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False Pretenses: A Novel (Secrets of Roux River Bayou) [Kindle Edition]

Kathy Herman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown—especially their popular brasserie Zoe B’s, to which folks drive all the way from Lafayette for lunch or dinner. It seems like heaven.
            But it’s about to become hell. A series of anonymous notes is making her life a misery—because Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Can she find the courage to face her past?
            The first in a new series from Kathy Herman, False Pretenses is a gripping suspense novel that leaves a lasting impression about honesty and accountability.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Zoe Broussard stands in the shade of the live oak on Main Street and surveys her beloved Louisiana hometown. Wrought-iron galleries overhang the sidewalk lined with brightly colored shops, and the smell of coffee wafts from the brasserie she and her husband Pierce own, to which folks drive all the way from Lafayette for lunch or dinner. It seems like heaven.
            But it’s about to become hell. A series of threatening, anonymous notes is making her life a misery—because Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Terrified by a stranger who seems to know her, Zoe must confront her past before it confronts her. Can she find the courage to do the right thing?

About the Author

Best-selling suspense novelist Kathy Herman has written more than sixteen novels since retiring from her family’s Christian bookstore business. She and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and live in Tyler, Texas. False Pretenses is the first in the Secrets of Roux River Bayou series, set in Louisiana.

Product Details

  • File Size: 549 KB
  • Print Length: 389 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0781403405
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (March 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MTBIU0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,369 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars False prentenses March 19, 2011
The characters are fairly well developed, and except for two are believable. Kathy Herman has a terrific way of designing scenes where you can hear the dishes clinking, and smell the coffee and bacon or the gumbo and fresh bread. It brought back so many good memories for me. She draws a small town community is a loving way, and it is clear that somewhere along the way Herman has experienced small town. However...

The back cover promises a terrific read; and Herman has written and published numerous novels, so you'd think this would be a "wowser", and yet somehow this particular novel falls a little flat. Perhaps I was expecting too much, or perhaps because this Cajun-flavored storyline doesn't ring true. The problem is definitely the storyline; it doesn't flow well. Something happens--an event--then all the characters must talk about the event for a few pages and even a chapter or two, then another event, and the characters talk about it, and so on. It is studiously plodding, and in the end is completely unbelievable. Frankly, it reads more like a soap opera drama than a suspense or finely crafted mystery.

I grew up in Louisiana; and I spent decades living with, being friends with, conversing with Cajuns. There is no way a person who is born and raised in Texas can suddenly shed the Texas accent, Texas thought process, and Texas loyalty and suddenly change their name and become Cajun... a believable Cajun with a Cajun accent, and mentality. It would be like someone who grew up in Germany, speaking German trying to become a Southern Bell and speak Southern. Can't be done.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good suspense but wanted more August 5, 2011
After a recent trip to Louisiana, I've been a bit obsessed with all things from that state. Therefore I was quite excited that this book was set there and included all sorts of culture from the area. I was quite geeked that I had actually visited one of the cities mentioned in the book as well. This is my first foray into Herman's books and I was looking forward to a good suspense read.

The story alternates between two women, Vanessa whose family has just inherited a plantation house and Zoe, who runs a Cajun restaurant with her husband. Both women have bright hopes for the future but things are soon thwarted as an unseen visitor keeps trespassing at the house and Zoe receives notes threatening to tell a secret about her past. Plus a lynching has also occurred stirring up tension and feelings of unease amid the otherwise quiet town. Throughout the book we see why it's a good idea to not go into a marriage lying to your spouse.

While the story for the most part was interesting, I felt that Zoe's secret was revealed far too soon and wasn't as big as I thought it would be. From the summary, it makes it sound like she had a huge secret but when it's finally revealed, my first thought was "oh is that all?" I also found the book a little too Christian-y for my tastes. While more power to them, the constant talk about verses and conversion was rather repetitive and coming on too strong at times. It seemed to overwhelm the suspense part of the story. There were also two minor pet peeves that bugged me a little. One was how Adele kept saying "hon" all the time. I realize that people from the south do this but it's just a term of endearment that annoys me. The other was how during a certain scene, people seemed to be very trusting immediately.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Novel starts out flat and confusing, but ends okay April 14, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Right away I was completely lost. The author jumped from one couple to the next (and past events as well with some of the same characters that had a different name!), back and forth, and didn't explain much at all about them so I was so confused. It took me 1/4 of the way through the book to finally get a handle on what was going on. VERY poor writing, in my opinion. It was very floppy and not organized and so it was just so easy to get lost.

But after I figured everything out, it went along smoothly and it was enjoyable to read. I was very annoyed by the main character though, so I just couldn't get into the novel! I've read others by Ms. Herman that I loved, so I was totally surprised that this was such a dud for me.

