Here’s what these readers said about An Illusion of Trust:
Heather Simone, writer: 5 stars
Love! Love! Love! 🙂
Oh how I love Linda’s writing and her characters! I get so lost in her books and love it. I loved the prequel, The Brevity of Roses, so I knew I would love this one. I was right.
In the first book I grew to love Meredith so much that I had a hard time liking Renee. Not because Renee wasn’t a great person, just I loved Meredith so much it was hard to let go of her.
Not to worry though in this second installment. Renee won me over, and fast. I loved her right from the start and felt so deeply for all of her faults. She is the product of a hard life, one that she still has yet to come to terms with. Because of her upbringing, and Meredith’s ghost, she has a hard time accepting her new life as Mrs. Vaziri.
I still loved Jalal from the first book, but at times in this book I wanted to jump through the pages and smack the back of his head. Men! But that’s what made this book so wonderful. The characters are so real. Renee is such a deep, passionate, and troubled character that she really resounded with me. I felt myself going on the same roller-coaster ride with her. I even found myself crying for her at times.
And I can’t forget the writing. I love Linda’s way with words, her way of bringing life to the story. I can’t wait to read what she has in store for us next!
Darlene Foster, author of Amanda in Spain, Amanda in England, Amanda in Arabia: 5 stars
This long awaited sequel to The Brevity of Roses, is a must read. It is a story about how the past can destroy the future, if allowed to. Renee Marshall has done well for herself; a gorgeous, sexy husband, two adorable children, in-laws who provide the family she always longed for, a healthy bank account and a fabulous house in a privileged community. Then why isn’t she happy? She can’t seem to get rid of a past that haunts her and is bound to destroy her and everything she cherishes. This well written story is raw with emotions and seasoned with believable characters. I could not put this book down as I needed to know, will Renee be able to confront the past and make peace or will she lose everything? Thanks for writing this book, Ms Cassidy Lewis. It was worth the wait!
Christa Polkinhorn, author of Love of a Stonemason, Emilia, An Uncommon Family: 5 stars
After a rocky and passionate relationship which began in THE BREVITY OF ROSES, the prequel to the current book, Renee and Jalal have tied the knot. Renee still can’t believe her luck. Here she is married to this handsome, sexy, charming, intelligent man who also happened to be rich. Coming from a background of having to struggle for every penny, a miserable childhood and young adulthood, Renee is finally able to enjoy love and security. But the trauma of her past, which she stubbornly tries to push away, doesn’t just dissolve in this seemingly idyllic environment. And that past keeps erupting, making her feel insecure and inadequate, making her doubt the love of her family, the love of her husband, and her capacity as mother to her two children. And Jalal, though a loving husband and doting father, seems to have a whole bunch of secretes he doesn’t want to share with his wife, increasing her insecurities and fears. All of this leads to an emotional explosion, and we begin to wonder if the two will ever be happy together again.
I loved the author’s first book, THE BREVITY OF ROSES, and was eagerly awaiting the sequel. I was not disappointed. Linda Cassidy Lewis once again presents us with a sensitive and psychologically profound work, full of vivid details. Her main character, Renee, is a troubled woman and her behavior seems often unreasonable. I sometimes felt like smacking her. But the author does an excellent job of showing her vulnerability and her basic good heart and we keep hoping and rooting for her. Wonderful story!
Ana Lewis, founder of Women on the Verge: 5 stars
Sometimes a book holds up a mirror to our insecurities, the ways we beat ourselves up. Sometimes we feel like we don’t deserve the good things we have. Sometimes we need the people in our lives to love us enough to endure our insecurities and unkindness to ourselves. Linda Cassidy-Lewis’s book, An Illusion of Trust, a sequel to her fabulous book, The Brevity of Roses, continues the story of Renee and Jalal. This takes the story past, “happy ever after”, and shows us the reality of landing in an amazing, peaceful, quiet setting, when your heart quietly believes you don’t deserve it.
This book made me examine the times in my life that I self-sabotaged in this manner. It’s tough self-love, but beautiful and growing in the end. Trust. Sometimes the person we need to learn to trust most is ourselves.
Lynn A. Davidson, writer, reviewer: 4 stars
My Rating: an excellent sequel but proudly can stand alone
Having read and reviewed The Brevity of Roses by Linda Cassidy Lewis I was happy to receive An Illusion of Trust to review as it is the sequel to Linda’s first novel. You can read my review of The Brevity of Roses here.
This story picks up where the first one left off. At the end of the first book, The Brevity of Roses, a new character was introduced, and under the circumstances I was not happy to meet her at first. In An Illusion of Trust she plays a major role. In fact, this story is told from her voice, her perspective, and it was cleverly done. Continued here …
Tricia Sutton, writer: 5 stars
As well written as her first novel, Brevity of Roses. Illusion is a marital saga whose main character’s insecurities and past baggage threaten her marriage and her mental health. The line between real or perceived blurs as an internal struggle for the woman who would otherwise have it all. Much recommended.
J.C. Hart, author: 4 stars
I read The Brevity of Roses back when it first came out so was eager to get my hands on this book. Linda has a really gentle, lush style which envelops you, draws you into the story, and doesn’t let go. This felt like a very intimate story and I was kept hoping, but not knowing, that things would work out okay – are Renee’s worries accurate? Are the concerns her family has for her valid? The nervous feelings didn’t leave my gut until I’d finished the book. If you read the first one, definitely pick this up, and if you haven’t read Brevity yet, go and read it now!
