Review: One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker


One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths #2) by K.A. Tucker
Contemporary / New Adult
Atria Books (June 11, 2013)

Rating: A
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Livie Cleary – Perfect, Irish
Hero: Ashton Henley – Broken, Jell-O Thief






Livie Cleary, Kacey’s little sister from Ten Tiny Breaths, is now all grown up in One Tiny Lie. With a flawless academic career, she is now attending Princeton University--her ultimate goal being medical school. Livie may be level headed, responsible, cautious, calm, and trustworthy, but she’s never actually lived her life. Livie has always been the strong and stable sister. She’s been there for Kacey through thick and thin after Kacey lost her way after their parent’s died in a terrible car accident. This is why Kacey has decided to step in and help her little sister, who has built this life that oozes perfection. Kacey has enlisted Dr. Stayner, her therapist, to help break through Livie’s shell and find out what’s underneath before she completely loses herself in a life that may not be meant for her. Kacey and Dr. Stayner think it’s time for Livie to spread her wings, make mistakes, be spontaneous… live HER life, not the life she thinks would make her father proud.

“You are one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met, Livie. You respond to human heartache so acutely. It’s like you absorb other’s pain. Despite your extreme shyness, you will do just about anything not to fail. It’s time to find out who you really are.”

Her first night at Princeton, Livie goes to a college toga party with Kacey and Reagan, Livie’s very wild and outgoing new roommate. Kacey’s mission: get Livie drunk, make sure she has fun, and ‘liberate Livie’s libido.’ As the Jell-O shots continue to go down, Livie starts to loosen up and have a good time. Just as she drops another one in her mouth, a super sexy guy not only steals her shot, but steals her first kiss. And then Livie punches him. It was lust at first punch.

The next morning, after a long night of partying, Livie wakes up hung over, in only her panties, tattooed, with no memory of the night before, and… with a very naked Ashton Henley, aka the Jell-O thief, in her dorm room. And, unfortunately, the awkward encounter is not the last she sees of Ashton. From this moment on, Livie’s whole life begins to unravel as she spirals down a rabbit hole of deception, betrayal, confusion, cheating, bad grades, love, and heartache.

Oh, Ashton – such a tortured hero. He’s known for being captain of the Princeton Heavyweight rowing team, sexiest man on campus, arrogant, and being a bit of a man whore. Not so surprisingly, I fell in lust with him from the moment he stole Livie’s Jell-O shot. But… he has a girlfriend… and he cheats on her. Wait. Don’t judge until you meet Ashton. I’m not condoning the cheating. However, I quickly got over my reservations once I got to know him. Ashton has some deep, dark issues that shape who he is as a person. His secrets are gut-wrenching and they force him to be someone that he never chose to be. He’s hurting and just wants to forget it all.

When Livie finds out Ashton cheats on his girl with her and other girls, she’s stunned and hurt, so she goes to great lengths to avoid Ashton. There is no way she wants to be associated with someone like that. Though it’s hard to avoid Ashton when he’s everywhere, charming his way into her life while also continuing to push her away. The more she’s around him, the more she’s drawn to him. She can’t stop thinking about him. But Ashton is not the kind of guy her parent’s would approve of. So Livie starts dating Connor, Ashton’s best friend. He’s respectable, kind, and safe. Her parents would like him so that makes him perfect for Livie except… she doesn’t have the same kind of emotional, intense chemistry with Connor that she has with Ashton. Connor is not the guy that makes her stomach flutter and her toes curl when he kisses her.

"Because you're not a one-night girl, Irish." Leaning in to place a kiss on my jawline, he whispers, "You're my forever girl."

To say the situation between Connor, Ashton, and Livie is complicated is quite the understatement. Livie has this huge heart and feels obligated to stay with Connor. She’s torn between following along her life plan and following her heart. Yet the more she gets to know the true Ashton, the harder she falls for him. What’s a girl to do? Stay with the guy who is safe or the bad boy she feels connected to? Livie is so confused. Especially since Ashton and Livie obviously belong together, but he would push and pull Livie in two different directions. He wants her. He wants her not. There were moments my heart didn’t know if it could take any more rejection from Ashton. But then he would leave a sweet note or open up to Livie. These things would make me shiver and tingle in a good way. What it boils down to – I wanted nothing more than for these two to find a way to be together.

All of the secondary characters are fun and charismatic. I love seeing the roles reverse between Livie and Kacey. This time, Kacey plays a large role in helping Livie find herself. It was good to see Kacey and Trent happy and settled in their lives. They’ve both come so far since their story in Ten Tiny Breaths. Then there is Livie’s roommate, Reagan. She’s so spunky and fun-loving and such a great friend to Livie. Part of me wishes she was getting her own book. And then there was the quirky Dr. Stayner – such an interesting character who plays an essential role in this story. His unusual therapy methods contributed to helping Livie discover her inner self.

One Tiny Lie is a compelling story that manages to evoke a gamut of emotions from me. I felt like my heart strings were being stretched so thin at times that I kept wondering if these two will ever figure things out before they broke. This is one of those stories where I think the reader is going to either love or hate it. Any story that involves cheating is not an easy read. You will be frustrated with Livie and Ashton’s mistakes. They make a ton of mistakes that hurt people in the process. There were times when I wanted to scream and hug them at the same time. I was an emotional wreck, I tell you. And my anxiety was on the fritz. But there is a lesson to learn here that I think most young adults must experience. Life is messy and it’s all part of living and learning. When you entwine all the great humor, sadness, happiness, wonderful characters, emotional turmoil, drama, and romance – you have a remarkable story that I fell madly in love with.


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