Truth & Temptation is the long awaited story of Teagan, the bitchy friend from the previous Summer Love books Rock & Release and Surf & Surrender. You know, the one who makes us wonder, “What the hell is HER problem?!”. Well, today, July 23rd, we finally get into Teagan’s mind–and what a fascinatingly broken and beautiful place it is!
We’ve all wondered about the seemingly irrational bursts of anger that make Teagan explode at the drop of a hat. At least, I know I’ve certainly been intrigued. In my experience, very few people are that blindly and startlingly furious without some sort of back story. Turns out? Teagan is actually quite cognizant of her anger management issues.
“My jokes about my sex life might kill Cassidy, but this? This cycle of meaningless anger I can’t find my way out of is what’s killing me.”
Curiouser and curiouser. The question remains (even, it would seem, in Teagan’s own mind): WHY is Teagan so disturbed? We know Teagan’s grandparents, with whom she has lived her entire life, are raging assholes. And, obviously, that could cause some emotional issues (I know it’d make me a bit bitchy and unstable to be treated like she is on a daily basis). But still…there’s a piece of the puzzle still missing.
“Sometimes it’s like I’m only a projection of myself. Like the real me actually lives inside my brain, rattling around in there, pounding to get out.”
Enter Alec (nee Frank), the sexy man she meets in a bar and decides to have a “Before I Begin My New Life” chapter closing fling with. The lifestyle and socio-economic differences between Teagan and Alec are immediately apparent.
“This guy has a driver? God. The closest I’ve ever come to having a driver is when my car breaks down again and I have to ride with a tow-truck driver to the repair shop.”
Beyond the status differences though, there’s just…something about Alec that is different. Something that, while stirring and challenging the defensive part of Teagan also sparks a heat of an entirely different nature–a fire that no one else has managed to stoke.
“The worst is when he catches me and I look away immediately, because I freaking hate looking away, hate giving him that power. But he’s got something in his stare that startles my system. Makes my skin flush and my chin go up, even though I can’t maintain eye contact.”
It turns out that, rather than being a chapter closer (or maybe in addition to?), Alec ends up being that catalyst that opens up some very interesting chapters in the book of Teagan. He unlocks something within her that nobody else has been able to reach, and when he does? It will take your breath away.
“He tastes like mint and whiskey.
He smells like soap and leather.
He feels like home. Like trust.”
What I loved most about this installment in the Summer Love series was how Riley Edgewood managed to show not just the beauty and chemistry of the relationship between Teagan and Alec (because, really, that’s essential in any romance, right?), but the way she perfectly captures the inner turmoil and emotions that go along with mental illness of any kind. And best of all? She shows us that even an imperfect heroine can find her fairytale happily ever after. As a reader, that means more to me than anything else. Because it makes it heartbreakingly real. After all, aren’t we all a little imperfect?
To purchase your copy of Truth & Temptation, go here!
If you haven’t yet read the first two Summer Love books, go ahead and one-click them now so you can read Truth & Temptation immediately!
*I received an ARC of Truth & Temptation for review purposes, but all opinions are honest and are my own.*