Rose Mullen: 5 stars
Just completed reading An Illusion of Trust. I found the book to be captivating–couldn’t put the book down. I loved the enhanced information regarding the characters–along with the introduction to new characters! Linda is extremely illustrative and took her story to the “next level”. I didn’t want the book to end. Impressive writing–a truly lovely story. Linda demonstrates a high level of understanding human behavior and how we as humans hide and dodge our true feelings. Read the book–you will truly enjoy!
Maureen Mullins: 5 stars
I just finished “An Illusion of Trust” by Linda Lewis and I have to say that I love this book just as much as, actually even more than the first one. There were points in the book that made me cry and at one point I could not hold back my emotions, for the simple fact, her writing was so believable. I was impressed at how well she told this story.
This author sucked me into the life of Jalal and Renee by her words and I promise you will fall in love with them. I didn’t think I was going to like Renee after loving the character of Meredith in the first book, but I love the dynamics of Jalal and Renee’s characters.
I’m not one who is very eloquent with my words but I do appreciate people that are and know how to write. I appreciate you sharing with your readers this story that you created. I truly hope there are more stories to come. You make people like me WANT to read more, if we can read books like this. For readers that love stories that you can relate to and put yourself in that place, then all I can say is………Read “An Illusion of Trust” but first, you must read “The Brevity of Roses”. Two wonderful books in my opinion. I’m so glad they were recommended to me, so now I’m paying it forward to other readers on a great read!!
Aparna_sethuraman: 5 stars
Loved the book!!! It is a fitting sequel to The Brevity of Roses!
The first book consisted of multiple povs but this one is completely written in Renee’s pov
In this one Linda shows that life does not consist of Happily Ever Afters!
This books takes on the life of Jalal and Renee after marriage.. Just when they think they have found true happiness Jalal find themselves facing doubts and troubles brought on by their pasts
This book shows how they cross all these obstacles… Definitely worth a read!!!
Mary Smith: 5 stars
I love this sequel! Renee and Jalal are wonderful characters! This story is about learning to let the past go and allowing yourself to love and trust again. Such a beautiful story! I could not put the book down!
James Garcia, Jr., author of Dance on Fire, Flash Point, Seeing Ghosts: 4 stars
Lewis is a dear friend of mine. We’re practically neighbors, too, and I can’t wait to sit down with her and chat about writing. In any event, it was not difficult at all to get me to grab my copy of this book. Lewis’ writing is top notch and I really enjoyed this book. I wanted to strangle Lewis’ character Renee a few times, but her struggles are integral to the story and make perfect sense once you’ve taken this continued journey with her. Lewis spins a fine tale and I hope she continues to pick up her mighty pen and blaze trails like this one. I fear Lewis is uncertain of the talent she has, but she shouldn’t. Her writing is as good as anything out there in the market place.
Karin Sandbergen: 5 stars
This is the follow-up to “The Brevity of Roses” and I read the books back-to-back. I also finished this novel in record time, it took me 1.5 days to do so.
This novel takes up a short time after “The Brevity of Roses” has finished and is told completely from the point of view of Renee, who is now married to Jalal. At the beginning of the novel she visits Meredith’s grave to tell her that she and Jalal are going to have a baby.
Fast forward a few years. Renee and Jalal are the proud parents of Adam, who is everything to them. Renee is pregnant for the second time and she and Jalal are going to be the proud parents of a daughter this time.
They still live in Bahia, but their beach house is getting too small for their extending family. So, the house in Coelho where Jalal and Meredith once lived is undergoing a serious overhaul, just in time before the holidays and the birth of their daughter.
But once living there, Renee is not happy in Coelho and her past comes back to haunt her…
I read reviews of this novel by others saying that they liked it even more than “Brevity”. The novel tells about Renee’s and Jalal’s marriage, at first, and everything is hunky-dory. Not a cloud in sight. Therefore, I considered it as your run-of-the-mill romance at first.
Completely the wrong thing to do…
On her son’s second birthday, Renee experiences a psychotic episode and finds out that because her brother and sisters were taken away from her, she is deadly afraid the same will happen with her children. More over, she has doubts that her children love her and that Jalal still loves her or has ever loved her. Still, she pretends nothing out of the ordinary is happening and soldiers on. Even though her friend Jennie tells her that she is no longer the old, sassy Renee and it’s time she comes back.
On top of that, Renee is convinced Jalal is having it off with another woman and when she gets what she thinks is proof, she shuts down completely and flees once again.
There’s also another story-line, where Jalal hires a private detective to find out what became of her brother and sisters. This one has a sad tinge to it, but also a very happy one.
This novels is indeed even better than “Brevity”. I already liked Renee in “Brevity”, but in “Illusion” she became more human to me, with all her doubts and her fears. I could really understand what was going on in her mind. From a tough cookie she turns into a woman who is afraid that no-one really loves her, because she considers herself to be unlovable. Her story felt really true to me.
I also gave this novel 4 stars, but that is because I hardly ever give 5 stars. If I could have given this novel 4.5 stars to show that I liked it even better than “Brevity”, I would have done so.
Again, if you like to submerge yourself in a novel and not come up for air until several hours later, I recommend Linda Cassidy-Lewis’s “An Illusion of Trust”!