Beautiful Lies by Heather Bentley
on July 20th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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From the couture clothes, private jets and homes around the globe, I have the best of everything. But looks can be deceiving, and in my family, deception is an art form. So, I bide my time and count the days until I’m free.
Heiress Christina Harcourt lives a life surrounded by the finest this world has to offer. Unfortunately, what she wants most can’t be bought. After losing her mother in a heinous crime, she tries her best to live the life she knows her mother would want for her. But through her family’s hurtful ways, Christina learns the only way to do that, is to leave this life far behind. Everything is going as planned, until she meets him.
Sexy, carefree CJ Whitford is a hard-working, blue collar guy who can’t get the guarded brunette out of his head. So, he takes a chance and rearranges his life to go after the girl he’s falling for. He quickly discovers that Christina’s secrets are as big as her heart. A heart so fragile that all it will take to destroy it is one more lie…his.
I’m closing tonight, so by the time I arrive the bar is three deep with no sign of slowing down. “Sara, grab a case a’ Bud for me, huh?” I give Iggy a nod and squeeze my way through the crowd to get to the stock room. I quickly grab it and turn back, holding the case high, shouting, “Coming through!” before passing it off to Iggy and coming behind the bar to start my shift. But before I help my first customer, I pour a shot of tequila and, with a wink, place it in front of Big Bobby. He blushes and looks away.
That first night at the bar, Iggy had me waiting tables. It didn’t take me long to spill my tray—unfortunately on a table full of customers. That’s how I learned an upside down shot glass means the bar owes you a drink. Needless to say, we were running low on shot glasses that night. Combine my rookie clumsiness with being the new girl in town serving drunk, horny men, and you’ve got a recipe for trouble.
It happened late in my shift, when a meaty hand fumbled over my ass, and squeezed. I casually turned, took a draft beer off my tray that was meant for a respectable, paying customer, and poured it gracefully over Jackass’s head. Message sent. Or so I thought. Turns out he took it as a challenge.
I realized this when, later that night, Jackass came up behind me and put both hands around my waist, whispering sweet nothings in my ear about making my day in the bathroom.
I set my tray down on the table next to me and silently thanked my trainer for teaching me all of those self-defense moves, before slamming my head backwards into his face. I felt the satisfying crunch when I made full- on contact with his nose, causing it to immediately burst and bleed. But just as I was feeling compassionate enough to offer him my towel, he had the nerve to call me a “fucking tease.” With a swift shin to his balls, he released a wail that would put an injured animal to shame. I couldn’t hide my smug smile as he fell forward to his knees, holding onto his jewels for dear life as I crossed my arms at my chest and admired my work.
Iggy pushed his way through the crowd I was just realizing had encircled us, letting out a loud, “What the fuck!” at what he saw. He pulled Jackass
up to a standing position and started to assess his injuries, however, when I quickly explained to Iggy what had happened, he punched the guy—actually punched him, in the gut, sending him back down to the floor. It was awesome. It was the single nicest thing anyone had done for me in a very, very long time. So, I did what you’re supposed to do when someone does something nice for you. I hugged him. He stayed motionless, looked at me like I was bat- shit crazy, and put me behind the bar.
I’d never tended bar before, but I knew how to make a decent dirty martini and pour two fingers of scotch. Growing up, the bars in our homes were stocked with the best liquor this world has to offer, so I was familiar with the essentials, and besides, what more do you need to know to serve drinks?
Well, it turns out I didn’t know the most obvious, the most basic skill necessary to earn the title “Bar Tender.” And that is, how to pour a draft beer. Because, to pour a draft beer means you’d have to drink a draft beer, and I hadn’t done either. Nor could I ever remember seeing someone else pour one, for that matter. On the rare occasion I drink, I’m mainly a cocktail girl, because, growing up, a martini glass was far more sophisticated than a pint glass, wine always went straight to my head, and there are less calories in clear alcohol. Or, so I was always told. But after a dozen or so half-foam beers and an abundance of grunts from the customers, I finally got the hang of it.
After the incident that first night, no one has tried to mess with me. I’ve learned since then that Iggy doesn’t stand up like that for many people, especially getting physical, and that what he did for me sent a message. That’s not to say guys don’t get drunk and hit on me, because they do, and often. But it’s all in good fun. I’ve got to say, I really like bartending. I love talking to people, hearing their problems and their stories of heartbreak. It makes me feel somewhat normal, almost like the life I left behind never existed.
“Hey, Sara, we need you to settle a dispute for us.” Hank waves me down to the end of the bar, so I swing my towel over my shoulder and head their way. Leaning my hands against the dark wood, I look to Hank in
anticipation. “Which one of us would win on American Ninja Warrior?” Did I mention that Hank and Iggy are in their seventies?
Not only is this far from the craziest thing they’ve ever asked me, they’re stone cold serious and I need to respond with equal measure.
“Are we talking over-all time, or best performance per obstacle?” They look at each other and consider my question before turning to me and simultaneously responding. “Per obstacle.”
I nod as I genuinely contemplate their answer. They’ve been obsessed with this show lately, so I’m pretty well versed in all things ANW. “Well, looking at it from that perspective, I’d say Hank would win the Bungee Road course …” Hank nods in agreement. “But Iggy would definitely take the Jumping Spider.”
“Jumping Spider?” Iggy asks, distraught. “That’s only level one!” Hank lets out a loud, “Ha!” in victory, as if there’s actually something to win here.
“Every level is important Iggy, you’ve said that yourself.” He grinds his jaw and looks away, because he’s told us this a hundred times. “For what it’s worth, neither of you would make it through Mount Midoriyama though.”
“Aw, hell now!” Iggy yells as I make my way back down the bar, finally setting my smile free. I check on my few remaining customers as I get ready to announce last call as I hear jingling from the string of bells hanging from the doorknob. I’m about to shout to whomever it is that we’re closing soon for the night, when it happens.
“Christina?” My past catches up with my present.
This book! OMG. I read this in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. WOW. I can’t believe this is Heather’s first book. This is the stuff I expect from an experienced author and she is bringing it on her fist book. I’m putting her on my automatic one click list.
I was approached by Heather to review this and as soon as I read the blurb I accepted it. The book was just as captivating.
“I’m about to lose my mind and pull him to me, but he beats me to it, giving me the kiss I’ve been waiting for. This kiss. There is no other kiss like it. It lifts me up and warms me from the inside out.”
Christina Harcourt is an heirass and trapped in a life she doesn’t want. She has everything but is lonely and unhappy. On a night out with her friend she meets CJ, and wow do the sparks fly. From the minute these two meet I start falling in love with CJ. He never failed to show what an amazing man he is. I guarentee you will feel the same. He now owns a piece of my heart.
This book doesn’t have the stuff that I consider my “book crack” but that didn’t matter. I loved Heather’s writing and her story. The story did start off a bit slow but with how fantastic this book was and the fact that this is her FIRST book, I don’t even see that mattering. She’s going to just keep getting better and I can’t wait to follow her career. Grab this one now, I can’t recommend it enough.