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Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering
Thriller

Too Good to Be True

by Carola Lovering

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Unsettling and twisted, this creepy thriller will make you wonder which of its narrators is telling the truth.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unreliable

    Unreliable narrator

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy

    Creepy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_GraphicViolence

    Graphic violence

Synopsis

Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips?she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family?she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result.

But now Burke?handsome, older, and more emotionally mature than any man she’s met before?says he wants her. Forever. Except, Burke isn’t who he claims to be. And interspersed letters to his therapist reveal the truth: he’s happily married, and using Skye for his own, deceptive ends.

In a third perspective, set thirty years earlier, a scrappy seventeen-year-old named Heather is determined to end things with Burke, a local bad boy, and make a better life for herself in New York City. But can her adolescent love stay firmly in her past?or will he find his way into her future?

On a collision course she doesn’t see coming, Skye throws herself into wedding planning, as Burke’s scheme grows ever more twisted. But of course, even the best laid plans can go astray. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’ll discover that there’s more than one way to spin the truth.

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Content warning

This book contains scenes that depict sexual assault and childhood trauma.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Too Good to Be True.
Too Good to Be True

Chapter One

Skye

MARCH 2019

Something is going on with Burke this morning. I can tell because he asks me three times how I want my eggs.

“Over easy!” I call from the bedroom. It’s how I’ve asked for my eggs every time since we began dating six months ago.

Burke is a morning person and I am not, and I love that he’s gotten in the habit of making me breakfast on weekend mornings while I lounge in bed with a book.

“Over easy, right?” he shouts again from the kitchen.

“Right! Thanks.” I sink back into the pillows, confused. Burke and I have been living together for over two months now. He knows how I like my eggs.

The fear that my forty-six-year-old boyfriend might be developing early-onset Alzheimer’s suddenly seizes every square inch of my brain. I recognize the irrational concern as it formulates, but the compulsion has already taken its unshakable hold, and I can’t lose Burke to Alzheimer’s out of sheer laziness. I climb out of bed and knock on every wooden object in the room eight times: eight knocks for the headboard, bedside tables, both dressers, windowpanes, closet door, baseboard moldings, and the little hand-carved elephant on my dresser. For time-management purposes, I should really avoid buying wooden furniture in the future.

“Two over-easy eggs with an English muffin and extra-crispy bacon for my beautiful girl,” Burke says, entering the bedroom with a tray. “And, of course, coffee.” He looks adorable in sweats and a T-shirt, his dark hair damp from the shower. Affection floods me, and I almost can’t stand how much I love him.

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Why I love it

At the beginning of Too Good to Be True, when Skye’s older (much older!) boyfriend Burke proposes to her, it’s pretty clear he's hiding something from her. But Skye ignores the warning signs because she’s too swept up in the glitter and excitement—celebratory dinners with girlfriends, the diamond-and-sapphire ring on her finger—and, besides, she’s plain old relieved. Before she met Burke, she always had bad romantic luck. And with so many of her friends pairing off, Skye had begun to worry that she might be alone forever.

But maybe Skye shouldn’t be reaching for her happily-ever-after so quickly. When the story switches perspectives, we learn that Burke has been misleading her: he has a whole separate life, where he's married with kids. Why is he lying to Skye? What does he have planned? And when we meet Heather—the smart, ambitious young woman who, thirty years earlier, broke up with Burke in high school—we start to wonder how his past deceptions might be linked to those of the present.

I read this book fast, propelled forward by twist after twist. Skye, Burke, and Heather all have secrets to keep. They're all good at hiding things—and they all have reasons for hiding those things. Just when I thought I had a handle on one of them, a new surprise would shift my perspective. Too Good to Be True doesn't leave you with easy answers, but that's what makes it so much fun. Maybe you would never go as far as Burke goes, but then again ... maybe you would? Crack it open and decide for yourself!

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Member ratings (29,554)

  • Nicole A.

    Perrysburg, OH

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Totally wasn’t expecting all the twists & turns. Love when the unexpected happens and ties it all together. The journey every character took throughout the whole book was incredible.

  • Katie A.

    Oakley , CA

    I loved the escapism this book brought- it was a quick read even for amount of pages! I figured out the plot about 1/2 way through but it doesn’t detract from the page-turning “gotta finish” this now.

  • Miracle M.

    Valley Park, MO

    the secrets revealed throughout the book are so intricately written it’s incredible. just when you think you know what’s happening and who’s at fault, another layer is uncovered. flawlessly written.

  • Tennasyn B.

    Tucson, AZ

    About 40% of the way through, I was annoyed with where I thought the book was going. I was pleasantly surprised with the twist though. The characters weren’t overly obnoxious like I thought they’d be.

  • Ava R.

    Canton, OH

    this is one of the greatest books i’ve read. i love how it switches between each character’s story line and kept me on my toes the entire time i read. definitely recommend this if you want a good read

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