True Love (and Other Lies) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Travel writer Claire Spencer doesn't believe in fate, much less any part of that fairy tale, happy ending, love at first sight stuff. Especially not for Amazon-sized women like her. So when Jack, the sexy man who sits next to her on a flight from New York to London, asks her out, Claire figures there has to be a catch. Is he blind? Sleazy? On the rebound? But she decides to accept, and finds herself smitten and a little frightened at how happy ...
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True Love (and Other Lies)

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Overview

Travel writer Claire Spencer doesn't believe in fate, much less any part of that fairy tale, happy ending, love at first sight stuff. Especially not for Amazon-sized women like her. So when Jack, the sexy man who sits next to her on a flight from New York to London, asks her out, Claire figures there has to be a catch. Is he blind? Sleazy? On the rebound? But she decides to accept, and finds herself smitten and a little frightened at how happy she is with how fast things are moving.

While in London (on assignment for Sassy Seniors! magazine), Claire is also looking forward to seeing her best friend, Maddy, one of those impossibly gorgeous, if-I-didn't-love-her-I'd-hate-her women who's got everything in the world going for her--except that, for the first time in her trouble-free life, Maddy has just been dumped...by Jack. Claire's finally met what seems to be the perfect guy, and now the only way she can have him is by betraying her best friend. It's almost enough to make Claire believe in Fate, but if Fate does exist, it seems intent on screwing her over.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553900682
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/31/2004
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 216,055
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Whitney Gaskell grew up in Syracuse, New York. A graduate of Tulane Law School, she worked for several years as a reluctant lawyer before writing her first novel, Pushing 30, followed by True Love (and Other Lies); She, Myself & I; Testing Kate, and Mommy Tracked. She lives in Stuart, Florida, with her husband and son.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


At the advanced age of thirty-two, I’ve learned enough about the world to have developed a well-established set of personal rules by which I live my life. Here is the first one: The whole concept of a One True Love Who Completes Your Soul is total bullshit.

I don’t mean love in general, of course—I love my parents, my sister, a few assorted friends, and Churchill, the English bulldog I had when I was growing up. I’m talking about the fairy-tale, Prince Charming, marriage-as-a-happy-ending, love- at-first-sight kind of thing. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a brand of snake oil concocted by the online dating and wedding industries for the sole purpose of bilking millions of unsuspecting women out of their hard-earned money. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any role models to look to who’ve actually sustained long-term love, much less successful marriages. My parents, and most of my friends’ parents, were of the generation who believed strongly in the power of divorce and remarriage as an alternative to buying a sports car when in the midst of a midlife crisis.

You could call me cynical, or jaded, or even a little bitter, and I wouldn’t argue with you. It’s not as though I arrived at my philosophy on love when I was thirteen and still thought I was going to marry the lead singer of Duran Duran. No, it took years and years of bad dates, horrible setups, and one real bastard of an ex-boyfriend for me to come to my senses.

Which is why I never imagined I would meet someone on an airplane. I mean, how random would that be? After all, in real life, lovers are not brought together by a quirk of fate, or by some random act that realigns the universe; most people who get together meet through friends, or work, or something equally mundane. Those syrupy tales of two halves of one heart reuniting are just Hollywood fairy tales, usually starring Meg Ryan, and marketed to women in my age, gender, and marital-status demographic. But I have always refused to buy into the hype, just as I refuse to transform my pin-straight hair into Meg’s adorably scruffy, Sally Hershberger–designed coif. So when I boarded the American Airlines flight from New York to London, my battered old knapsack slung over my shoulder (I never can pull off that glamorous world-traveler look—really, I’m only one small, scary step from completely throwing away my dignity and embracing the butt pack), the last thing I was expecting was romance. In fact, I was fully prepared for a boring, six-hour trip full of bad food and uncomfortable seats, and—if experience was any guide—a small child sitting behind me, screaming the whole way.

I snagged a window seat, and was glad that I only had to share one armrest. I had desperately hoped to get upgraded to business class—that Shangri-la for travelers, with its cushy seats, free drinks, and plentiful armrests—but the same grouchy airline employee who wouldn’t give me a seat in the emergency-exit row certainly had no interest whatsoever in upgrading me (he’d been far more accommodating to the Ricky Martin look-alike who’d been ahead of me in line, I’d noted). I was relieved when a middle-aged woman wearing a pashmina shawl and carrying a thick paperback sat in the empty seat next to me. I usually get seated next to obese men who have personal odor problems and who snore so loudly they actually drown out the roar of the jet engines. This woman tended in the other direction—as thin as a greyhound and marinated in Obsession perfume—but still, a definite improvement. Or so I thought.

