Book Title: Beneath the Lie (Fabulous Five Series)
Author: Virginia C. Hart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Beneath the Lie: Fabulous Five Series
Suzanna Caulder is about to graduate from college, and she’s just been invited to qualify for the professional ladies golf tour—life seems to be moving in the right direction.
But when she is also invited to the engagement party of Patrick, her high school sweetheart, back home, she realizes that four years isn’t long enough to heal her broken heart or her haunted past.
Having left home suddenly halfway through her senior year, Suzanna has maintained contact only with her friend Chloe, leaving the rest of the “fabulous five” and her dark secret behind—or so she thought. Now, seeing that to move forward requires confronting the past, Suzanna returns to find closure with Patrick, only to find that their love is as strong as ever. But he doesn’t know what drove her away the first time.
Should Suzanna try to let go of the past and allow herself to enjoy a successful life and a relationship with a future?
Beneath the Lie is the first book in a series that follows the stories of the fabulous five, a group of tight-knit friends—Suzanna, Chloe, Patrick, James, and Landon—as they begin to build their lives in the great state of South Carolina.
Chapter 1 (Present Day)
Pulling my car into the driveway, I can’t believe how hot it already is for the beginning of April. Of course, I just drove from the cool ocean breezes of Garden City, into the arm pit of hell, lovingly referred to as Columbia, South Carolina. The capital city is the hottest place in our great state. Luckily, I won’t have to endure this heat much longer. I will graduate from the University of South Carolina in early May and spend the summer at our Garden City Beach home looking for a job, that is, unless I manage to qualify for the Ladies Professional Golf Association, which would put me on tour and bring all my dreams to fruition. Becoming a professional golfer is not a dream; it is my goal in life. I learned long ago that most dreams don’t come true and can easily become your worst nightmares. I gave up dreaming when my innocence was crushed by the cruel people who invade this earth. The one and only silly dream I have clung to and allowed myself to indulge in for the last four and a half years will fade away with the scorching temperatures at the end of this summer and reality will once again crush the fantasy inside my head. Shaking my head to bring myself back to the present, I get out of my car and stretch from the two and a half hour drive. Chloe’s car is in the driveway and I know she has made it safely home from visiting her family in Charleston over the Easter holiday. I grab my purse from the passenger seat and my luggage from the trunk and start to walk towards the porch of our rental house. The door opens and I’m immediately greeted by my overly dramatic roommate and best friend.
“Welcome home, darlin’,” Chloe shouts in her overly exaggerated southern drawl.
“Hey Chloe, how was your holiday weekend in Charleston? Meet any cute surfer dudes?” I ask. Chloe’s dad’s family is originally from Charleston and they spend the majority of holidays there visiting with her favorite aunt, Tina and her husband, Aiden. Tina and Aiden retired on Folly Beach, purchasing a second row beach cottage that is the most wonderful place to get away and escape reality. It’s also a great spot to check out the local surfers and get our hottie fix.
“I barely had time to get to the beach and ogle the eye candy with all the family drama. My sister was there with her not- so- likable boyfriend, my mom was hitting the sauce pretty frequently, and dad just played golf for an extended number of hours with uncle Aiden. So I chatted it up with Aunt Tina which I enjoyed every minute of and did some studying. How about you? Did you enjoy your time with your family in Garden City?”
Before I unload the details of my ‘not so exciting weekend’, I pull my luggage into the den and throw my purse on the kitchen table, immediately grabbing a bottled water from the fridge and holding it up to my head, reveling in the cooling temperature against my skin. “God, did we leave the air conditioner off while we were both out of town? It is scorching in here!” I sigh. Chloe walks down the hallway to adjust the thermostat while fanning herself with her hands.
“Yeah, we did. But it was in the mid sixties last week. I didn’t realize a heat wave would occur during the Easter weekend bringing temps like it’s mid July. And stop avoiding the question, how was Garden City?” I know what she is really asking in her not so roundabout way. She wants to know if I saw anyone from home. Not just anyone, the only someone that makes my heart race and break all at the same time. Patrick. I stroll back to the kitchen table meeting her staring gaze that is letting me know that this conversation cannot be avoided.
“No, Chloe, I didn’t see Patrick and the future Mrs. this weekend! Not that it would matter if I did,” I state bluntly. Chloe gives me another knowing stare before speaking.
“I don’t remember asking whether or not you saw Patrick and his future bride, but since you bring him up…”
“Don’t,” I beg. I just can’t have this conversation so close to finals. I can’t go down that dark path leading to nowhere, when the only thing it will bring is sadness and grief. “Mom and Dad are fine. They are busy planning European vacations that will correspond to Flynn’s soccer schedule and check out a couple of his games this summer.”
My brother, Flynn, is the most awesome soccer player to come out of the great state of South Carolina. He is currently a junior at the University of Alabama, Dad’s alma mater, and has been selected to play overseas this summer. If he shows promise, the European scouts may offer a professional contract which would delay his college education and leave broken hearts all over the southeast. But, Flynn’s soccer career has always over shadowed my golf aspirations and our relationship has suffered due to jealousy. Don’t get me wrong. I love my brother dearly, and we maintain a very close friendship, speaking often. However, whenever we are both in the presence of our parents, that’s when the green monster rears his ugly head and my overall demeanor parallels that of a three year old.
