March 2, 2021
St. Martin’s Press
Blurb: Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips―she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family―she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result.
But now Burke―handsome, older, and more emotionally mature than any man she’s met before―says he wants her. Forever. Except, Burke isn’t who he claims to be. And interspersed letters to his therapist reveal the truth: he’s happily married, and using Skye for his own, deceptive ends.
In a third perspective, set thirty years earlier, a scrappy seventeen-year-old named Heather is determined to end things with Burke, a local bad boy, and make a better life for herself in New York City. But can her adolescent love stay firmly in her past―or will he find his way into her future?
On a collision course she doesn’t see coming, Skye throws herself into wedding planning, as Burke’s scheme grows ever more twisted. But of course, even the best laid plans can go astray. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’ll discover that there’s more than one way to spin the truth.
At a certain point in Carola Lovering’s Too Good to Be True, I thought to myself, “just quit trying to figure out what’s going to happen next and enjoy the ride.” That I almost did, trying to figure out what was going to happen next, that is. I thoroughly enjoyed this ride.
Skye Starling has been plagued with OCD since the death of her mother. Her need to knock on closed doors before leaving has generated mockery from past boyfriends so when Burke Michaels enters her life and is totally accepting of her and her issues, she is practically over-the-moon. But as events unfold, Skye may not have the happily-ever-after that she thought was finally hers.
Too Good to Be True is a well-paced, plotted, and structured novel. While some of the writing at the beginning was a bit dry, as the action picked up, so did the writing, or at least my interest in it. There are many puzzles in the novel, some are not that difficult to figure out mainly due to the fact that the author has purposefully not disclosed names in certain accounts, allowing the reader to understand relationships.
Like any good thriller, Too Good to Be True wins by offering up red herrings. As your sympathy for one character builds, you much later learn that it may have only partly been justified. That’s the lovely thing about this novel, gray is the main color–not everything is black and white. However, while that’s a lovely thing and so true in real life, I can imagine that for certain readers it might make the ending a bit difficult to process easily. Bad guys should always be served justice–but who indeed are the bad guys?
We book bloggers and reviewers love to use the word “page-turner.” Sometimes it’s overused. Not in this case. Once I reached midway, I needed to know what was going to happen next because I knew it was going to be unexpected because things just kept being unexpected. So that’s a warning if you pick this book up: you might not put it down at a suitable hour.
Too Good to Be True is a must read for anyone who likes well-plotted thrilling fiction.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 butterflies