enjoyed these scenes and feel they were written in the perfect places throughout the storyline. Let’s just say Cade Teller can be my hero any day!
If you enjoy suspense and romance I would definitely recommend this series as a good quick read!
✨Book Review✨ The Lies Layla Was Told by L.Aquila 3.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
First I would like to thank the nice @authorlaquila for reaching out to me and also gifting me this duet for an honest review!
This was a quick moving and fast paced read. I read in one sitting today. Enjoyable but not at all what I was expecting. You’re definitely in for a ride that keeps you guessing to the end.
Layla and Cade- the leads were definitely frustrating characters who act on impulse and make silly decisions and are extremely jealous types in a relationship and I found it hard to connect with them unfortunately.
The tortured relationship between Layla and her aunt is just sad. I was more interested in the family chaos than anything else. And the mystery of Layla’s ‘family’. My likables would have to be Tommy, Keith and Eric.
Lots of genres in this read. There’s fast romance, suspense, murder, and more to keep you wondering.
Will be reading part 2 of this duet soon to see how it is all ties together. ☺️
This duet is available for those who have Kindle Unlimited if interested.
The book starts off great. It’s emotional and mysterious. We are put into a very hard, tragic, and confusing scene for Layla. She feels very uneasy of what took place.
Layla is 17, young, vibrant, beautiful, and truly loved by her parents beyond and now that they are gone she has to live with her Aunt who hates her. There is no sugar coating, this is not something that will turn around, her aunt loathes her and Layla is going to get to the bottom of it.
There she meets her cousin Tommy who I adored immediately! He was so easy to love, a natural at protecting Layla. We also meet Tommy’s best friend, Cade.
Cade, what is it about the hot and cold type? It’s the appeal. The way he felt an instant connection for her, but also, made mistakes.
Young love and in so much danger made the beginning of the story very addicting.
I liked that Layla was different, haunted by her dreams and a shadow figure, and still faces them head on even 10 YEARS LATER to uncover the truth.
There were highs and lows, twists and turns, and a lot that took place in this book. The action towards the end, that cliffy, I have to see what happens next! That damn ending!!!!!!!
I received this book as an ARC in exchange for a review. The writing itself was good. I read the blurb and I thought it sounded like a book I’d like. Romance, suspense what’s not to like? The reason I gave 3 stars was simply because it just wasn’t the book for me. The plot moved very fast. It was only about the 4th page and our main characters were already saying how special they were to one another. The book also dealt with some heavy topics that isn’t my cup of tea. Overall the writing was good and I think the author has a lot of potential. I can’t wait to see what she writes in the future.
Once again, Ms Aquila knocks it out of the park with a fabulous read! I couldn't put this book down. I was definitely hooked by page 3. It's a fast paced, riveting, Mystery/Romance. Everytime I thought I had what was happening figured out, I was wrong. I was fascinated by the shocking twists and turns the plot took. I highly recommend this book for mystery lover's. Ms. Aquila' is credited for getting me hooked on reading Mystery/Romance. I am waiting impatiently to find out which twist's and turns Layla's life takes in the next book.
This is the first story of the Layla Duet and it had a bit of everything. There are girls taken for human trafficking and violence, so check trigger warnings with this read. Layla is orphaned at 17 and has to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin. What she doesn’t know is her parents lied to her about her entire life. The lies come to light as Layla can “see them” through her dreams/nightmares. This read was full of twists and turns and all I wanted was for Cade to step up and Layla to let him in. Layla is a strong but broken woman and she has been truly put through the ringer, but perseveres. The story ends on a HUGE cliffhanger and my jaw dropped. Cannot wait to see where this story goes.
The story was fast paced right from the start. Dont want to give the story away so all I'm going to say is Layla discovers lots of secrets, her life is in danger and her love life Is tested many times throughout. I loved the characters and it was one of those books where you didn't know what was going to happen next. Plenty of drama, emotions, surprises to keep the reader entertained. Well done Lisa another great book, can't wait to read the second part :)
This book is filled with loads of thrill and drama! Definitely a page turner. I was able to feel every emotion that the main character Layla was able to feel and express. Definitely recommend reading it!
At first I loved Cade but now I’m beginning to love Eric more! You have to read to find out which man is better!
The Lies Layla was told is a fast paced, and very suspenseful book, I hive it 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 stars.
But here's why...
Layla is a very quick to react woman who overthinks things and jumps the gun a lot... She flip flops a lot and a lot of awful things happen to her in short periods of time. If you enjoy suspense and fast paced books, then this one is for you!
I quite liked the story of Cade and Layla and the ups and downs that they faced. The story does end on a cliffhanger which makes you want to pick the other book up to find out what has happened. This book deals with more of how Layla and Cade met and then into early adulthood.
An emotional ride lies ahead. This story may not be for some. It is intense and gripping. It'll swallow you whole and spit you back out in pieces You'll be wondering what you just read. You'll be smacked in the face right away. It's gut wrenching and heart breaking.
I loved the concept behind this story, young girl who loses her parents in a horrendous crime the morning of Christmas. She has no choice but to move in with her aunt who hates her, hated her mum and generally just the air Layla breaths. She has always felt like she’s being watched and for a good reason.
In come the hottie that is Cade, they have an instant connection that cannot be ignored! He is so and cold - something I wasn’t really a fan of. I love me a alpha Ahole as much as the next person but he gets an award for how quickly he swapped between his feelings.
I adored Tommy, Laylas cousin and of course Cades best friend.. he was cute, instantly protective of Layla, loving and so welcoming.
Young love is dangerous, a whirlwind and confusing.
I LOVE ERIC!!
The cover is absolutely stunning!!
This book unfortunately was just far too fast paced for me, so much happened in the first few chapters and then the drama and action just doesn’t stop. The two leads are insta-lust/love from the first chapter, but then are on and off from that moment.
However if these are things that you like I would recommend this read! There are highs, lows, love, anguish and action packed.
Miss L.Aquila's books are not only fun & entertaining, but her imaginative writing keeps you wondering & guessing what the next chapter will bring, making it nearly impossible to stop reading her books. Her latest duo is living proof of this. Her main character Layla, is Like so many women of today. Layla is both strong & weak, brave and fearful, self confident and insecure, trusting and distrusting, all the traits that make women of our generation vulnerable & human. But Layla is forced to endure many hardships that most women would never dream of encountering, making her a very endearing & lovable character who deserves nothing but the best in life, including having the love of her life Cade by her side always. Read this author you won't regret it.
First off this book ends in quite the cliff hanger. But let me tell you it is so damn worth it! This book is a complete mind fuck, in the best possible way. It will have you completely thinking one way then another the next. I can't get over how good this book is! Not only is the plot phenomenal it has sexy scenes to boot! Toward the ending of really gets to you and you will be on the edge of your seat. I can't wait to read the next book in this series! Damn it was so good!
Wow!!! I don't even know where to start with this book! It is so damn good! This book is a beautiful disaster. If you thought the first book was amazing this second one tops it off and is the perfect ending to this duet! I feel like anything I say will not do this book justice. Just like the first book this book was a complete mind fuck but in the best way. It will have you feeling every emotion there is! Damn I can't get over how good it was! Definitely recommend this series!