Shortly after takeoff, the woman began twisting around to whine to her husband, who was sitting directly behind her, about how her back was hurting her and why couldn’t the airlines provide orthopedic pillows, and how could he not have remembered to pack his blue jacket, and why hadn’t the airline honored her request to sit next to an empty seat so she could stretch out during the flight, and had she known they were going to stick someone next to her, she would have rather sat with her husband. Considering her tone, her husband’s weary answers, and the fact that every time the woman turned around she knocked me in the side with her pointy little elbow, I was starting to suspect that the husband had lucked out by not having to sit next to her. It was probably the first peace and quiet he’d had since marrying her (not that she showed any intention of leaving him alone to enjoy it). On her third go-round, this time lodging a complaint on the too-cold temperature of the airplane, I heard the man sitting behind me offer to trade places with her so that she and her husband could sit together.

“Oh, thank you. We would have booked our seats together, but I was supposed to have an empty seat next to me. But then they sat this woman here,” she said, her voice laced with self-righteous indignation, as she shot me a dirty look.

I returned her dirty look—a skill I could win a gold medal in—and Mrs. Pointy Elbow was properly chastened . . . or scared, I actually couldn’t tell which, as I’ve been told that my signature dirty look is quite intimidating. I base it on a combination of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men (“You can’t handle the truth!”) and Hillary Clinton when she thinks no one is watching her, with just a hint of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry thrown in for some color. In any event, Mrs. Pointy Elbow averted her eyes and stopped complaining—for the moment—and turned her attention to collecting her things. It took her a while, a laborious process of gathering her book and newspaper and purse and pillow and blanket together, all while this guy was standing in the aisle, waiting patiently for her to finally clear out of what was now his seat.

To my surprise, the guy was cute, in a scruffy sort of way. I hadn’t noticed him in the airport lounge when we were waiting to board, but then he wasn’t exactly a head-turner. He was tall and lanky, although not skinny, thank God (I can’t deal with men who have thinner thighs than I do). He had a long, angular face, shaggy dark blond hair in need of a trim, and his too-long nose was slightly crooked, as if it had never been properly set after being broken. From the barely noticeable lines fanning out from the corners of his eyes, I guessed his age to be about thirty-six or -seven—definitely on my side of forty. It wasn’t until he smiled at the woman as she thanked him for changing seats with her that I was struck by how appealing he was—his smile lit up his whole face, his grin open and genuine, his eyes crinkling pleasantly. And I don’t normally go for blond men—there’s something too California-ish, too frat-rat about them, too much like Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But this guy was more Owen Wilson than Sean Penn.

And his considerable height was a definite plus. Men who are shorter than I am face automatic elimination under the rules set forth in the Official Claire Spencer Dating Handbook. It’s not that I’m prejudiced against petite men—it’s just that the last time I went out with one of them, my date spent the evening saying things like “Wow, you’re a lot of woman, aren’t you,” and then challenged me to an arm-wrestling competition over dinner. Around the time I turned twenty-five—about the same point I stopped slouching in a misguided attempt to appear dainty—I decided that I would no longer date short men, and this policy has saved me an enormous amount of humiliation. Now I only have to deal with my good friend Max Levy, who doesn’t reach five foot six in his cowboy boots, and who is always trying to get me to dance with him so that he can act out the scene in Sixteen Candles where Long Duck Dong rests his head on the massive bosom of his “sexy American girlfriend.” Needless to say, I don’t find this nearly as funny as he does.

My new seatmate folded his long frame into the seat next to mine, slouching down like a teenager, and, to my complete humiliation, caught me checking him out.

“Looks like we’re stuck together,” he said while smiling pleasantly at me.

“Hmmm,” I said, and to cover for my previous ogling, gave him a polite, dismissive smile, before hiding behind my copy of Elle Decor.

But he wasn’t put off. “I’m Jack,” he said, holding his hand out sideways.

“Claire,” I replied, taking his hand.

It was awkward to shake hands in the narrow space, but actually I was secretly pleased at the attention. Even though I don’t believe in the One True Love thing, I’m not against a little harmless flirting now and then—it’s all a matter of controlling your expectations. I did wish that I’d dressed in something a little more glamorous than my favorite jeans and a black turtleneck sweater, and that I’d worn my contact lenses instead of my horn-rimmed glasses, but I’d been hoping to catch a little sleep on the plane, and so had dressed for comfort, not for a date. At least my hair was clean, and freshly blown out, and I was reasonably sure that my makeup was still intact.

