Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Review: One Little Lie by Whitney Barbetti

Adam Oliver hated me. Loathed my very existence. He had every right to, but that didn’t make my life any easier the afternoon I had to rescue him on the side of the road.

But worse than rescuing a guy who hated me to his core was the lie I told my parents.

Because I’d just told them that my long-term boyfriend was finally back in town.

My long-term boyfriend who didn’t actually exist.

The one named Adam Oliver—the guy I’d crushed on all through high school.

So the real Adam had no idea that he and I were engaged in a years-long, committed, serious relationship.

And, somehow, some way, I needed to convince him to play along with my one little lie.

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3 Stars

New Adult | Romance | Contemporary

***Received an ARC through author tour in exchange for an honest review***

Finally! Another Whitney Barbetti novel! And comrades, after indulging in her Mad Love duet, the hangover was intense, I definitely could not shy away from the synopsis of One Little Lie. It was interesting right at the jump and I really felt there would be some major character dynamics that would have me drooling. Broody hero, shy heroine, a lot of drama to unfold – all in all, things sound deliciously beguiling. 

I love a good ‘Enemies to Lovers’ trope, the characters are always some of my favorites in these types of novels, and surprisingly, Hollis was probably the most enjoyable character. Though at points, her perspective and reactions towards situations did bother me, her keen ability to be the ‘yes’ gal also rubbed me wrong, but at the same time it really worked well with her characters growth. Something, again, I was quite surprised to find I enjoyed. Dare I say for once I really enjoyed the naive, sweetness of Hollis, she was plum delightful and seriously, I just wanted to reach out and hug the girl. The way she struggled and evolved was beautiful, thrilling and downright fun to watch. 

And what heroine would be without the hero – Adam. Oh the sweet, broody Adam. I think for me, I really enjoyed his character dynamic on the surface; he added a certain flare to his broody attitude. I liked how he was with his sister, I thought he was super sweet. But, and I mean a huge but, Adam irked me just a little too much. I know, surprisingly interesting change of events for sure, I generally swoon hardcore for characters like Adam, but unfortunately I could not connect nor share any kind of sympathy for his character. I felt at best, majority of the time he acted rather smug, child-like with a petty, misunderstood grudge. I couldn’t wrap my brain around his dynamic. He then shows more of this childish behavior on a large scale that honestly almost turned me away from finishing the novel. Adam actually became hugely upset with Hollis because she wasn’t contributing to their ‘fake relationship’ enough, posting pictures, being social enough.  I just felt he took his emotional baggage and issues and used it as an excuse to attack Hollis all for the convenience of a drama factor. 

I will admit too, I really liked the past and present scenes between Hollis and Adam. I think it help aid in their romance. I really did like a lot about their chemistry. There was definitely that unfinished business connection that was slowly brewing back up from the depths of High School Hell. But with this, ugh, I have to say it – the burn was almost torturous. I love a good slow burn romance, I do, love them, but something about this one just felt off. When Hollis and Adam did finally make that plunge into admitting their feelings it was worth it in the end, I felt they had this burning passion, I just felt it should have been more and sooner.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed a lot about One Little Lie, but I just didn’t fall head over in love about the novel like I anticipated. It was one of those books where I had troubles connecting with the characters, the burn of the romance was almost too draggy for my terms of loving a slow burn romance, and ultimately, I may have enjoyed it, but I cannot say it enough that it just was a mediocre read for me. There was definitely enough swoon, cute moments, I enjoyed the entanglement between everyone and where the book ultimately lead to, just didn’t love it. I am excited to see that this is a series, I look forward to seeing what comes next. 

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