Title: Black Lies
Author: Alessandra Torre
Review: “Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails. I love two men. I fuck two men. If you think you’ve heard this story before, you haven’t.
To say this book was a surprise is a severe understatement. I dove in with trepidation, scared that I wouldn’t connect with a narrative that so prominently featured a love triangle.
I was wrong. So wrong.
This book is not what it seems, a deceptive veneer for what it truly is… an epic love story. A love story that fights to survive. A love story that struggles through temptation. Jealousy. Infidelity. Lies. Alessandra Torre did a brilliant job of weaving a tale so twisted, so multi-faceted, so carefully constructed, that I was lost to it from the very beginning. Beguiled by a story that seemed forged of sharp edges and acute turns I didn’t see coming. It felt ominously chilling, as if all the lies lay before me, unseen, yet taunting me through their subtle clues. It was irresistibly seductive, suspenseful, emotional and utterly riveting. And it all starts with characters that are complex and enigmatic and so well developed across the trajectory of this twisted tale.
“Brant Sharp. Genius. Billionaire. Philanthropist.”
Layana (Lana) Fairmont has been groomed to be the epitome of class and elegance. She was raised to be the perfect wife. Layana, however, longed to be free of those societal shackles and at twenty-five and fuelled by a hefty trust fund, she was finally able to begin a new life. Soon after, she meets reclusive billionaire Brant Sharp. A genius of a man famous for his innovations as well as his relationship status. He was wealthy, gorgeous, mysterious, and intelligent and no one had landed him. There was an irresistible edge to him. An intrigue that drew Lana in.
“I loved that he was different than the men of my past. He didn’t have the cloak of aristocracy, didn’t care enough to be aloof, snooty, and could care less if we played by society’s rules or wrote our own.”
In Brent she found a man that ignited her heart, soul and body. A man that focused on her happiness… her pleasure. She could see a future in his arms. He was everything she dreamed of finding in man. Problem was, those closest to him worked diligently to keep her away. There was a secrecy that shadowed Brant, one she couldn’t decipher.
“In that secret lies nothing but destruction.”
Even though Brent was wonderful, there were times where he was lost in his work and forgot the time. She was told to let his genius breathe freely and she allowed it every time because she loved him. And at the height of their love, at the brink of their happily ever after, she discovered a truth that shattered everything to pieces.
“Our relationship had been perfect. A gorgeous, brilliant man. One who loved me with every spare inch of his heart. Spoiled me. Listened to me. Valued me. One who I loved passionately in return. I had gone and made plans for us. Plans involving a house full of children, growing old as one, a joining of our lives that would never end. Then I found out his secret. And on that night, my world imploded.”
At this point, the story is unfurling primarily in Lana’s point-of-view, hinting at what was to come. And even when Lana discovers the truth, it is hidden from us. I was consumed by the secret I had yet to uncover, driven mad by a string of potential theories that flitted through my thoughts. Torre insidiously teased us in just the right way, drawing emotion, dread and fear for what so obviously destroyed Lana from the inside out.
“When you really love someone, you cannot walk away. No matter what they do. No matter the lies from their mouth, or the actions from their bodies, you tie yourself tightly to their sail and vow to be there through thick and thin. Let the wind blow you where it may. Even if that place is a crash. Even if that place tears you apart and kills anything good.”
And so she meets Lee. Undeniably sexy. Arrogant. Confident. With a magnetism impossible to deny. Whereas Brant gave, Lee took. He represented everything Brant wasn’t and she knew she couldn’t let him go. She had to make him hers. He became an addiction.
The story continues in a way that is equal parts shocking, emotionally befuddling, heart-breaking and intense. We feel the heat before the explosion as we inch closer to the story’s surprising culmination. The pressure of keeping secrets, of lying, of infidelity, too much for Brant, Lana and even Lee. Everyone is hiding truths and nothing is what it seems. We also see Brant’s point-of-view, an insight as tortured as Lana’s.
“I am an intelligent man. I have been called calculating. But I am not cold; I am not unfeeling. My love burns as bright as hers, as does my possession. But my anger, my emotion, doesn’t simmer on the surface. It hides, in wait, for the moment it needs to erupt.”
The last quarter of the book is entirely riveting, with plot twists discovered even in the epilogue. I love it when a book has the capacity to surprise me and enthral me so completely. The pacing was impeccable. The characters incredibly developed. The writing bold, seductive and brilliant. This was the first book I’ve read from Alessandra Torre, but if this is any indication of her writing and storytelling prowess, then she’ll quickly become an auto-buy author for me. I loved everything about this novel. Loved what it made me feel. Loved that every element of the story seemed to come together perfectly in just the right way, at just the right time. Undoubtedly one of my favourite books this year!
“True love makes a person reckless, makes them take risks and make sacrifices. True love tests the boundaries of our person, makes us yearn to be better and fight for the ground we stand on. I will fight for this love. Lie for it. Steal for it. It is worthy of that.”
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: amazon.co.uk