The plot became interesting AND suspenseful (although not completely believable) as it went along, and turned out to be a good read nonetheless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing and enjoyable read April 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The characters in this book are engaging and far from perfect. Zoe (AKA Shelby) has gotten herself and the people closest to her into a tight spot. Rather than being honest about her abusive past, she tells one lie after another. The problem with lying is that it becomes difficult to remember who you told what. Zoe also makes some very bad decisions that put her husband and friends in mortal danger. I have very mixed feelings about the Zoe character. On the one hand, I definitely understand what it's like to feel ashamed and to hide, but on the other hand, I find it difficult to understand why she chose to handle the situation the way she did. It seems like she was selling her husband and the townspeople short. Zoe had basically rejected herself, and assumed other people would also reject her if they knew the truth. Ultimately, this is a book about Grace, both given and received.

Then there is Ethan and Vanessa Langely, close friends of Zoe and her husband Pierce. They have an adorable four year old son who provides some much needed innocence and comic relief to the story. The Langleys are willing to risk their own lives to help Zoe and Pierce. They are there when Zoe and Pierce need them the most.

Then there are the other people in town. Each person has their own little quirk.

This book is definitely a page turner. I hated to put it. The story is full of suspense and keeps you guessing until the very end. In general, I found this book to be well written, with a great lesson, and a satisfying ending.

I do however, have one complaint about this book. I found the Cajun dialect somewhat distracting. Throughout the book, there were phrases or words that I didn't know or understand. So I had to keep flipping to the glossary in the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars False pretenses
I gave five stars. This book was interesting and a mystery, the details were such fun to read about, the food, town, characters. Looking forward to another one !
Published 1 hour ago by Danielle Arismendez
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!!!
Great read! Lots of unexpected twists! Love the message that God's grace is greater than all our sin! Get busy reading! You won't regret it!
Published 1 month ago by Josh Mize
5.0 out of 5 stars Bon champs!
A great story of life in Louisiana and how we need to rely on Gods grace. There is th delightful ambience of smells and tastes that are fully described by the author, who makes you... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jerome M. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read and enjoyed the whole series.
Published 5 months ago by Betty Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 5 months ago by Lisa Feindt
5.0 out of 5 stars Prejudiced opinions reversed.
History comes full circle. The imagination of Ms. Herman certainly brings on an intricately woven story bridging gaps in racial history.
Published 5 months ago by Timothy M Young
3.0 out of 5 stars "Liked" it but didn't grab me
I did "like" this book but I list interest about a third into the book. Not sure if it was the writing style, the subject or just me in a mood. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mom21502
4.0 out of 5 stars I was so impressed with the weaving of this story ...
I was so impressed with the weaving of this story. The culture presented strong, the characters clear. Intriguing tale from Cajun country.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars False pretenses
Good story and well written. Love old southern novels and history. I have read 2 out of 3 of her book and plan to read the last onesoon.
Published 8 months ago by Sharon Pickens
5.0 out of 5 stars I always enjoy her books
Came as expected. I always enjoy her books.
Published 8 months ago by phb
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More About the Author

Kathy Herman is no stranger to the Christian publishing industry. Before becoming a bestselling author and award-winning poet, Kathy worked on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association for five years. She gained eleven years of bookstore experience as a children's products specialist and drew on that expertise to conduct related seminars in the U.S. and Canada.

Kathy quickly rose to the rank of bestselling author when her first novel, TESTED BY FIRE, became a CBA bestseller shortly after its release. Since then, eight more of her novels have claimed the title of bestseller: ALL THINGS HIDDEN, THE REAL ENEMY, THE LAST WORD, THE RIGHT CALL,FALSE PRETENSES,DANGEROUS MERCY, RELENTLESS PURSUIT and NOT BY SIGHT.

Her contemporary, fast-paced novels weave inspirational messages into the storyline so effectively that a college professor in Houston utilized her books as required reading to educate students on the value of teaching through fiction. Kathy's books have also been widely used in book club discussion and Bible study groups.

Kathy and her husband Paul live in East Texas and have three grown children, five "nearly perfect" grandchildren, and an adorable cat named Samantha. Her hobbies include photography and bird watching--especially an ongoing fascination with hummingbirds.

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Topic From this Discussion
Another thinly disguised Christian fiction book
I usually don't comment on these discussions. I stumbled across this book while looking for free kindle books. After I saw this discussion, I clicked on the about the author page. It clearly states she is a Christian author. That is pretty clear. An author who happens to be Christian is... Read More
Apr 28, 2012 by T. Dunaway |  See all 3 posts
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