A sensuous, very contemporary story of public masks and secret lives begins with the delivery of four mysterious, identically wrapped packages in New York, Paris, Venice and London. Two of the recipients, Gini Hunter, reporter, and Pascal Lamartine, photographer, receive them the day before they are assigned to the story of a lifetime: to penetrate and expose the perfect façade of John Hawthorne, the charming Kennedy-esque U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. The threatening package contents foretell the deceit, betrayal and dark desires to come as they unmask Hawthorne. Deftly woven of erotic secrets and unfolding deceptions, "Lovers and Liars" is a romantic and spellbinding suspenseful journey into the mysteries of the heart, where love can sustain the soul - or twist in cruelly.
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Now, from the author of Destiny, comes a novel certain to be as talked about, as richly romantic and wicked, as that number one New York Times bestseller. Lovers and Liars is Sally Beauman's sensuous, very contemporary story of public masks and secret lives, of a "perfect" marriage that is not what it seems, and of lovers long separated yet destined to meet, tumultuously, again.
On a frosty January morning soon after the New Year's revels, an exquisitely dressed, beautiful blonde woman sends four identical parcels to four different destinations: Paris, New York, Venice and London. But the lovely messenger is not who she claims to be.
Photographer Pascal Lamartine receives his package in Paris: it is a woman's black glove, silky, scented, and disturbing. In London, reporter Gini Hunter, daughter of a famous Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, opens her parcel to find even more threatening contents. And within hours, Gini's enterprising editor assigns both her and Pascal to expose the story of a lifetime; a story so rich, so ripe with potential scandal, that it could make headlines--and ruin lives. For Gini and Pascal must penetrate the perfect facade of John Hawthorne, the charming, charismatic U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, to sift through the layers of ever-shifting truth about his life.
The wealthy scion of a famous American family--in short, perfect presidential material--John Hawthorne appears to have thrown away a promising political career to take a diplomatic post. Why? His wife, Lise, a legendary beauty, is a master at seducing the media; her delicate features are a constant presence on the society pages for her charity work, her skills as a hostess, and her unrelenting chic. Yet the exhaustive, adoring coverage has left the real woman mysteriously opaque. And now, unbelievably, she seems to be the source of certain whisperings about her husband.
But beyond the sensational story they are about to unmask--a black-widow web of deceit, betrayal, and dark desires more complex and perilous than they could have imagined--Gini and Pascal must confront themselves, their past, and their brief, passionate love affair twelve years before, when the fascination between them reached a fever pitch only to end explosively. Even as their investigation plunges them dangerously into the hypocrisies of the privileged and powerful, where each surprising revelation is replaced by a new, even more shocking contradiction, past merges with present, taking the two lovers back to the hot, bare room at the edge of danger where, for one burning moment, the world made perfect sense, took perfect shape.
Deftly woven of erotic secrets and unfolding deceptions that stretch across more than two decades, Lovers and Liars is a romantic and spellbindingly suspenseful journey into the mysteries of the heart, where love can sustain the soul--or twist it cruelly.
"First-rate suspense." --Cosmopolitan
From bestselling author Sally Beauman (Dark Angel, 1990; Destiny, 1987) comes this taut, smartly paced romantic thriller set in present-day London. Just after New Year's Day, a beautiful and exquisitely dressed young woman enters the main London office of Intercontinental Deliveries carrying four small parcels. The receptionist logs them in, preparing to send them to their various destinations in Paris, Venice, New York, and London. What the receptionist doesn't know is that each of these boxes contain's a pair of handcuffs and a woman's glove--a long black leather glove that smells strangely from some foul and feral substance. Within hours, two of the recipients--Pascal Lamartine, a Paris-based photographer, and Gini Hunter, a London-based reporter--are called to the editorial offices of Gini's newspaper and assigned to work on a sex-scandal story that concerns John Hawthorne, the handsome, charismatic American ambassador to Great Britain. Neither Gini nor Pascal immediately connects the strange packages with the assignment. They are too busy trying to gather clues about Hawthorne, a presidential hopeful with a ravishing wife named Lise, and trying to deal with the aftermath of their own short-lived but passionate affair in Beirut 12 years earlier. It seems that Hawthorne's fairy-tale marriage has begun to crumble: There are rumors of beautiful blonde call girls wearing long black gloves, secret trysts, violence. When Gini and Pascal learn of the gloves, they begin to connect the pieces and find themselves implicated in a dark, treacherous plot that involves sexual perversion, corruption, and murder. But this is only the beginning: As they continue to probe, they find that the story stretches farther back than they dreamed, to a tiny Vietnamese village called My Nuc, where unspeakable atrocities occurred. Beauman has written a sexy, nail-biting, page-turning thriller nicely spiced with just the right amounts of love and death. The erotic charge between Gini and Pascal--first denied, then succumbed to--is palpable and convincing, as is the compelling and morally ambiguous figure of John Hawthorne. (Book-of-the-Month dual selection for May) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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