Monday, October 19, 2015

Review - True Deceptions by Veronica Forand

True Deceptions
by Veronica Forand
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 19, 2015

After his partner was murdered, Simon Dunn was done with MI6. But the cold, violent world of British intelligence never lets anyone go free. Now Simon has been blackmailed into a new job...with a beautiful new partner who's going to get them both killed.

Robotics expert Cassie Watson is a newbie field agent with as much sophistication as...well, a pacifist, vegan computer nerd. Now she's abruptly thrust into the cutthroat world of espionage with a partner who is as cold as he is brutally—and brutishly—handsome.

But when their mission is betrayed from the inside, Cassie will be forced to place her life in the hands of the one man who's anything but trustworthy...

I have been waiting for Simon’s story since reading Untrue Colors and let me say this story was worth the wait! Once again Veronica Forand delivers a romantic suspense is full of twists, turns, betrayals, unlikely friendships, and of course romance, that also has a bit of a dark edge to it.

I just love Simon. He is the ultimate alpha, bordering on being an “alpha-hole” at times, but knowing the job he has and the company he keeps, including those who are supposed to be on his side, it’s easy to see why he has to act the way he does at times. When we left Simon at the end of Untrue Colors he was devastated, both personally and professionally, by the loss of his partner, Nicola, and he had disappeared, needing time to soothe his heart and his soul. This book picks up 8 months later, and from the first chapter in this book we are thrown right back into Simon’s life and the dangers that his totally off-the-books role at MI6 has placed him in. When the people you work for blackmail you to get back to work, you know that your job falls way outside the bounds of traditional! And when MI6 sends him a desk-jockey who has no field experience as his next partner his return to his “job” just can’t get any worse.

When Cassie Watson’s boss tells her she is going out in the field or she will lose her job, she has no choice but to comply. And from her first meeting with Simon Dunn she knows she is in way over her head. I liked Cassie, but I wasn’t sure how things were going to play out for her since she started out a bit weak and I didn’t see how she was going to match up against Simon. I loved watching her internal resolve kick in and seeing her commit to her role. It was interesting to see her take on a submissive role to Simon, but still maintain a bit of power over him…of course it didn’t hurt that there was that undercurrent of attraction between the two from the start. I loved seeing her character develop throughout the story, she was definitely impacted by the events she goes through, and I was a bit unsure how the author would develop her character, but I totally loved the person she became.

Simon and Cassie together were fun to watch. Simon, who is always under and in control, can’t seem to think straight when he’s near Cassie. Cassie, who has been happy with her less than exciting life where her skills made her an expert in what she did, finds herself far outside of her comfort zone and skill set and is challenged by Simon every time she says, thinks, or does something…and even though her head tells her he’s a jerk, her body has different ideas when it comes to Simon! Their romance did play out a bit too quickly for me – I’m not a big fan of the “insta-love” – but it was easier to take knowing the roles they were playing and the danger they were always in. I enjoyed watching Simon learn to trust Cassie and respect her abilities and the fact that she knew her limitations. Even though Cassie may not have been an alpha-type heroine, she wasn’t stupid, which really worked for her character and also made her the perfect counterpart for Simon.

I absolutely loved Dane and can’t wait to learn more about him…seems to me there is another story brewing for him from the way this one left off. And it was great to catch up a bit with Henry and Alex and see how their relationship has progressed. There were definitely some great characters to hate in this book, and even though I kind of had some of the mystery plot figured out fairly early, the way the story was constructed – from different pieces of information and background being shared at just the right times, to a character showing up as part of a scene – it was very well put together to leave many questions open right up until the end.

This was a wonderful book that definitely holds its own as a standalone, but I would recommend reading Untrue Colors first to get a better feel for who Simon really is. Another must read from Veronica Forand that should appeal to most anyone, especially those who love mystery, intrigue, and a bit of treachery!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley via the publisher for an honest review.

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