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Unforgivable Love

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  317 ratings  ·  99 reviews
In this vivid re-imagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, it’s the summer when Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier and a sweltering stretch has Harlem’s elite fleeing the city for Westchester County’s breezier climes. But there two predators stalking amidst the manicured gardens and fine old homes.

Heiress Mae Malveaux rules society
Paperback, 517 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I'm running a giveaway for this book through 11:59pm EST 10/13/17. Enter here!
You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.

Though I have never read the original version of Dangerous Liaisons or even seen a film or theater adaptation, I was intrigued by this book’s description and couldn’t wait to receive my copy. I was not disappointed.

If you’ve been following my reviews for any length of time, you probably know that I rarely go all-out fan girl. This is one of these very rare ti
Feb 12, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-the-pipeline
what's unforgivable is that no one told me this book was a thing i could have.

Sophfronia Scott
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my work of historical fiction and I'm grateful for all who take it up. Hope you enjoy it. :-) ...more
I rarely ever give a 5 star rating. Review to come.
Pierre de Laclos’s original Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the machinations and struggles for power, position and upward mobility, full of sex, rumor and backbiting were emblematic of the courts of many European Kings - the real inspiration of modern day Survivor-like reality shows. Sophfronia Scott has modernized this story by a century plus, and changed the setting to 1940's Harlem, adding a wonderful twist to the best and worst intentions of us all as we struggle for that lasting place in socie ...more
Colleen Foster
I have never read a book by this author, so I was excited to see what this book was about. Whoa, let me tell you I wasn't expecting this book to be as good as it was. This book has you thinking about life and the games that people play. But trust me the end doesn't happen like I thought it would. ...more
Much like the classic it is based on, I just could not get on with this book. I find it very difficult to read about people who deliberately ruin other's people's lives at the moment and I never liked the original for the same reason. ...more
Erica Sullivan
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unforgivable Love A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons by Sophfronia Scott Sophfronia Scott has created a truly inspiring retelling of the 18th century novel -Dangerous Liaisons. Never sacrificing the heart of the story, Sophfronia has brilliantly unraveled the deeply woven and intricate relationships between the main characters set in 1940’s Harlem. She has seamlessly elevated the complexities of the human condition through thoughtful study of the main characters and their own personal journey of disparity, deceit, corruption, cynicism, love, hope and ultimately ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I felt so lucky to receive this novel as a Goodreads Giveaway. What a sexy, compelling, powerful, deeply absorbing read. I love Sophronia Scott's writing. Everything: time, place, characters, was so vivid to me because of her gifted storytelling, a winning combination of precision and lyricism. I won't summarize the plot of the book here as other reviewers already have. You don't need to have read Dangerous Liaisons to love this novel. I had, but that fell to the background as I read. Suffice it ...more
Monica **can't read fast enough**
I read this one as part of the #ReadSoulLit reading for 2019.

Really enjoyable retelling. Nicely written, atmospheric, with characters that are really well developed. I especially liked they way Scott made all of the character's secrets, desires, and weaknesses so interconnected, that the way the story unfolds seemed inevitable.

I enjoyed this one so much that I am going to order All I Need to Get By. It sounds like a page turner too.

Where you can find me:
•(♥).•*Monlatable Book Reviews*•.(♥)•
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Unforgivable Love" by Sophfronia Scott, a retelling of the classic, "Dangerous Liaisons," is a sexy summer's intrigue in the world of fashionable members of African-American high society in Jazz Age Harlem, New York. Scott's novel is a panoramic exploration of universal themes of love, sex, and social intrigue. "Unforgivable Love" offers a delightful opportunity to spend time in Harlem discovering this exciting, historical time and place.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
*Book Club Read*

I’ve seen the movie Cruel Intentions so I knew what was going to happen.
Carla Suto
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
UNFORGIVABLE LOVE by Sophfronia Scott is an intriguing retelling of the French classic, "Les Liaisons Dangereuses” (Dangerous Liaisons) set in the world of high-society African-American culture during the late 1940s in Harlem, New York. The author has created complex characters with carefully interwoven relationships. She brings to life themes of love, friendship, greed, revenge, class and morality in this suspenseful and absorbing story. Through the author’s rich and visual narrative, the reade ...more
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Mae was vigilant about her expressions. She learned long ago the faces she wore would always be more essential than any dress she put on…

The gals around here look at me cross-eyed like you’re doing now, but I say get you a second husband if you can manage it. You mark my words! You don’t know what I’m talking about now but you’ll see when you’ve got that first one and you’re done with him.

