Struggle For Self + Giveaway!


Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.16.06 AM

My daughter (whom, for those of you that don’t know, is 6 and in the first grade) has been studying past Presidents for the last 3 weeks. A few days ago, ecstatic with her new found (shockingly vast) knowledge on the topic she decided to teach ME all that she had learned. I (admittedly/shamefully) was only half listening, UNTIL I heard the word “fool.” Having never heard the word from her before (and being a little concerned that I had missed the context for this word and why it was used) I asked her to repeat herself. After a fairly dramatic sigh (which I deserved therefore ignored) she started from the beginning.

Abraham Lincoln said:

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

My first reaction was relief. My daughter was NOT calling someone names. (*wipes brow*) My second? I’m totally using that in a review. (Waste not, want not. Right?) AND having just finished Lia Fairchild’s novel “Compulsive” (Liar Book #1 — you see what I did there?) I knew I wouldn’t have long too wait before I could break it out.

The truth is, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to sum up this novel if I had a week of silence and 40 cups of coffee. (Though, “the truth will set you free” made an internal appearance one or twice.) And though I rarely find my inspiration from dead Presidents (and by “rarely” I mean: never) I couldn’t deny the perfection of the statement in front of me. Lia’s protagonist Gray could fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but she couldn’t fool Daniel. Which made for a very interesting story.

Lies hurt. Lies destroy.

But some lies protect…and heal. At least that’s what Gray Donovan had hoped for. She’s a compulsive liar using it as a defense mechanism to survive life and her shattered past.

When she starts seeing therapist Daniel Harrison, she can no longer deny the truths that have haunted her for so many years. She must now stand and face them.

Opening up to Daniel leaves her exposed and vulnerable. When her soul is bared to him, she can’t contain the attraction or the feelings he elicits.

Daniel feels drawn to his new patient, but knows he will have to fight it in order to resurrect Gray from her demons. His will and his judgment are tested when he must overcome his own doubts and face his own secrets.

There are a multitude of things I love about Lia Fairchild’s writing, but the most notable is her ability to create beautifully complex characters that don’t warp under the weight of heavy scenarios. Alcoholism, abandonment, compulsive lying, self-doubt, self-worth…these are all realistic trappings of human nature, but with a few words and a little compassion, Fairchild managed to manipulate these traps into stairs allowing her characters to grow instead sink.

You know what, let me go back and start from the beginning.

Gray (who is the sole narrator in this story) is a compulsive liar. She knows it, and everyone around her knows it. She has used her lying to deflect attachment since a very young age (ie: if you don’t know who I am, you can’t hurt me.) and she does so without a single second thought on the matter. It is what it is. Knowing this about her (before I even started the book) trumped up an image I didn’t like, and I went into this book thinking I was going to despise the mouth the story was coming from. However, after a few pages I realized that wasn’t the case. Gray was not a one dimensional character, therefore, she WAS NOT her lying. Her lying was a bi-product of her situation. (A very sad situation.) And despite her insistence that she would never change (and never attempt to) you could feel that THAT was a lie as well. It made her vulnerable, likable, and a person I championed for. A part of me wanted her love story to flourish into the things dreams are made of, but the other wanted Gray to find herself first. A little peace in a raging storm, if you will. It made for a slew of mixed emotions (for both myself AND the character) but also kept me completely engaged and excited for the next page. 

Daniel (Gray’s shrink and eventual love interest) was much harder to pin down, but no less interesting. He was Gray’s kryptonite, but also her sun, the one person who could both build her up and knock her down. (For the record, all “knocking down” was unintentional…he’s a pretty decent guy.) Despite the lack of detail when it came to his background (which was a big fat nill) I still felt a level compassion for him that I wasn’t expecting. His struggle to maintain professionalism, while yearning to simply “take care” of Gray led to some intense dialogue, and some amazingly tender moments. (On both sides.) That said, I was impressed by Fairchild’s ability to maintain his masculinity under the weight of so much “understanding.” There were a few moments (for example: when he stood in FRONT of Gray during an encounter with a one night stand) where his Alpha-Male showed, and THOSE are the scenes that added weight to his simple character, made him less of a place marker and more human.

