Review

Just Too Good to Be True

by E. Lynn Harris

Brady Bledsoe is about to go places. He is a senior in college,
a superstar on the football field and a contender for the Heisman
Trophy with a likely future in the NFL. He is also a practicing
Christian and belongs to a group called "Saving Ourselves" for
those who are remaining celibate until they marry. His relationship
with his mother Carmyn --- who is single and a very successful
businesswoman --- is near perfect.

Then along comes Barrett, a beautiful woman who is targeting Brady
as a potential boyfriend. She's a cheerleader at his college, and
he has no reason to suspect that she's up to no good. But when
Carmyn meets Barrett, her instincts are on red alert and Carmyn
worries that she will tempt Brady to break his celibacy vows. Brady
doesn't think Barrett will compromise his beliefs and ignores his
mother's warnings.

As Brady and Barrett become closer, a secret that Carmyn has been
keeping from Brady is about to be revealed, and once Brady finds
out, he will no longer want to have anything to do with her. It's a
secret that will change things forever, and Carmyn's reputation
will be on the line. Brady is part of a larger scheme that will
give Barrett what she thinks she wants --- the man she really
loves, and wealth beyond what she's ever known before. Carmyn's
secret may be the ticket to Barrett's future.

I've read several E. Lynn Harris books in the past and enjoyed them
all. He is a good writer and storyteller, and always creates
characters who keep me focused on the plot, and are real and
believable. In JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, Barrett comes across as a
stereotypical vixen, but I still believed in the story and bought
the whole premise. The contrast between Brady's good Christian
values and Barrett's greed and unwholesome personality renders this
an excellent character study, but Harris doesn't make her totally
shallow and without compassion. You will see a glimpse of a human
being under Barrett's hard exterior before the novel ends.

I found that Brady might be too good to be true, but I know that in
this day and age of rampant teen sex, there is still a small core
group of young men and women who are dedicated to saving themselves
for their wedding night. Harris is able to paint a clear picture of
who Brady is, and I felt that he came across as a realistic person
as well.

I'm not a sports fan, so the details about the football games went
over my head. However, these passages did make the story a lot more
authentic. The main setting of the novel is the world of college
football, so it felt more credible with all the gridiron talk that
went on.

With interesting characters and a good story that kept me hooked
from start to finish, JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE is another winner
from E. Lynn Harris.

Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on January 22, 2011

Just Too Good to Be True
by E. Lynn Harris

  • Publication Date: July 15, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • ISBN-10: 0385492723
  • ISBN-13: 9780385492720