HI GUYS! I’ve missed y’all!!
I have two books to review for you today, they are a part of a series, however, can be read as standalone novels- More Than Lies is the first, More than Memories being the newest book, both written by the lovely N.E. Henderson. The author sent me both of these books for free in exchange for an honest review.
I’m going to briefly summarize/review each individually, then wrap up with general thoughts on the series!
First up, More Than Lies. Published in 2016, this book has an average rating of 4.01 stars out of 5. The first book is about Shawn Braden and Taralynn Evans, who have basically been close friends since the tender age of 5 years old. Taralynn has liked Shawn for as long as he can remember, but he refuses to give her a chance, and instead, fools around with basically anyone else he crosses paths with. In Shawn’s mind, he doesn’t want to break her heart, so he doesn’t want to date her or have sex with her, keeping friendship as the furthest they go. Basically, this is their story about them falling in love and working their way through their messy lives together.
To be honest, the beginning of the book was really hard for me to push through. Initially, I found pretty much every character unlikeable and not relatable at all. Shawn was a complete player, while Taralynn is sensitive on the inside, but tries to act like a tough girl. She doesn’t come off as a tough girl, though, she comes off as a bitch at first. Taralynn has a lot of issues with her parents; while they treasure her brother and treat him like a king, they treat Taralynn like a complete stranger. Shawn’s family is the opposite. He has an older brother, Shane, and two amazing parents. (I would totally let Pam and Bill adopt me, or something.) As the book progressed, I found it a lot easier to get through when Shawn and Taralynn started to really understand each other’s feelings and needs. The further I got into the story, I was able to relate to Taralynn more. She’s a writer, total bookworm, likes to drink, and (initially) didn’t have any tattoos. She and Shawn grew on me, and in the end, I rated the book 4/5 stars. The beginning was rough, but the story began to flow and as things started making sense, I enjoyed the story much more than I originally anticipated. This was a pretty solid start to the series!
Next up, More Than Memories. This was just published a couple weeks ago, and so far, has an average Goodreads rating of 4.59 stars out of 5!! So far, so good!
More Than Memories is about Shane Braden and his first love, Whitney Lane. Shane and Whitney were high school sweethearts, until a car accident put Whitney in the hospital at age 18. Originally, Shane and his family and friends were led to believe she was dead, but really, she lost all of her memories, and was moved to a different hospital in a new town. Shane didn’t find out until a couple years later, but he never gave up hope that Whitney would come back. 10 years later, Whitney is in a toxic marriage, with two daughters. One night, Whitney and her husband, Blake Lane, went to a party where she and Shane reconnected, and found their way back to each other. Unfortunately, I can’t give much more detail than that without spoiling the rest of the story.
More Than Memories was completely different from More Than Lies, where this one sucked me in from the get go. Everything was a breeze until about 60 percent, which is where I grew bored, and finishing the book started to feel like a chore. The plot was good, however, things for a while felt really redundant and unexciting. Everything picked back up in the last 15 percent of the book, and was smooth sailing after that hump. I rated this one 4/5 stars as well.
Overall, the series for me was pretty good. Shane and Shawn are pretty different, however, are very protective and serious about their women. The covers of the books both make sense toward the end of the books, HOWEVER, the meaning behind them is revealed in the same manner, which I was kind of sad about. In More Than Lies, I got a little emotional, because of how sweet the moment was, but in More Than Memories, I was honestly a little deflated, since I had read almost the same exact scene one book prior. I will say, the cover art and meaning behind the covers is great, I wish the scene in More Than Memories would have been a little different.
Time to talk characters. In the beginning, the characters were pretty different, with different personalities and interests. They were all pretty easy to tell apart. But about halfway through the second book, I felt as if Shane and Whitney became Shawn and Taralynn junior, in a sense. I know Whitney is written as fierce and fearless, and as a “bad girl” where Shane is calm, and a good guy. For a while, it was difficult to tell the difference between the two books, and if I had taken out names, it would be like reading a different version of Shawn and Taralynn’s story.
In the end, the plot was pretty good, and I did love that everything was resolved, and I wasn’t left with any questions or concerns about the characters and their lives after the stories ended. I also really love that even though these books are a series, you can read them as standalone books, and it will still make sense. 4/5 stars from me for the series so far.
The real question I have here is, when is Eve and Chance’s story going to be published?!?!?! Or Matt, Mason, etc… Those are some side characters I’d love to know more about. Also, Everly, Emersyn, and Ella… will they get stories when they grow up? I guess only time will tell… I’m going to keep my fingers crossed. 🙂
I would recommend these to people for a quick and fun read, especially those that love characters that are loud, crazy, and fun.
Until next time, happy reading everyone! ❤