Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux

Book Description....

It was her father's dying wish that Samantha Elliot search for her grandmother, who'd disappeared from Louisville when she was a baby. So here she was, in big, dirty New York City...her parents were dead, her divorce was final, and she was all alone....

Michael Taggert was Samantha's landlord, and he was easily the most beautiful man she'd ever seen. He was charming, too -- his zest for life was so contagious that in his presence Sam bloomed like a flower after the rain. Yet Mike could only get so far with her -- when he tried to get closer, it was like running into a brick wall.

But Mike wouldn't give up. As they probed her grandmother's past, he was slowly uncovering the joy and affection Samantha had buried long ago -- and leading them closer to the dangerous truth about a bloody spring night in 1928, and a seductive blues singer named Maxie....

My Thoughts......
I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't. I didn't like Samantha. Deveraux tried to make her such a complex character that when it all came down to it the reasoning behind her attitude towards Michael it was a bit of a let down. I wont get into the specifics but Samantha is not a strong female lead. Over the years my tastes in romance have matured to a point that I need a kick ass woman, one that takes the crap that life can throw at her and kick it in the balls. Samantha is not this woman. After losing her mother and her grandfather she took care of her father while still a young girl. When she became an adult she married and then took care of her husband. When her marriage failed she went back to her father only to find he was dying. Once he was gone, to fullfill his will she had to move to New York and live in the apartment her father set up for one year while looking for her long lost grandmother. Michael Taggert was the owner of her new apartment.
When faced with these obsticles in life Samantha rolled over and sank into a depression. She also was afraid to walk around the block in her new city. Not exactly sheltered growing up I am still not sure what in her character would terrify her of stepping outside her door. She grew up in Santa Fe. Not a tiny farming town in the middle of the country.
Now for Michael....Never really got a good grip on him. It starts out with Sam meeting Michael while he had been playing football with some buddies and that he was toned and obviously worked out. Later in the book Sam was thinking about how much she loved his body builder's body. To me, a man who works out and in shape is completely different than one who is a body builder. But whatever. The big issue I had with Mike was that he liked Samantha. I couldn't see the connection. I didn't understand him wanted to pursue her. She would let him kiss her then run for the hills. She would spend days ignoring him. She was either hot or cold....mostly cold. I don't even know if it was the puzzle of her psyche that intrigued him.
There are two things in this book that I found very redeeming.
1-The Taggert/Montgomery Clan--They came for a visit to "meet" Samantha because finally Michael was interested in someone. I loved the picnic scene. I liked his whole family. His twin brother Kane was so very interesting by the way. I think I liked him more than I liked Michael.
2-The Mystery of Maxie--Although I was initially confused as to the timeline of her disappearance overall the mystery was intriguing. She disappeared when Sam was a baby but in New York Sam and Mike were investigating what happened when she disappeared in 1928 which would make the entire timeline wonky. It would make Sam 70 odd years old. It really took me forever to figure out that Maxie had indeed disappeared in 1928 when she then met and married Cal, Samantha's Grandfather. Almost 40 years later she disappeared again. So, Sam is trying to find out why she ran away in the late 60s but also trying to find out what happened in 1928. Crystal Clear. Once I figured that out I was really interested in reading about Maxie and her life as a gangster's girl. Super interesting.
Unfortunately these points were not enough to redeem the book for me. If I can't like the characters it is hard for me to enjoy the book. I will have to read Kane's book though....he sounds yummy. My Rating 2.5 Stars.

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