As for the rest of the cast (Nathan, the twins, Alyssa, Jessie…even her Dad) they were the perfect answer to stellar character building. They all offered (varying) insight into the inner workings of Gray, which helped complete plot circles and clear up any dangling questions.

Speaking of the plot, it was solid. There were a few moments when I felt a drag, but for the most part it sustained a steady pace throughout the entire novel. It was equal parts self-discovery and romance (which I really enjoyed) and ended just the way it should have; unconventional but healthy.

Note: For those of you that thrive on the push/pull of romantic literary entanglements (vs bed hoping) this is definitely a book you will enjoy. 

My final thought: this was a really good book. Solid and heartfelt. Well done Mrs Fairchild.

Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: People are not broken, but sometimes they are a little scuffed up. Handle with care. 

Read An Excerpt
The ridges on the stark white ceiling blurred from my intense stare as I listened to the steady even breaths coming from the body next to me. He wasn’t a bad guy. Just an idiot. Maybe even married for all I knew. The clock read four twenty-three. That wouldn’t work for me. I waited for a nice round even number. Something that felt right. I held my phone with the message typed out: I need you. I keyed in the address, and when the clock hit four thirty, I hit Send. At ten before five AM, I eased my body out of the bed the way a mother slips from her sleeping child, hoping not to rouse her angel. He stirred a moment and turned on his side, his arm involuntarily reaching for me. “Sky,” he murmured with his eyes closed. His dark buzz cut hair was sprinkled with gray flecks, and a small rectangular scar bordered the hairline on the right side of his face. I hadn’t noticed that the night before, or I would have asked him. Now my curiosity had me pausing, conjuring up various scenarios for its origin. Whatever the cause would forever remain a mystery. With a gentle hold around his wrist, I lifted his hand and rested it on the comforter. His eyes flitted open and closed. Frozen, I waited to see if he’d wake. I didn’t worry about coming up with a story. It always came. Still sitting on the edge of the bed, I reached over to an adjacent chair to snag my black silk shirt. When I pulled it over my head and then glanced down, two light blue eyes met mine. “Hey, you,” he whispered. His soft, sweet smile almost made a dent, but I pulled my hand away. “I’ve got to run.” Surprise and confusion colored his face. “What time is it?” “Around five. I’ve got early rounds.” He seemed satisfied with my excuse and looked thoughtful. “Ah, yes, Dr. Phillips. Time to save lives.” I gave him a nod and a tight smile just before a knock at the door sounded. I rose from the bed to pull on my skirt and slip my feet into my heels. He sat up watching me closely like a cat that’d dart out of an open door. “Who could that be at this time?” he said. “My ride,” I threw over my shoulder. I scooped up my purse from the dresser on the way out, catching his face in the mirror. They always had that same look the next day. Or perhaps I was the one who saw things differently. I heard him jump out of bed and scramble for his pants as I made my way to the living room, picking up my pace. “Sky, wait.” When I reached the door, he came in and leaned against the couch, folding his arms. “I could have driven you home.” “It’s okay,” I said, pulling the door open. Nathan stood in the doorway, hands stretched out to the jams on each side, his brown hair ragged from being dragged from the comfort of his bed. He shot me that look that said, you owe me and then let one hand fall and sweep to the side as if making a path for royalty. “Wait,” a voice came from behind me. “Who’s this guy?” Nathan took a step into the doorway. “Oh, hey, man.” “John, this is my cousin, Nathan,” I said. Unfortunately, Nathan had spoken at the same time I did and said, “I’m her neighbor.” John walked over to the two of us, eyes darting between me and my partner in crime. “Well, which is it?” Nathan and I exchanged looks, and I opened my mouth to speak. John held up his hand. “No. Let me guess,” he said in a sarcastic tone. “He’s your cousin who lives next door.” I half-shrugged while looking him dead in the eye. “I really should get going.” A split second later, I plastered on a smile. “I’ll call you.” “You haven’t given me much choice,” he said to my back as I sidled past Nathan. “I don’t even have your number.” I’d be willing to bet John wouldn’t be holding his breath.

Add it to your Goodreads shelf /Amazon wishlist

Rating Report
Overall: 4


Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 11.51.34 AM

Connect With Her: Website / Facebook / Twitter




 a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.