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Beloved Liar (The Reed Rivers Trilogy #3)
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Secrets have now been revealed . . . lies uncovered . . . and stubborn walls broken down. Reed always says everyone’s got a price . . . It’s been his mantra for as long as he’s had money in the bank. And now, he’s desperately trying to figure out Georgina’s before it’s too late.
The scorching-hot love story of Reed and Georgina began as a simple game of cat and mouse, a game of seduction between a music mogul and a young, aspiring journalist. In the beginning, both sides considered themselves the hunter. Both sides thought they were running the game. But what unfolded between them was an unexpected bond neither of them saw coming. A once-in-a-lifetime soul connection. Unfortunately, though, betrayals and lies have come between them now, leaving two hearts on the brink of total decimation . . .
Will the truth finally set Reed and Georgina free to find the happiness they both so desperately desire . . . or have they lost their chance at love forever?
BELOVED LIAR is the third book of the standalone REED RIVERS TRILOGY. The full trilogy is BAD LIAR, BEAUTIFUL LIAR, and BELOVED LIAR, to be read in order.
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Playlist for Beloved Liar
“You and Me”—James TW
“Oh, Darling”—The Beatles
“I Don’t Want to Get Over You”—The Magnetic Fields
“Bad Liar”—Imagine Dragons
“Love the Way You Lie”—Eminem
“Ready to Let Go”—Cage the Elephant
“Adore You”—Harry Styles
It’s a temperate Sunday afternoon in the Hollywood Hills. The perfect day for Hazel Hennessy’s first birthday party on her parents’ small backyard patio. The birthday girl is sitting in a highchair, wearing a bib that reads, “I’m the Birthday Girl, Bitches!” Her party guests, other than me, are crowded around her, singing “Happy Birthday,” while her proud mommy stands over her with a white cupcake topped with Elmo and her smiling daddy records the occasion on his phone.
And where is Uncle Reed in this happy moment? Nowhere good. He’s slumped in a chair in a corner of the patio, slugging his third Bloody Mary, while drowning in a dark and stormy sea of soul-searing regret.
It’s been sixteen hours since she took off in that Uber with her stepsister, without looking back, leaving me to wallow in a brand of pain I didn’t even know existed. What I’m feeling in this torturous moment is the kind of pain artists sing about in their most tormented breakup songs. The kind of pain I’ve heard other people talk or sing about and immediately thought to myself, “Get over it, you fucking pussy. Move on to the next and you’ll be fine.”
And now, here I am, wallowing in misery, drowning in Bloody Marys, and certain I’ll never “get over it” or “move on to the next and be fine” ever again.
My phone vibrates in my hand, and I look down, praying I’ll see Georgina’s name. But, no. It’s Owen, telling me something I don’t care about. Goddammit! Why won’t Georgina respond to any of my texts or voicemails? I mean, yes, I know why. Because, last night, in a space of mere minutes, Georgina got hit by a shit storm trifecta that made her question everything. In rapid-fire succession, Georgina figured out I’d funded the grant, she found her stepsister sobbing in an upstairs guest room, thanks to a speech I’d given to her about her demo, and, worst of all, Georgina discovered me coming out of the garage with Isabel, right after I’d kissed her. In that horrible moment that’s now running on a permanent loop in my brain, Georgina saw Isabel’s smudged lipstick and the guilty expression on my face and decided, wrongly, that I’d fucked the living hell out of Isabel in that garage, rather than merely giving her an ill-advised goodbye kiss. And, just like that, Georgina’s trust in me was shattered, along with her precious heart. And now, I’m rightfully paying the price for my stupidity.
Out of nowhere, an idea pops into my head. A lifeline. An ingenious idea that will prove to Georgina I did nothing more than kiss Isabel. Granted, this idea wouldn’t fully exonerate me in Georgina’s eyes, since touching Isabel at all was wrong. A betrayal I wish, more than anything, I could take back. But, still, at least this idea would put an end to Georgina thinking I screwed the crap out of Isabel in that garage. At least, Georgina wouldn’t be thinking I cared so little about her, and our magical week together, that I took the first possible opportunity to screw my ex. And, maybe, knowing I’m not that big a monster would soften the blow a bit for Georgina and then, hopefully, pave the way for her to eventually forgive me.
My mind begins turning this idea over. Looking at it from every angle. Weighing the pros and cons. And, soon, much to my dismay, I conclude it’s a non-starter. Surely, it would create more problems than it solved. Shit.
I take another long swig of my Bloody Mary, and sigh from the depths of my tormented soul. I just wish Georgina would call me, if only to chew me out or interrogate me about the grant. CeeCee is still in Bali, so I’m presently Georgina’s only source of enlightenment about the grant. Doesn’t she want to hear what I have to say about how that happened? Does she hate me so much she literally never wants to hear my voice again? Because, if so, then I’ve got some bad news for her. She’s still assigned to the special issue—including writing an in-depth article about me—and I fully intend to hold her to her professional obligations.
The crowd reaches the last note of their song, and I let my eyes drift to Josh’s former assistant, T-Rod. Theresa “Tessa” Rodriguez. Nowadays, Morgan. The Woman I’ve Wanted to Fuck for Ten Years. She’s standing next to her asshole husband, Ryan, holding a dark-haired baby on her hip, as Ryan holds their toddler’s hand. And, man, she’s smoking hot. Hotter than ever. Motherhood definitely suits her. But there’s no doubt about it: I don’t want T-Rod. Not even in a fantasy. Sitting here now, I know, without a doubt, the only woman I want, the only one my heart and body are capable of wanting, is Georgina.