Java Girl’s Review – Beneath The Truth (Beneath #7) by Meghan March

As much as I hate to see one of my favorite series come to an end, Meghan March has done an amazing job, both tying up all the loose ends, while leaving the door open for a spin-off or two. Beneath the Truth is riveting, with heart-pounding intrigue, and unexpected twists and turns. ~ Java Girl, Guilty Pleasures 

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes the final sexy standalone set in the Beneath world of New Orleans.

I used to believe there were lines in life you don’t cross.
Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Until I learned people don’t always practice what they preach.
I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything.
Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don’t expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross?
Don’t touch your best friend’s little sister.
She’s always been off-limits.
Too bad I don’t follow the rules anymore.

Beneath the Truth is one of those books that brought on a lot of mixed emotions for me. Beneath this Mask was my first Meghan March book, and I fell hard for Meghan’s style, these characters, and the world she’s built in this series. I couldn’t wait for Rhett Hennessy’s story, both his romantic HEA, and the truth of his family’s connection to police corruption, but I have loved this series so much, I hate to see it come to an end. I knew it would be good, but it still made me sad. Fortunately, the introduction of a new character (more about him later), as well as Rhett’s brothers, has left open the possibility of a spin-off series, or two.

I love the best friend’s little sister trope, and I love it even more when an author puts her own unique, interesting spin on it. Ms. March rarely does the expected, so the plot twists and deviations from the norm made my heart very happy. Beneath the Truth is very suspenseful, with several plot lines converging. The more that was revealed, the more intriguing it became. Both the Hennessy family drama and the danger Ariel finds herself in, are gripping and quite well written. I loved that I didn’t know what was going to happen (other than an HEA, of course). There are some hard questions asked and answered in Rhett’s quest to find the truth behind his father’s death (and life). I’d love to gush about how much I loved both Rhett and Ariel, but I didn’t connect to either of them like I have most of the other characters in this series. I did like them, and I loved this story, but something was missing for me. I’m not sure what it was—they’re both smart, determined, sexy, and vulnerable…and the connection they had with each other was clearly evident. One of my favorite things in any series is catching up with characters from previous books, and all my favorite couples are here! I really appreciated their appearances in the story, as well as what might be the best epilogue ever.

I’m fascinated by Rhett’s brothers and completely intrigued by Lachlan Mount, whose appearance is brief, but whose influence is pervasive. He’s the protagonist (anti-hero?) of Ms. March’s next trilogy, and I’m beyond excited to know more about this powerful, mysterious man.

Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

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Wham. My heart slammed against my ribs as it sped up about twenty beats per minute.

The heat and delicious woodsy citrus scent radiating from his body did good things to me. Things that made me want to do very bad things to him. I wasn’t a seventeen-year-old virgin anymore. I knew my way around a man, but I had to admit, the hipsters in Cali had nothing on a homegrown Louisiana man like Rhett.

When he spoke, he leaned in so close that I could feel his breath on my ear. “You missed that shot on purpose.”

My gaze jumped from the sexy five o’clock shadow shading his jaw to his piercing green eyes.

“Wha-what are you talking about?” I smacked myself mentally when my old stammer kicked in. Of course he would cause it.

“That shot. You missed on purpose. I saw you adjust at the last minute. Why?”

I swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth and decided to take the safest exit from this situation. Lying.

“Cue slipped.”

His eyes narrowed on me. “You’re lying and you’re terrible at it, just like you’ve always been.” He reached up and pressed his thumb to my left eyebrow. “You get a twitch right here.”

Oh my God. Rhett Hennessy is touching me. And what’s more . . . he knows my tell. He noticed me!

The fifteen-year-old inside me did a terrible cartwheel at the realization. Okay, more of a round-off. With a tumble in the grass to finish. Whatever.

But outwardly, I was trapped in that green gaze until he decided to let me go—or until I came to my senses.

I cleared my throat and sidestepped him. “Whatever you say, hotshot. I need another drink.”

Focusing on putting one four-inch heel in front of the other without biting it, I escaped to the table and reached for the whiskey glass I’d left behind, interrupting my brother and the waitress. They both stared at me as I chugged the contents.

I’d always wondered what it would feel like to have Rhett’s attention, and now I knew. In a word, it was . . . unnerving.

“How’s the game going?” my brother asked.

“Fine.” Keeping my answer short meant he couldn’t tell that I was lying. Heath wasn’t nearly as observant as Rhett.

“You winning?”

Thanking the Lord that Heath obviously hadn’t been watching, I shrugged. “I guess.”

He glanced toward Rhett and then back to me. “The sister I know and love doesn’t lose at pool. Ever. Even to Rhett Hennessy.”

I lowered the glass to the table and straightened my shoulders. “Like they say, things change.”

He nodded slowly. “That may be true about most things, Flounder. But you’re a pool shark and we both know it.”

Before I could respond, Heath’s attention jumped back to the waitress. I took another ten seconds to gather myself, also known as drinking offensively in my mind, before I crossed the floor to face off against my former obsession.

“You all right, Red?” Rhett asked.

“Don’t call me that. And I’ve never been better.”

His gaze dipped to my feet and dragged up my body. “I can agree with that statement.”

Whoa. Who is this guy with the innuendo? A glance at his empty whiskey glass told me he was drinking heavily as well. Was this the booze talking? Or was Rhett Hennessy not just noticing me, but noticing me?

Either way, I had to play it cool. Or at least pretend to play it cool, since it seemed I might fall short.

“Your turn, hotshot. Better not miss, because I’ll clear the table next time,” I said, but my cocky attitude backfired.

Rhett didn’t miss. He sank his balls and then the eight, ending the game almost as quickly as it started. He returned his cue to the rack and turned to face me, all traces of the earlier heat banked, his expression shuttered.

“Game over.”

What the hell just happened?

 

 

meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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