Monday, August 17, 2020

Random Review: Sinner and the Liar by Alice Winters #Review #Giveaway




Title: Sinner and the Liar
Series: Seeking Asylum Book 1
Author: Alice Winters
Self Published
Publication Date: April 7, 2019
Length: 319 pages

Reviewed by Sammy

Synopsis

Sin
The first night I saw the innocent-looking young man in that bar, there was something about him that drew me in. In this crumbling city filled with crime and darkness, the light in his eyes stood out to me. Honestly, nothing has drawn my attention since I stopped working for the police and began doing mercenary work. But the true Eastyn isn’t the timid young man from the bar—he’s smart and he brings brightness into my life for the first time in years. Even him mocking my gruff attitude makes me smile. And I’ve realized that I will fight for him. I would tear this city apart to keep him safe, but maybe the only way to save him is by saving the city from the crime that has consumed it.

Eastyn
I feel trapped. Caught between a man who can save me and one who threatens to destroy me. In Sin, I see freedom for the first time in my life and I feel like I can be myself. I don’t have to hide who I really am because he treats me like a real person, and I will do anything to keep him with me. But Sawyer is threatening to ruin the city, and I fear he’s going to destroy me along with it. Worst of all, I’m afraid of what he’ll do to Sin if he realizes how much he means to me. But Sin promises me a way out and I know that with him, my life could change. If I can be strong enough to stand by his side, maybe someday I’ll understand that even I deserve to be loved.

The Sinner and the Liar is a 107k word gritty romance with lighthearted moments set in a city recovering from war. It has two heroes who refuse to give up, snarky dialogue, and a love that is strong enough to overcome even the most impossible of odds.

Please use the “look inside” feature to see trigger warnings.






Review


I’m about to try to summarize a three hundred plus page novel that evoked in me a spectrum of emotions from anger to frustration to joy to despair, so I may as well begin this review with the fact that I think author Alice Winters is a brilliant storyteller, a master character developer and a very funny person. Even in the midst of the chaos, murder, abuse and the bleak outlook of this story, the author manages to share moments of humor that saved it from ever falling into a book that I wanted to put aside for any length of time. Yet, with all the action going on the story is rather simple when it comes down to it and that is part of the beauty of this novel.

Sin has lost the one man who made any kind of difference in his life. He is left alone, by choice, bitter, angry and determined to keep his city from falling to the gang lord, Sawyer and his men called the Chromes. They own most of the city and on good days the police can keep some of the crime, prostitution, drug and sex trafficking and random killing in check—a little. Most days are not good ones. It makes one wonder why Sin quit the police force and is basically their gun for hire. He did so because the one man he loved and who he gave his heart to died while undercover—his partner on the force and in life, Lucas. Now he spends his days trying to find ways to keep Sawyer and his army of thugs in check—it is a losing battle. So most nights finds him at the bar drinking away his emptiness and it’s there that he will meet the young man who is about to change his life.

Eastyn has never really known what it means to be safe. His mother didn’t want him, she sold him to the man she tried to convince was his father and since then he has been the plaything and punching bag of none other than Sawyer. The man is a psychopath and uses Eastyn to vent his frustrations. As long as Eastyn obeys and does everything with a smile and subservient attitude then he gets some food, clothes and books. But the cost is his soul and Eastyn wants out—he needs to feel like he has some sort of control over his life so he stages a rape scenario at the bar hoping Sin intervenes and the man does. From there on out all of Eastyn’s focus is on getting Sin to kill Sawyer so he can be free. Little does either man ever expect to have feelings develop that will make it harder to take out Sawyer and free Eastyn.

The Sinner and the Liar is an action-packed crime novel with an age-gap romance and marvelous moments of humor that keep it from being too dark. I adore Eastyn. His life is a mess, he lives through abuse that no one should ever endure, and he still finds the strength to use humor to worm his way into Sin’s dark and twisted heart. There are moments of physical abuse that could possibly trigger some—but they are necessary to the story and very limited. They are also counterbalanced by moments of tenderness and play between Sin and Eastyn that are heart-melting.

There is a great deal of violence in this book—some rather graphic and yet again it is integral to the overall plot in order to understand just what the police and Sin are up against and how deeply depraved Sawyer really is. There is a scene with a young girl that had my heart in my throat until it’s conclusion and it solidified why Eastyn admired and loved Sin so very much. This is no fast moving romance—it is almost a glacial slow burn but done so very well that you enjoy every moment that produces another tiny crack in the armor Sin has around his heart. There are so many amazing scenes in this story and I wish I could tell you all of them but that would give away too much of the plot and ruin the novel for you. Suffice it to say that there is a cemetery scene that made me cry and want to hug both main characters and that is just one of many moments in this book that made it so outstanding

This was so very good that I cannot wait to read the next in this series. For me, Alice Winters is an auto-buy writer and The Sinner and the Liar is just another stellar example of why.


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