3 “Inauspicious Beginnings” Stars.
I’m a huge fan of Karina Halle. Her Artist’s Trilogy is still one of my all-time favorites. But I do have to say that I prefer her romantic suspense, dark romances the best. I had stayed away from this series because it seemed to take on a different tone from the classic Karina Halle works that are my faves. However, the blurb for The Lie sucked me in and I lept in hoping that some of that signature twistedness would grab hold of me.
Unfortunately, what I found was edgy, in that it confronts a topic that many romance authors steer clear from: infidelity; but not in the way I had hoped for. And while for the most part handled with delicacy, the connection between the two characters just never resonated with me (perhaps the associated tragedy blinded me to this possibility as it nearly also did the characters–or perhaps its just my general aversion to cheating).
Beyond the forbidden taboo topic, however, I also felt that Ms. Halle’s signature talent with twisting good and evil and society’s mores to just that amazing point that causes the reader equal parts of discomfort and yet curiously, unquenchable fascination, while attempted; just didn’t hit the mark for me. For example, there is a side story involving the heroine’s roommate that just seemed somewhat undeveloped and as presented was really more unbelievable than leading to any real thrilling suspense or absorbing secondary plot.
Nonetheless, if Ms. Halle decides to pen more of her signature style dark romances, I’ll be the first to pre-order. Perhaps with a different set of expectations, I will also undertake reading some more of her more mainstream romances.
Source: Library loan.