Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review: "The Great Pretender" by Millenia Black

The Great Pretender by Millenia Black

I didn't love this book. Honestly, I couldn't wait to finish it so I could move on to the next one. First, here's the official blurb about the book:

Do you really know the person you love? What warning signs are you willing to ignore? What can you forgive? In her smashing debut novel, Millenia Black puts a daring new spin on modern family drama by exploring its secrets and lies-as the perfect man comes undone by the consequences of a double life.

This sounded like it would be a juicy read, and at some points it was. It follows the sordid tale of Reggie Brooks, a man leading a double life with a wife and 2 children in one part of Florida and a mistress and another child in a different part of Florida. Reggie splits his time, every 2 weeks, between the two families. Apparently he spends 2 weeks out of every month with his mistress and their child. This has been going on for 10 years. Really? Ten years and no slip-up? That seems highly unlikely.

His daughters from the his marriage are resentful and acting-out. One doesn't speak to him and winds up getting pregnant, followed by an abortion, while the other gets a venereal disease. There's a lot going on in this book.

In the meantime, Reggie's wife starts up an affair with his best friend. Actually, his best friend starts up the affair with the wife to get back at Reggie for always being the guy who got the girl while they were growing up. Ugh - it sounds high school and it reads high school.

Add all this to the fact that the book is full of solicitous, explicit sex scenes that made me cringe as I read them. It's pretty hard to make me cringe. The other thing that bothered me was the 2 male lead characters names. Sometimes there were called Reggie and Frank. Other times they were called Reginald and Franklin. This really irked me as a reader. I'm not sure why the author did this but it was confusing at first and then just blatantly annoying.

The best part about the book was the ending. It wasn't what I expected and was, actually, quite surprising. There is no happy ending here for anyone, thankfully. That was the only redeeming quality about this book, at least that I could find.

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