Romance Review | Truth & Temptation by Riley Edgewood

Overview: She's a liar. He knows the truth.

Teagan Walker gets around. Ask anyone—hell, ask her. She'll own it with a smile. But beneath that smile is a girl whose parents didn't want her. Whose grandparents raised her without affection. Whose struggle with a burning anger threatens to consume her, though she'd rather punch someone in the face than talk about it. With a new job looming, she's determined to work her way into a better life. When she meets the sexiest guy she's ever seen, she decides to kick it off with a bang. And she makes her move.
But he's got moves of his own, and before the night is out, he strips her of way more than she means to reveal—without removing a single piece of clothing. That comes, too, of course. He's gotten under her skin like nobody before him, and what's the harm in one night with a sexy stranger? Exposed or not, she never has to see him again.
Except she does.
On Monday morning, they come face-to-face. He's the son of her new CEO—and he threatens to bring her entire world crashing down, making her face every lie she's ever told.
Truth & Temptation is the third book in Riley Edgewood's Summer Loveseries, but can be read as a standalone.

Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooksKobo

Publishing Date: July 23, 2015

Stars: 5

My Review: Alec Chambers owns a piece of my very being. 5 kitten, I'm going to love to make you beg stars. Riley Edgewood has blown me away with Truth & Temptation. I liked Rock & Release but crashed into love with this novel. I think Edgewood is like fine wine, continues to get better with time. This book completely captivates you from the very first few pages and part of it is because Teagan is a trip while the other part of it is because Alec is something to behold. 

I can probably write this entire review on how much I love Alec Chambers but that wouldn't be fair because the book isn't onlyabout him. Alec is witty, wickedly sexy, confident, charming, disarming, sweet, and vulnerable. He is probably one of the best fictional characters I've ever read outside of Gideon Cross (Sylvia Day), Jackson Stone (J. Kenner), and a few others. While Alec is the total package with the money, power, confidence, and looks, he is human and not some arrogant nitwit. He doesn't see those that aren't as wealthy or fortunate as him as beneath him and he has problems of his own. The most endearing thing about Alec is his stuttering problem! Alec is real and tangible and really someone I think every woman aspires to at least date once in their life. He's the walking dream and Edgewood gives us to him. 

Teagan is the kind of heroine that you either really like or really dislike. For me, I really liked her. She's complicated with her own share of secrets that not even those closest to her know. She's like an onion, definitely channeling Donkey from Shrek right now, in that she has many layers that need to be peeled back until you reach the real her. What I loved most about Teagan is how she didn't really run from Alec as much as she could have. She accepted that he wasn't going anywhere and her slipping off into the love trap. 

The story really does well to show how the right kind of people can make all the difference. Teagan is a saving grace for Alec in that she doesn't want him for anything other than his kind heart and understanding nature in a world where most just want his money and status. Alec is the first person to truly see Teagan and understand her while making her want to be a better person. They make each other better through understanding, care, and love which is the best kind of story and what I think we all aspire to be. If someone doesn't make you the best version of yourself then you are settling. 

Teaser: And when I bring him his coffee, it doesn't bother me nearly as much as I think it will. I don't feel subservient. I feel powerful. 
Especially when he says, "I'd stand to take that from you, but I'm hard as fucking steel right now." 
"Hmm," I offer, smug all over again. "Maybe I'll be the one making you beg tonight..."
Another awesome exit line, and before his office door closes behind me, his laughter fills the air. 

Meet the Author

Riley Edgewood writes sexy love stories about characters along that sometimes scary, often thrilling path toward self-discovery, where high school years are a few miles back in the rearview mirror and nothing but possibility stretches out on the road ahead. 

Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can't forget the kitties. Of which she has two. 

Her favorite new adult authors include Tammara Weber, Colleen Hoover, and Cora Carmack.

Author Interview

1. When did you first realize you wanted to write romance novels? 
With the exception of the first few stories I wrote as a child—which were of the horror variety (thanks to the early influence of Christopher Pike, ha)—I’ve always written romance of some sort or another. I grew up loving the feelings and the thrills that came with having a crush. Romantic love has always been such a huge part of my own life, it filtered pretty seamlessly into everything I’ve written. Plus, I read a ton of Nora Roberts when I was younger. (Hell, I do today too.)

2. Having read Rock & Release and Truth & Temptation I notice you are really good at carving out your character voices. Who is your favorite heroine to date and hero to date? 
Thank you so much! This is such a hard question because I love all of my heroines and heroes for so many different (and some the same) reasons… My answer will probably change tomorrow, but if I were going to pick right now, I’d say Teagan for her feistiness and for all the ways I’m able to relate to her, and Sawyer because he got his own POV and I loved getting in his head that way.

3. Which hero was your favorite to write? I know they all have special places in your heart but you have to pick one!
Oh God. These questions are killing me ;) I think Alec edges out the others, only because I knew he had a few dark secrets from his past and I loved figuring out what they were. And Teagan… I just wanted her to have a genuinely awesome guy because she’s had such a rough time, so writing him to make her happy made me happy. #cheesyauthor

4. Where did you pull your inspiration to write Truth & Temptation?
Pretty much from the first scene of Rock & Release. Cassidy needed to have a kind of bitchy friend for the opening to work, but I try to never have a character be an ass just for the sake of being an ass. So I needed to figure out why Teagan behaved the way she did—and that’s all it took. Suddenly, she was just fully formed in my head, and I knew I’d need to write her story.

5. Why do you write New Adult and what makes it the subgenre you enjoy focusing your writing in? 
I started writing New Adult almost on accident. I wrote YA a long time ago, for years and years, though I always chickened out when it came to attempting the publication process. I took a break to start a family and get some other things in order—and at the end of the break, friends gave my husband and me VIP passes to a concert. We went, and Cassidy’s story was born from there :) I knew she’d be out of high school, but still young enough to take a summer job at a concert venue. So I set her on college summer break, and I dove back into the writing world where I learned that NA was still a thing! (It’d seemed like maybe it wouldn't be when I started my writing hiatus.) I love the genre and I love the age range.

I’m also currently working on a romance series with more of an adult spin. So we’ll see where it goes! I love having the flexibility to write where my mind takes me.

6. What is the last book you read? Did you hate it, like it, or love it? Why? 
Can I cheat and list more than one? I’ve been on such an awesome reading kick lately! I just read all four of Tiffany Reisz’s The Original Sinners series (Red Years), and couldn’t put them down. The writing is sharp and sexy and provocative. And then I read Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher and holy hell, that book… I read it in one sitting. It’s such a mind trip and super intense, and it was my first introduction to her writing—and I read three other books of hers immediately after.

7. Who are your three favorite authors to read and why?
Colleen Hoover, because no other author’s ever been able to yank so much emotion out of me.   

Melina Marchetta, for similar reasons—and I get so wrapped up in her stories.

Laini Taylor and Patrick Rothfuss, for their abilities to spin stories that make me stay up nights at time reading them even on re-reads.

Sorry I cheated again. That was four. But I could’ve named 100. So you’re welcome. :)

8. If you could be with one of the heroes you've written so far, who would you choose and why? 
Sawyer. Because of the fence scene in Surf & Surrender. Or maybe the wall scene. Or the beach scene.

Wait. What was the question again?

Honestly, I think Sawyer loves the hardest—and not just in the physical act. When he gives his heart to someone, it’s hers forever. And I’m so attracted to that level of devotion. Plus he’s hella smart and he surfs, and I do so love me some sexy surfer boys.

And also, honestly, I’d take any one of my heroes ;)