Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ARC Review: The Temptation of Lila & Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

The Temptation of Lila & Ethan
(The Secret #3)
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Genre: New Adult
Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley

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?


I am a big fan of Jessica Sorensen and I love her new adult/contemporary novels. They have this certain somberness to them that she pulls off so well. Not everyone can write a book like that and make it work. Lila and Ethan are the side characters for the Ella and Micha series and I always sensed that something may happen between them so I was glad to see they finally got their own story.

I was super shocked by Lila and everything that she had been through and all of the things she was hiding. She seems so cheery and put together but really is was a very BIG façade. It was always implied that her parents were less than ideal but holy crap were they awful. I can't imagine two people more unfit to procreate. The way her father was so cold and indifferent was sad and her mom's constant put downs and shallowness was terrible. Lila has experienced some very terrible things and it was definitely not what I expected with her. She puts up a really big front and hides her emotions and her problems very well.  I really hurt for Lila as things started to spin out of control for her. Considering her past and everything she has gone through, it would make sense that she is insecure and unsure when it comes to Ethan. No man has ever really treated her right and she has mostly been used and discarded by most people. Ethan is the first genuine man in her life, even as a friend.

Ethan has such a skewed view on love and relationships and it made me so sad because it seems so lonely. All he’s ever seen of love and relationships is pain and anger and sorrow. His parents have a very volatile relationship and that has definitely influenced him. He is so scared to become his father or to have a relationship that mirrors his parents, that he would rather have meaningless sex and nothing more. He also deals with a very personal issue with the one girl he once let in that has a hold over him and he can’t seem to let go. He blames himself for something that was never really his fault. I loved Ethan and I really felt his sorrow and emptiness. He appeared fine on the outside but I think deep down, he wanted more for his future. I think he finally got a glimpse of what can be with Lila and while it scared him, I think it excited him and brightened up his life a little bit. 

I loved the support that than provided for Lila. He was a true friend and he saw her at her lowest point and didn’t run away. Instead, he stepped right in and pulled Lila out. She needed him more than she had ever needed anyone and that scared her a bit. No guy had ever really wanted Lila and Ethan’s kindness towards her was very new. For the first time in years, she is thinking clearly and she is FEELING and she wants to feel with Ethan. Lila isn’t the only one experiencing something new. For the first time in a long time, Ethan doesn’t want to be alone. He is developing real feelings for Lila and the more he gets to know the real Lila, not the shell that Lila was putting on, the more he wants to move on from his past. There is a lot of sexual tension between Ethan and Lila but I really liked the slow build of their relationship. Lila is really messed up and she needs to heal first before she can have a real relationship with Ethan. Likewise, Ethan needs to move on from his past and that means finding and gaining closure. I liked getting to know the real Lila right alongside Ethan and I loved watching Lila discover herself as well. She really grows throughout the book and she becomes a very strong character. Seeing them fall in love was really beautiful, especially with Ethan because he has always been so closed off to love and my heart warmed when he realized and verbalized his feelings for her.

“Change. I want to change who I am. I want to be better. I want to be a person who I can love, not hate and despise.”

Overall, this was another spectacularly written Jessica Sorensen novel and I think a really great addition to the Forever series. She did a great job of surprising me with Lila and Ethan as I would have never guessed the backstory involving Lila. She is an expertly built character and Jessica really touched on the all too real subject of addiction, pain, sorrow and healing. I definitely felt the realism in the tone of this book.

~IPOD Picks~
“Let Her Go” by Passenger
“It Is What it Is” by Lifehous
“Demons” by Imagine Dragons


*An eARC was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased.*


  1. Sooo I still need to read a Jessica Sorensen novel.... I really need to get on that, there are so many great sounding books from her! Great review!

  2. You definitely need to read one! :-) There is a certain tone to her books that I think she pulls off really well.

  3. I always appreciate a slow build romance too and really like the friends to lovers angle. Seems like it would read fine as a standalone too so I'm tempted, very tempted to go one clicking!

  4. You could definitely read it as a stand alone. I might spoil the ending of The Forever of Ella and Micha a little but you don't need to read them to know what's going on.


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