Release Day Blitz: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan: Jessica Sorensen

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan
(The Secret #3)
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Ella and Micha series comes a gripping story of passion, pain, and the courage to love
On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect façade. She'll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there's only one person who's there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.

Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn't do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila's pretty princess image, Ethan can't deny they have a deeper connection than he's used to. If he's not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he's learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.

When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her?

Other books in The Secret Series:
Book 1: The Secret of Ella and Micha: Goodreads/Amazon/B&NBook 2: The Forever of Ella of MichaGoodreads /Amazon/B&N
Book 4: The Ever After of Ella and Micha: Goodreads expected 12/3/13

I nod slowly, swallowing the lump in my throat. “Yes, but I also think you smell.”
“I smell like a man,” he says, grinning at himself. He leans in, getting his chest closer to my face so I can get a whiff of his man scent.
“Blah!” I scrunch my nose, turning my face to the side, even though the smell of him isn’t that bad. He actually smells like cologne and sweat and heat. Very nice. Very manly. I discretely breathe him in, letting the scent of him saturate my lungs. He must notice the rise and fall of my chest, because he leans back and looks me in the eyes, sheer perplexity burning in his pupils.
“So apparently you like the smell of sweat.” He tries to joke but his voice cracks and I wonder why. Ethan never gets nervous. I’ve seen him hit on women many, many times, and he always gets them to come home with him.
I don’t say anything and I’m not sure why. I just keep staring into his eyes and it feels different—I feel different, giddy, alive, and not numb for once. That switch that always flips off stays on. I’m not sure if I like the feeling—the vulnerable, misplaced emotions swarming inside my chest—or not.
Without even realizing it, I hitch my legs around his waist. The need to feel someone close to me, connect with me, touch me, is conquering anything else within me. I haven’t been touched in a while and it feels good—better than good.
Ethan’s breath hitches in his throat and it startles me. He’s nervous. I’m nervous. I feel this strange shift between us, the heat between us intensifying, and I get excited, my nerves bubbling up inside me. Suddenly I’m a completely different person. I’m not broken. Lost. Numb. Confused. I’m a girl enjoying a moment with a guy I really, really like.
I close my eyes as he leans in. He’s going to kiss me. I can tell. And I mean really kiss me this time instead of almost kissing me. I’ve been waiting for this more than I realized and despite all my concerns about my new feelings, ones that I’m sure existed before this moment but I was too medicated to feel anything, I want him so much it consumes every part of my body. I can feel all the warm, hot, overpowering sensations, and I breathe in his delicious scent, taste the anticipation. Kiss me. Please God, kiss me. Don’t back away.

I moan from the heat of his breath and trace my hands up his back as I arch into him. I wait for it. Wait for the kiss, feeling his cheek touch mine. He rests it there, pressing our skin together, and I know that next he’ll touch his lips to mine. I wait as he moans my name under his breath.

"Everyone's messed up...In their very own f***ed up way, a lot of people just won't admit it aloud and then try to change it."We met Lila and Ethan in The Secret of Ella and Micha. She is Ella's former college room mate and friend and he is Micha's long time best friend. They seemed so opposite: The perfect spoiled rich girl and the blue collar bad boy. But we saw them become friendly as they helped their friends with their issues. 

Now we see deep into their family dynamics, troubled pasts, confusion, guilt, loss, and hopelessness. They are both lost, broken, and are each other's friendly anchor. But Ethan has a no touching, no relationships rule...and he has it for a reason. They are kind of coasting through life, coping poorly, and unable to come to terms with their past, present, or future plans.

But these two have had a connection since they first met. They have continued to be friends and tried to avoid complications. But it is about to get really complicated.  

It's kind of our thing; we share out stories and never judge each other, despite how bad and ugly the stories are. He knows things about me that no one does...and I know things about him, too...

Their pasts are slowly revealed throughout the book adding mystery. In the other books, I knew there were hidden secrets with these two, but never would have imagined what they were. I really loved Ethan and getting to see deeper into his past and layers. He suffered a loss and troubled upbringing that shaped his choices. He was not proud of his past, was plagued by guilt and loss, and had trouble letting go. He had made poor choices in the past, but really was a good guy and was trying to be a good friend. Although I have to admit that his continued resistance, though honorable, got a little frustrating at times. 

"God, half the time you drive me crazy. You challenge my patience. Piss me off. Make me feel things....That's the thing, Lila. You make me feel things for you, even when I'm fighting it. No one has ever done that to me."

Lila had been through a horrible experience and never really felt love or good enough for her parents. She coped in unhealthy ways, but put on the facade of being happy and perfect to the world.  I enjoyed seeing the changes in Lila as she started to work on her life with Ethan's support. Together they had a witty rapport, deep bond, and feelings that were not easily resolved. Their sexual tension was off the charts. But it was grounded by a bond of friendship that came first. So there was some back and forth, hiding, confused feelings, and misunderstandings.
"I'm f***ed up, Ethan. I never feel loved, yet I always keep looking for it, hoping that somehow it really  exists."

As Lila's life crashes around her will Ethan always be there to save her? And can Ethan let go of his own past and move on?

This couple was much more complex than I expected after meeting them in the other books. There was a lot of  damage lurking under the surface. I am so glad we got to see both of their points of view since they had so many feelings that were difficult for them to express. It is a story of two people struggling to find their way and learning what a real true connection can be like. But it is difficult, frightening, and stressful...but also emotional, tender, and passionate. It is about knowing when to let go and when to hold on. And about trying to become a  person that feels comfortable in their own skin and learn to find meaning in life. 

We got to seem more of Ella and Micha and the ending transitions us right into their next book The Ever After of Ella and Micha. I liked getting to see how their story continues to progress. 

Thanks to Jessica Sorensen, Forever Grand Central Publishing, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc copy in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from arc copy and subject to change in the final draft. 

Jessica Sorensen Website/Facebook/Pinterest
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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