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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on September 9, 2005
I read this book due to the recommendations on here and although I would say it is an interesting read, I wouldn't put it in the class of great literature. It is a pretty standard novel with some interesting characters, but I would probably put it as a cross between a Danielle Steele novel and a Sidney Sheldon. I'm not sure many people who are in a book club would find it very challenging. I found the writing kind of awkward in parts, but I wish more time was spent on characterizations and less on plot.
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on May 10, 2004
This novel is very interesting to read, if you chose to ignore this story it is true anyway. but Lord, please put it in a movie and let me recline with my baby I don't intend to leave and enjoy the graphics of it's effect, yeh!.
Reginald Brooks chief protagonist only followed his natural human instinct lets face it. You must want to be an angel and is stricken with high-fidelity syndrome so as not to given in to this overwhelming sexual anxiety. And it is unfortunate that these pain and sufferings do result from it.
Poor Tracy, Olivia, Valerie and Renee with the out of wedlock child Denise. Well, Frank needs some of our pity also, not withstanding the betrayal of his boyhood friend. Overall this story really features the latent but strong sexual dynamics at work that compels people to inevitably see intercourse, as you can see everybody look for it at one point or another.
And, it is such that when a man leaves the presence of his spouse, however charming she may be and, regardless of how she makes him romantically satisfied, it's all forgotten when another beautiful woman graces his sight. Well, psychologically that's the way it is in men, and a man has got to be down right too ambitious to restrain from the stuff.
I thank this author for such accomplished work!
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on May 26, 2004
This novel is priceless, really! It loudly exemplifies societies deficit to place priority on fidelity. Yes! Fidelity contains respect, honor, loyalty, dignity, protection and all the host of other virtuous emotions that embraces selfrespect.
If you're impress by what I've said, try the book and I'm sure you'll find that we as a people, saving for a few, have no guilt of our sexual pervasiveness. Sex is sweet but we're not the lower animals, we must discipline ourselves to qualify as intelligent human. I assure that you'll have a hard time putting down this stimulating page turner, thoughtful read!
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on June 11, 2004
I was pulled into this book like a moth to a flame. I kept reading to see where it would end. Endless graphic sex scenes between one character, and then another who was cheating on another one. The whole premise of the book was intriguing, but the author never pulled it off. Not one character had any redeeming qualities. Flat dialog ran throughout. This is such a dark story, it makes you feel that the author holds absolutely no faith in humankind. It went from chapter to chapter, as each character spiraled down and out of control.If you love to watch "B" movies and soap operas, you could probably tolerate this book.It seemed to be a good book, a page turner, which it was, but the ending was as flat as the dialog.
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on April 19, 2004
I would venture to say this is one of the most original family-related stories I've ever read. The big-wig Reginald Brooks is orchestrating a double life and was never caught until he decided it was time to fess up.
I found it very hard to put down and was up for a long time reading it. Each character has his own voice and I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys complex stories about family relationship and dysfunction, even if you don't normally like dysfunctional stories because after is a part of life. Albeit, perhaps no one in your own family has lived a double life....or have they? Hmm...that's why I would recommend this book!
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on May 20, 2004
I read the other reviews and was intrigued. Unforunately, though, it was a futile and disappointing effort. It was like watching a train wreck; I could not pull away. I kept at it, hoping something would improve. When I finished, all I could think was " I can't believe I read the whole thing!"
I love to read and am easily entertained. I have never been moved to write a review, before, but want to prevent someone else the pain of going through this read. Sorry, to the author.
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on April 25, 2004
Reginald Brooks is a big shot gentleman that is living a dream life. He has a great job at Hart-Roman with a boss that is also a close friend, his best friend has been with him for all of his adult life, he's been married to his childhood sweetheart for almost two decades and they have two beautiful, well-adjusted daughters. However, this was not enough for Reginald. While traveling to Orlando to oversee another division of Hart-Roman's advertising ventures, Reginald meets and takes up with Renee Jameson. They have a young daughter together, Denise.
This begins the split of Reginald's life.
