Lies. Whether little white gaps in the truth or whopping black holes in reality, those little buggers can come back and bite you in the arse one day. Like when I first met my in-laws and was served a heaping plate of venison. Eating Bambi made me queasy, but I complimented the cook and forced it down. Twenty years and over fifty family meals later, I wish I’d politely declined. That’s the problem with lying—you either own up straight away or eat venison pie for the rest of your life.
I can live with that, and with the unavoidable porkers I sometimes dish out. Because, really, how easy is it to tell a fragile friend her new dress does make her look like a balloon that’s overdosed on helium? Or your moaning boss his wife left him because he’s a belligerent tosser who doesn’t—ahem—meet her needs? When the truth won’t do, “you look great” and “she’s having a mid-life” seem harmless deviations from reality. Easily forgivable ones.
But what about the unforgivable lies, the painful shockers that end people’s happiness, that twist or destroy their lives? Could someone be forgiven for telling such a whopper if they owned up to the truth? Would confessing “set them free” or would it cost them everything they held dear? What deception could be so terrible, so life-shattering that two people destined to love each other could be torn apart by it? And what sort of woman, for example, would deliberately destroy a man’s life, and why? What about her guilt?
Pondering these questions over a margarita (okay, three, I’ll own up) is how Hate to Love You came to life. Creating an abrasive heroine from a dingy housing estate and pitting her against an upper crusty lawyer whose life she shatters with her unforgivable lie was not only fantastic fun to write, but a gritty, pulse-rocketing ride. It threw up questions about the nature of honesty and deceit –and the murky area in between– conundrums I still discuss over margaritas.
Could you forgive someone for telling a lie that destroyed your happiness, if you loved them? And if so, could you build a life with them? I’d love to know where you stand so please do leave me a comment. One brutally honest answer will be selected to win a free copy of Hate to Love You. To find out if you’ve won visit the blog page on my website, elisealden.com, on June 16th.
I’m originally from tropical Panama but I’ve lived in foggy Britain for twenty years and have learned to take my Earl Grey with milk. Reading, writing and revelling in romance are my favourite pastimes, but I also adore butterflies and I enjoy exploring ruined castles—the more remote the better. To find out more about me and my books, pop by my website, elisealden.com and tweet to me @elise_alden. Hate To Love You is available from Carina Press and other e-tailers.