Love Lies Beneath

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Collateral comes a gripping novel about a woman caught in a love affair that could be her salvation…or her undoing.

Tara is gorgeous, affluent, and forty. She lives in an impeccably restored Russian Hill mansion in San Francisco. Once a widow, twice divorced, she’s a woman with a past she prefers keeping to herself.

Enter Cavin Lattimore. He’s handsome, kind, charming, and the surgeon assigned to Tara following a ski accident in Lake Tahoe. In the weeks it takes her to recover, Cavin sweeps her off her feet and their relationship blossoms into something Tara had never imagined possible. But then she begins to notice some strange things: a van parked outside her home at odd times, a break-in, threatening text messages and emails. She also starts to notice cracks in Cavin’s seemingly perfect personality, like the suppressed rage his conniving teenage son brings out in him, and the discovery that Cavin hired a detective to investigate her immediately after they met.

Now on crutches and housebound, Tara finds herself dependent on the new man in her life—perhaps too much so. She’s handling rocky relationships with her sister and best friend, who are envious of her glamour and freedom; her prickly brother-in-law, who is intimidated by her wealth and power; and her estranged mother. However perfect Tara’s life appears, things are beginning to get messy.

Writing in beautiful prose, Ellen Hopkins unveils a new style while evoking her signature poetic form that readers fell in love with in Collateral and Triangles.

Love Lies Beneath excerpt:

It’s Said

That every soul
enters this world
an immaculate slate
awaiting the imprint

of parent and teacher,

the scribbling of providence.

But no truth is absolute.

More often than supposed,
a mind is born defective,
hairline fractures
the native psyche, flaws
invisible to the eye.

Some cracks can’t be mortared.


As gyms go, this one is exceptionally clean. Hardwood gleams beneath the December sun flurrying down through the fog-misted skylight, and the place smells more like floor polish than the after- noon regulars’ liberal drips of sweat. Even the Pilates mats manage to shed the odor of perspiration, and that pleases me. I prefer to inhale the scent

of exertion only during coition.

Coition. Good word. Appears before “coitus” in the dictionary, and though they mean the same thing, the softer “shun” sounds chicer than the “tus” to my ear. Not that class is requisite to the act itself, but in conversation, tone is everything.

“Tara! Concentrate. Your form is terrible. Straighten your back. Lift your chest.”

I do as instructed but complain, “Squats stink. And anyway, I thought you appreciated my form.”

Nick slinks closer, bends to lower his face close to mine, and I wait for his tongue to tease the pulse beneath my ear. Instead, he slaps my behind, hard enough to sting. “You told me your goal is perfection. You’re not there yet.” His words slap sharper than the gesture. “That’s why you need me.”

Honestly, most personal trainers could accomplish the task. I’ve handpicked a half dozen over the years, trying them on for size, so to speak. I’ve kept Nick the longest because of ability above and beyond, not to mention outside of the gym.

I do enjoy specialized service, and Nick has exceptional talents. Still, he has bruised my ego.

“I don’t need you at all, Mr. de la Rosa. In fact, I think we’re finished . . .” The look on his face is priceless. I’m an excellent tipper.

“With squats and thrusts and weights, at least for today. As for the post-workout workout, give me thirty to shower and I’ll meet you out front.”

“You are a wicked, wicked woman. Almost scary, in fact.”

“Almost? You underestimate me, sir.”

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