Sunday, September 14, 2014

Black Lies, by Alessandra Torre

Black Lies follows the story of Layana Fairmount, a 30-year old socialite trying to break free from the expectations of her parents, and the constraints that come from living in a high-class, excessively rich society. After graduating and inheriting her trust fund on her 25th birthday, she tries to find a way to live life by her own rules. She is headstrong, opinionated, and yet, has a heart and wants a family filled with the kind of unconditional love that she didn’t receive growing up. 

Still struggling to find her happily ever after, Layana attends a fundraising gala and is back in the life she has tried so hard to leave. While there, Layana meets Brant Sharp at a , a high-tech/computer genius/billionaire/philanthropist that has been the main contributor to the organization she volunteers at twice a week – the Homeless Youth of America (HYA). After spending a passionate night together, Layana (Lana) finds herself visited by Brant’s aunt Jillian, who offers her a million dollars to stay away from him.  Threatening to pull funding for the organization, Jillian leaves Lana with a difficult decision – continue to see Brant and pursue a relationship with a man that she finds attractive, attentive, and intriguing, or continue to receive funding for the HYA. Knowing that the HYA is the one link she has found to the “real world” and not the superficial life she’s grown up with, she stays away – just until the donation for the next year has cleared. Jillian again tries to remove Lana from Brant’s life, but Lana pushes back. Jillian relents and tells her to call when she discovers the truth. 

After seeing each other for a few months, they go on a trip and Lana discovers Brant’s “secret”. While trying to cope with this knowledge, she continues to see him, but refuses his marriage proposal. Soon after, she meets and begins to sleep with Lee. Lana fights to keep Lee and Brant in her life, despite the realization of Brant’s true demons, and learning of Jillian’s role in keeping Brant under her control. 

If you read the reviews, you’ll know there is a “twist.” Readers have called it a mind blowing experience, I guess I’m in the minority as I realized what the big secret was something that I discovered fairly early on. It wasn’t a total bombshell, so I guess I didn’t have the reaction that others are having to the discovery. While the author takes some liberties with the description and behaviors surrounding this secret, I can see that she did this for the literary effect. Otherwise, in the real world, some of the events just don’t add up. Of course, I’m a professional that deals with these kinds of “secrets” so I recognize the inconsistencies that others may not be aware exist.  

Having said that, it’s a good book. The underlying theme is one that is common: how far to you go to hold on to what is  yours? Each character in the book had their own reasons for their behavior, and while it’s not always the appropriate choice, their reasoning is evident. Some readers may want to shy away because they are uncomfortable with the content of cheating and morality. I say, read it anyway. You’ll be surprised.

*Advance copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
From the book: 

Brant: Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for 3 years. Has proposed 4 times. Been rejected 4 times.

Lee: Cuts grass when he's not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his body. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost 2 years, whether he knows it or not.

Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails.

If you think you've heard this story before, trust me - you haven't.

**This is a STANDALONE full-length novel. It is not part of a series, and does not contain a cliffhanger.**

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