LOVE AND LIES by Kimberla Lawson Roby


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Bad decisions and even worse men endanger the orderly lives of close friends Charlotte and Janine.

As the stunning third trophy wife of charismatic African-American Reverend Curtis Black, Charlotte Black seems to have it all, including two adorable kids. But appearances are deceiving. Her husband spends most of his time on the road promoting his bestselling book, and he barely speaks to her when he is home, making her suspect that his needs are being met by someone else. And her five-year-old daughter Marissa seems disturbed, taken to playing with fire and saying shockingly antisocial things to her mother and older brother Mathew, while maintaining a sweet-as-pie façade in front of her father. The child’s bad-seed behavior brings up some serious issues, since Charlotte believes her little girl is not Curtis’s child, but rather the result of a disastrous affair she had with schizophrenic Aaron Malone. Clever Charlotte managed to keep the real lab results hidden, but her lie gets in the way of Marissa receiving the treatment she needs. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s best friend Janine has man troubles, too. Her deadbeat boyfriend Antonio seems resigned to not working, prompting Janine, a college professor, to ask him to leave. That doesn’t sit well with Antonio, who begins selling drugs out of her home as well as mentally abusing and threatening her. Terrified by this sociopath, she reports him to the cops, and he is arrested. Janine refuses to bail him out, which only makes him angrier, resulting in an inevitable, violent confrontation. Charlotte, in a somewhat confusing attempt to make her husband jealous, befriends his long-lost “brother” Larry, a recovering addict. Larry is truly bad news, and if anything, his criminal behavior makes Charlotte’s philandering preacher man look good in comparison, paving the way for a possible reconciliation. This latest potboiler from the author of Changing Faces (2006) keeps the scandals coming, but it would have benefited from a little more character development. It is often hard to believe that two strong women could have such consistently poor judgment when it comes to men.

Plenty of action, but far-fetched and joyless.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-089249-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2006


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