Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy (plus Owning Violet and Stealing Rose)

Posted July 2, 2015 in Review / 3 Comments

Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy (plus Owning Violet and Stealing Rose)

Taming Lily

Series: The Fowler Sisters #3
by Monica Murphy
Published by Bantam, Random House on July 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 240
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

AmazonBarnes&Noble Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

I’m in trouble. Again. And instead of facing my problems head on, I’ve run away. Far away this time, and no one can catch me—not my two younger sisters, Violet and Rose, not my father, my grandmother, or that witch Pilar who wants to take control of my family’s cosmetics company. Now I’m in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and the sand and water, where nobody knows the hot mess known as Lily Fowler. And I’m loving every minute of it.

But someone is watching me. Following me. He’s gorgeous. And soon we’re talking, and against all my instincts, I reveal bits and pieces of myself to Max. It feels good, though I know he can’t be the man for me. These sudden feelings we share are way too complicated, too fraught, too intense.

Then everything explodes and I’m forced to return home. My intentions have always been true, but now everyone’s mad at me. I don’t know who to turn to anymore . . . except to Max. He’s who I want to trust. But I’m not so sure I should. Maybe it’s worth the risk—and what-ifs be damned. . . .

I’ve been known to read a series or two out of order.  Or only read one book in the middle of a series.  But for Monica Murphy, I will read the entire series and in order.  Besides the fact that she is just a friendly, totally approachable author, she has a writing style I enjoy reading.  It’s sexy-hot, sometimes dark (at least this series was), has dual points-of-view, and oh-my-gosh the “romance” is scorching!  Yes, it does deserve two mentions.

Lily is the oldest of the three Fowler sisters.  Her story is the last book in the trilogy because she’s the wild child, and the most misunderstood sister of the three.  Always in the gossip columns at this party or at that club, she’s know as the non-working party sister.  But she has a secret she doesn’t even share with her sisters and that secret has landed her in some hot water.  So she runs and hides until she figures out what to do.  And although Lily is a very public figure, she does know how to hide.  Unfortunately for her, the person she’s running from has an inside track to knowledge on how to find her.

Honestly, Lily’s book was the book I was least looking forward to reading.  I actually loathed her appearances during the first two books.  She was portrayed as selfish, lazy, and entitled.  While her sisters worked, she played.

But because there was sub-plot that arced through the first two books, I needed my closure… and, well, it was Monica Murphy so I had to read the final book.  Color me delighted because when I started reading, I found myself cheering for and wanting to be BFFs with Lily.  I think it’s a tie now between Rose and Lily for who my favorite sister is.  Lily had vulnerability, heart, smarts, and guts to do the right thing no matter how hard it was.

And then there was Max.  You’re my kind of alpha male but oh, Max… you drove me bonkers!  You never did what I wanted you to do!!!  But it all worked out in the end because yes, this is the final book and we get HEAs all around!

Serious moment: the story was well written, the plot moved steadily forward, the guy on the cover is NOT Max (IMHO), romancing was in all the right spots for maximum swoon-age, and closure was had by all.

I can’t stay serious long, sorry.

But this SERIES is great and it ended perfectly.

 

Following are my “better late than never” reviews of the first two books – NO SPOILERS.

 

 

Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy (plus Owning Violet and Stealing Rose)

Owning Violet

Series: The Fowler Sisters #1
by Monica Murphy
Published by Bantam, Random House on December 2nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

AmazonBarnes&Noble Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.

 

“Owning Violet” was my first book by Monica Murphy.  From the pose on the front cover, I was expecting a BDSM plot.  Once I started reading the story, I was both disappointed AND pleasantly surprised by the dark tale and doomed romance that Ms. Murphy wrote.  Super quick, I was over my disappointment and loved, loved, LOVED the plot of romancing the boss’s daughter for ill-gotten gains.  Trust me, I didn’t just spoil anything by telling you that little tidbit.  Here’s why..

  1. Ms. Murphy managed to surprise me with the complexity of her plot and kept me guessing until the very end of this romance.  Usually that’s what happens when you read a mystery!  But I really had no clue how I was going to get my HEA!  There were just too many variables in the mix for me to even guess what anyone was going to do in the end.

