The Truth About Riley by Henrietta Clarke

TruthAboutRileyRiley Aylworth’s life has been completely devoid of intimate contact since a fire three years ago left him with horrific facial scarring, so when he finds an ad for a phone sex service, he decides to give it a call. Except that the number is not a phone sex service—it’s the revenge Cameron Kirkwood’s ex-boyfriend took on the uptight advertising executive after Cam forgot their anniversary and accidentally put him in the hospital. Needless to say, after thirty-nine disturbing calls seeking phone sex, Cameron is at the end of his tether and yells at his fortieth caller. What he doesn’t expect is for Riley to hit redial and yell right back.

The argument helps both Cameron and Riley vent about their issues, and when they’ve calmed down, they decide to exchange numbers and talk again. From this decision springs a friendship that, over time, grows into a gentle romance—all over the phone, because Riley is too scared to meet Cam in person. Showing a potential boyfriend his disfigured face is the fastest way to get rejected, right? Even a month of scorching hot phone sex can’t change his mind, no matter how hard Cam tries to persuade him that with their phone chemistry, the sex would be so much better in person.

Meanwhile, Cam is haunted by the scarred blond he seems to be seeing everywhere, and Riley can’t get the handsome brunet who always seems happy to see him out of his mind. It’s a shock to both men to realise that the guy they’re falling for over the phone is also the man who brightens their day with just a smile; but it’s one thing to let a stranger smile at you and quite another to let him close enough to see into your soul. If Riley can’t break down the walls in his mind and believe that Cameron loves him in spite of his scars, their relationship may be doomed before they’ve even had a chance to kiss.

This is another one that falls into the 4 1/2 – 5 star category. For the record, if a book makes me feel… pretty much anything, it’s earned itself at least 4 stars. If it makes me cry, not just a sniffle, but full on tears, it’s pretty much guaranteed a high rating. That’s not the only criteria that causes me to rank a book higher than most, but it’s definitely a deal breaker. The thing about The Truth About Riley is that the tears weren’t caused by the character I expected.

Riley was so broken, yet he was stronger than he realized. I admired that strength. I understood his reluctance to put his heart on the line though. He cared about his friendship with Cam too much to risk it. The fact that he didn’t hide totally and didn’t stay a total recluse when the alternative would have been much easier is where my admiration came from.

I absolutely loved Cam. Not that I didn’t love Riley too, but his feelings and acceptance toward Riley were what made me fall in love with him. He was just a little bit broken himself. He accepted it and moved on… kind of. He didn’t realize how much he was missing until he got a taste of what he could have had.

This romance was layered. The characters didn’t actually meet face to face until the last part of the book. That was okay though. It not only gave them a chance to get to know each other, it also gave the reader time to really get to know not just them, but the supporting characters. Those characters weren’t just filler, they added a whole other dimension to the story. All of them. From Cam’s quirky, nosey co-workers to Riley’s friends and family. I loved them all. If I had to pick a favorite though it would be Riley’s mom. She was amazing and, for the record, that’s where the tears came from. *sigh*

This story’s progression was unique, the characters were fun and well developed and the romance was sweet. I know that the next book in the series is currently in the works and I can’t wait to see more of Cam and Riley and the rest of these characters that I’m eager to get to know just a little bit better. 😉



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