The Temptation of Lila and Ethan
By Jessica Sorensen
Series: The Secret, Book 3
My Rating: 5 Stars
The Temptation of Lila and Ethan is the third book in Jessica Sorensen’s The Secret Series. The first two books are about Ella and Micha, while this third book follows the lives of Lila and Ethan, Ella and Micha’s best friends. Over the course of the first two books the reader learns about Lila and Ethan through the perspective of Ella and Micha. As often happens with new adult genre books the books in this series focus on several characters. Though Sorensen does something a little different by moving the story line forward by switching back and forth between two sets of characters. This isn’t the first time Sorensen has done this however. She also did this in her Coincidence series. Time move in chronological order from one book to the next never covering the same time period. The reader can assume that things are moving along smoothly for the other characters during any specific book. It’s an original way to pass time for characters and to keep things a bit more realistic for the reader. Without a doubt, this method of delivering the story of these characters keeps the reader engaged and committed.
Ella and Micha have moved to California to start their lives together, leaving Lila and Ethan in Las Vegas moving on with their lives. Having met through Ella and Micha, Lila and Ethan have become close friends but only friends, despite what Ella might think is going on between them. Their friendship is deep, true and consuming. They will do anything for eachother though neither recognizes their commitment to the other until their lives get really complicated. They don’t realize how much they care and depend on each other but they are always there for each other no matter what. When one calls they drop everything to help them or be with them. They break all their rules for the other but in typical fashion they don’t see it. Both Lila and Ethan have demons that they have to face but instead of facing them they put up a wall to separate themselves from their issues. This allows them to move through life with more ease. And it works….for a time. But eventually those walls have to come down and all that’s left are the problems they have been trying to avoid.
Lila has been running from her problems for years. Her parents, should have helped her but instead they are part of the problem. They are terrible people and have cut her off from them financially. As a result, Lila is drowning in a sea of debt, despair and loneliness. Lila copes in the only way she has ever known how. But she’s about to take things too far and she may not be able to come back from it this time.
Ethan also has demons that won’t let him move on, and those demons are the reason he gave up drugs and serious relationships. As far as he’s concerned he can live like this indefinitely. He won’t allow his past to ruin how good things are now. And he’s not about to open those old wounds or to change the way he is, not for anyone. At least that’s what he keeps telling himself. But then there is Lila. She’s burrowed into his soul so deep he isn’t certain he can walk away when she needs help. He wants to but something keeps him tied to her.
Both Lila and Ethan think that if they don’t let themselves get attached to anyone they will be safe from their pasts and safe from being hurt like they once were. Their coping mechanisms have always seemed to work, but for some reason they don’t seem to be working now. As Lila reaches the limits of her abuse, Ethan will have no choice but to help her get better but he’ll have to face his demons if they are going to make anything work for them to be together. Sometimes you have to put faith and trust in another even if you could get hurt in the end.
Ok, if you read my reviews for books one and two you will know that I didn’t absolutely love them. They were perfectly good reads but not mind blowing to me. That wasn’t the case with this book. I loved this book!! I gave it a full five stars. Unlike the first two books in this series which only received three stars. Lila and Ethan’s stories were heart-wrenching and kept me hooked from page one. I never really got a good picture of Lila and Ethan from the first two books but I knew there was something more to them. Every time they were mentioned I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on there, what was hiding in those characters and their lives. I longed to know more about them. I was so happy this book was about them. They aren’t just support characters to Ella and Micha, they are complicated and diverse and vital to the storyline of Ella and Micha. They have secrets that even Ella and Micha are unaware. And while trying to be good friends, they struggle with their own issues and ultimately, in each other, they find someone to help them in their time of need. But happiness doesn’t come easy for either of them and ultimately they both have to learn to trust one another for them to be happy together. That’s a hard thing to do though when you’ve been hurt in the past, when you’ve made mistakes that you couldn’t come back from. Mistakes that had lasting affects on more than just themselves. Ultimately, I loved that this book is about forgiveness. It’s about forgiving yourself, forgiving those that have hurt you, and forgiving the outcomes of both of those.
I truly hope that Sorensen writes another book about Lila and Ethan in this series. I want to see how these characters progress and move forward. I want to see if they learn from their mistakes and can truly lead happy lives together. The fourth book in this series goes back to Ella and Micha’s story but I’ll definitely see these two characters in a new light as I read it. What a great read this was. You don’t necessarily have to read the first two books to read this book, but it does help. The first two books are definitely worth reading to get to this book. Enjoy!