5-star reads,  F/M,  Romance

Lies & Lullabies (Hush Note #1) by Sarina Bowen

Coming September 22nd 

So, this one was a bit of a roller-coaster for me. Not only because of the emotional story – even though that did indeed contribute – but rather because of the trope.

Synopsis: This is the story of Kira and Jonas. They meet during a summer that Jonas spends writing songs in Kira’s small home town. Kira doesn’t know he’s a rock star and when he leaves at summer’s end, she doesn’t know she’s pregnant. Five years later, Jonas rolls back into town and is confronted with a little girl that looks just like him. Jonas had never forgotten the magical summer he spent with Kira. And Kira isn’t prepared to feel the same attraction to Jonas that she did five years earlier. But is reconnecting even possible after Jonas’ lies and Kira’s secrecy?

But first a bit of backstory. I need to start from the beginning and explain that Sarina Bowen is one of my favourite authors. As such, I don’t really bother with reading the blurbs for upcoming books because I know I’ll love whatever she writes. And so, I didn’t know what Lies & Lullabies was about until I started in on the read. Then, when I realised where the story was headed, and that the trope in question was actually a pet peeve of mine, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I felt disappointment and even a little resentment because I didn’t think Bowen would be able to pull it off, and I wasn’t prepared to be let down by her. (Yes, just like a creepy fan-girl, I absolutely feel more emotionally connected to my favourite authors than what’s probably healthy).

The funny thing is, I actually loooove the secret baby-trope. I mean, the idea of a secret love-child, it doesn’t get more romantic than that. But my issue with that particular type of plot-line is that so very few authors can use it while also keeping the baby-mama from appearing cold-hearted and selfish. And I get that. It’s hard to make up a plausible excuse for a woman keeping a baby a secret from the father, especially for several years, while still keeping her likable.

But I kept reading. And I was sucked in despite my reservations. Because OMG what a story this was! So for a while I loved the story while still holding a grudge against Kira. But I just couldn’t keep that up. I tried resenting Kira for keeping her daughter a secret, but Bowen practically forced me to forgive her. And that’s some amazing writing right there.

This lovestory basically has it all. It’s so warm and genuine with the most lovable couple. Both Kira and Jonas have their flaws, but they’re mostly just insecure and scared of being rejected and hurt while they try to find their way back to each other. So this is an absolutely wonderful low-key romance. Sure, there are ups and downs, but both Kira and Jonas are very down-to-earth and not the least prone to dramatics. It’s refreshing and so very heart-warming.

Another thing I absolutely adored about this story was the depth with which the supporting characters were portrayed. They weren’t just there as props in the world-building. They were characters in their own right with intriguing personalities and stories of their own. Kira’s brother Adam even had a couple of his own chapters and that was bloody genius.

So this is an absolutely amazing romance – despite the little issue of the child-hiding – and if you’re looking for top notch, feel-good romance Lies & Lullabies is the way to go.

There’s no question about whether I’ll read the two upcoming Hush Note installments Rifts & Refrains and Muses & Melodies, because I will. But I need more than that. I need Adam’s and Ethan’s story too, so I just hope that Bowen realize what kind of craving she’s stirred up with this story and that she’ll do something about it. Soon.


I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).