Halberg, Lynnette. Just a Little White Lie (2011). Digital Only. Carina Press. $3.99*
This review is pre-release: It comes out September 12, 2011
Lucinda Darling thinks she’s ready to get married. Even though Donald doesn’t give her butterflies, the heiress is ready to make her marriage work. She’s got the dress, she’s at the church and her fiancé…is making out with his ex. So Lucinda stuffs her tulle skirts into her tiny sports car and hits the road…only to have her car break down.
Jake Parker knows he’s not ready to settle down. But Grandma Hattie is sick, so, to make her happy, he’s returning home to find himself a fake fiancée. When Jake rescues Lucy from the side of the highway, she goes from runaway bride to temporary fiancée.
Lucy hopes to escape the public eye in small-town Georgia, but she doesn’t expect to fall for Jake’s charming hometown, let alone Jake himself. Soon Jake and Lucy both start to wish their lie were true. But Lucy knows she must stop their pretense before Jake’s family—and her heart—are hurt so badly they’ll never recover.
A single daisy bloomed between the curb and the sidewalk, its cheerful yellow-and-white head bobbing in the Gulf breeze. Lucinda Darling hiked up the skirt of her bridal gown and stomped on the flower with her white satin stiletto.
“He loves me not, he loves me not, he loves me not.” She ground the flower farther into the dirt with each loves me not.
The “fake fiancée” plot is always a little silly. And of course they always end up falling in love, but as with most romances, it’s about how they get there, because they do get there.
It’s a silly book, with meddling families, neighbors, and ex-fiancées. Lucinda and Jake have some chemistry, but there’s so much going on for both of them that they nearly miss it.
There are frustrating moments, where side-characters are just too much, and they make you wish you could throttle characters in books. Nobody seems to actually listen to anyone else, and it can be very frustrating. (The same frustration the reader feels is at least once or twice expressed by characters, so it becomes clear that it’s deliberate.) There is some lack of resolution, a few side characters are set-up to have a story, and it never resolves itself. A few other people are mentioned, but never seem to show up– Lucy’s mom, for example. Others change rather inexplicably, and the lack of explanation means that it’s confusing. The ending itself is a little of a “WTF?” moment, since it plays out in a completely unbelievable way.
Despite my gripes? I liked this book. Lucy’s a sweet girl, and a likable character. Jake is strong-willed, but gentle. They both have their pasts, and their reasons for being the way they are. We get a bit more information on Lucinda than Jake, though.
Overall, I have to say that Just a Little White Lie is a good choice if you want a light read that’s high on the hijinks. It’s a little silly, but that’s what makes it so fun to read. It earns a 3.5/5; it was good, and worth reading, but not amazing.
Should more novels emerge, telling us the stories of the side characters, I’ll definitely pick them up; I want to know what, exactly is going on between two in particular. (Read Just a Little White Lie if you want to know what I’m talking about.)
* Disclosure: I received my copy free via Netgalley.