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(Tanith Lee)

Jay is an opportunist. A writer too lazy to write, she ekes out an existence waitressing and taking her chances when she can. She falls for Jilaine Best the moment she takes a seat in the department store café in which she works. A beautiful, rich artist, Jilaine is beyond Jay, especially as she has no interest in a woman as a lover. Jay pursues her non the less, employing all the lies and deception at her disposal just to be close to the object of her desire. A chance conversation reveals to her an inroad. For Jilaine is desperate for a child. Even if another woman must give birth for her.

So Jay lies and claims to be pregnant. For the situation is easily remedied surely? Jud, a good looking taxi driver is only too willing to oblige. And a baby will buy her the life with Jilaine she craves.

Nothing however is what it seems and Jay soon finds herself trapped in a lethal web of her own creation.

Written in wonderful, visual prose, this book is full of twists and turns that keeps the reader hooked. Set in a contemporary setting, it still contains the sense of ?otherness? common to all of Tanith Lee?s work. The characters are well drawn and convincing and avoid stereotype. Lee even succeeds in evoking a sympathy for the conniving, self seeking Jay, who taken at face value has the potential to be unpleasant. It is also interesting how the book raises the idea that sexual preference is not fixed; that it is possible to sexually desire a person because of who they are rather than because they are the right gender type for you.
I highly recommend this book. Like the eponymous painting of the title, nothing is as it first seems.

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