Review: “Too Good To Be True” by Carola Lovering

Too Good to be True by Carola Lovering book cover
Original background cover photo credit: Photo by James Bold on Unsplash

Something is going on with Burke this morning. I can tell because he asks me three times how I want my eggs.

Too Good To Be True, Chapter 1 opening

Author: Carola Lovering
Publication Date: March 2nd 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Find it on: Goodreads

Synopsis

ONE LOVE STORY. TWO MARRIAGES. THREE VERSIONS OF THE TRUTH.

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. 

From Goodreads

Review

Book Content Warnings: rape/sexual assault, drug abuse / addiction, stalking, Alzheimers, OCD

Too Good to be True is a delightfully twisted story of equal parts manipulation and desire, betrayal and revenge, desperation and romance.

Readers first meet Skye, one of three main characters the story visits in turn. Ever since her mom died she’s lived with OCD manifesting in compulsions that not only cause her anxiety and ostracization, but have resulted in terrible assault. Although she’s sweet and intelligent Skye’s OCD has made dating difficult, all but squelching the delicate flame of each relationship once potential partners see its effects first hand. Only two men have ever seemed to accept her as she is. The first subsequently deeply betrayed her, threatened her safety, and caused irreparable harm; the second is Burke. Burke is exceptionally kind, mature, and doting. He’s older than Skye but still devastatingly handsome. Most importantly, Burke loves and accepts her unquestionably, filling a void in Skye’s life just when she had begun to lose hope. When he proposes after a mere 6 months of dating she’s overjoyed, but her best friend, Andie, is skeptical.

Burke, the male lead in the story is the second character whose perspective readers get in the current timeline. The final perspective is Heather’s – the only one rooted in the past, thirty years earlier. It’s difficult to say much about Heather and Burke without giving too much away. Really, as sometimes happens with thrillers the less you know going into this book the better, so I’ll omit much comment here. Since the synopsis already hints at some amount of deception by Burke I will say that despite this I still found him very charming and enjoyed the relationship between him and Skye. Their interactions inched this book closer to a romance thriller than I thought this would be, and made for a brilliant read.

Based on how much I enjoyed this book I will certainly be on the look out for future thrillers by Carola Lovering. The OCD representation was great to see and interesting to read about, and the dynamics among the characters made for great warring motivations. Tension builds leading up to the end which seems to be plowing off of a terrible but righteous cliff, before taking a hard reverse to a heartwarming ending. I’d enthusiastically recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers with relationship motivation/sub-plots.

One thought on “Review: “Too Good To Be True” by Carola Lovering

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s