Title: Liar’s Guide to True Love by Wendy Chen
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Length: 83,000 words
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Wedding planner Cassandra Hanley is in the business of making other people’s dreams come true. But for some reason, whenever she meets a potential mate of her own, she finds herself telling little (and not so little) white lies. She’s not trying to sabotage her relationships on purpose: as a people pleaser, she just naturally tells men what she thinks they want to hear.
When Cassandra meets Nick, she’s determined to be herself this time—until she learns he abhors weddings. So she recasts herself as an advertising exec, and now she’s scrambling to cover up the lie…with more lies.
Into the tangled web wanders Cassandra’s college sweetheart, Kevin. Kevin, the one man who knows the real Cassandra, and loves her anyway. Could he have been The One all along?
Torn between the past and the present, Cassandra is about to learn that you can’t plan the perfect life the way you can plan the perfect wedding.
Wendy Chen’s debut novel Liar’s Guide to True Love is an engaging novel about Cassandra Hanley’s relationships with her family, friends and the men in her life. Cassandra’s current relationship with Nick is complicated by the reappearance of her college sweetheart, Kevin. Along with juggling two men, Cassandra’s not so little white lie to Nick about her career is spinning out of control.
Liar’s Guide to True Love has a richly drawn cast of characters. Cassandra is a successful career woman with a supportive circle of friends and a relatively healthy family relationship. Although she does not have any trouble meeting men, Cassandra cannot seem to find Mr. Right. Her relationship with her ex Kevin is unresolved and ongoing as they continue to indulge in casual hook-ups. Unsure where her new romance with Nick is headed and with her relationship with Kevin more serious than it has been in years, she decides to date both men.
Nick is absolutely adorable. Kind hearted, honest and sincere, he is completely charmed by Cassandra. Although he has been burned a couple of times in the past by ex-girlfriends, he does not let that interfere with his new relationship with Cassandra. But how understanding will he be once he is confronted with her lies?
Ex-boyfriend Kevin is back in town, and he appears to be a changed man. For the first time since they split up years ago, Kevin is treating Cassandra as more than a booty call. But is it a case of too little too late as Cassandra begins to see Kevin and their relationship with some much-needed objectivity?
Rounding out the superb cast of characters is Cassandra’s close circle of friends. Kate is a carefree serial dater who does not understand why Cassandra would want to settle for just one man when New York is full of single men. Suzanne is a divorced doctor who is actively searching for a man to settle down with. Mia is in a committed relationship that is becoming more serious. Each woman provides Cassandra support and advice throughout Liar’s Guide to True Love. Their friendship made me think of Sex and the City minus the graphic sex talk and language ;).
Equally enjoyable is Cassandra’s relationship with her mom and sister Emma. Cassandra’s mom is very much invested in her daughter’s lives, but in a (mostly) good way. She knows when to back off and she can be surprisingly intuitive. Emma is a suburban wife whose life is not exactly picture perfect. Her visit to Cassandra takes both their lives in an unexpected direction.
Adding to Liar’s Guide to True Love’s appeal is the setting of New York City and Cassandra’s career as a wedding planner. Ms. Chen brings the Big Apple vibrantly to life with her finely detailed descriptions of restaurants, stores and famous landmarks. The romantic in me loved the weddings that Cassandra planned and her descriptions of her bridal couples had me laughing out loud.
Liar’s Guide to True Love is so much more than a romance. It is a journey of self discovery for Cassandra. It is a celebration of friends and family. And yes, it is a love story with a delightful ending.
If you are a fan of books about relationships, then you will thoroughly enjoy Liar’s Guide to True Love. I am very much looking forward to more works by Wendy Chen.