Trusting Liam (A Taking Chances & Forgiving Lies Novel)
by Molly McAdams
I knew going in my expectations were high, maybe a little too high, but it made me realise one thing after reading Trusting Liam - about Chase Grayson and about myself... I still haven't let him go, and I don't think I ever will.
Liam Taylor, the boy who was the result of an affair between Harper and Chase in Taking Chances gets his own story in Trusting Liam. Here we jump into the future, where Harper and Brandon Taylor are still happily married, yet the loss of Chase Grayson is still very raw in this family...
Liam is a walking, talking, breathing reminder of the young man -- the Father he never knew and expectations are high. Liam hasn't had it easy filling a dead man's shoes and I fell for him immediately, but as much as it pains me to say this, that underlying anger of expectation lacked in honouring Chase's memory.
Don't get me wrong here, Liam is fantastic, he has parts of Chase in him, and parts of the man that brought him up as his own; he really is an amazing character and I loved him dearly, but I didn't love the story as much as I thought I would.
If felt distant in a way I am struggling to put into words, I guess I just expected...more. More Brandon and Harper, more Liam and his thoughts and views on his Father, hell... maybe even a grave visit. I don't know, just something...
I'm not saying there isn't an element of love here, but how Liam regards the memory of a man he never met just seemed a little stalemate and I felt he judged his 'Father's best friend' for cheating on his girl. Brandon raised him so I can appreciate and even understand that is where Liam's loyalties would lie and I'm not disputing that, I just wanted one chapter that offered closure, so I could move on and embrace an epic love story between Liam and Kennedy, and I felt shortchanged... I didn't get it.
I love my angst, and I know Molly McAdams had to handle a huge backlash when she made that decision in Taking Chances but I thought it was ballsy and made the story go from great to exceptional, but a part of me felt like this book was an apology. The story wasn't bad by any means but a little low key and anti-climatic for my tastes.
Every nuance was met with a quick satisfying outcome. There was drama but it wasn't on par with what I have come to expect from this author.
My one saving grace was Brian. That man is awesome! Chase's tattooist buddy and confidante, he took that friendship and extended it to his son Liam and I could have kissed that crazy dude. His little Chachi never went without a kind ear and some good solid advice and I loved him for that.
Now, the heroine... Kennedy had her good points. She was headstrong and wasn't afraid of taking chances herself but emotionally she was completely stunted. Scorned, hurt and haunted by a past relationship that ended badly, her belief that love doesn't exist was met with understanding in the early part of this book. It did however become monotonous towards the end when she was still pushing those she loved away. Overall, I liked her but I wasn't bowled over.
Although, there is a little twist coming so that made for an interesting dilemma. Enter unconventional triangle number 2... and even then, don't feel deterred, it was handled with kid gloves.
The love story itself was satisfying, but the added background plot/drama was added for effect and not nurtured or actioned in a way that gave it justice. It could have been so much more...
I would have loved a good fight scene. Even a shocking twist but with a happy outcome. There were no heart-stopping moments, it was all very amicable.
Brandon was amazing as always, although Harper faded into the background and Kristi, the sister/daughter also left much to be desired.
I guess you could say I loved Liam, but I was left unfulfilled in a way I didn't quite expect. Maybe my own expectations were just too high.
Trusting Liam isn't a bad read, my goodness, there really were some defining moments, but as a big fan of Taking Chances, I can only be honest here and say that it doesn't hold that alluring magic the first book did. You have to read this and come to your own conclusions. I feel this is one fans will either love because it's an 'easier' read, or feel indifferent about it because it isn't quite what they expected. I think I fall deeply into the latter.
Kelly - 3.75 Crowns
From the New York Times bestselling author of Taking Chances, From Ashes, and Stealing Harper, comes the new unforgettable adult romance Molly McAdams’ fans have been waiting for—the sizzling story of a young woman who must place her trust in the one man who can break through her defenses.
A night they will always remember…a connection neither can deny…a secret that could destroy it all…
When Kennedy Ryan moves to California, she never expects to come face-to-face with Liam Taylor—the intriguing man who has haunted her thoughts for a year. A man who led her to breaking every one of her rules for a single night of passion that ended up meaning more than it was ever supposed to. Accustomed to disastrous experiences with men, Kennedy shields herself before he can break down more of the carefully built control she’s clung to for the last four years. But every time she sees Liam, she feels her resolve weakening.
