Cold Hard Truth by Eva Simmons

Sage and Layla have become the epitome of everything captivating! I’m strongly inclined to place Sage right alongside Crew in the realm of irresistible fictional characters.

Now, circling back to Layla and Sage, the way their story unfolds is simply mesmerizing. Witnessing Sage fall for Layla not once but twice, grappling with himself each time for different yet eerily similar reasons, is a journey that pulls at the heartstrings. The evolution of Layla from the girl he initially encountered to the spirited, almost whimsical believer in destiny, and finally to the woman she becomes, adds layers of depth to the narrative. What’s truly remarkable is the seamless flow of this narrative; often, narratives with temporal jumps can feel disjointed or forced, but here, Layla’s evolution feels organic and genuine, making it one of the most compelling stories I’ve had the pleasure to delve into. Unlike many tales that execute a complete 180-degree turn on a character, Layla’s transformation feels natural and authentic, allowing readers to witness her growth rather than a complete overhaul of her persona.

Now, onto Sage, my dear Sage. Did he really have to embrace his “manwhore” persona for all those years? It’s perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of the second chance trope, yet undeniably relatable. I’ve encountered far too many individuals who, after heartbreak, seek solace in meaningless encounters. However, what sets Sage apart is his regret coupled with an unapologetic demeanor, a trait that Layla recognizes and acknowledges. It’s exasperating when one party attempts to move on only to face reproach upon reconciliation; it’s reminiscent of Ross from Friends exclaiming that they were on a break. Yet, both Sage and Layla understand the circumstances of their separation, and while Layla may struggle with it (as do I), she realizes that holding it against Sage would be unfair.

Cold Hard Truth gripped me so intensely that my drawing took longer to complete than the book did to read.

Book Stats:
Rating: 5/5
Series: Twisted Roses
Tropes: Close Proximity, Motorcycle Club, childhood-friends, danger-stalker-kidnapping, dirty-talker, emotional-trauma, found-family,  morally-grey, pining-for-her, protector, siblings-best-friend
Pop: 20%