He orchestrates it so traveling to and fro is intertwined with his work for Hart-Roman and as the intringing prologue conveys, for six years, "All was well in Miami." and "All was well in Orlando."
THE GREAT PRETENDER was a fascinating read. The transitions from one scene to the next was quick and fluid and caused me to fly threw the story. Though I am very tempted to give away the ending of this tumultuous plot, I won't. I can only say that the author did such an exciting job of having the ramifications creep up on me that my mouth literally fell open and then I said, "Well, it figures." because it made perfect sense. Why didn't I see it coming? Needless to say, it was an ending I shant soon forget.
Once I reached the end of this story, I do have but one serious complaint of THE GREAT PRETENDER: I have not seen or heard anything about a sequel.
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on February 17, 2004
Mr. Reginald Brooks, oh my God! It seems like the ability to be stealth and furtive in maneuvering skills is more easily employed in affairs that take us down a shamefull street.
Like in the case of Mr. Brooks,he found himself stripped of all the characteristical atributes most men of class try to have for attraction and also self-respect.
After the fact,all of the intoxicated infidelity he lavishly enjoyed, had only served to to say; that men as a whole in order to have a life of genuine cause for respect must resort to restraint in the matter of self-discipline.
Look! As a man , I know how hard it is to be sexually conservative! But it is also true, that if you want it badly enough you can do it. Why? Because it's psychologically possible,and once you have cross the line of temptation you're home free. Of course, that doesn't mean you'd never be tempted again, but you now have a perspective to hold you.
Once we've overcome that problem, we have saved ourselves and the loving families we have created.
Oh! That Girl Millenia Black (Author) has done a masterfull job on this multi-character Novel, quite a sensational rendition. And readers lets' watch out for this writer,it's just a debutante Novel, she is fledging and coming on syrong!
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on July 24, 2003
If you've never watched Melrose Place or read a soap-y novel, then you might find this book entertaining; otherwise, you've seen it done far better before. The first time you encounter such a story, you watch/read in morbid fascination. Afterward, you feel dirtied by the experience and recognize future examples of it as a predominantly undignified, ignorant mess.
Millenia Black's treatment of the story is not at all unique. It's pedestrian, predictable, full of cliches, overdramatized, and complete with many gratuitous sex scenes (and those aren't even well written -- only the participants names are interchanged, along with a slight variation in the terms used for basic body parts).
One of the saddest things about the book, though, is that there isn't a single character the reader can view as heroic or with empathy, with the possible exception of the six-year-old illegitimate daughter of the main character -- and she is consistently and awkwardly referred to as "the baby," which is not the vantage point of an intelligent adult reader. Everyone else in the book comes across as narcissistic, immoral, motivated by the basest of instincts, lacking in education and intelligence, and completely deserving of what happens to them during the course of the book.
Unfortunately, the author fares only as well as her characters. Her book contains numerous and obvious grammatical errors ("I know a few realtor's" ... "Him making every effort to ... "), sudden one-time uses of words that don't fit with the informal tone of the rest of the book ("apperceive" -- which wasn't even used correctly!), descriptions that are repeated so often they become meaningless (everyone's hand is at some point described as "well-manicured"), and jarring inconsistencies (How does a dress that is so tight that it is described "like a second skin" also appear "as if a light breeze would leave [it's wearer] quite exposed"? Why is a character referred to by another character during the same conversation first as Mrs. Roman and then as Ms. Roman?)....
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on May 12, 2004
If you're looking for a book that grabs you at the very beginning, this is it. If you want a book that will leave your head spinning, this is it.
Written at a marvelously quick pace, Black still manages to convey anger, frustration, revenge, malice, jealousy and deceit, while balancing it against love, regret, and family endurance. The reader truly cares about the fate of the two families involved in this dysfunction. This is a powerful work that's clearly not intended for prudes, or young readers. The characters are real, and the actions definite. A caution: if you are a prude about explicit sexuality, this is not the book for you. However, for those who don't mind the eroticism aspects of reading, the couplings are riveting.
I don't tend to think about a story once I've moved on, but the ending scene is so stunning, so powerful, and so well-told that, yes, I still think about the situation two days or so after finishing the book.
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