Review: Picture Perfect Lie by Marquita Valentine

Posted February 26, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 27 Comments

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Review: Picture Perfect Lie by Marquita Valentine
Picture Perfect Lie

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
three-flames


Series: Kings of Castle Beach #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on March 25, 2018
Pages: 252
Format: eBook
Source: Free Book
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The Delight

Strangers in an airport- she’s at the end of her rope and he could use an uplifting distraction.  Just the right time and just the right place… they find each other.  I’ve been meaning to try this author’s books for a while and with the gentle nudge to do a buddy read with a book pal, I had the momentum to reach for this first in a series that was a heartwarming feel-good that made me regret the last page coming so swiftly.


Review

Picture Perfect Lie introduces the start of a new series about the ill-fortuned yet wealthy King family of widowed mother, brothers, and only sister.  This first book begins with Knight’s story.
Knight struggled with his father’s suicide over a business scandal and has stayed away from home by jumping into the military and making a career of it.  He knows he has let his family down by staying away and over the last few deployments, has started struggling with the wear and tear of war.  He’s headed out one more time, but just needs a push to come home.  He finds that while sitting at the Atlanta airport during a flight delay and spotting a beautiful young woman struggling under exhaustion and a crying baby.  He’s always been one to come to the rescue with women, but the spark and connection with Campbell and baby Hazel hit him in all the hollow places and fulfill him more than any of his past fixer-uppers ever did.  Cam is fierce and sassy even if life has beaten her down and she’s no one’s pity project.

Campbell Faircloth has had a failed Hollywood dream to act though she got bit parts and as to men?  She made some bad mistakes in her life that left her battered and struggling, but she has learned and forged an inner strength.  She is going to do her best for Hazel’s sake and that means crawling back home in hopes her cold, judgmental country club parents will take her back and give her a chance to get on her feet.  Deep down she knows this will be a long shot so when a chance encounter with a friendly and compassionate soldier happens right when she’s about to collapse from hunger and too little sleep, she lets down her guard against men and takes his help.  They pretend to be a family for that little time and it feels so real.  Knight is something special and almost too good to be true especially when he insists she promise that if things don’t work out with her family that she will go to his family who will take her in because he sent her.  Dare she trust in this modern knight in shining armor for her own sake as well as Hazel’s?

The story gave me a ‘While You Were Sleeping’ vibe at first because of a misunderstanding mentioned in the blurb which was the source of my initial excitement.  But, then I met Campbell and Knight, learned their situations, and felt their chemistry.  The story was not like that movie and I barely noticed as I cozied up to this adorable and yet spicy feel-good romance.

It went by quickly and was a shy under-developed in spots, but that didn’t stop me from all the feels as the book checked off several boxes of my favorite elements- big family, military, sweet baby, woman starting over and making good, long-distance romance and beach.

As I mentioned, the romance was a combo of a 24 hour encounter followed by long distance texting, face-timing, and emailing before a reunion in person.  It had depth and soul because this pair connected, shared the deep places inside themselves that were raw and vulnerable, supported each other and challenged each other just because the other person made them want to be better.  The attraction was sizzling between them and it did get sexy eventually, but I liked that they had that time apart to get their minds and troubles sorted first.

Knight’s family of three surviving brothers and sister and his widowed mother had gone through hard times and loss and yet they were magnificent with Campbell and Hazel making her mean and cruel parents seem even worse.  I was glad Campbell at least had her brother to love and support her when she was at her lowest, but he was in college and still dependent on their parents’ help so could only do so much.  Knight’s family are going to each get their own stories and after meeting them, I look forward to them.

So, it was a deliciously sweet and spicy story that left me swooning and smiling over the tender romance and a knight in shining armor hero.  Those who like easy and heartwarming contemporary romance should give this one a try.

I enjoyed this book as a COYER Winter Friends Buddy Read with Brandee @ Unconventional Bookworms.


Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #23
Literary Pickers #37 Middle East
COYER Winter Friends #47
Romanceopoly #15 Drive In Theater (actor character)
Books N Tunes #9 Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For a Hero

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Nadene
4 months ago

This sounds sweet and emotional. I am going to add this to my TBR. Thanks for the reccomendation, Sophia.

Nadene
4 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

Aww shucks, its no unavailable.

Sophia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

Hopefully, she only pulled it temporarily so she can do a new addition. I was bummed that I couldn’t move on with the next one in the series. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
4 months ago

I haven’t read the book and already feel bad for Knight knowing what he’s gone through.

Sophia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Oh yes, and I didn’t even mention another big loss he took right about the time he met Campbell. So tough and yet he was sweet to her. 🙂

sherry fundin
4 months ago

i love when a book has all the elements i look for to make it a great read. glad you enjoyed this so much and i do like a feel good ending
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

Definitely, Sherry! Brandee picked this one and it turned out to be just right for me. 🙂

Felicity Grace Terry
4 months ago

What sounds like it could be a great family saga. The characters certainly sound interesting.

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

It sure does, but now the rest of the books are off the shelves so I’ll have to wait. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

Oh I like all your favorite elements too! This is exactly the kind of freebie I want to link up to my Thrifty Thursday feature. (Often a book is still free or will be offered free again if it has been before) Wonderful review!

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

It sure was a freebie that turned out to be a gem. Brandee picked well. 🙂

Melliane
4 months ago

I didn’t know about this one but it looks nice

Sophia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yeah, new to me, too, but I’ll definitely be hunting down more of her books.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Campbell and Knight romance sounds good!

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

It was adorable and tender, but also like a true friendship with the way they opened up to each other. 🙂

Carole's Random Life in Books

This one is new to me. It is neat that they only met for a day and then continued with long distance. This does sound enjoyable.

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

Yes, one 24-hour period and then it was a correspondence romance. Loved that, too, Carole!

Greg
4 months ago

Ooh I haven’t heard that Bonnie Tyler song in ages! Good stuff. 🙂

Glad this was good. the romance does sound like it was done really well!

Sophia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg

Had to pull an oldie but a good out for the occasion. 🙂 Thanks, Greg!

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

This sounds like a great read, especially for the connection that the protagonists develop. I love that you include the Bonnie Tyler song at the end.

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

Yes, the time spent getting to know each other through Facetime and email really was neat.

Woohoo, love several of her hits!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I love a book that’s both sweet and spicy, full of fulls, and fast-paced. I’m glad you enjoyed this one overall Sophia! BuddyReads are so much fun. I love being about to talk and share thoughts and ideas while reading a book with a friend 🙂

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

Same here! It just ticced off all the right things for me. Brandee @ Unconventional Bookworms picked a good one and it was fun to message back and forth while we were reading.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

This does sound like a sweet romance. I haven’t read Marqueta Valentine yet either. Glad to hear you enjoyed your first experience with her. 🙂

Sophia Rose
4 months ago

Yeah, it was one of those sweet and easy ones that hit the spot. I want to keep going with the series whenever she puts up the new editions again.

Carole Rae
4 months ago

That cover is adorable!

Sophia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Doesn’t it look so ‘fun in the sun’? 🙂