Cover Image: Even When You Lie

Even When You Lie

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Member Reviews

By turns smooth and raw, Even When You Lie is hard to put down. Armed with a sharp mind and an insatiable curiousity, our heroine digs into a murder no one wants solved, risking her relationship, her career, and the safety of everyone she loves. The mystery takes us from the glittering heights of Dallas society to the cracked pavement of back alleys and neglected neighborhoods, as seen through the eyes of someone balanced precariously between two worlds. I enjoyed the depiction of and reflections on Texas culture, both the good and the bad – as I always say, no one writes Texas like Texans. And the complicated characters and relationships kept me guessing as much as the question of whodunnit (my favored suspect was entirely too obvious in hindsight). Highly recommended to fans of noir fiction.

My thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a really intense, page-turning read and I enjoyed it a lot. It was very impressive for a debut author. I liked a lot about it and thought the pacing was excellent. There was a good mix of romance into this book as a thriller and it worked well. The two main characters were well crafted as was the setting. 

Overall this was a really good solid read.
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Given the fact that this is the debut novel from Michelle Cruz, I must admit that I am impressed! I always think there is something really special about any author's debut novel, and this is one that kept me on the edge of my seat and guessing the entire way. Now I'm just annoyed that Michelle Cruz hasn't written anything else for me to read yet. Lol. She is definitely an author to keep an eye on! Because I'm sure there will be more great things coming from her in the future. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read Even When You Lie.
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this was much more of a romance novel than I expected, but I can't fault that because it could largely be my personal perception of the marketing that had me expecting less of a romance. It was also fairly steamy for an only part romance novel and I found myself wanting to skip past the steamy parts. In terms of the mystery, I guessed it early but I would absolutely recommend this book for romance readers who want to dip a toe into mystery/thriller!
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Even When You Lie is a good suspense novel mixed with some romance. The novel is paced well, with a good mix of the investigation and romance. I love that it was set in Dallas and this was a fun read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

CW: overdose (side character), rape (past), sexual harassment, attempted murder, racism, discussions of homophobia, gun violence, self-defense, murder

This was a compulsively readable suspense. Plenty of twists and turns. 

Steam: 2
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Even When You Lie is a good suspense novel mixed with some romance. The novel follows Reagan Reyes, who is a in-house investigator for a high profile Dallas criminal defense attorney Cade McCarrick. The two are engaged in a secret relationship despite the law firms strict in-house no relationship rules. While at work one day, a mystery woman comes into the firm demanding to talk to Cade. Reagan tells her Cade isn’t there, but she leaves an envelope and runs out of the firm. Reagan follows her to make sure everything is okay and then witnesses her dying on the street outside. Reagan and Cade then attempt to investigate why she died, what did the information in the envelope mean and how was the law firm partners involved. 

The novel is paced well, with a good mix of the investigation and romance. Sometimes the relationship felt a little juvenile with the fights, but it was explained as having issues with commitment and the secrecy of their relationship. However, both Reagan and Cade are great characters and I would continue reading a series with the characters in the book. I also really liked the setting of Dallas, Texas. I live in the area and enjoyed seeing the city through the authors eyes! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for giving me an E-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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This was an enjoyable romantic suspense novel.  The main character Reagan Reyes is a strong, skilled, smart woman and her relationship with Cade McCarrick is steamy and breaks up with tension of the narrative.  Would read more from this author.
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I had some real big ups and downs with this book, mostly through every fault of my own. If you want to laugh about why this is, see the end of this review where I will explain behind a spoiler cut.

But this book was... okay. And its okay that it was only okay. The story was compelling enough, though a little convoluted in a way that made it seem like we were never going to get the truth out of any of the characters. And the resolution, while pulse-racing, felt a little flat. Was the outcome believable? Yes. Was the climax something that gripped my attention? Yes. But not in an all consuming way. It was as if I became a bystander overhearing the climax being told by someone else to someone else. Not sure if that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense, but there it is.

In terms of theme, this felt a little all over the place. There were times when it felt like Cruz was a half step away from being preachy about the military. There were times when it seemed like cultural identity was the focus, but only in situations where nothing good could come from claiming your cultural identity. Each theme was touched on throughout the story but it never felt like the story new how to grab onto them and own them.

Cade and Reagan are great characters, though I found it a bit annoying that the jacket copy says they never lie to each other and basically the ONLY thing Reagan successfully does every time she makes a discovery is hide, withhold, or lie about it. It felt very icky and weird to make the "we don't lie to each other" thing such a prominent part of their relationship and then undercut that at every turn. But I really did like the way that they grew to understand one another better, how they learned that they wanted more than stolen moments and the here and now, that they wanted to know how they each came to be and what their future could hold. I almost didn't feel this way but we'll get to that in a bit.

Overall, its a good book. Its a good read. Its a little like snack food. Its something fun to indulge in, and there's just a tiny bit of spice that also makes it worth it.
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This was a debut story and I didn’t felt like it’s a debut at all! 

I was so invested into it that I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. 

Reagan is a retired military female character. Now she’s working for a lawyer firm and has a forbidden romance affair with one of the lawyers. 

After Cade received a mysterious letter, the same woman is found dead and there’s a lot going on around the firm. 

The story is full of suspenseful moments, when high positioned people are willing to do everything to hide their secrets but Reagan won’t give up on her investigation as to who was that victim and why she chose her boyfriend to be the last one who got in contact with. 

I loved the dialogue, I loved the ups and downs parts of the romance story and I loved the overall feeling of watching a movie on the big screen instead of reading an actual book. That’s how engaging the story was for me. 

