Book Reviews, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Tragic Lies by L.A. Cotton

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Tragic Lies; Rixon High #2
(An interconnected standalone within a series)

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Forbidden/Age-Gap/Emotional Grief/New Adult Romance

Author: L.A. Cotton

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



An age gap romance that is emotional and full of heartbreaking moments.

People can connect on all different levels, but finding that connection with someone over tragedy and feeling that same depth of pain, suffering, and turmoil is something on a whole different level. These kind of connections can be almost unbreakable, but they can also be horribly fragile.

Xander and Peyton both have suffered terrible loss in their young lives. They also are connected by an event that raised Xander onto a pedestal, one he never wanted to be placed on, but in a turn of events he found he took just as much as he gave and Peyton was also placed on a similar pedestal.

These two were beyond just forbidden, since Peyton was quickly approaching the age of eighteen. Age was just a number when it came to their life experiences. Their forbidden story was wrapped up more in the school-student relationship and the power position Xander had as he was a leader over the youth.

Questions consumed their thoughts as to how the community would perceive them; Did Xander take a power position and force himself on Peyton? Did he use his persuasion as an adult over her youth naive mind? While none of this may have happened, these kinds of questions would always surround them as the circumstances they met under would always be under scrutiny.

There will always be social judgement on age gap relationships, or the way these two found one another, but truly anyone that would have stopped and asked their story, like Bryon, (I can hardly wait to see him get his HEA), he understood. He may not have been happy for his own reasons, but he understood because he took the time to ask.

I love how L.A. Cotton approached this story of two people who were so broken by their life situations. It was a book that begged to ask; can a relationship founded on grief, social tension, and built on lies last?

Tragic Lies is filled with a lot of sadness and it’s also wrapped up in lots of grief, but it also is a book that shows with time and support it does gets better. L.A. Cotton does a great job of pulling out all of the emotions at just the right time and I loved getting to know Xander more as a grown man. He deserved so much love and Peyton is a special girl to give it to him.


From bestselling author L A Cotton, comes a forbidden age-gap romance. Angst… drama… friendship… and football. Will you survive senior year?

Peyton Myers has always been the life of the party.

But behind her smile and sass is a girl lost and alone, searching for her place in the world.

Xander Chase has always been on the outside looking in.

But behind his cool indifference and hard exterior is a guy afraid to open his heart to anyone.

When he saves Peyton from a tragic accident, their lives are entwined forever. But Xander’s not the hero of her story… no matter how much she wants him to be.

She’s a girl with her whole life ahead of her.
He’s a guy who is drifting through life.
And although these two lost souls might be able to heal each other, there’s one glaring problem.

She’s still in high school…

And completely forbidden.

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