If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: Deconstructing Lila by Shannon Leigh / @EntangledSelect @leighsocialclub

Title: Elementals #1: Deconstructing Lila
Author: Shannon Leigh
Publisher: Entangled Select
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From: Entangled Publishing

Preservationist Lila Gentry returns to her small Texas hometown to restore the famous Chisholm Trial whorehouse where her great-great grandmother was a madam in the 1880s. On her agenda is winning back Jake, the one that got away. But how do you rope a man who doesn’t want to be wrangled?

Jake lives by one creed: Keep it simple. His ex showing up in town, and rehashing old feelings complicates his life and makes him think about things he’d rather forget.

When Lila’s restoration project is threatened before it even begins, she turns to Jake for help. Working together stirs up old feelings but while Lila and Jake always sizzle between the sheets – or wherever the moment takes them – it will involve some sweet-talking and finesse to bring these two together.


It's hard to write what I felt and thought while I read this book. Most of the time, my heart grieved for Jake and Lila. They lived in fear of the unknown. Jake didn't know if his cancer would return. Lila didn't know if returning to their hometown would afford them the chance to try again.

I didn't just want them to have a second chance at love; I wanted them, especially Jake, to realize and know that tomorrow isn't a guarantee and that living, even if it's just for a moment, is worth the risk.

To say I didn't understand Jake or Lila's fears would be a lie. Ms. Leigh's talent for writing deep character POVs showed up in her first novel, Forbidden Kiss, and it's made its way into this novel as well. Being able to see how and what Jake and Lila were feeling, thinking, wishing, and hoping was insightful for this lengthy story. After all, there's no point in writing a 350 page novel if the characters' POVs are superficial fluff, right?

There was a lot to take in. Lila's return to their hometown. The whorehouse that belonged to her great-great grandmother that she wants to restore. Jake's cancer and his fear of it returning. Lila's abandonment issues and the unexpected return of her long-absent mom. Jake and Lila's renewed feelings for another and what that means for any future they might have.

This story takes its time. It's slow and even-paced. Right now, for me, it's a perfect read. When I picked up this book, I needed a story that was sweet and sensual, frustrating and loving, maddening and cleansing. I wanted a happy ending I didn't see coming, a love that had to be fought for. I needed to get lost in a good book, and wound up lost in a great book.

Growing up in Hell’s Back Forty, Shannon Leigh developed a fierce loyalty to all things Texas and pledged to share the romance of small town dance halls and the flavor of brisket BBQ with readers.  Currently, she lives in Fort Worth with an extensive cowboy boot collection, a red and white, ’67 Chevy pickup and a mission to find the best taco stands in the city.

She’s been writing since Jesus was a small boy, but recently found a home with the uber wonderful folks at Entangled Publishing.

When she’s not writing fiction, she writes features for local magazines, sells real estate, and runs around with a particular 11 year old known as “The Boy.”

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