📖NetGalley arc review
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This was an enjoyable romantic thriller that had strong and very likeable characters. 
Usually there is not enough romance but in this case there was a perfect amount of suspense to romance and it kept me engaged till the very end.

The cover depicts the setting and main characters perfectly. 
Reagan was a Captain in the air force and now uses her former intelligence to investigate for Cade, who is a highly sought out defense attorney working at a prestigious law firm. 

I really enjoyed reading about Cade and Reagan's dynamics from work to home life, their progress of working out what they both mean to each other while trying to hide it from their coworkers due to the non fraternization policy and solving the suspicious death of a woman who came into the firm to see Cade prior to her death. I liked that Cade didn't try to go all alpha and hold Reagan back from investigating even knowing how dangerous it was becoming, he supported her decisions and helped. It was fun following along on their journey of uncovering the truth. 

I do wish I got to see the start of Cade and Reagan's relationship more, their one night stand, the many more hook ups that weren't supposed to mean anything. It's only briefly glossed over since they are already living together but not defining their relationship at the beginning of the book. 

I also thought the villains demise was a bit anticlimactic, I would have liked for them to suffer more since they were so smug they would win. 

Highly recommend if you like romantic thrillers with a smart heroine who holds her own against the dangerous wealthy elite.  

Thank you NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Michelle Cruz for the opportunity to read Even When You Lie.
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Definitely a page-turner, with a good engaging story, and characters. I would like to have had a bit more of a back story about their relationship. At the beginning of this story, the relationship is already ongoing. I had questions. I was also a bit annoyed that after hearing about her military background she was not able to defend herself during some of the attacks. However, it was an enjoyable read.
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Michelle Cruz is a debut author to watch. Even When You Lie is a fast-paced, twisty, tense novel that doesn’t hesitate to smash the glittering avenues of Texas wealth up against its gutters of corruption.

Reagan Reyes, a military veteran turned private investigator at a highbrow Dallas law firm, is walking a number of very fine tightropes. She has to cozy up to the law firm’s upper-class founders enough to ingratiate herself with them, but not so much that she loses her sense of self. She has to be professional with her lawyer boss during the day, even though she’s spending every night in his bed. And she’s investigating the suspicious death of a woman who visited the law firm, even though shadowy enemies clearly would rather she left well enough alone. Piece by piece, she must unravel the mystery before the killer can take everything she holds dear – her job, her love, and even her life.

Cruz expertly weaves themes of class, race, and justice into this dark, modern Texas noir. She brings a gritty realism to the character of Reagan, a tough, uncompromising Air Force vet disillusioned by the realities of being a woman in the military and being a plain-spoken, unapologetically competent investigator in a world that would prefer she apologize for herself and stop talking. Reagan has an excellent foil in Cade, a former small-town football hero torn between doing whatever it takes to escape his hardscrabble roots, and holding onto his morals. Together, the two are ambitious, driven, and steamy, exchanging rapid-fire banter that will make you laugh and gasp. 

Add to all this the fact that Cruz's writing is the kind that, within a page, captures you with its smoky, weathered Southern flair and clever, evocative phrasing. Her voice is particularly beautiful whenever Cruz takes us to the Piney Woods of East Texas. 

Highly recommend this page-turner by a bright new voice in southern fiction.
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Well I have to admit to finding the US legal system somewhat confusing, however that did not really distract me from enjoying this book. 
The story moves quickly and is full of action , there are a couple of twists in the plot which kept me engaged throughout the book . The main characters are well portrayed. 
All in all a great read, thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest reviee
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Fast-paced and so much fun. A recommended first purchase for collections where thrillers and romantic suspense are popular.
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This was a good read for those who like mystery suspense books with romance thrown in. There are a number of likable characters and I appreciated that the main character is a strong, smart woman with a military background and Mexican ancestry. It’s a good glimpse into the corrupt world of the elite rich and powerful. It reads like it could be the first in a series and I’d happily read more.
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Super fun thriller! Reagan Reyes is former military working as an in house investigator for a law firm in Texas. 
Formerly a lone wolf, Reagan is also involved with Cade McCarrick, the top lawyer in the firm against company policy. She has to juggle her confusing feelings and hide the affair.

When a mysterious woman leaves an envelope for Cade and dies directly after, Reagan begins her own independent investigation, stirring up interest from some powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets safe.

This novel is super fun, super thrilling and reminded me of the blockbuster books I read years ago (only better written). If you want to be lost in a novel that reads like a movie, love your thrillers dashed with danger and romance or just are looking for a new female hero, Even When You Lie is for you! #MichelleCruz
#CrookedLaneBooks
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I loved this book! Suspenseful romance, so easy to read, I absolutely ate it up. I loved the dynamics between the characters, the twists, I was on the edge of my seat and read this practically in one go. I had a blast, would definitely recommend
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We are following Reagan, who used to be an intelligence officer, but now uses her skills to be a high class investigator for a pricey criminal defense lawyer. Part of working in the firm, is that they forbid romance between employees. Too bad for Reagan, because she’s in deep for Cade. Things are working fine, until a mysterious letter gets left for Cade and he’s found dead. Reagan could have never prepared for the things she finds when she starts investigating.

I though that this was a fun book, and while I enjoyed my time with it. I felt like it was very similar to other things I have read, but if you are not a big myster/thriller reader, I think that it would have blown your mind more. Overall, I did like it, but it wasn’t a favorite. 

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for this advanced readers copy!
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Crooked Lane Books and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

Fabulous romantic thriller I read in one sitting. What a debut, I look forward to more.
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