Loving Lucas is the first book in the Lies & Leather series from Violetta Rand. This is my first book by her so I didn't really know what to expect. While there were things that I liked her, there was also a lot that I had issues with. I still have mixed feelings on this one, and i'm just not sure what to think.
Stuck in an abusive relationship, Karlie Augustine's spirit as well as her body is broken. When things get bad one night, she finds help in the sexy cop Lucas Lafontaine. With nowhere to go and little to her name, Lucas offers her a place to stay in exchange for her help with the cleaning and cooking. The attraction between them is instant, and living together ignites the spark between them. But with Lucas trying to get custody of his young son and Karlie's ex not backing down, can Lucas and Karlie build anything together?
I had moments that I really liked both Lucas and Karlie. Lucas was caring and protective, and super sexy. But there were also times that he came off as a a bit of a chauvinist and I didn't care for that at all. I understood that part of their deal was for Karlie to cook and clean in exchange for a place to live, but I also felt like there were some pretty offensive moments here. I was uncomfortable more than once and unfortunately those moments really detracted from all the good that was here as well. Karlie had moments were she was strong and sassy, and yet she was also vulnerable and beaten down because of what she had been through. But she made some really stupid decisions, and there were times I wanted to shake her. I was looking for more of that fire in her to come out and I didn't always see that.
The one thing that I absolutely loved here was the heat and chemistry between these two! They were super steamy and I felt their attraction for each other instantly. I do think that the connection was a bit too instant to be truly believable for as strong as the author tried to make it. I believed they were definitely building something and the chemistry was there from the beginning, but I really thought that things progressed far too quickly for someone that had literally just ended a two year abusive relationship. There were times that Karlie struggled with things and that showed, but it was still rushed to me. Overall, I think that there was definite potential here and there were some great moments that I truly enjoyed. But I also felt like this one didn't completely deliver on what I was expecting and it was unfortunate since I really wanted to love Lucas and Karlie together.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**