by Tate James
Book 2 in the Madison Kate Series
“Liar, liar, pants on fire.”
The words scrawled on the back of my newest stalker mail makes my blood run cold. I have no idea if it's the lie I know, or one that I don't.
Since arriving back into Shadow Grove, I've been stalked, tormented, chased and almost killed. I've been lied to, repeatedly, by people I was growing to trust.
That word haunts me. Someone knows more about my life than I do. Someone is taunting me with answers and teasing me with secrets. Am I desperate enough to fall for more deception?
Archer and his boys made a huge mistake when they lied to me. They thought they could play me but they're about to learn that they've met their match. No one stabs Madison Kate and gets away with it.
Liar is the second book in Tate James Madison Kate series. It centers on Madison Kate, Archer, Max, and Kody. The book starts out approximately a few weeks after the events of the last book, with Madison in hiding. With her stalker continuing to leave threatening notes and packages, and the more that comes out that proves the guys are hiding something big, Madison doesn't know who to trust, or turn to. But one thing is for sure, Madison Kate isn't going down without a fight.
Well, that does it. Despite the problems in the first book, there was enough promise for an interesting story, with a side of steamy romances with multiple, consenting men. But Liar takes a turn, from the interesting to the ridiculous. Listen - it's a reverse harem. I expect sex. I love reading smut. But it seems like Madison, who started out as a strong character, essentially turns into a hormone-driven vessel for the guys to fuck anytime they want. Despite knowing these guys are lying about something, and are keeping something big and important from her, she just puts it all aside in order to have sex. Obviously, the guys are not the bad guys here, and they are protecting her, but how does this line up? The hot and cold thing is annoying to read, and with a plot that feels like Tate James just threw a bunch of tropes on the page, and can't decide the direction she wants to take, its just a mess.
I'm two books in. I feel like I need to see it through. And I want to know who the stalker is. And yes, after that ending, it did make me want to continue ... but honestly, unless I find a plot in the next book, no amount of steamy scenes is going to help me get past the issues.
Kody: "Babe, Archer went to all the effort of actually attending classes today. The least you can do is rub his fucking face in the fact that we're hopelessly in love and probably going to fuck loudly on the table right in front of him." Madison: "Oh, good choices, babe."
I snickered, but stayed where I was. If Archer was already acting like a bratty three-year-old, then that's exactly where I wanted to be.
Madison: "Oh really? You're not going to berate me for my high-fat, high-sugar choices?"
Kody: "Fuck no,"
Kody replied, looking outraged.
Kody: "Any sane man knows not to tell a woman how to eat. If pizza and chocolate gave you this banging body, I'm all fucking for it. Eat up." Madison: "I understand the rules you're laying out, Dad,"
I responded with my very best calm voice, given the circumstances.
Madison: "And, respectfully, go fuck yourself." Spinning around, I speared Steele with an acidic death glare.
Madison: "Oh look, there goes my appetite."
Holding his gaze, I dropped my full bowl of breakfast into the sink with a crash and wiped my hands off on my jeans.
Madison: "Something about the stench of betrayal always turns my stomach." Archer: "You're actually kind of adorable when you're asleep, Princess Danvers."
He delivered it as such casual commentary, like we hadn't whispered our hatred of each other in the darkness of my bedroom. I shot a glare at him, waiting for the punchline. He didn't look at me, though, as he maneuvered into a new parking space—his usual one, along with Steele's, was still taped off. He stopped the car and killed the engine before turning to me with a sly smirk.
Archer: "Mainly because you're silent." Bree: "Those three are the walking dictionary definition of bromance, girl. They give all new meaning to the phrase bros before hos."
Madison: "Not that I'm a ho. But it rhymes." Madison: "I've thought about plenty of things, girl. Doesn't mean I'm going to act on any of them. Besides, could you imagine Archer actually trying to share a woman?"
I laughed at my own mental image in an attempt to ignore what a turn-on that idea was.
Madison: "Pretty sure he would struggle to share a burrito, let alone a taco... if you catch my drift."
Bree laughed so hard I worried she was going to choke on her food, so I sat up slightly and frowned at her.
