From Lies by Ann Anderson

From Lies by Ann Anderson
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (64 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Rafe is on the cusp of legally being an adult, which will finally allow him to pull himself and his sisters free of their mother’s clutches. Unfortunately, freedom also entails breaking the law by way of starting his own business under a fake name, and playing a role he fears he’ll never escape.

When Rafe meets with one of his primary buyers, he is made an offer too good to refuse—and refuses it, not willing to take an offer that would hurt people relying on him and the goods he provides. The lost opportunity and the constant despair of the role he must play compels him to confess all to a beautiful, compassionate stranger at a ball.

But the man he is so helplessly drawn to is instead captivated by Rafe’s sister, and Rafe wonders if he’ll always live his life trapped and watching everything he wants slip away…

Some people have happy endings handed to them, but not everyone is so lucky. How will Rafe’s life turn out?

Rafe’s character development was handled nicely. My opinion of him changed every time he or the narrator revealed more information about his life and how he spent his time. It was interesting to reframe my impression of this character so many times over the course of the plot. Writing it this way actually turned out to work well with both his personality and his interests. It was a smart decision on the author’s part.

There were pacing issues. Far more time was spent introducing the characters and setting everything than was spent on moving the plot forward. While I was fascinated by the events described in the blurb, I struggled to pay attention in the beginning of this story because of how slowly it was moving. It would have been helpful to have more conflict early on so that at least some of my questions about what was going on could be resolved.

I enjoyed the dialogue in this story. There was a little less of it than I would have expected to find in something of this length, but that only made me appreciate what was there even more than I would have otherwise. When the characters did speak, I paid close attention to what they were saying. Every word that came out of their mouths was important. I liked that.

From Lies is a good choice for anyone who loves fairy tales.

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