Heart of Lies by M.L. Malcolm

It struck him hardest when he caught sight of her suddenly, hurrying through the front door, back from one of her social gatherings, or emerging from the bath, her glorious auburn hair wrapped up in a towel. At those impromptu moments the depth and intensity of his love for her seized him with a pyscial force that could have been agony. But it wasn’t, any more than violent muscular contractions of an orgasm could be called pain. She was part of him. (p. 147)

Spare me.

This melodramatic, highly embellished depiction of love got old after the first few episodes. By the middle of the book, I was weary of how I’d imagine a Harlequin Romance to read. Mind-numbing banalities of a love affair involving a man who would murder, lie and cheat for self-advancement, while bringing his German wife away from her family of origin to live with him in Shanghai.

His love cannot protect his wife. He does not have the strength or character to be a father to his daughter. His lying heart served no purpose whatsoever for anyone, least of all for himself.

I was so disheartened.

12 thoughts on “Heart of Lies by M.L. Malcolm”

  1. Crikey! That is not good. I have to review this book, too! UGH! Oh well, must dive in and see what I can find. Thanks for the honest review, Bellezza!


  2. Nadia, as with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I could very well be in the minority here. I've read several reviews of people who loved it, so we'll have to see what you think. I can't wait to hear your thoughts.


  3. Sad to know that you didn't like this book by Malcolm. Sometimes, it is amazing how the fame of a book spreads like wildfire, but when we try reading it, we find that it is very different from the hype surrounding it. I don't think I will try reading this. Thanks for the review 🙂


  4. How sad. 😦 I'm so sorry this book wasn't better for you. The author was a real treat to chat with at BEA, and I'm still planning to read it, but I'll lower my expectations a bit …Thanks for being a part of the tour.


  5. I have not read this book, but I've only read your review and anna's at Diary of an Eccentric and they seem to be polar opposites. I'll have to put this on the back burner.


  6. If the rest of the book reads like the quoted passage, I'm with you. Spare me! Thanks for your honest assessment. I do like the cover, though. 🙂


  7. I appreciate your taking the time to review my novel, and I’m sorry that you were disappointed. However, as some of the comments above illustrate, tastes in fiction do vary widely, and I would only hope that others who read your critique also consider the positive comments and keep an open mind. I can tell by reading your favorable reviews that you enjoy literary fiction; your students are very lucky to have someone of your intellect and erudition in charge of their education, and I mean that quite sincerely. Thank you for sharing your love of books with so many young minds (even if you did not care for mine). M.L Malcolm


  8. M.L. Malcolm, I appreciate you leaving such a thoughtful comment on my blog. I'm so very sorry that your book didn't fit me; I wanted to admire their love, I wanted more to find the 'hero' a hero. Of course, life doesn't work that way; husbands, fathers, people are often disappointing and don't redeem themselves. Or, those around them. I just respect them more when they do. Being a person of character, regardless of circumstance, is the most important thing in the world to me.


  9. Bellezza, you don't owe me an apology! Leo is in many ways not an admirable character; neither was Scarlett O'Hara (not that I would dare compare my writing to Margaret Mitchell's). What book bloggers think about my books is more meaningful to me than any number of "big" reviews in magazines, and when honest readers discuss the strenths and weaknesses of my work it invariably helps me become a better writer. Thank you for your interest.


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