Cecily felt like she had entered a different time frame where, no matter how hard she tried
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ms. Scott's novel is faithful to Dangerous Liasons, but it is so much more than that. At first I thought it was going to be an everyday historical "bodice ripper", but the author's characters are so fully realized and the setting so engaging and real that I was quickly swept up in the narrative.
And what a story! Involving the machinations of the wealthy black upper class in 1940's Harlem at the very beginnings of the struggle for civil rights. Friendship, love, lust, deceit in an historical era
Linda Neff
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm still pinching myself having had the good fortune of reading an advance copy of Sophfronia Scott's brilliant new book. Her exquisite masterpiece, set primarily in 1940s Harlem, and based on a French classic, is immediately involving. Sophfronia’s dynamic characters play through and around the edges of important life themes of love, vulnerability, greed, class, risk, trauma, spirituality, forgiveness and racism. These themes are ultimately lessons applicable to our current time and world. Rea ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was a reimagining of Dangerous Liaison's, which by the way, I never read. This book was set in Harlem in the late 1940's. It is full of deception and malicious scheming orchestrated by Miss Mae Malveaux. After Mae reeks havoc and cunningly manipulates innocent people, their lives change and not for better. This book did indeed have it's moments when I was rolling my eyes because a woman was being taking advantage of or was doing something overly stupid. All the characters in this book ...more
Erika Dreifus
Delighted to have received an advance copy to prepare for a Q&A with the author, available here: ...more
Read (audiobook) this book for the #readsoullit 2019 read-a-long.

First, let me say that I have not read Dangerous Liaisons. There have been numerous tv/film adaptations, a few of which I’ve seen. This book is a retelling with a black cast. Above all the writing is excellent. I’m just not a fan of sh*tty people, doing sh*tty things, just for sh*ttiness sake. Like, I can’t.

From the mid-point to the end it was a struggle to focus on who was being evil to who now and why? Oh, there really isn’t a w
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Really enjoyed reading and participating in the #readsoullit.

I am giving this book a 3 stars maybe 3 1/2. I went into this book not knowing anything but what the description said. I also never read/saw Dangerous Liaisons. From the start I did not find myself liking or rooting for any of them. There was so much plotting and scheming. In fairness, I also realized this would not be a book/story I would normally gravitate to. I think for this type of story I would enjoy it in movie format but not as
Melanie Page
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review was originally published at Grab the Lapels. Please click the link to see covers of the original French work!

I would like to thank Sophfronia Scott for sending me a copy of her latest novel, Unforgivable Love, published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins. The expected publishing date is September 26, 2017.

At 509 pages, Unforgivable Love is a long novel full of tangles of relationships among several characters. The chapters are told from different points of view, all in 3
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sexy, suspenseful, and lyrical retelling of Dangerous Liaisons, set in late 1940s Harlem - Sophfronia Scott is a gifted novelist with the heart of a poet. I read this novel in galleys and was immediately captivated - can't wait for it to meet other readers in the fall of 2017 when it will be published. ...more
Ginger Pollard
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have struggled to get through this book for a week. It just isn't getting anywhere. I can't waste any more time on it. Maybe one day I'll revisit it. I won an ARC of this book from Goodreads. Thank you, Goodreads. ...more
Charlie Smith
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
First, only fair to admit, I love unto the point of obsession all iterations of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, although I've not read the 1782 French original (and if you have, well, touch you) and lean rather more toward the 1999 re-telling,Cruel Intentions, featuring Ryan Phillippe's ass and his uncovering of the gay-sex between the characters played by Eric Mabius and Joshua Jackson.

Thus, when I read about this novel in People Magazine, its premise of Dangerous Liaisons re-told in 1940's Harlem ap
Author Sophfronia Scott is by her own admission obsessed with all versions (books and movies) of Les Liasions Dangereuses. When her friend screenwriter Jenny Lumet said that there should be a version of the story with an African American cast, Scott got to work.

Unforgiveable Love- A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons is set in Harlem during the summer of 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first black Major League baseball player, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Mae Malveaux is a wealthy heiress
Andrial Durant
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (That's So Poe)
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-books
This book really didn't work for me, although I strongly suspect that is due to the source material (Dangerous Liaisons) more than Scott's writing. The best part of the book, in fact, was Scott's beautiful prose and the way she was able to describe each scene and fully immerse you in it. The setting of 1940s Harlem was fantastic as well, and extremely well done.

The plot and characters, though, were atrocious! Each character felt too one-dimensional (just "cruel" or "naive" or "righteous"), and
Khamis Kay
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Firstly I have not read the french classic Dangerous Liasons so this is my first encounter of the story.

This book is beautifully written and very engaging. I enjoyed the nature and the explorations of identity, sexuality, love and what love means for different people. The twists and turns were great and I am all for the drama. However saying all of this and after reading 500+pages I was not happy with the ending AT ALL. I may have had a different take if I was familiar with the original text bu
Sandra Barron
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Flawless prose in the retelling of Dangerous Liaisons, set in Harlem & Westchester in the 1940s. A line that sums up the entire book and contains so much truth: "The heart was never satisfied with a little bit of caring. It was a greedy lump of muscle, quick to feast on the tiniest morsel of sincere admiration. But once the heart has consumed admiration, it always wanted more--demanded more." (Val). If you like social rituals, psychological manipulation, the rituals of the wealthy, characters se ...more
Oct 08, 2017 marked it as dnf

my niece "helping" me take a picture:)
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 2 2 May 28, 2017 01:49PM  

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Sophfronia Scott is a novelist, essayist, and leading contemplative thinker whose work has received a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts. Her book The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton won the 2021 Thomas Merton “Louie” Award from the International Thomas Merton Society. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing fro ...more

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