Lovers Lies and Lilies Part One,
by Ronald D. Walker
Publication: Ronald D. Walker; 1 edition; February 4, 2015
About the book: In 1944, women were thought to be the weaker sex. Divorce was unheard of—a woman’s place was in the home, obeying her spouse and raising their children. After a miscarriage, Calvin Barnes blamed his wife Sarah for being too weak to carry out her duties. His violent, drunken rampages turned deadly.
A chance encounter with a mysterious stranger empowers Sarah to find freedom, sexual enlightenment, and love. Wealthy businessman, Jon Bartleaux, teaches Sarah there is more to life than the 1940s mindset of sex only being for procreation at the pleasure of the husband. Treated as an equal, he teaches her that tender, generous, mutually satisfying sex can be enjoyed by both partners.
Sarah puts the pain and guilt of her past behind her until her sister Carol asks for help with a neighbor who is desperate to escape her husband’s abuse, with the added danger of a standing hitman contract should anything happen to him. Will Sarah risk revealing her secret weapon for ending spousal abuse to help Twyla?
Will Jon’s terrible secret unravel it all?
Lovers Lies and Lilies is a very unusual book, but one that I definitely enjoyed reading. So different than anything I’ve read, the story is set in the early 40’s with a woman named Sarah and her physically and emotionally abusive husband. Sarah is desperate to get away from Calvin but knows that she can’t just leave him, despite the begging from her sister Carol. When she finally gets the opportunity to be away from Calvin, she meets a rich business owner, Jon Bartleaux, who helps her in many, many ways. Jon assists with getting her finances in order, provides her with a wonderful home to start her life over, and opens Sarah’s eyes to how sex should be between two people. Sarah quickly learns that she has never experienced sexual pleasure before Jon, nor had she been in a respectful and loving relationship with a man. Jon employs her to help with his businesses while Sarah also starts up her own business – all while helping another woman escape from her own abusive husband. Everything seems to be going perfectly, except that Jon keeps reminding Sarah that they can’t be together for very long…
Here’s what I loved about this novel. First, I love that this is an erotic romance set in the 1940’s. Women were not meant to have high expectations of physical intimacy at that time and this story is Sarah’s own personal awakening or coming of age novel because she learns so much about her own body, men’s bodies, and what intimacy is really like. Second, I love how empowered Sarah became throughout the course of the novel and how her confidence grew, not just sexually but personally, financially, and professionally. Third, I loved Jon and how caring and generous he was with Sarah. The woman deserved to finally have some romance in her life!
The issue I had with this novel was some of Jon’s forever long dialogue. I found myself skimming as he analyzed men, women, sexuality, etc. Talking about a long-winded man, and I thought that I talked a lot. Also was his formal tone and way of speaking about sexual intimacy. It almost sounded robotic at times and would personally have sent me running out of the bedroom. Nevertheless, the erotic scenes were tastefully written with plenty of detail but not in a “dirty” way.
I was cheering for Sarah and Jon to live happily ever after, but there is a huge twist at the end which left me incredibly eager to dive into Part 2. The author left the ending open but in a hopeful way regarding Sarah and her new life away from abuse. This was a creative and original story that was a quick read but full of characterization and emotion. *Warning about triggers regarding physical and emotional abuse – there are some horrific scenes of abuse involving both Sarah and Twyla.
This was a great read and if you are a romance/erotica fan, this is a very different spin on the topic. I cannot wait to devour Part 2 and will post the review after reading!
*Many thanks to Ronald D. Walker for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.