Sawyer Taft made a deal with the devil (her maternal grandmother Lillian Taft) that she would spend her debutante season for a mix of materialistic (cold hard trust fund in the form of a college fund) and personal reasons (to find the mysterious father her mother never talks about). It all went about as well as can be expected for someone who was raised on the wrong side of the tracks, and against the odds Sawyer managed to find her place in her family and her families wider social circles. She also managed to find the identity of her father, and the fact he is her uncle has left her reeling and undecided about what to do. Part of her wants to tell Lily that they are half sisters rather than cousins, but after all the drama in the previous months it just seems like it will do nothing but cause pain - Lily doesn't deserve that, and Sawyer doesn't want to risk their friendship.
With the arrival of warmer weather the Easterling family, with Sawyer in tow, head to their lake house on Regal Lake. Sawyer has no idea what to expect, but the mansion like lake house has plenty of room for the whole family, and for Lily and Sawyer there is an added surprise - on their beds are some understated boxes that welcome them as prospects to join the White Gloves. Lily knows all about the White Gloves, and knows what an honour it is to be chosen as a potential member - even if Sawyer thinks it is just one more strange thing wealthy families do. When they discover human remains during one of the White Gloves outings, Sawyer and her friends are drawn into the mystery of who the remains belong to, as well as what happened to the third girl who was part of the pregnancy pact that resulted in Sawyer. Life is never simple and straight forward for Sawyer, especially when it comes to her family, and this time the secrets she is trying to uncover could have deadly consequences.
Little white lies was a fantastic read, and it was going to take a really good story to match it - and Jennifer Lynn Barnes has delivered once again. I read Deadly little scandals in a single day because I didn't want to put it down. The pace is perfect, with a balance between current events, events that lead up to current events, and a peak into the past that has lead to the present events (not saying anymore you need to read it for yourself). Sawyer and her world are once again brought to perfect life, the story moving along at a decent clip, leading you down a path of discovery and dropping clues for you along the way - another chance for you to see if you can figure out what is happening before the big reveal at the end.
Barnes is a very adept storyteller, not just because she creates characters you care about, but also because she can balance a fast pace with enough details and moments to keep you connected to the story. You care about Sawyer and her family, and it is all too easy to understand the difficult position she is in, and why she feels the way she does. Barnes also has a great sense of humour, that comes through with some of the moments in the book, as well as some of the situations and the way people handle things that do happen.
This doesn't feel like the end for Sawyer and her family, and I sincerely hope that there is more to come because this is a fantastic series that appeals to teen and adult readers alike.
- Little white lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- The lovely and the lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- In another life by C.C. Hunter
- Holding smoke by Elle Cosimano
- Nearly gone by Elle Cosimano
- The stranger game by Cylin Busby
- I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
- The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
- Burning blue by Paul Griffin
- Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong
- What waits in the woods by Kieran Scott