Hot on the trail of her much talked-about debut, Lip Service, M.J. Rose once again explores the dark corners of the human psyche in a riveting and erotic tale of love, lust...and betrayal.
Although everyone thinks she's being paranoid, psychotherapist Jordan Sloan knows better. Haunted by the long-ago murder of her father, she learns that his killer has been paroled and she instantly fears his revenge. Only she knows the dark secret of her relationship with Mallory -- and the depth of her deception in providing the testimony that put him away. She sees him in shadows, in mirrors, in photographs her teenage daughter takes in the park....
Still suffering the bruises of her husband's betrayal, Jordan grapples with ambiguous emotions even as she is drawn again to her estranged spouse. Clinging desperately to the hard-earned stability of her life, she maneuvers through the meshwork of love's fragile bonds, layers of longing, and the chaos that is human relationships. All the while, a mysterious new patient seems intent on contributing to Jordan's unraveling. For as she struggles to prove that her fear of Mallory is justified, she also wrestles with how it might feel to finally forgive Robert's infidelity.
M.J. Rose has crafted a rare and evocative new novel of spellbinding energy, as a woman come to terms with her own life -- assuming she will continue to enjoy the luxury of living it.
Rose made headlines and the talk shows after her Internet self-published first novel, Lip Service, became a bestseller on Amazon.com and elsewhere, and the first self-published novel to be bought by the Literary Guild. Her second novel, traditionally published (Pocket issued Lip Service in cloth and paper as well), is a suspenseful tale of murder, madness and forgiveness. Jordan Sloan is a successful Manhattan psychotherapist who has had a couple of hard knocks. Nineteen years ago, Jordan's father was murdered in his jewelry shop by Dan Mallory, an employee she had secretly been dating. Jordan's passionate marriage disintegrated five years ago when she caught her photographer husband, Robert Falconer, with another woman. The two maintain a cordial relationship, sharing their three-story brownstone in Greenwich Village with their 17-year-old daughter, Lilly, a budding photographer. As she begins to feel more confident about her ability to trust again, Jordan finally decides to move ahead and start divorce proceedings. But one of her new patients, Adrienne, a sexually aggressive narcissist, begins to trigger uncomfortable feelings in Jordan by alluding to her affair with a married photographer. Jordan and Robert find themselves on the same side in their mutual dislike of Lilly's older boyfriend, Cooper, who is threatened by Robert's artistic, nude photographs of Lilly. At the same time, Jordan discovers that Dan Mallory, her father's murderer, has been released from prison much earlier than expected. When Jordan starts receiving mysterious phone calls and seeing shadowy figures in her daughter's photographs, she becomes convinced that the "rehabilitated" prisoner is threatening her family. Rose fails to connect all the dots of the various subplots but, overall, she offers an entertaining, at times exciting, read.