Liam Taylor has been asked to help socialize his boss’s nieces. But what he thinks sounds more like a babysitting job ends up leading him to the only girl who ever slipped away before morning—a girl he thought he’d never find again. And now that she’s within reach, Liam’s determined to never let her go.
But when a secret from her past tests their relationship, will they be able to cling to the trust Liam has worked so hard to build?
Emma - 3.75 Crowns
This is a standalone romance that is a continuation of two very popular series by Molly McAdams - Taking Chances and Forgiving Lies. I have read Taking Chances but not the latter. I do think that you should have read at least 1 of these books to understand some back story, however it isn't essential.
Kennedy Ryan and her twin sister Kira are being forced to move across the country from Florida to California. Under threat from some dangerous people her father put away 20 years ago, Kennedy is excepting of the change. Her sister Kira not so much. But it's a fresh start for Kennedy and one that she is need of after a tough few years. What she isn't expecting is to run into a nameless face from her past, one that she has been unable to forget and one that could so easily penetrate the defences she erected to protect her heart.
Liam Taylor is on top of his game. He has a great job with a man he respects, sex on tap, great social life and a family that -although complicated- are Loving and supportive. When his boss, Eli asks him to introduce his nieces to his friends and get them socialising, he does it begrudgingly. Managing to get them a job at his Dad's gym, he agrees to help them settle into life in San Diego. That is until he catches sight of the twins. He is shocked to see the girl he only knows as Moon, who managed to slip away after one night in Las Vegas. She is a memory he has been unable to forget and he is determined that this time he won't allow her to slip through his fingers.
Will Liam be able to recreate the connection that he had with Kennedy again? Will Kennedy be able to trust Liam's intentions? And when a secret from the past is revealed, will they be able to overcome it together?
Okay, I'm just going to get it out there before I go any further. I liked this book, but I didn't love it - and I so wanted to. Liam is the son of Harper and Chase from Taking Chances and as that is one of my favourite books EVER! I hoped for so much more than I got. Kennedy is the daughter of Kash and Rachel for Forgiving Lies for fans of that series. I love that Molly has tried to tie the two books together, it just lacked the magic of Taking Chances for me.
It's a nice enough story and you will most certainly fall in love with Liam. He is so like Chase, but with an added sprinkle of Brandon just to make him even yummier. Kennedy is a strong-willed and likeable woman who is very set on what she wants. Liam is a real weakness for her and I enjoyed watching him break down her defences. Yep, I have to say it again... I LOVED HIM! The story itself had echoes of the past, but it just lacked the drama I would of liked and indeed expected.
You will get to meet old friends from the past: Kash, Rachel, Mason, Eli on the girls side and Harper (albeit very briefly) Kristi, Bree, Konrad and of course Brandon. However the stand out secondary character for me was Brian. Tattooist, family friend and close friend of Chase's - he is the shit. His advice, humour and love of Chase's son was a highlight for me. Of course Chase (my heart still seriously weeps for that man) is mentioned, but at some points I just felt he was a real irrelevance to Liam and that frustrated me. I am please to say that Brandon however, is the father that he always set out to be and he above everyone makes sure Chase's memory stays alive in Liam - Chase would be super proud of his best friend.
To fans of Molly McAdams and these series in particular, I can only recommend you read them. It is always nice to find out what happens many years down the line, especially with books that you were so emotionally invested in. It just didn't hit specific marks for me, but that doesn't mean it won't for you. A well wrote book with nice characters, it just fell short on the storyline for me.
Elizabeth - 3 Crowns
I was so scared to read this book... you see... Taking Chances is THE HOLY GRAIL book for me... it is "THE" book I use to rate other books... why?? Because Taking Chances hit every freaking emotional high and low for me... this book shredded and shattered me while at the same time lifted me up and gave me hope that no matter the devastation... you know you will survive... and life goes on...
So, reading about Chase's son Liam, feeling his soul and listening to his heart... I just knew I would feel pain. I was ready for that pain... and to no surprise... a small little paragraph that only mentioned Chase.. not even by name... gutted me! Seriously.. I was in shock at how real I still felt the loss of Chase... and reading just a tiny bit of what that loss did to his son, to shape him and make him the man he is today... yeah.. G-U-T-T-E-D!
