BLOG REVIEW: Love, Lies, and Deception by L.P. Dover

23y.o. college senior wanted to be free and have fun as a single girl again. 
She just broke up with her longtime boyfriend and she was looking forward to her impending college graduation and move to another state for grad school.  She finally meets the attractive 25y.o. neighbor Hero she’s been eyeing the last 2 years.
She hooks up with him right away.
But didn’t expect her feelings to grow so quickly for him and his demand for exclusivity only intensifies their relationship.
But he warns her that knowing his secrets may make her change her mind.  As some new threats to her life occur, Hero is forced to confess his past sooner.  It only draws them closer together. But they eventually find out that his past may very well shatter their current romance.
How is Hero's past linked to heroine?

This book was a solid 4-star rating from the get-go but it fell towards the end. The book was well-written overall. Dialogue and romance between main characters was flirty yet intense. Heroine’s relationships with her close friends were intriguing. Good emotional tone.  Story was told from heroine’s point of view & I felt both her and Hero’s connection with each other.  The suspense part was developed well. I didn’t expect it, especially since hints of it didn’t begin until a bit later in the book. The suspense was both unpredictable, seemingly came out of nowhere, and intensified pretty quickly. So it added to the book’s excitement.

Hero was a sexy& intense alpha male with secrets. He was flirty in a demanding and firm way. It was clear that he wanted heroine and he took the initiative in telling her what he wanted but he wasn’t pushy about it. He gauged that the attraction was mutual and went from there. I really liked how he didn’t resist his feelings for her, was honest about it, and made sure she knew that she was special to him like no other woman has.  He set the tone of their romance from the start.  Heroine was the more non-committal one. She wasn’t looking for romance because of where she was in her life. She wasn’t ready to settle down and wanted to be young and free and enjoy her single status. But with Hero taking strides in their relationship, she followed suit. Yet her actions showed that she really wasn’t emotionally ready to be in a committed relationship. She was more wishy-washy and let her immediate emotions take her at will. But I never thought she would be as impulsive as she was.

-----------------------SPOILERS: Don’t read if you don’t want to know the book’s details----------------

Heroine had sex with her best guy friend the day after she thought that Hero cheated on her with the hotel maid.  She was foolish, irresponsible, and self-sabotaging to do so and I didn’t peg her as one to do that, given the way she was characterized in the rest of the book. 

Before the sex-with-her-friend event, heroine was:
1. known as a prude by her close friends. She was with her ex-boyfriend for years & had a tepid long-distance relationship with him. She was faithful to him despite her lukewarm feelings for him and even stopped her wild partying ways.
2. became less inhibited when she was dating Hero. But she was wild with him and was in a committed relationship with him. She was admittedly happy & in love with him and planned on a future together.
3. responsible and focused. She had a good head on her shoulders regarding her academic and career goals, romance, sex (i.e., birth control), her relationships with her friends & family, and her overall welfare(i.e., physical safety, health).
4. kept within her relationship boundaries. She knew who her friends were and was good in maintaining those friendships. She may have viewed her best guy friend as attractive but she never thought of crossing the line with him. Even when she was already single and having a good time in her vacation with her friends in Fiji, she didn’t view her best guy friend as anything other than a good friend.

When she thought Hero cheated on her, heroine:
1.  didn’t even give him a chance to explain. Even when he did on her way out the door & in numerous texts & voicemail messages her left her, she didn’t believe him and didn’t want to hear it.
2. didn’t use her brain (like she usually does) to stop & consider the whole logic of what happened. And ask herself :
 a.) why would Hero cheat when he’d shown her time & time again that she was the only one he wanted & went out of his way to show her he meant it (i.e., spilled all his secrets on his own initiative & showed her proof via online articles of what he used to do in the past, spent all his time with her when she was free, whisked her off to hide away in a hotel with him to keep her safe from harm but made sure she finished all her exams before, cosseted her, reminded her often verbally & nonverbally how much she meant to him, was hot for her all the time even during her period)?  He’s been the one pushing them towards more commitment, while she would’ve been ok with them just having sex.
b.) why would Hero cheat on her knowing that it only takes her a few minutes to buy them breakfast and come back to their hotel room?
c.) why would she think Hero was hard up for sex just because they haven’t had actual sex (due to her period) in the last 2 days? She was doing other things to satisfy him sexually. 
c.) why would Hero cheat on her when they were together 24-7 the last 2 weeks (most of it spent having sex together) because he was keeping her safe from the would-be perpetrator ?
d.) if Hero was secretly cheating on her, why would he carelessly leave a used condom by their bed?
3. closed herself off to help from her friends & family, which was so unlike her. The only help she sought out was her best guy friend who even repeatedly encouraged her to talk to Hero & call her best friend  & sister back.
4. encouraged her best guy friend’s sexual interest in her.  ONLY 1 day of wrangling with the hurt from Hero’s supposedly cheating on her and she had sex willingly with another man. And she was planning on continuing it too, if it wasn’t for the perpetrator.  

-------------------------------------------------END SPOILERS----------------------------------------------------------

The romance part of the book took a nosedive from this part of the book but the suspense at least was good.  I couldn’t believe how much and how quickly she sabotaged her romance with Hero. It took her only 1 day to destroy the intense commitment she and Hero were developing. It made me wonder how emotionally ready she really was to be in a committed relationship. Her actions made me highly doubt their HEA(happy ever after). It didn’t help that, even after Hero forgave her for having sex with another man and gave them another chance together,  that heroine would have a caveat to her I’ll-make-it-up-to-you speech by saying “just promise to keep  (my heart) safe”. I took that caveat more as a warning that she’ll do something destructive again if she thinks he’s not treating her well. Hero’s “I guess I’ll go wherever my heart takes me and right now it belongs to you” wasn’t all that romantic either.  That “right now” confirms that what they have was a HFN(happy for now) . Their HEA has a very big question mark.

I moderately recommend this book
3-star

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