Sunday, October 6, 2013

genuine lies

nora roberts
published 1998

She is the last of the movie goddesses, and the greatest: a smoky-voiced sex symbol who clawed her way up the ladder to two Oscars and a Tony, four husbands and a legion of lovers.  Her beauty is staggering, her power awesome.  There is no secret, no lie, no scandal she doesn't know.  Now, still in the spotlight after fifty years, Eve Benedict has decided to write her memoirs--no holds barred.  All Hollywood begs her not to.  But Eve has her reasons...

And she has handpicked her biographer.  She has transported twenty-eight-year-old Julia Summers, already renowned for her skill and integrity as a writer, from a quiet Connecticut existence to glitzy Beverly Hills.  Lovely, self-sufficient, and proudly professional, Julia hates the limelight but loves her work--and the home it built for the ten-year-old son she's raising alone.  How can she refuse this chance of a lifetime?  How can she know how dramatically her hard-won peace will be shattered?

One of the things I've noticed going back and re-reading these older Nora Roberts books is how she's evolved her female characters.  In these older books the women are all not looking for any sort of relationship and then here comes this irresistible man who nearly forces himself on them and they fall in love two days later.  There are some exceptions to this, but this one, Genuine Lies, was probably the worst offender.

Maybe it didn't help that I didn't care for any of the characters and the book was so dang long.  And transparent.  Of course, I've read the book before so I can't say if I was remembering or if it really was that predictable, but I didn't enjoy this one the way I've rediscovered and enjoyed the Dream trilogy and the Concannon Sisters trilogy.

I don't know why it had to be so long.  She spent a lot of time setting the scene and building up, but then there were other aspects of the story she seemed to gloss over quickly.  And maybe that's my own preference.  Sometime the aftermath is more interesting to me than the actual story!

Julia just wasn't my favorite Nora Roberts character.  She was weirdly angered.  Maybe that was Roberts way of expressing how repressed she was in everyday life, but really, it was just weird.  Paul's heavy handed 'romancing' of Julia was borderline creepy although I did like his relationship with Julia's son.  Eve's whole plot to get all of this together was just badly planned and the monkey wrench thrown in sucked.

All in all, certainly not my favorite Nora Roberts book and in fact, the only book of hers I can think of that I'm rating lower than 3 stars.  Oh well, they can't all be winners!

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