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Tell Me No Lies    by Kathryn Shay order for
Tell Me No Lies
by Kathryn Shay
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

In Tell Me No Lies, the story is well written and kept me interested. However, the characters made me angry (and I'm sure this was the author's intent). It's about a married couple whose relationship seems doomed from the start, because the wife, Tessa Logan, is hiding a big secret. In fact, she hasn't told Dan much about her past life, and he has learned not to pry.

Tessa has telltale quirks - that in some ways should have given her away - such as being very nervous when driving a car. Dan explains this as having to do with the accident she was involved in as a teenager. He doesn't know much about the accident itself, and Tessa won't talk. It turns out that her secret is pretty big: she had been arrested, along with her then-boyfriend, Frankie Hamilton, after two people died while he was driving under the influence - they were also charged with possession of narcotics. Tessa is ashamed of her past, and has tried to forget it ever happened. She spent almost two years in jail and never saw Frankie again, cutting all ties with him.

Tessa and Dan have a seemingly great marriage and two lovely daughters. But things begin to happen that make Dan suspicious. Tessa, on the other hand, has always had a problem with his controlling ways and need for perfection. She tries to conform to Dan's compulsions, but when her sister Janey tells her that Frankie is out of prison, she is worried that he may seek her out. She is afraid that he will destroy everything good that she has in her life, including her marriage.

Dan's behavior had me very angry from the beginning. The reason behind his compulsions is explained, but it doesn't excuse the way he treats Tessa throughout her stressful ordeal with Frankie. This was one of the few romances in which I was hoping the woman would get out of the relationship, wishing a real knight-in-shining-armor would come to her rescue.

Tessa, on the other hand, seemed to be a woman who was attracted to controlling men. Her dependency on Frankie during her teen years, and now her need for Dan's approval are obvious indicators. Her brother-in-law Nick was a potential knight compared to Dan, and I was secretly hoping Nick would save the day. He understood Tessa, almost intuitively, which is no surprise once the reader learns about his background. I also admired older sister Janey, a very loyal sibling who did not judge Tessa at all for her past or present actions.

The only fault I had with this book was that the last half seemed almost overkill in terms of all the bad things that began to happen one by one to each of Tessa's loved ones. However, everything did make sense, and one knows from today's headline news, that sometimes bad things do happen to good people. I recommend Tell Me No Lies as showing how diverse romances can be.

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