Book Review: Jude Deveraux’s Sweet Liar

Posted August 10, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jude Deveraux’s Sweet Liar

Sweet Liar

on May 1, 1993 and has 442 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Third in the Taggert romance series revolving around the Taggert family in Chandler, Colorado. The couple focus in this story is on Michael Taggert and Samantha Elliot and takes place primarily in a contemporary New York City.

My Take

About the first third of this book, I just wanted to put it down. I’d start it and set it down over and over. I just could not stand the female protagonist. I had enjoyed the first two, however, and I just kept pushing on hoping that Deveraux would finally get somewhere interesting and, yes, I was finally rewarded.

I still don’t much like Sam, but once Deveraux started revealing a LOT more of Sam’s background, her actions made more sense. It certainly makes me appreciate even more growing up in a big family. I did adore Michael. He was willing to accept and learn. He wasn’t stuck in pride mode and he was very loving and supportive. I could not understand what he saw in Sam. Part of me still doesn’t. And I’ll wish that we all had a Taggert (and Montgomery!) family that would be as supportive as they were.

It certainly was fun to watch how frustrated Michael got. Poor baby, he was so used to women falling all over him and now he had one that escaped him at every opportunity. A good lesson for him.

Hah, I love how Mike forced Sam to go out of the house with him for the first time while she’s wearing the tacky pink sweatsuit she put on, hoping to embarrass him. How can a woman as old as she is not know how to use revolving doors? Then that shopping trip at the bookstore! Oh, you go, girl! Brilliant!

Oh, oh, I love it! Sam gets to take Kane’s twin sons home with her to practice having kids around and Kane comes ’round early the next morning to collect them and tells her “You can’t have them, Sam. They’re mine. Get Mike to make you some of your own.”

Nah, I can’t believe that $3 million stolen back in 1928 can stir up the kind of trouble that arrives in this story.

The Story

It’s a clash of a young woman whose life essentially stopped when she was twelve and encountering a man in white knight mode. At first it’s Michael’s friendship with Dave and his own desire for knowledge that impels him to help Sam and then it’s the broken woman he senses lies somewhere underneath the ice princess.

Clashing and bonding — and the order is constantly changing — over her father’s hope that she will find out what happened to her grandmother, Michael learns and loves more than he ever expected as Sam slowly comes to terms with her life and family history, coming to life again, coming to love again with a man who truly understands her.

The Characters

Michael Taggert is used to getting whatever he wants whether it’s success in bed or in business. Leaving Chandler for New York City was his burst for freedom, privacy, and the chance to be his own man. Daphne Lammourche is a stripper and one of Mike’s friends. It’s her tip off that alerts Michael to Sam’s depression.

Samantha Elliot has been let down by every man in her life so far. Her mother’s death caused her father, Dave, to withdraw from life and his family, blaming his daughter for the tragedy. Sam withdrew from her childhood life in hopes of winning back her father’s love, even to the point of marrying the man her father chose. Now, he’s forced his daughter onto this path, into the custody of this stranger.

Michael “Handsome” Ransome was Mike’s honorary Uncle Mike and the friend his grandfather rescued. When he died, he left everything, including the story he was working on about Dr. Anthony Barrett, to Michael. Patricia and Ian Taggert are his loving parents and Kane is his twin with his own set of rambunctious, stubborn twins. Jeanne is his sister and the interior decorator on whom he keeps calling while Frank is the oldest brother who is totally obsessed with becoming a billionaire. Jilly is the youngest sister and everyone loves her. His cousins in New York are Vicki Montgomery, a buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue who helps Michael fit Sam up with a fabulous wardrobe; Blair is a doctor who, fortunately, makes house calls; and, Raine Montgomery who seems quite interested in Sam.

Maxie is Sam’s grandmother. The one who ran away from home when Sam was eight-months-old. Cal Elliot was her grandfather. The one who refused to contact his wife once he got a postcard saying she was safe. Doc Barret could be Sam’s real grandfather. He’s definitely a gangster from the 1920s. Half Hand Joe was his trusted right hand man. Richard is Sam’s ex. Thank god. What an asshole! Mary Abigail Dexter is in a nursing home and dying. She also knew Maxie back in 1928. Jubilee Johnson ran the nightclub back in 1928, the night everything died. His grandson Ornette plays a mean alto sax. H.H. Walden is a criminal lawyer with his own particular past and an excruciating bit of news about an important part of Sam’s

The Cover and Title

The cover is gorgeous (don’t be put off by the vibrant yellow, it’s actually much more yellow in reality)! I want to come home to this cozy, tree-framed brownstone with its carved door and its quilt-like floral stained glass transom. It’s just too inviting with the stone planter overflowing with flowers, its warm colors, and the butterfly knocking at the door.

The title is a bit confusing and the Sweet Liar could refer to Samantha and/or Maxie as both are lying at various points.