  2. Dark pasts came to light and I loved what I saw happen as a result.  You’ll just have to read to find out yourself.  Suffice it to say, a lot goes on in this romance.

  3. Violet and Ryder both do some growing up so I’m going to go out on limb and say that the personalities these two started with at the beginning of the book are very different than who they were at the end.  How did that happen?  You’ll have to read the book…

This is definitely more of an “erotic romance” than your standard, everyday “contemporary romance”.  But I don’t believe it to be gratuitous – it goes with the theme of the story.  And that is one of the main reasons why I liked this story so much.  Everything from the plot, the pace, the characters, and even the romance merged into this one great book and a start of a series… IMHO…

 

 

Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy (plus Owning Violet and Stealing Rose)

Stealing Rose

Series: The Fowler Sisters #2
by Monica Murphy
Published by Bantam, Random House on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

AmazonBarnes&Noble Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

People say the youngest child has it easy, but nothing can be further from the truth. Unlike my two sisters, Violet and Lily, I’m never in the limelight. I just work my butt off for Fleur Cosmetics and get little to no thanks for it. I’ve been pushed too far one too many times, and I’m finally brave enough to do something about it.

Maybe my newfound courage has something to do with the amazing pink and white diamond necklace I wear to the party in Cannes. The instant those dazzling heirloom jewels touch my skin, they excite some deep, aching need inside. And when that guy—that totally gorgeous guy—locks eyes with me, I know this nice girl is going to be naughty.

For once it’s my turn. My turn to say no to my father, to outshine my sisters, to walk away from it all—straight into the arms of a mysterious stranger. But what if Caden is much more than I bargained for? Sure, he makes me feel sexy and free in a way I never have before, but there’s something else I can’t quite place—something dangerous. Maybe our “chance” meeting wasn’t so random. Maybe he was looking for me for a reason. Whatever his motive, there’s no going back now.

And maybe I don’t want to.

 

I’m looking at my notes and wondering why I gave this book four stars.  I wonder that because honestly, out of the three sisters, Rose is my favorite (note: this was before “Taming Lily”).  It’s funny how you compare books before you’ve even read them all.  But I gave it a four so I’m sticking with it.

What I liked best about Rose was that she seemed to me to be a totally normal, everyday girl.  On top of that, she was sexually free of any hangups – she enjoyed sex!  She was fine with having a casual relationship with Caden, the very tall, hot guy she “bumped” into at a party.

I think why I wasn’t as ga-ga, over the moon about this story is because it didn’t have as much substance to it as the previous book did.  Rose is looking to make her place in the world.  She has her own ideas for products at her family’s cosmetics company but she can’t seem to get attention or credit for her work.  She works hard but she’s had enough.  She’s quitting the family business….

But first there’s a party in Cannes she has to attend.  It’s there that she meets Caden.  I absolutely LOVED Caden as soon has he showed up on the page.  On one hand, he was not at all like Ryder and his “darkness”.   But Caden still had a secret or two he struggled with sharing with Rose.  Rose and Caden definitely had a few hurdles to maneuver around to get to their HEA.

If you read other reviews, you might notice that quite a few people commented on the amount of sex vs. story in this book.  I personally didn’t notice anything amiss.  I was too busy sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what Caden was going to do about his secret.

Overall, I thought this was a great middle story in the trilogy.  I absolutely adored the ending.  I really can’t say enough how refreshing it was to read a character like Rose…  thank you, Monica!

 

 

Kristin

About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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3 responses to “Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy (plus Owning Violet and Stealing Rose)

  1. This series sounds good, and thank you for keeping them spoiler free. I love that you got caught up in the characters whether you loved them or if they drove you bonkers. I rarely read anything out of order, but I have tried a book in the middle if it works as a standalone
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…A New Hope by Robyn Carr

    • K

      You can pick up this one and not miss anything from the other books if you’re aiming for the wild child story. She’s that way for a reason and it’s cool what she hides and how it all ends 😉 Monica’s writing is definitely HOT if that’s what you’re looking for (*schoolgirl giggle*).