Madison: "Damn, dude, it wasn't that funny."
She couldn't reply, though. She was red-faced and laughing into her hand while looking... over my shoulder. Ah fuck. Tilting my head back, I met Kody's smiling green eyes.
Madison: "Well. I should have seen that one coming,"
I muttered. His grin was wide and his eyes full of amusement, as well as raw, hungry desire.
Kody: "I dunno, MK, Arch is pretty good at sharing when the incentive is right." Kody: "I'm not concerned, you dick. I just want to watch her punch you in the fucking face for messing around on her. Violent MK turns me on." Archer was watching me with barely concealed glee, like he was waiting for my head to explode, and all I could think was... damn, these two are dumb as fuck. Madison: "Kody,"
I breathed, my voice dripping with desperation,
Madison: "either make me come or get the fuck out. The water will run cold soon."
He huffed a laugh, then bit the bend of my neck with enough teeth to make it a threat but light enough not to break skin. Just.
Kody: "I love when you get all sappy romantic like that, MK. It's easily one of my favorite things about you." I didn't have any pockets in my dress, so for lack of any better ideas, I pulled the hem of my dress up, unhooked one of the suspenders from my stocking, and looped it through the blade handle before reattaching it. I tucked the bulk of the knife into the lace band at the top of my stocking, then gasped as the car swerved sharply.
Kody: "Whoa, what the fuck?"
Kody asked from the backseat.
Kody: "First time driving, bro?"
Archer's scowl was firmly fixed on the road, his knuckles white on the steering wheel.
he muttered from behind clenched teeth.
Archer: "Thought I hit a squirrel."
Kody and Steele made jokes about Archer's shitty driving, but I just side-eyed him. Squirrel, my ass.
Kody: "So impatient, Max."
Max: "Quit calling me that,"
Steele growled back at him as he palmed my breasts and rolled my nipples,
Max: "and check the top drawer."
Kody did as he was told, fishing out a little bottle of lube and a couple of condoms.
Kody: "Why? MK calls you Max."
Max: "MK is about to let us double team her, dickhead; she can call me anything she damn wants. You can't."
Steele's glare was totally serious, and I just shrugged.
Madison: "He's got a point, maybe he’ll let you if we switch places?"
Kody: "Nah, I'm good where I am, thanks." Madison: "Whores get paid to fuck, Arch,"
I clapped back with a sarcastic smile,
Madison: "and no amount of money on Earth would make me fuck you. But hey, I bet your hand is feeling pretty used and abused today. Maybe you should chuck yourself a couple of bucks for all the wanking you must've done listening to us last night."
I downed the rest of my coffee in one sip and dropped my cup into the sink, then raised both my middle fingers to both Archer and Jase on my way out of the kitchen. Madison: "I'll make this quick,"
I told Archer, cutting to the chase before I could lose my nerve.
Madison: "You and Kody are having fighter-trainer issues because it's driving you completely insane that he's doing unspeakable things to me and rubbing it in your face. You're jealous as fuck, and it's consuming your brain when you should be focusing on this fight."
His brow twitched, and his eyes narrowed at me.
Archer: "Is that a question or a statement, Princess?"
I snapped back.
Madison: "So here's how it's going to go. You lose this fight, and I'm going to force you to watch while I suck Kody's dick at the after party."
Archer's brows shot right up, and he let out a small laugh.
Archer: "How are you going to force me to do anything, Princess?"
I let a cruel smile pull my lips.
Madison: "I have my ways, sunshine. Wanna test them?"
His eyes narrowed again, and he swiped his thumb over his lower lip.
Archer: "Alright, and what if I win?"
Madison: "Win the fight and find out."
Over the speakers the commentator boomed out Archer's intro, and I gave him a challenging grin.
Madison: "Sounds like you're up, big guy."
I clapped him on the shoulder and gave his muscles a squeeze because I couldn't help myself.
Madison: "I better go touch up my lipstick because it's probably going to end up smeared all around the base of Kody's cock later. Loser."
The vein over Archer's temple throbbed, and I turned away from him before I cracked up. Of course, Steele and Kody got the full force of my grin, and that only seemed to confuse the fuck out of them.