Can anything good come from a lie? It would seem so based on the storyline of “A Lie for a Lie” which is Book 1 of the All In series by Helena Hunting.
Pro hockey player RJ “Rook” Bowman is in Kodiak Alaska for his annual “guys” vacation but his brother couldn’t make it due to his wife’s pregnancy complications. At the outset he meets brainy Lainey, current holder of three masters degrees and contemplating a going for masters #4 or a PhD. RJ has had it with shallow puck bunnies and lies to Lainey about what he does for a living. Lainey loves learning but she’s as neurotic as she is smart. However, she is working to get her neuroses under control and when the cabin she rented turns out to be a leaky, drafty dump she winds up spending most of the six weeks in Alaska with RJ. She trusts him and feels safe and one thing leads to another. But RJ gets called away unexpectedly, wires get crossed and they lose touch for a whole year. When they finally reconnect, this time it’s Lainey who’s got the big secret and she’s more nervous than ever about the possible consequences that could be a huge game changer.
I love Helena Hunting’s works. They’re usually filled with witty dialogue and some terrific humor but this story has a softer, more serious underbelly which is mostly due to Lainey’s character. There is some humor but it’s more low key and self deprecating. At first Lainey’s irrational fears got on my nerves but RJ is so understanding and helpful that it affects how I view her. Pretty amazing, huh? His compassion and tenderness seems incongruous with his big, burly persona and it had a definite positive effect on my opinion of Lainey.
As always, Hunting’s prose is beautifully crafted and even though I’m an inveterate nitpicker when it comes to the written word, I was able to relax and enjoy getting wrapped up in her characters lives. And that really says it all. Four stars. I am looking forward to the next book in the series; “A Favor for a Favor” due out January 28, 2020.
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