Oh God, what am I doing? Don’t even think about it, I told myself. I’m sure I’m not his type. He’s all preppy and outdoorsy looking, and he probably goes for skinny women who like to run marathons and go camping. Certainly not someone like me.

Because the thing is, I’m big. Big. I’m very tall for a woman, five feet ten inches from head to toe, and hardly fall into the current beauty ideal of being Gwyneth Paltrow thin. I’m big all over—big arms, big hands, big feet, big boobs, big hips, and one of my thighs is probably about the same size as Gwynnie’s entire body. It’s not that I’m fat, really—in fact, through rigorous gym sessions, I’m at a healthy weight, even if I’m not about to go parading around in public in a bikini. And although I’ve definitely grown to be comfortable with my body—well, more comfortable, anyway—it’s still hard to live in a culture where the last two full-figured women to achieve prominence were Monica Lewinsky and Anna Nicole Smith. There are guys out there who have a thing for fuller-figured women, but since there are also fetishists of toe licking and underwear sniffing, this was not necessarily a reassuring thought.

I pretended to go back to reading my magazine, while Jack turned his attention to what looked like paperwork he’d retrieved from his briefcase. It wasn’t until the dinner service arrived, and we were offered our choice between a seafood dish of some sort and chicken with pasta, that Jack packed up his files and stuck them in the storage pocket in front of him.

“I think I’ll have to go with the chicken. How about you?” he asked.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

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(22)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    Thank God someone said it...

    I can totally identify (as I am sure all women can) with the character in this book... I felt like I was her through the whole thing. It was an easy read and super fun to get into... I love this authors voice and I can't wait until she comes out with more titles... Go buy this book.. (I read half of it in the store) GO BUY IT!!! It's rad!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    Trying to find a book as great as this...

    My girlfriend picked this book up at the ariport before our trip to the Bahamas. As she was reading it on the plane she was constatnlty handing it over to me to read. We were laughing out loud... The next thing I know I am reading the book over her shoulder! I am not a reader by any stretch but I couldn't wait for her to finish so that I could get my hands on it. This is by far the best book I've read. It was heartwarming and realtisitc and it should make every woman out there wait for her own Jack! It seems as if the author was channeling me while writing, I related so much to Claire and how she was a normal girl looking for her one great love:)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    Witty, funny, and feel-good read.

    This is the best book I have read in awhile. I finished it in two days because I didn't want to put it down. I even made my boyfriend wait til I was finished a chapter before we went out. I had to cover my mouth from laughing out loud when I was reading it at work. Your rooting for Claire the entire time while wanting a Jack of your own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Good storytelling

    Sharing a row on the flight from New York to London is thirty-two years old full figured woman Claire Spencer and Jack Harrison. Claire, a travel writer for Sassy Seniors magazine, is going to London to write articles and see her best friend Maddy Reilly while Jack, an attorney at British Pharmaceuticals returns home. Claire and Jack hit it off, but he promises that he will ask her out the moment after he breaks with his current girlfriend, which he insists that he was going to do before he met Claire.............................. In London Jack tells Claire it was hard, but he did indeed break-up with his girlfriend so they can go out now. They have a great time together. However, both are stunned when Jack¿s former girlfriend turns out to be a heartbroken Maddy. Claire wants to remain loyal to Maddy, but she has never been so attracted to a man as she is to Jack................................ TRUE LOVE (AND OTHER LIES) is an entertaining character study that focuses on Claire, who finds herself pulled in two opposite direction, loyalty to a friend vs. finding her soulmate. Claire is a delightful protagonist unable to believe a hunk like Jack would drop the beautiful Maddy for a big babe like her. Claire is a likable person even if she has generalized the shortcoming of ¿petit¿ males due to one date while Jack is a solid ethical person cleaning up his relationships before starting a new one. Readers will feel for Maddy suffering a broken heart, but soon want her gone after she tosses guilt grenades at Claire. This is a fine London contemporary romance that readers will enjoy.......................... Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    Loved this book

    Super witty fun to read book. Although the storyline isn't very original its very entertaining. If you enjoy Sophie Kinsella books i guarantee you'll love this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS EVER

    Whitney Gaskell is one of my favorite writers of all times. Her books are gripping from the first page and laugh-out-loud hilarious. Every story has great characters, heartwarming plots, and hilarious dialoged. You'll fall in love with the characters from the beginning and want to read every book she has ever written. You won't regret this buy!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2007

