Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review: True (True Believers #1) by Erin McCarthy

True (True Believers #1)
by Erin McCarthy
Published:  May 7, 2013
Publisher:  InterMix - Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
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My Thoughts:  Rory Macintosh is in college studying to be a doctor.  She is very smart, very shy, somewhat of an introvert, and she's a virgin.  Her two roomates, Kylie and Jessica happen to be beautiful, outgoing, party girls, and like to hookup with guys.  When they find out Rory is a virgin they decide they are going to help her out.  Tyler Mann is the bad boy type.  He's is studying to be an EMT.  He is super hot, tattooed, smokes, drinks, and is in high demand with the ladies to.  He saves Rory from a really bad situation, kind of like her knight in shining armor.  Her friend's find out about her crushing on Tyler and decide to help her out by soliciting Tyler to seduce and sleep with Rory.  Tyler has wanted to get to know Rory anyway so he didn't need to be solicited to do so, a fact he keeps to himself.  The more time they spend together, the closer they become, but then Rory overhears her roomates talking about Tyler and how they payed him.  It hurts her really badly and she is totally humiliated, but she believes her roommates had good intentions.

Rory has a very low self-esteem when it comes to guys and is socially awkward anyway, so she kind of belittles herself into the realization that there is no way someone like Tyler would truly want her.  What she doesn't know is that Tyler did truly want her, but believes she is too good for him.  Rory thinks as long as her roommates believe they had sex with him that Tyler will take the money and just leave her alone if she doesn't say anything, so when he continues to call her, text her, and wants to spend time with her, she finds it very confusing.  Tyler has had a very bad home life, his mother's a junkie, and he and his older brother Riley pretty much take care of they two younger brothers.  When Rory sees Tyler's situation and meets his brothers, she falls in love with him even more.  Eventually they own up to their feelings for one another and things seem to be going pretty good, but then something happens that threatens to tear them apart forever.  They come face-to-face with barriers of social and economic status, the expectations of parents, and feelings of not being good enough.  Will love be enough to truly conquer all?

I really enjoyed True.  I actually read Sweet, book two in this series first, and now I am glad I did because it was about Jessica, one of Rory's roommates and BFFs.  I did not care for her in this book, but I totally got her and liked her in Sweet.  I liked Rory, but I also felt really bad for her.  She handled the things that happened to her well, even the whole paying Tyler thing, but I really thought she should have made more of a fuss about that.  I did like seeing her gradually come out of her shell with Tyler, despite the hurtful things she endured during the process.  I liked Tyler and was impressed with him, especially the way he handled his brothers and his mom, but I also was kind of perturbed with the whole sexual situation and some of the things that he did both before and after he got with Rory. Overall though, he is a really great guy, despite the fact that he beats himself up over things he can't help or change.  The story itself was well-paced, very well written, and it kept my attention.  I enjoyed getting to know the secondary characters also.  The romance was hot and I enjoyed the relationship that developed between Tyler and Rory.  The story also deals with some hard to deal with social situations, something that adds a lot to the story and are heartbreaking in the process.  True is a really great contemporary romance that I did enjoy and would recommend to contemporary romance fans.
"Do you want anything?" Jessica asked.
"A gun to shoot myself."  My head felt like someone was repeatedly taking a sledgehammer to it, and my stomach felt like the lining had been manually torn out by werewolves and replaced with maggots crawling up my throat.  And I wasn't being over-dramatic.  I felt like ass.  Like two-day-old roadkill.  Like chewing gum on the bottom of a chicken's foot.  Who'd been hit by a car.  

That was me. Totally stupid. Really, was it so shocking to think that a guy like Tyler didn’t have the purest of intentions. No. It wasn’t. But that didn’t make it hurt any less.”

“There was no way Tyler Mann was interested in me. He wasn’t. He wouldn’t be.”

“Wow. Getting sassy, aren't you?" "I am, aren't I?" I asked in amazement. "I didn't know I knew how to do that.” 

“I'm sure once he recovers from the muscle tone and tattoos he'll be fine.' 
Good thing he didn't know about the penis piercing. That would give him a heart attack. Or the fact that I had seen the penis piercing.” 

“Our relationship felt like a Christmas gift that you hadn’t asked for and weren’t expecting to receive, but the minute you saw it, you knew it was perfect for you.” 

“A movie playing on the TV screen in front of us. Some sort of bad Tom Cruise drama. I've never liked Tom Cruise. He always reminded me of someone's creepy cousin, who smiles too big before he touches your butt and whispers something gross in your ear with hot whiskey breath.” 

I sobbed for the little girl I had been, who had never understood why I didn't just fit in, and for the realization that I never would. That my life was meant to be walked alone, with a thin plastic barrier pulled taut between me and everyone else, my thoughts never capable of running parallel with the majority of human beings. In the world of Stellas and Stanleys and Blanche, I was destined to be Harold. 

Erin McCarthy is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres.  The author is a RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award.  She lives in Ohio.  

Visit Erin online:

See my review of Sweet and an interview with Erin McCarthy here.  
Sweet (True Believers #2)
by Erin McCarthy
Published:  October 15, 2013
Publisher:  InterMix
Sold by:  Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house. 

Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself. 

Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…


  1. I have been curious about this series. I am glad that you liked both books.

  2. I've heard great things about this series! I'm glad you enjoyed the first one!

  3. It seems a lot of readers truly enjoy this series. I have True, and will definitely make time for it. Great review, Ellen!

    1. I hope you enjoy them. I thought both books were really good.

  4. Great review Ellen! I think I'm going to enjoy reading this one. Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Awesome review -- you definitely intrigued me, and I'm adding this to my TBR immediately!!

    1. Thank you. I really have enjoyed this series so far.

  6. That's funny that you read Sweet first. Jessica is tough to like in True, but you're right, she's sweet in SWEET! lol Glad you liked this one too. I can't wait for Robin's book.

  7. I'm starting this one soon, can't wait! Great review :)

    1. I hope you like it. Can't wait to hear what you think.


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