The Truth About Love by Sheila AthensThe Truth About Love by Sheila Athens
Published October 2014
Genres: New Adult
Format: ARC

Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.

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Strong Convictions
After her testimony sent an innocent man to prison, law student Gina Blanchard vowed to spend her life righting that wrong. She passed up more prestigious opportunities to intern at a Tallahassee nonprofit dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions. But when she catches the eye of sexy green-eyed hunk Landon Vista, she realizes there’s room in her hardworking life for a little fun. Then she learns her newest case involves the man accused of murdering Landon’s mother…and possibly setting him free.

Stronger Passions
The people of Tallahassee still see Landon Vista as their golden boy and football hero…and as the man who tragically lost his mother. Yet Landon hides his emotional scars behind his handsome smile. While working for a senator who’s tough on crime, he finds himself keeping an eye on gorgeous redheaded Gina in more ways than one. But as their passion simmers, their secrets build…until Gina’s latest case collides with Landon’s heartbreaking past, threatening to tear them apart forever.

When she was younger, Gina Blanchard’s testimony sent an innocent boy to prison to pay for the murder of her brother. Ever since she found out, she is committed to righting the wrong by helping other innocent people to get out of jail.

Little did she know that Landon Vista – the boy she kissed the night before at the sports bar in Tallahassee – is the key witness in her newest case. Landon witnessed the murder of her mother when he was 9 years old, and his testimony sent a local called Cyrus Alexander to jail. He wants nothing more than to have his mother’s killer pay for his actions, and finding out that the redheaded girl he kissed the night before is about to pry a can of worms open that was never really closed, delivers a punch to his guts since he is convinced of what he witnessed years ago…

This is one of the stories I find difficult to review, because I liked the essence of it and found the read captivating, yet some elements would not click and make the read quite a tad confusing.

Let’s begin by stating the obvious. This is a New-Adult story with quite an unusual plot, but in the end it’s about 2 like-minded individuals who find their way together against all odds. The writing is extremely good, and the story is build on a 3rd person narration with alternating POVs. This story is not just about romance and building romantic tension that both heroines feel is better left unacknowledged. It’s also about morals, guilt, doing the rightful thing and about shedding some more truth on a murder cased closed over 10 years ago.

The murder case is going to be a very important (and suspenseful) element of the story, as well as an important catalyst between Gina and Landon – because their relationship evolves whenever the case does.

I liked the fact that the story placed both heroes on equal footing, but on opposite sides, and how gradually, they met each other halfway in their convictions and helped one another to trade off their guilt and grief.

One reviewer said that they found Landon annoyingly hot and cold, and I agree. I found it pretty weird that Landon was so deeply convinced to have identified the right man on one day, and then completely doubtful about it the other. From one day to the other, he started cooperating with Gina and encouraging her to dig deeper into the Cyrus Alexander case, while he was extremely upset about it at the beginning. And in the end, he throws a fit because Gina’s company wants to drop the case altogether.

And all along the story, Landon is given the role of the lost puppy that needs consoling, a duty that Gina is more than willing to take on. I just do not think his whole behaviour coincides with the rest of the story, especially with the achievements from his past. Despite growing up without a mom and with a dad who didn’t want him, he made a name out of himself by becoming a renowned athlete, has several good friends and a coach who almost stands in as a father figure to him. Yet, he doesn’t seem to have gotten over what happened… I don’t think this adds up with all his achievements?

Another important pillar of the story is about two opponents becoming emotionally involved and thus creating a conflict of interest. This concept was interesting, yet I believe it was discarded way too quickly. At the beginning, Gina got reprimanded by her boss and other characters in the book, when in the end, everyone seemed to be OK with it and actually encourage it. And as for Landon, he never did care in the slightest that engaging into a relationship with Gina would be bad for his career. He did in fact consider hers, but not his own…

Anyway… some of the things didn’t add up, or maybe I am just too stubborn to get hung up on details. But all in all, I liked the book – even if it wasn’t one of my faves – because it was refreshing in terms of the storyline. I’d certainly consider reading other works from this author.

Detailed Rating
4 Stars
2.5 Stars
4 Stars
All the feels
3.5 Stars
Overall: three-stars