Lovers and Liars

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Overview

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 ...
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Lovers and Liars: A Novel

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Overview

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

From the #1 bestselling author of Destiny comes an acclaimed contemporary romantic thriller set in the world of the rich and famous. Two former lovers are reunited to investigate the explosive private life of a very famous political couple. "The erotic charge is palpable."--Kirkus Reviews.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561003778
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged

Meet the Author

Sally Beauman
Sally Beauman
A former journalist -- she had a hand in getting a fledgling New York magazine off the ground -- Sally Beauman's true forte is fiction. From her award-winning re-imagination of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca to her acclaimed novel, The Sisters Mortland, she's been thrilling her loyal readers for years.

Biography

Born Sally Kinsey-Miles in England, Sally Beauman graduated from Cambridge with a master's in English Literature and moved to the U.S. with her then-husband Christopher Bauman in the mid-1960s. She joined the staff of the newly formed New York magazine and traveled extensively through America before returning to England, where she continued to write for various publications, including the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.

Bauman received the Katherine Pakenham prize for her journalism and became the youngest-ever editor of Queen magazine (now Harper's and Queen). But after the birth of her son, she found the demands of journalism and motherhood hard to combine, so she turned to full-time writing. Published in 1982, her first book was a serious, well-received work of nonfiction (The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades). In 1986, Bauman forayed into fiction with Destiny, a controversial "romance" that raised eyebrows for its graphic sex and record-breaking one million dollar advance, the largest awarded to date for a first novel. The book, which became a huge bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, was widely misunderstood at the time of publication; today it's viewed as a feminist, genre-subversive study of a materialist woman living in a materialist man's world.

Destiny was followed by other bestsellers, including Dark Angel, three linked modern thrillers (Lovers & Liars, Danger Zones, and Sextet), and The Sisters Mortland. But the book for which Bauman is best known is Rebecca's Tale, a sequel to Daphne du Maurier's classic novel of gothic suspense. Growing out of a 1993 article on du Maurier written for Tina Brown's New Yorker, Bauman's story gestated for several years before emerging in 2001 as a rich reimagining of the first Mrs. de Winter's life at Manderlay.

Not unlike her idol du Maurier, Bauman has been saddled with the label of romance writer; in fact, the novels of both women embody a sophistication and complexity that transcends the genre. In an interview with her American publisher HarperCollins, Bauman stated emphatically: "The 'romantic novelist' tag infuriated du Maurier, and quite rightly: that particular slur was a product of lazy thinking, of feeble critical acumen. Rebecca is a profoundly anti-romantic novel, I would say; it uses the conventions of romantic fiction to explode and shatter the entire concept of romance. Is it romantic to end up as Mrs de Winter does, shackled to a murderer and a perjurer? Is it romantic to allow such a man to determine your very identity? I'd say that Rebecca is a novel fuelled by rage, not romance -- and in some ways the same is true of my own Rebecca's Tale."

Good To Know

Some fascinating anecdotes from our interview with Beauman:

"My first proper job was in America. I was hired as editorial dogsbody on the newly launched, shoestring budget New York magazine. By the time I got that job, I'd had rejection slips from just about every magazine on the East Coast, so I'd have done anything to get it -- if they'd wanted a cleaner, I'd have said ‘When do I start?'"

"I was hired because I had a Cambridge degree, a twenty two-year-old pretty face and an English accent. Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, and Jimmy Breslin were working for the magazine -- so I learned fast. I learnt: a) not to be English b) to meet deadlines and c) to push hard. The first piece I had published, and the first interview I ever did, was with Norman Mailer. He was making a movie on Long Island, and he threw me off the set. It was an excellent start."

"I'm a woman, and a mother and (just recently) a grandmother. That's important: women writers have to juggle their personal and professional lives in a way that very few male writers do -- you can't retreat to an ivory-tower study and slam the door when you're breast-feeding. I view that as an advantage: babies and children make you constantly re-examine your priorities; they're a humanizing force. Humbling, too."

"I like isolation. When I worked as a journalist, I was constantly surrounded by people -- it took a lot of adjusting when I began writing fiction, and learnt to spend long hours alone. Now, I love to be with my family, but I'm also addicted to silence and solitude -- so I have a house on a remote Hebridean island, and I go there every year to write. Miles of empty white sand beaches and a pounding Atlantic sea -- nothing but ocean between me and Newfoundland: I think it helps the prose."

"I don't really believe that readers should know very much about writers -- too much biographical information is irrelevant, and can get in the way. What matters is the work -- so I'd like them to know me through my books, through the words I put on a page."

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    1. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 25, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English Literature, Hons Cantab, 1966; M. A., Hons Cantab, 1969

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2002

    WHEN I THINK OF THIS BOOK, I FEEL I'M IN THIS CAFE IN FRANCE PASCAL'S BIRTH PLACE, HAVING COFFEE WITH HIM AND GINI.

    I COULD NOT PUT DOWN THIS BOOK. IT'S ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME. A LOVE STORY THAT WAS VERY DIFFICULT BUT SO WONDERFUL. AT THE SAME TIME IT EXPOSES THE ARROGANCE OF POWER, SCANDALS AND LIES AMONG OTHER THINGS, THANKS TO TWO HARD WORKING JOURNALIS WHO HAPPENED TO BE LOVERS.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Loved this story

    Had a hard time putting the book down and found my lunch break was too short!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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