Here is where it gets really painful for me... and I know it is my own damn fault! I held this book on an absolute pedestal, high above the heavens... and sadly.. I failed myself for that fact... and feel that the book did not soar like I thought it would. I expected some sort of closure.. or balm for my bleeding soul... and I did not get that! I have let it settle in my heart for days before writing this review... as i have not been able too bring it to words.. but here it goes.
Kennedy and Kira, twin daughters of a former undercover cop who get shipped to California to protect them from threats of a gang that her father took down and put in prison.. but are now starting to get released...
The family reaches out to family friends in California to watch out for the girls. Enter Liam stage right... he is asked by his boss to help out and get the girls out and about socially.. and also helps out in getting them a job at his Dad's gym....
Little did Liam know that Kennedy is the girl who got away.. about a year ago... after one amazing night in Vegas... She has magicallay re-appeared in his life.. and he is going after the girl!!!
But Kennedy has a secret.. well a few actually.. but one that can seriously destroy any future they could ever have!
-----Love's about the book -----
IT"S LIAM!!! and he is amazing!!... his heart and soul, though he has carried the weight of another on his soul.. someone he never even met... he is AMAZING!! Imagine living in the shadow of a very loved man your ENTIRE life... growing up to look like his twin.. and the pain you see in the eyes of your very own mother when she looks at you... Just utterly too much for a single soul to carry... but still he triumphed.. had some justified outbursts... and became just the man he was meant to be and Chase would be DAMN PROUD!!
Brandon.... OMG... I fell for him a little harder... he is literally one of the best men out there... A true class act who has raised his son with the highest morals and details to the right way to live.. his heart is truly in Liam.
Brian - Brandon's BFF and resident tattoo artist - OMG HE IS THE BOMB!!!! He is like this witty heartwarming man that is soooooooo in touch with everyone's soul.. that his just rocks!!
The story... I loved it.. the premise of danger... the links to Chase... the soul of Liam! just....sigh!
-----Not getting the feels of the story -----
Kennedy - Just not feeling her... Liam deserves everything.. and Kennedy was lacking for me... She starts off as an amazing and independent and broken woman... and ends up being very wishy washy, and although I won't spoil the story... but when her secret comes to light.. and the way she handled it... just PISSED me off!! No one should treat others the way she did.. and although I can understand and sympathize her situation... it was handled WRONG! ( well in my mind and if I ever had the guts to be a writer, right?! lol) I get where ms. Molly was going with this.. and how the tie in is with Kennedy and Liam and.... like Harper and Chase and Brandon....but still.. Liam deserved better!
Kira - You just DON'T do that to your sis... NO MATTER WHAT! (you'll get it when you read it..lol)
Kristi... she's just the spare...
Harper - NON-exisitent! I know I know... it is Liam's story... but every mother would be front and center. This mother had no excuse not to be front and center. I appreciate Molly making this about Liam.. but Harper. Should. Have. Had. A. Voice!
The story - Like I mentioned.. I expected closure, I needed salve for my wound... it is not here. I never thought that Chase would not get his pedestal... even though I fully realize this book is about Liam.. not Chase...but it was still dissapointing not to see even a grave visit or something.... ANYTHING!
The whole huge drama about having to send the girls to California.. the threats.. the fear for their safety... THEN ZERO!!! This story would have been amazing if Kennedy had been kidnapped and Liam, (her knight) would have saved her... (yeah.. to expected.. i get that, but still) because while she was kidnapped.. she would have quit being wishy washy and realized that she could not survive without Liam... and become the woman he deserved as she fought her way back to him.. instead of being so passive... and... well can't give ya' spoilers.. but very upset there was zero to this great drama that could have unfolded... or even ANYTHING that would have given a voice to the amazing initial story of the gang threatening the girls lives.
I appreciate Molly making this about Liam..I am sure it was NOT easy! And about possibly not wanting to tie him down with all things Chase...BUT, with the explosion that was Taking Chances... with the insurmountable pain she unleashed on us... by not honoring him and giving him the voice through Harper and others... by not giving the readers what they needed while trying to make the story true to Liam... it lacked the magic for me even when I am fully aware of the direction that Molly took this. Although I have no clue why she did this.. and she has every right to do this... and I would never have the guts to write anything and publish it... Molly just left me feeling - Empty...
I liked the story.. and it would be a 5 star... had I NOT read Taking Chances or Stealing Harper... but with those powerful books so intimately attached to Trusting Liam... It makes this story fall sadly short of where it should have been.
That's my 2 cents.... Love you Molly! <3