“Was Flynn at the beach house for the holiday?” Chloe asks, not hiding the fact that she has been infatuated with my brother since high school. Although she vehemently denies it, secretly she would love for a relationship to happen between them. I would love for Chloe to be a legal part of my family, even though she is like a sister to me and another daughter to my parents already. However, I will protect Chloe’s heart from Flynn until he decides to mature and not be the ‘man whore’ of the South that he currently is.
“No Chloe. You know I would have told you if Flynn was in town. He had soccer conditioning and couldn’t make the trip back for such a short weekend. He will be at the beach house after graduation for a couple of weeks before heading overseas. You know you are welcome to come and drool!” I laugh knowing she wouldn’t pass up the opportunity. I just hope she keeps her heart guarded.
“Now, enough about family drama and the like. What do you have going on tonight?” I ask observing that she is showered and dressed in a cute spring sundress with a yellow pair of wedges. “I know you didn’t dress up just to welcome me back!”
“Well,” she says, “remember that guy from my historical theater class? The cute one I told you about? He called over the weekend and asked me out. We are going to get a bite to eat downtown and maybe grab some cocktails afterwards. You and Wyatt should meet us for drinks.”
Oh great, another wanna be actor that Chloe has decided she can sink her teeth into. I wince at the thought of having drinks with a theater geek. “I haven’t spoken to Wyatt and I’m not sure what he is doing tonight. I’ll give him a call after I go unpack and get through this stack of mail my mom sent back with me. Text me the name of the bar y’all go to after dinner and maybe we will meet you there,” I say only half heartedly, knowing that may be the last thing I want to do tonight. Chloe and I have been best friends since we started taking golf lessons at the young age of nine. Chloe was very good and could have gone anywhere on a golf scholarship. Even the University of South Carolina offered her a full ride to play, just like me. But, her heart wasn’t in it. Chloe was never one not to follow her heart and her dreams. So, to the dismay of her parents, she turned down the scholarship and opted to study drama, which is her passion. She is very good at what she does and I don’t doubt that she will be famous one day. I pray that happens, since she more than likely will have to pay back the hefty tuition her parents give the university since forgoing the full ride.
“Sure I’ll text you, but you better come and not give me some lame excuse. Plus, I know Wyatt is dying to see you. He already called and left you a message to give him a ring once you’re back in town. Come on Suzy Q, this could be fun, and you could spend some time with Wyatt, since y’all are getting closer to ‘sealing the deal’,” she snorts.
“Sealing the deal? Is that your new phrase of the week referring to having sex? Look, you know my feelings for Wyatt are complicated. We have been such good friends for so long. I just don’t want to risk losing that if things don’t work out romantically. You and Wyatt are the only two people that know the real reason I dropped everything and moved to the beach to finish my senior year of high school. I just don’t want those lines to cross and mess up things for a lot of people.” She knows exactly who I am referring to without making me say his name. Those memories of my senior year were the best and worst of my life. If things turned physical between Wyatt and myself, and didn’t last, I’m afraid of what that would do to my already broken heart. A heart that wasn’t whole to begin with and might possibly never be again.
Meredith T. Taylor
The Churning Waters Saga
Virginia C Hart does a masterful job of capturing the reader’s attention from the very beginning of the book. Hart finds a delightful balance between description and dialogue. Hart’s characters are believable, and their relationships natural. She has an artful way of drawing the reader into the story until the last page. The physicality of the book, though very explicit, is well written, believable and not repetitious. Scenes are sensual and steamy. The author does a good job portraying the passions of young adults without falling into the “shock factor” trap that many authors have been recently presenting.
The storyline of Beneath the Lie is unique. At two-hundred and fifty pages, it packed in quite a bit of romance, sex, friendship, and intrigue. I am looking forward to future installments to further the characterization of the other Fab Five as Hart introduces additional subplots to the story. As a reader, I am usually frustrated with a book that ends with a cliffhanger. But with the next book, The Final Paring, already in publication, I will forgive Hart for tearing at my heart. (Gotta love a bad pun!) Congratulations Virginia C. Hart on what is sure to be a successful series!
Amazing!!!!! A treasured jewel of a story that kept me wanting to get back to it! Very captivating, intriguing, and a pure delight! Love the SC connections-felt I was living it and could totally relate to all the places!!!!
I couldn’t put this book down and when I absolutely had to put it down I was rushing to get back to it. I cried and I laughed. The story flowed together perfectly. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, I have to know how it ended for Suz!
Hart has weaved a tale that keeps you reading to find out more. I could not put this book down and was not satisfied until I had read the last word.
I could not put this book down…..Incredible romantic read! So many can relate to the southern characters in this book. The ending leaves you wanting to get your hands on the second volume. Cannot wait for more!
Absolutely amazing read! This book has it all…..romance, suspense, friendship, etc. Hooks you right from the start and captures you through to the end.
After graduating from Francis Marion University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, followed by a master’s degree in education, Hart has been teaching part-time at the local technical college for nearly a decade.
When she’s not teaching or chauffeuring her kids around, Hart is likely to be found typing away at a new book, furiously reading yet another book, or visiting her favorite South Carolina coastal spots.
Inspired to write her own romantic fiction when she was reintroduced to her love of reading a few years ago, Beneath the Lie, was published in 2104. The Final Pairing is the second book in Hart’s Fabulous Five Series.