Lovers and Liars

Lovers and Liars

5.0 2
by Sally Beauman

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Now, from the author of Destiny, comes a novel certain to be as talked about, as richly romantic and wicked, as that number one New York Times bestseller. Lovers and Liars is Sally Beauman's sensuous, very contemporary story of public masks and secret lives, of a "perfect" marriage that is not what it seems, and of lovers long separated yet destined to meet,… See more details below


Now, from the author of Destiny, comes a novel certain to be as talked about, as richly romantic and wicked, as that number one New York Times bestseller. Lovers and Liars is Sally Beauman's sensuous, very contemporary story of public masks and secret lives, of a "perfect" marriage that is not what it seems, and of lovers long separated yet destined to meet, tumultuously, again.
On a frosty January morning soon after the New Year's revels, an exquisitely dressed, beautiful blonde woman sends four identical parcels to four different destinations: Paris, New York, Venice and London. But the lovely messenger is not who she claims to be.
Photographer Pascal Lamartine receives his package in Paris: it is a woman's black glove, silky, scented, and disturbing. In London, reporter Gini Hunter, daughter of a famous Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, opens her parcel to find even more threatening contents. And within hours, Gini's enterprising editor assigns both her and Pascal to expose the story of a lifetime; a story so rich, so ripe with potential scandal, that it could make headlines—and ruin lives. For Gini and Pascal must penetrate the perfect facade of John Hawthorne, the charming, charismatic U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, to sift through the layers of ever-shifting truth about his life.
The wealthy scion of a famous American family—in short, perfect presidential material—John Hawthorne appears to have thrown away a promising political career to take a diplomatic post. Why? His wife, Lise, a legendary beauty, is a master at seducing the media; her delicate features are a constant presence on the society pages for her charity work, her skills as ahostess, and her unrelenting chic. Yet the exhaustive, adoring coverage has left the real woman mysteriously opaque. And now, unbelievably, she seems to be the source of certain whisperings about her husband.
But beyond the sensational story they are about to unmask—a black-widow web of deceit, betrayal, and dark desires more complex and perilous than they could have imagined—Gini and Pascal must confront themselves, their past, and their brief, passionate love affair twelve years before, when the fascination between them reached a fever pitch only to end explosively. Even as their investigation plunges them dangerously into the hypocrisies of the privileged and powerful, where each surprising revelation is replaced by a new, even more shocking contradiction, past merges with present, taking the two lovers back to the hot, bare room at the edge of danger where, for one burning moment, the world made perfect sense, took perfect shape.
Deftly woven of erotic secrets and unfolding deceptions that stretch across more than two decades, Lovers and Liars is a romantic and spellbindingly suspenseful journey into the mysteries of the heart, where love can sustain the soul—or twist it cruelly.
"First-rate suspense." —Cosmopolitan

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A compelling blend of romance and suspense adds zest to this ingeniously plotted, complex yarn from British writer Beauman, author of the bestselling Destiny . In 1982, American schoolgirl Gini Hunter was drawn into a brief, passionate affair with French photojournalist Pascal Lamartine while visiting her father in war-torn Beirut. Twelve years later, the estranged lovers are reunited on a London News story about salacious doings of Kennedy-esque ambassador John Hawthorne and his posh, Lady Bountiful wife Lise. Meanwhile, four mysterious, identically wrapped packages have been delivered in New York, Paris, Venice and London: to Gini, Pascal, an imbibing gossip columnist and an Oxford-educated ex-commando. Following such disparate clues as marked passages from Paradise Lost , handcuffs and prostitutes' lingerie, Gini and Pascal uncover more than strange sexual proclivities: they find links to Hawthorne's ignominious actions in Vietnam and are drawn into the resulting tangle of deceit and revenge that culminates in graphic violence. So neatly does Beauman interweave patterns of truth and trickery that virtually nothing is known for certain until practically the last page. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo. (May)
Library Journal
Two former lovers, Pascal Lamartine and Gini Hunter, are drawn together in a deadly investigation of a possible scandal involving a highly placed U.S. diplomat who has presidential aspirations. As they dig deeper into the story, they uncover layer upon layer of lies and betrayals. Unsure of whom they can trust, they must come to grips with their own complex pasts in order to fully trust one another. Beauman (Dark Angel, LJ 9/1/90) twists her plot and characters again and again, keeping Pascal, Gini, and the reader guessing about the true nature of the scandal and those involved. Fast-paced and intricately plotted, this book should appeal to readers of romance and intrigue. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/94.]-Barbara E. Kemp, Library Consultant, Reston, Va.
Ilene Cooper
Beauman, who assaulted the best-seller list in 1987 with "Destiny", is almost certain to do it again. Her new novel starts out with a bang: in London, reporter Gini Hunter opens an unexpected package containing a pair of handcuffs; in Paris, Gini's former lover, French photographer Pascal Lamertine, gets his own mysterious parcel containing a silky black glove. Soon the two find themselves working together on a news story--investigating the rumors about John Hawthorne, the JFK-like American ambassador to England. Is he a sadist, a masochist, or maybe it's his wife who's the kinky one? Meanwhile, Gini and Pascal, who have not seen each other since their affair in war-torn Beirut 12 years before, must confront their own feelings while trying not to get entangled in the intricate web of passion and deceit swirling around the Hawthorne story. Unfortunately, Beauman spins the web for way too long. Most readers will be caught up for about the first two-thirds or so of the novel (just when they've invested too much to abandon it) but will then find their interest winding down as Gini and Pascal run into too many dead ends and too many dead bodies. Worse, the final chapters require more than one reading to figure out who actually done what, an arduous task after 500 pages of foreplay. Still, Beauman knows how to ladle up the requisite stew of passion, power, erotica, and evil, and with the help of an extensive ad campaign (and a 100,000-copy first printing), you can count on demand--and on weary patrons returning the book after its due date.

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Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.89(h) x 1.20(d)

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