Jaynie Cumberland has no idea how to trust again, so she’s given up on trying. Dumped in to the state foster care system at age fourteen, Jaynie spent three years treading water, just trying to get by. Still, Jaynie always knew she was broken in some way. After all, why did her own mother abandon her? And following a harrowing experience at her first foster home, Jaynie’s worst fears are confirmed, leaving her feeling worthless and shattered.
Now Jaynie counts the days till she turns eighteen and can go out on her own. All she wants is to be free of everyone and everything. But before that can happen, she must make it through the next few months at one final foster home. There Jaynie meets a gorgeous, albeit rough-around-the-edges, boy who is dealing with the repercussions of his own turbulent past.
Flynn O’Neill is immediately taken with this new, fragile girl. He becomes determined to show Jaynie there is more to life than hurt and pain. Unfortunately, this new home they live in, one that promised to be a haven for unwanted kids, is more like a living hell. So what do you do when you’re trapped and there’s no way out? What if you fall in love and protecting the other person becomes the most important thing in your life? What if something unthinkable happens, testing your love, and the stakes are raised higher than ever? Will you come out unscathed? Can today’s promises be kept? Or will they simply become more of tomorrow’s lies? Tomorrow’s Lies is a beautiful story of an all-consuming love and broken people building a family out of nothing. It’s about never giving up, even in the face of adversity.
*mature content and possible triggers*
I finished this book in a single sitting, walked out of my bedroom at 12:30 in the morning, looked at my husband and said, “Well that was a soul-crushing read.” In short, a very typical S.R. Grey read 🙂
Jaynie Cumberland sees herself as a victim, a girl broken by a monster. Her seriously selfish mother abandoned her to the foster care system in which she was raped repeatedly while the state spent six weeks getting the paperwork in order to have her removed from the home. Never, ever would she have imagined that the awful is only just beginning for her. The new home Jaynie is placed in has a wonderful reputation and though everything appears to be fine, appearances are often deceptive. Jaynie’s new home is far from fine and she quickly figures out she is a prisoner in what amounts to a labor camp. The days are long, the work is demanding, and if the daily quotas aren’t met then food is withheld.
Flynn O’Neill has been in the house of horrors for far longer than Jaynie and has learned how to work the system to the best of his abilities. He swipes extra nutrition bars where he can, he does most of the heavy lifting for the girls and smaller kids, he has discovered a place of solitude he rarely shares with others, and he has an escape plan should the situation ever get too hairy. He is friends with Mandy and co-care-taker of the young twins, but Jaynie is a cat of a different color. From the moment Flynn sees Jaynie his life is changed. Flynn is just as damaged as Jaynie and recognizes her hurt but he also sees something more, a survivor. Despite what he has been through, Flynn is patient and kind and knows, without doubt or reservation that Jaynie is worth the wait.
As their days pass by, the older of the three (Mandy, Jaynie, and Flynn) do their best to help the twins and each other to survive the ever-increasing abuse. When Mandy is kicked out just days before her 18th birthday, the only stability the group has known is gone and Flynn and Jaynie become the object of their jailor’s hatred. Though they intended to leave on their respective eighteenth birthdays, the situation becomes so dire that Jaynie and Flynn put their emergency escape plan into action. After insuring Jaynie’s escape, Flynn has every intention of following her to both freedom and safety until the moment his life becomes a whole new level of hell and he is forced to give up Jaynie.
The Bottom Line: S.R. Grey has the unique ability to make me totally OK with soul-crushing angsty, awfulness. From the very beginning, this read is filled with what I am hoping are extreme and totally fictional situations. What these KIDS – and they are kids – have to deal with and overcome is beyond horrifying and a testament to their will to survive. One of the things I like most about S.R. Grey’s books, this one included, is her ability to overwhelm the reader with the bad and then, just when you think you can’t take anymore, there is a brilliant bright spot of joy and happiness. There are some truly beautiful moments in this read but they are few and far between and totally worth the wait. Other than the completely wretched, they had better rot in hell characters I am supposed to hate, I liked everyone for a variety of reasons. Though each of the good characters shares a terrible background as a foster kid, they aren’t defined by this background. Each character is an individual with his or her own story that is wrapped up by the end of the read. As is typical with Grey’s reads, this story does not have a cliffhanger but it also isn’t the end of the road.
S.R. Grey is an Amazon Top 100 and Barnes & Noble #1 Bestselling author. She is the author of the popular Judge Me Not series, the new Promises series, the Inevitability duology, A Harbour Falls Mystery trilogy, and the Laid Bare series of novellas. Ms. Grey’s works have appeared on multiple Amazon Bestseller lists, including Top 100 several times, as well as Barnes & Noble #1 in Bestselling Nook books. Ms. Grey resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, Ms. Grey can be found reading, traveling, running, or cheering for her hometown sports teams.