A Sin Such As This (Love Lies Beneath #2) – Ellen Hopkins
Final Thoughts: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you to NetGalley for the generous eARC, in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: In this follow-up to 2015’s sex-filled mystery, Love Lies Beneath, we follow Tara Lattimore as she settles into her new marriage with her fourth husband, the doctor/hunk, Cavin. Her honeymoon phase is abruptly concluded when a swirl of familial drama is topped off with a murder investigation, after Cavin’s ex-lover winds up deceased. Tara, Cavin, her wicked step-son Eli, and his girlfriend/Tara’s niece Kayla are all suspects in a plot most foul. Tara’s harsh past catches up with her as she faces entirely new conflicts.
Alrighty. So. If you clicked the link above, you might’ve read my review for the first novel in this installment. And you might’ve noticed that it didn’t sit quite well with my bookish palate (I gave it two stars, to be clear). The first book was filled to the brim with outrageous drama and characters. Tara is an extremely wealthy women, despite the fact that she doesn’t really do very much. Cavin is a super-sexy doctor with a gambling problem who hides things, makes white lies, and never exactly learns how to be honest with his wife. His son Eli is a teenage lover boy who works at every turn to seduce his new stepmom. The first book didn’t thrill me; the characters were unlikeable, and their decisions were so beyond me. Tara clearly didn’t trust Cavin, but how does the book end? She marries him. Logically.
This book was a slight improvement. Firstly, I’m well-acquainted with Tara by now. She drinks fountains of sidecars, is a compulsive exerciser, claims she never lies, and inserts herself all up in everybody’s business and then huffs and puffs when she gets tangled in the middle of it all. She is totally untrusting, but thrusts herself into friendships, marriages, and even motherhood. She’s questionable, but she doesn’t surprise me anymore.
A Sin Such As This is a good sequel. It’s thrilling, stringing you along as the characters you love to hate live out a new soap opera. No one can claim that this book is anything less than action-packed and full of drama. Let me count the ways:
- Her niece, Kayla, moves herself into Tara’s house, and immediately hooks up with Eli, a manipulative, lying, unusually sexual douchebag. He cheats on her, lies to her, and consequently puts her college career at stake.
- Cavin’s ex-girlfriend, Sophia, circles close to the family at social events, threatening Tara’s questionably fragile marriage. Also, Sophia and Cavin broke up because Eli (Cavin’s son, yes)
slept with heris still sleeping with her.
- Eli tries (many times) to physically seduce Tara. Gross.
- Tara’s leg injury worsens, and after a weird sexual experience where Cavin got all dominant and…well, weird, she wonders if Cavin is purposefully trying to stall her recovery and keep control over her.
- Tara’s sister, Melody, is having an actual breakdown as a divorce from her husband, Graham, looms.
- Melody finds out Graham and Tara slept together years ago.
- Tara’s mean, neglectful mother kicks the bucket, and she and Melody are dragged to the funeral.
- Sophia is murdered, and literally everyone is suspect.