Monday, October 3, 2016

Book review: Pieces of Perfect by Elizabeth Hayley



As a sexy ex-hockey player, Max was the bad boy with something to prove. As a handsome single father, Adam was the man most women wait a lifetime for. Each man would take me on a journey of self-discovery that was marred with lies, jealousy, deceit, and a whole lot of fun. They each offered a glimpse of happily ever after, a piece of perfect. But in my constant quest to have it all, I would risk losing everything. Only one thing was certain. I’d never be the same after this.


I absolutely LOVED this book. Our introduction to Lily is when she’s at the airport, heading back home after a disastrous weekend with her parents. Even though she’s 27, she’s still seeking her parents’ acceptance of her choice to go into teaching rather than follow in their footsteps and go into law.

After a series of embarrassing and just plain that-just-figures moments, Lily thinks she’s found the end of her bad luck. Enter Max—a cocky, sexy, controversial out-of-work NHL player with a bad image and an attitude which makes him unbearable to work with. In an attempt to improve his image, he is returning to his middle school to start up and coach the new ice hockey team.

Without giving away too much, Lily is horrified to see him re-enter her life in the last place she ever thought she'd ever see him. Her self-control is not just tested by Max, but strained to near breaking point. He’s magnetic and dominating, and there’s something about him that makes her get more and more tangled up in him.

Despite the relationship she has with Max, Lily finds herself drawn to the father of one of her students. They begin dating, and soon Lily is seeing just what an amazing man he is. Lily has always been seeking absolution and acceptance, but she realizes with Adam that she doesn’t need this.

But in true Lily style, lies bury her until she doesn’t know what's the truth and what's fiction. Her feelings for both men are fluid, and just when she thinks she can break away from one, there’s something she learns that simply drags her back in again. 

When Lily hits rock bottom, you don't know whether you want to cry for her, or tell her she got exactly what she deserved. If she thought she was innocent in the whole thing, I would have been disappointed with her, which means that I saw her as a real person, rather than just a character in a book. And for this fact, I have to congratulate the authors on their ability to create believable, loveable characters.

Instead of laying the blame at someone else's door, Lily owns her decisions and decides to fight for what she wants, only to learn that just because you fought for it, doesn’t mean you deserve to win. Her journey a self-discovery leaves both Adam and Max by the wayside, battered and broken, deceived and untrusting of the woman they’d both grown to love in their own ways—even if that way is a little skewed. 

The writing style is strong with intense imagery and great descriptions. All the characters are really well-rounded with motivations that make them believable. I loved Lily’s snarky attitude and punchy one-liners. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion, and I had to share this little gem with you all:

“If I didn’t get some coffee in my system, I was going to kill someone’s child. And not a simple murder, like a stabbing or a chair to the back. That little fucker was going to suffer.”

I honestly couldn’t find fault with the characters, their development, the plot, or pacing. If I had to comment on something that wasn’t quite what I expected, it would be about the cover of Pieces of Perfect. When I first saw it, I thought it was going to be a soft, romantic story with true love and no real tribulations, but after I read the first few pages, this book was far from an Austin-esque love story. There was love, yes, but there was also heartache and bad decisions, passion and true companionship. I also felt the ending fit quite well with the whole story.

I’m really looking forward to what else these two lovely ladies that make up “Elizabeth Hayley” come up with next. If they continue with this same style, they have a winning formula here and a reader for life.

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