Saturday, January 21, 2006

Two Little Lies by Liz Carlyle

Having been slightly disappointed with the first book in this trilogy, One Little Sin, I have to admit that I was a bit worried before I started hearing reviews for Two Little Lies. Thankfully when the reviews did start rolling in, they were pretty well all positive, and I have to agree! Two Little Lies hit the spot! I shouldn't really have been worried I guess. Having only discovered Liz Carlyle in November last year, I have read quite a few of her books in a short time span and haven't been disappointed in any of them before One Little Sin.

In One Little Sin, our hero Quin and his two friends Sir Alisdair and Merrick McLachlan are visiting a country fair, when they are forced to find shelter in the tent of a fortune teller. When she reads their palms, she tells them that they are about to have to face up to what they have done in their pasts (very rough paraphrasing of course).

Quinten Hewitt, has recently inherited his title (Lord Wynwood) and property and also now has his mother pressuring him to do the right thing and marry a suitable young lady, have children and ensure the continuation of the Hewitt line! Quin becomes engaged to Lady Esmee Hamilton, but at the betrothal celebration an unexpected guest is Viviana Alessandri, Contessa Bergonzi di Vicenza, a very famous opera singer, and more importantly Quin's former mistress, the only woman that he ever really loved. When they were together about 9 years earlier, they were both young, and neither were quite honest about their feelings and their dreams, and both had looked back wondering if they had let a good thing pass them by. Theirs was however a very complicated love. Quin believed that Vivi did not want to marry him, Vivi that he would not marry her as she was unsuitable to be the wife of a future Lord. Indeed Quin did think this, but if he had known the whole truth it may have been that he would have fought for their love, and it wouldn't really matter. Vivi didn't give him that chance.

The night of the party Quin and Vivi agree to meet the next morning in secret. Unfortunately, after being caught in a compromising situation with Vivi, Quin's engagement is called off, although Esmee insists she was going to call it off anyway, and Quin and Viviana must work out what it is that they want from each other, and how they tell each other the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

I was so caught up in the story that I read this book in one sitting, and really, really enjoyed it. There was only one thing that bothered me, and that was the fact that the first 100-150 pages of this book were occuring concurrently with the events from One Little Sin, for Quin's fiance Esme was the heroine from the previous book. If I had only just read One Little Sin it would not have been anywhere near as distracting, but it has been a couple of months and so whilst I knew what was coming I was trying to rack my brains to think how they got to that point! However, whilst this was a minor distraction, it also made me to want to pick up One Little Sin and reread it! I do actually have a bit of a problem with my Liz Carlyle collection at the moment. I borrowed nearly all of them from the library and so rereads are not that easy to do! I feel a Liz Carlyle shopping spree coming on, even though I have already read most of them!

I really liked the secondary characters in this read as well. Quin's sister Alice and Lucy, the maid who was assigned to look after Vivi when she was in England the first time, and with whom Vivi was reunited, were both well written and definitely added value to the storyline.

Overall, this was an outstanding read, and if you are a Liz Carlyle fan then I would definitely be saying get this and read it as soon as you possibly can! I cannot wait for Three Little Secrets to come out in April.

Rating 4.5/5

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