At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface.
Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her.
But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of.
Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life.
This book sealed the deal for me, and I’m now a lifelong Julie Cross fan. I have loved every book I’ve read of hers, and the Eleanor Ames series are my absolute favorites!
Hiding Lies is the second book in the Eleanor Ames series and is a fast paced, YA adventure thriller that kept me guessing the entire time. These books are best read in order to completely understand the back story of the different characters and to get the total enjoyment from the series.
I don’t want to give away any of the plot for fear of spoilers for book one, Chasing Truth, but I can say that Ellie Ames is an absolute delight to read about, and she’s got a fun, snarky personality that I highly enjoyed. Hiding Lies is super fast paced, and moves along at a speedy clip. Those that felt Chasing Truth was a bit slow, will find that Hiding Lies is much more action packed and quicker paced. Hiding Lies really delves into Ellie’s past, and we learn a lot more about her con welding family, and how they’ve always managed to stay one step ahead of the game.
Miles Beckett is back in Hiding Lies, and hotter than ever. I have such a crush on this junior FBI agent, and I love how fierce and protective he is of Ellie. Also back, and playing a major role is Dominic, who we learned a little bit about in the first book. In this one, we really get to know more about his personality and see what he’s really about.
Julie Cross has done a great job on these books and these characters, and I need more. I’m hoping that we’re being set up for a third book so my fingers are definitely crossed!
Excerpt from Hiding Lies
My feet have been dangling. I start to lift them up, attempting to conceal myself. But I’m not fast enough. Warm fingers wrap around my ankle.
“Got you,” the guy says. “How long have you been up there spying on me?”
“Spying? On you?” I shake my head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m waiting for someone. He’ll be here any second.”
The hot guy takes the binoculars and looks them over, analyzing the zoom-in and recording switches hidden on the underside. “Fancy. Not exactly for recreational use.”
That’s because they’re Aidan’s. My sister’s boyfriend. Up until two weeks ago, when he was forced to resign, Aidan was a Secret Service agent. He used all kinds of spy gear in his former job—like these high-tech night-vision binoculars.
I hop down from the tree, assessing the intruder, searching for body language that says friend or enemy, even though I already know the answer. No harm in having a little extra practice. Role-play is definitely a skill of mine, but it’s also a muscle that must be worked regularly. “Just so you know, I am trained in self-defense. Wouldn’t try anything if I were you.”
“Yeah?” He lifts an eyebrow. “That’s good because this place is sketchy as hell.”
We both glance around the deserted warehouse building beside us, the vandalized lumberyard nearby, and the questionable items strewn across the walkway leading to the giant warehouse door—condom wrappers, broken beer bottles, cigarette butts.
“You’re right, it’s sketchy,” I say. “I better take off before something bad happens.”
“Wait…” Hot Guy reaches for me, his fingers curling around my waist. He tugs me until my back rests against the tree and we’re hidden from anyone on the street. “Tell me about this other guy you’re waiting on.”
I stare up at him, taking in the cocky smirk, perfectly messy dark hair, and blue eyes that hold dozens of secrets. “What other guy?”
He grins, showing off two perfect dimples to go with the rest of his perfects. “Good answer.”
Then, before I can refocus on the role I’ve been playing, he leans down and kisses me. It’s only been a week but feels like a month. Maybe longer. His cheeks are cold, but his lips are warm and tender. I bring him closer and closer until his slinged arm is lodged between us.
“Miles,” I mumble against his lips.
“Miles,” I repeat, too caught up in this kiss to celebrate the slip he just made. “That’s hisname. The guy I’m waiting on.”
“Miles. Sounds like an asshole. Forget him.” He pulls away just enough to see my face. His good hand rests against my cheek. He looks like he’s about to dive into kissing me again but hesitates. “It’s really cold out here.”
“And sketchy,” I add. “Why would you pick a place like this? You can’t coast forever on the whole mysterious-hot-guy persona. So if that’s your plan, I’d rather meet at the Y or Planet Fitness like a normal person.”
He rolls his eyes. “Yes, that’s my goal in life. Devote all my time to training to be a spy so I can impress girls.”
Book One in the Eleanor Ames Series
When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.
Eleanor might not trust him – she doesn’t even like him – but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he could be the killer.
Chasing Truth is the first book in the Eleanor Ames series and is an action packed adventure thriller, with just the right amount of romance mixed in. Once I started this one, I couldn’t put it down. Julie Cross is a gifted writer, who keeps me on my toes the whole time I’m reading, and through me for more than one loop throughout the pages of this book.
Eleanor “Ellie” Ames, is a reformed con artist, who is now living with her sister Harper, and Harper’s Secret Service boyfriend, Adian. Now enrolled at the pregistious Holden Prep, Ellie is still dealing with the apparent suicide of her best friend Simon, and trying to fit in among the it crowd. But when her new neighbor Miles Beckett enters the pictures, everything changes, and Ellie finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about Simon’s death. Ellie and Miles are reluctant partners, and at first, hate each other. However, finding that they can’t resist the pull towards each other, they begin to work together to see if they can solve the real reason behind Simon’s death. What they don’t anticipate is the twisted web of lies and deceit they will encounter as the night of the suicide begins to unravel before them.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I really enjoy a good thriller, and I don’t think there’s anything better than a good YA thriller. They normally lack a lot of the violence that I find in adult thrillers, and normally involve a cute little romance. Chasing Truth hit every single mark on my list of things I look for in a five star read. There was plenty of action and thrills, enough red herrings to keep me off the scent of the real killer, and a pretty decent romance that had me blushing and smiling. The other thing that I adore about Julie’s books is her characters. And not just the main characters. Julie writes fantastic side characters that always bring so much to the story. Their tales are just as important as those of the main characters, and I loved how she wove them all together, and created such an exciting mash up of different story lines.
Overall, this was a great, fun, and exciting read, and I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2, Hiding Lies. This is exactly what I needed to get me out of my romance slump, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures Julie has in story of Ellie and Miles.
About the Author
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.
Author Website: http://juliecrossbooks.com/
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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3429117.Julie_Cross