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~True Love and Other Lies~

by Whitney Gaskell

Heroine: full-figured, voluptuous


          Claire Spencer isn't bitter about love, oh no.  Seeing her parents divorce didn't leave a bad taste about marriage in her mouth.  And having her lover flee her didn't affect her in the least.  Not at all.


           So when an attractive fellow American catches her eye on a trans-Atlantic flight, she's surprised and a bit suspicious that he'd hit on a bigger girl like herself, but decides that engaging in a little harmless flirtation to pass the time would be reasonable.  But she didn't count on falling hard for him during that overnight flight.  And Jack (think Owen Wilson meets Matthew McConaughey) was wonderful enough for her to reconsider the dating scene, right up until he dropped the other shoe.  He was in a relationship, albeit one he was about to end.


          And what's even more distressing, Claire knows the girlfriend in question very well indeed.  She swears to herself that she will not get involved in the upcoming romantic mess, but she's so drawn to Jack that she just can't help it.  And before long she's entangled in a web of lies, deceit, and guilt. 


          What good is it to have a great new guy in your life if you can't actually talk about him and feel guilty for even knowing him?



What worked for me:


            I totally get Claire's interest in reading high-end home decor magazines and wanting not just the profiled homes but the lives of their owners.  I, too, wish I could be in a gourmet kitchen serenely washing baby arugula leaves, but my lifestyle and personality dictate that instead I lift my feet as kids and cats race under them while I give the iceberg lettuce a quick pass under the faucet.  And if I don't score two points by swishing the core into the trash can, so be it.  It's probably not going anywhere, so I'll pick it up later.


            The litany of movies in this story was a blast from the past for this child of the 80s.


            I enjoyed the cute little email exchanges between Claire and Jack, but things got a bit confusing when other people were added to the correspondence.  Of course, I imagine it was a bit confusing for Claire too.


            Size-wise Claire sounded abundant, but only in the way she thought of herself.  At the end of the story we find out that she is tall, a size 14, and built along the lines of a young Liz Taylor.


What didn't work for me:


             It was fine for me, but some folks might not enjoy the first person point of view.


            The story could have used a tad more polishing in spots. And Claire's low self-esteem and unwillingness to sort out her own life really annoyed me at times.  (But mainly because it hit too close to home for comfort's sake.)




             "True Love and Other Lies" is a quick and funny read.  Worth picking up for that last visit to the beach this summer.


Warning: there are some coarse words and sexual scenarios in this book.


If you liked "True Love and Other Lies" you might also enjoy "Love at Large", "The Way It Is", "Inappropriate Men", "The High Price of a Good Man", "Bridget Jones's Diary""Good in Bed", "Coffee and Kung Fu", "Separation Anxiety", "Jemima J.", "Waking Beauty", and "Fat Chance".

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