Review: The Man I Thought I Loved (Two-Faced #2) by E.L.Todd

TitleThe Man I Thought I Loved
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  Independent 9/24/20
Length:  186 Pages
Series: Two-Faced #2

Overview

Two-Faced.

That’s exactly what he is.

A liar.

I’ve already been ripped into a million pieces before, and I don’t have the strength to do it again. Thankfully, he didn’t have much of me to begin with. I was smart about it, not giving my heart away as easily as my body.

But he’s still there…everywhere.

My friends tell me to forgive and forget, to give him another chance.

Sure, I can forgive.

But never forget.

My Thoughts

We had an introduction to this series that was fairly surface level and in this second installment, it’s great to see that the bar is just a bit low, that way we can excel. We know that there was something great developing between Dax and Carson, but we also saw that trust was paramount to everything and there was a significant loss in that when Carson learned Dax’s true identity.

The chance for them to be happy is almost non-existent even though it’s clear that there’s still intense chemistry. She walks away and wants nothing to do with him and he has no choice but to fight. He realizes quickly though that it’s a losing battle and that there’s no convincing Carson to think about his lie as being something that wasn’t consequential.

Dax slips back into his playboy ways, even though Carson is the only girl that he wants. Carson surprisingly doesn’t go back to her Boy Toy ways but we don’t really know if it’s because she’s in denial about how she feels about Dax or if she’s just put off men entirely.

Knowing that their friendship groups are now intermingled, these two call a truce of sorts. They agree to be friends, and what we see from here takes this book to a deeper level. We watch a true friendship develop – we see Dax and Carson open up to each other in a more fulfilling way and grow to be true friends. It gives Dax hope, and when he makes his move again, he is shot down. Carson is firm in her answer of ‘NO’.

Enter Evan, Carson’s ex-husband, and his reappearance changes everything. Her heart is broken all over again once she realizes that he’s remarried so quickly, and when he tries to approach her, she tries to act brave and powerful, but is scared beyond means, because she doesn’t want to have all those emotions brought up again on how she failed in her marriage. Luckily for her, Dax is there and takes matters into his own hands, and from there we see the trajectory of the story change. The future is still unknown, but there’s a new path to go down.

There are a few side stories here as well. We watch Charlie navigate his feelings for Denise (Carson’s sister) while trying to be caring about Kat (his ex)’s feelings. It’s a mess and while everyone’s trying to be sensitive, there’s really only so much a person can take. We also watch the evolution of Dax’s sister Renee’s relationship with her boyfriend William, and see how he’s welcomed into the family (or not) and what that means for the future. It’s a sweet next piece to the story and i’m intrigued to see where book three takes us since the title is a bit daunting. On that note, Enjoy!

Review: The Man I Thought I Knew (Two-Faced #1) by E.L. Todd

TitleThe Man I Thought I knew
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  Independent 9/5/20
Length:  178 Pages
Series: Two-Faced #1

Overview

A real man.FINALLY.Chiseled eight pack? Yep, he’s got it.That shadow on a sharp jawline? Yep, two for two.So charming you want to scream? Definitely.Not all intimidated by my success? Check.Pretty much perfect? Ooooh yeaaahhh.All that man…just for me.But I’m an investigative reporter for the biggest newspaper in the country, so it’s my job to pick up on details, to see the signs that other people miss. I’m not afraid of danger. Not even afraid of dying.And there’s definitely something about this man that I’m missing…I’ve got a caboose that doesn’t quit, so I will get to the bottom of this.Every man has two faces. I’ve seen one side…but what about the other?

My Thoughts

It’s been a while since i’ve read something by EL Todd and it’s an interesting re-introduction into a series. The story itself has a lot of legs, but i’ll be honest, the way that the characters talk don’t really match their pedigree and the image that we get through the descriptions.

We start off from Carson’s point of view. She’s a Harvard educated journalist who’s worked her way up in The New York Press to get the good stories to write – the ones that are dangerous, that require a specific touch and an angle. She’s put herself in danger time and time again, and honestly, it’s what she needs since her personal life imploded. We learn that she was married and that her husband cheated on her, and as a result, she’s got thicker walls up than most people. She refuses to get close to anyone, and instead has her ‘Boy Toys’ . It’s one night, in a bar, when she’s working on a story that her life changes.

Enter Dax – a sexy as all heck man, who exudes power even in his t-shirt and jeans. He recognizes Carson’s fire, just by overhearing a conversation and decides that he wants to know more. While he accepts the sex only nature of a relationship, we realize quickly that he’s a good guy and maybe wants more.

We spend the bulk of this story watching them dance around the idea of being something more. Being something real. Both are hot off divorces with spouses who burned them pretty badly. They aren’t willing to trust easily, but they both realize that there’s more than just a physical connection.

The Dax we know is a guy who seems to make ends meet, he says he’s in finance and he’s able to afford nice things, yet his apartment is sparse. Carson lives with a co-worker and doesn’t really splurge on things, and doesn’t care about materials or wealth. As a journalist though, her spidey sense peaks when she feels like something is off with Dax but she decides not to investigate him because that’s not what a relationship is about. That comes to bite her in the butt, when she learns who he is and what that means to her.

It’s a shallow level introduction to the series, where we don’t know what the outcome will be since there are so many implications both personally and professionally, but we know that Dax seems to have ingratiated himself into the life of Carson and her friends that i’m sure it’s not the last of him. On top of that story line though, we do get what our author is known for, some of the steamiest scenes that are hot and descriptive and make you wonder what you’re doing wrong in your own life to not find a partner as open, wld and sexy as these two. I guess this means that we’ll have to go and pick up book two and see what comes next. Enjoy!