    Fantastic! Funny and engaging

    Whitney Gaskell's books are a joy to read. They start off strong, and keep you interested with characters that are real. By the end, you feel like you know them as flesh-and-blood people. True Love and Other Lies is no exception. I've never been through the kind of situations in the book (cheating boyfriends, lying, sneaking around), but the story had me hooked from the beginning. I read it in about a day and a half. I barely put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2006

    Disappointing

    I bought this book hoping for a good read but it was anything but good. I find it hard to believe that hooking up with your bestfriend's bf is made to seem ok. Even after the character finds out the truth she still continues to see him and everyone around her thinks its ok even her mother! And somehow all is forgiven in the end. Seriously ladies how many of you would forgive a very close friend for dating your ex and keeping it a secret. This is very unrealistic. Besides, the character claire is definitely out of her league here!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    Terrific Read

    I actually picked this book up while suffering from my biggest heart-ache ever and happened to sit down for two seconds, putting to test my rule on buying books. From the moment I read the first line I was hooked. Her book is fantastic and her characters are so well written, ou can picture their every moment and imagine yourself knowing someone that great. I love the way she pulls at your heart strings and makes you feel all giddy at times. A terrific read which I recommend to ANYONE who enjoys a good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2005

    A great LOL read!

    I'm surprised that Gaskell isn't on the top selling charts... I'd recommend her books to anyone I know. Her characters are likeable, engaging and hilarious. You won't be dissapointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2005

    LOVED IT!

    GREAT BOOK! once i started reading this book, i couldnt get my hands off of it. i read it in one day, in between going out & having dinner & everything. every chapter was like a cliffhanger and i couldnt wait to read more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    I love it!

    This book was great! I couldn't get enough of it and didn't want to put it down. I'll never tire of it and will continue to read it multiple times. Claire was such a great character, I didn't want the book to end. I loved the ending, it was nicely wrapped up. I can't wait to read more Whitney Gaskell books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    Best Ever

    The reading was great. Claire is very funny and witty. Great book, to purchase.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2005

    Not your usual chick-lit

    I was hooked on this book from the first page; I just could not put this book down! What I liked best about it was that I didn't automatically know what was going to happen. Also, this book is really about Claire's development as a person, as well as her friendships and her love life. It's not solely about whether she gets the guy. I promise you that you will not be disappointed if you read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2004

    Could NOT put it down

    I bought this book buy chance and I found myself totally engrossed! I thought about the characters even when I wasn't reading! Fun, light and if you're a normal girl with a friend who seems to have it all then this book is for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2004

    Best of the Best

    I have read so many 'career girls seeking love' novels that I'm almost embarrassed to admit it. This one is one of the best I've ever read. Smart, funny, and realistic. I had a big, dopey grin on my face for as long as I was reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2012

    Thumbs up

    A bit slow at one part but overall a great read! You knew how it'd end but it took you in a loop making you think it would end differently but then goes beyond what you figured. LOVED it. Not to mention i could relate to the heroine in not only the physical but the personal traits as well. MUST READ!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2008

    seriously now?

    i bought this book because i am really interested in writing and am trying to read everything in this genre by different authors...what a waste of my time and money. i couldnt stand this book, you spend WAY to much time inside Clair's head, and im sorry i didnt even like her that much. who can justify sleeping with her best friends ex bf? i honestly only read about 70 pages and then was so sick of the many different directions Clair's mind went and the fact that there was almost NO dialouge between the characters that i had to put the book down. i was very disappointed, i was hoping i had found another artist to like

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    True Love (and Other Lies)

    I bought this book after reading the great reviews. It was a HUGE MISTAKE!!! The beginning was so promising...and after that everything went down....................... Claire meets this guy (Jack) on a plane and she felt attracted to him and viceversa. Jack wants to go out on a date with Claire but first he had something to do: break up with his girlfriend, who turns out to be Claire's best friend. This book could have been so much more but sadly failed to do so ********* Claire considers herself unattractive, but guess what? She is wrong because EVERYONE, even her drop dead gorgeous friend thinks so. Claire's friend-neighbor has been in love with her for YEARS even though he has been in a relationship with another woman for a loooong time (???)*********************The love scenes are non-existent. The author uses a few adjectives like great etc to describe what happened but nothing else. I didn't understand this, after all the sex between Claire and her ex-boyfriend was described in so much detail. So, if you want a book where you have to fill in the blanks and use your imagination, this one is for you.... phlue-ase ............there are other things I could mention but at this point I just want to forget that I ever read this book. It was painful to read and a disappointment. Skip this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2007

    True Love (and Other Lies)

    I really thought this book would be so much better. I feel VERY disppointed. Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time on this book.The whole plot was kind of unrealistic and far fetched.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews

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