We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: YA; Contemporary Fiction; Suspense
Romance Steam Rating: 2 out of 5 (Hot Cocoa)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: May 13, 2014
Number of Pages: 242
Cadence Eastman always spent her summers at Beechwood Island with the other Liars. Until two years ago. That’s when The Accident happened. Now, the summer before she turns 18, Cadence is finally ready to return to the Island. Even if she still can’t remember what she did or why none the other Liars have contacted her since that last summer.
When He Was Wicked
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Romance; Regency Romance
Romance Steam Rating: 4 out of 5 (Sauna)
Published: June 29, 2004
Number of Pages: 368
Michael Stirling made a name for himself as a rake in Regency society. He was always ready for a good time complete with spirits, gambling, and women. Then he met the love of his life…the night before she married his best friend.
Now, years after the death of Francesca’s husband and Michael’s cousin, Franny is ready to re-enter the marriage market. Can this be the second chance Michael has been waiting for?
*NOTE: This the steamiest Bridgerton book, but it’s also the most heartbreaking. Franny earned those extra smexy times with blood, tears, and a lot of grief.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: death of a spouse and family member, miscarriage, infertility
The Ties That Bind
Although one is contemporary YA and the other is a Regency era romance, both books depict cousins who grow up together and are close friends.
In We Were Liars, Cadence spends every summer with her family at Beechwood, their private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Most of her time is spent with her cousins Johnny and Mirren as well as Johnny’s friend Gat. Among the family, the four of them are referred to as the Liars. Although Gat is not technically part of the family and it is expected that, as the eldest grandchild, Cadence will eventually inherit all the family wealth, the Liars consider themselves equals. As they get older, they begin to feel more pressure from their parents and grandparents over class and inheritance.
In When he was Wicked, Michael grew up on his uncle’s estate in Scotland and was raised like a brother to his cousin and best friend, John. Although Michael is older, John is the one next in line to inherit the family wealth, land, and title. Despite this, Michael was never resentful or jealous of his cousin, at least not until he met his cousin’s wife, Francesca.
In both books, cousins grow up together in secluded luxury far from most of elite society. As time passes and tragic events take place, the cousins are faced with harsh reality and loyalties are tested.
NOTE: I’m trying to avoid spoilers here. If you read both books, you may notice more similarities than those I’ve pointed out.
What’s Your Sign? by Sanctuary Astrology and Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter