Lie to Me (Bob-O-Link’s Review)

Title: Lie to Me (Poison Pleasures #2)
Author: Samantha Calcott
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Release Date: November 7, 2019
Genre(s): M/M, BDSM, Coming of Age Romance
Page Count:
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


It started with detention. After all, where else are a Goth, a jock, a nerd, and a loner going to meet, let alone strike up a friendship?

Frankie didn’t mean to get detention. He had no idea his mumbled comments about the teacher’s attitude could be heard by everyone.

Taylor only wanted a quick snog with a boy in a broom closet. He didn’t expect the boy to turn tail and run, leaving him to take the punishment.

Allen pushed Joe into a locker. Joe gave him a kick in the pants. And so they both wound up in trouble.

Four disparate boys. Eight hours of forced camaraderie. And a friendship to last a lifetime. Until, of course, their hearts get involved..


This is going to be one really tough review. It would be so much easier if each of you had
already read Lie to Me, so that we could discuss it with joint familiarity. Oh, well. So,
rather, let’s consider the novel, and I promise to avoid any irreparable spoilers.

To start, as you can see by my ratings, I was well-taken with Lie to Me, but it wasn’t simple,
as Ms. Calcott has provided us with a real saga, spread over more than 20 years. In fact,
this extensive melodrama might best be viewed by us as parts: an Introduction, then
Complications, and, finally Resolution. First, creating piquancy, we are introduced to
four very mismatched characters (please see Blurb, above), and follow them through a
strict Catholic prep school in the mid 1980’s. Oddly, this first portion of the tale is awash
with highly erotic, detailed BDSM experiences, which – assuming you’ve got one, will
aggressively turn the crank of your libido – several delicious times. The focus is mainly on Frankie
– a scholarship boy in poor clothes, for whom the school is a last resort, and Taylor –
excessive in his sexual mien and dress – “ . . . a deacon’s son clad in a pair of black
shorts with black and white striped thigh-high socks, shiny black leather boots, and a
black tank top with sparkly silver wings on the back.” And you ain’t even seen his
panties, yet! “Insanity isn’t so bad,” Taylor said. “It’s better than being normal and
boring, anyway.”

This is the beginning of the boys’ developing physical and psychosexual lives – a time
when a boy might discretely steal a downward glance in the lavatory, making sure his
endowment measured up! And, it is 1985. So, with passing references to condoms,
purple prose (ala Harlequin Romance?) abounds:

    * “Now he understood as he devoured Taylor’s lips, their tongues dancing together
    and Taylor’s hardness pressing against his denim-clad thigh.”
    * “Love shouldn’t hurt so much.” “That’s how you know it’s real . . .”

Ms. Calcott’s development of these characters is spot on, and will grab you into their
lives. Then, alas, comes high school graduation and parting – a moment so monumental to
our heroes that it could easily be then end of a poignantly, sad story. “Maybe one day fate
will align us to meet again. Maybe when college is over.” But, we’re fast onto to
Complications – often found with adulthood. Oddly, the sexual activity in this sextion of
the novel is much more vanilla. We’ll skip detailing Complications, its events and
spoilers, and just risk advising that the Resolutions portion will bring us a satisfactory

I highly recommend the book – but with two personal reservations. I referred to it as a
saga because, covering such a time span: it invites a degree of tediousness in its seeming
aversion to wanting to conclude. And, I hope you are better able than I to read through
tears (though that, like sex, can be wonderful relief).

What is love, and not a lie? Try: “You were the first person to see me. Truly see me. . . .
You saw me and I . . . was lost in you.”

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Galley copy of Lie to Me provided by Encompass Ink in exchange of an honest review.


I'm a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.
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