Author: Evie Rose
Published Date: January 2, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Romance
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
After years of abuse, Roxi is an expert at deceiving the people around her. Everyone believes she has a picture perfect family, with a loving husband and a sweet little boy. They think she resides in a beautiful house and has a luxurious lifestyle, although, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Underneath the facade is a tormented soul, poised on the brink of giving up hope of ever finding a better tomorrow.
Luke’s past haunts him every single day. Not a second goes by without deep sorrow plaguing him. He will never forget what he’s done, he doesn’t want to. No one is more deserving of guilt eating away at them than he is… or so he believes. He spends his time, forever trying to make up for the one mistake that ruined the lives of his loved ones, as well as his own.
From the first time they meet, cracks begin to form in the mask Roxi wears and Luke sees right through them. The only question is, will he realize he’s worthy of love and step in to save her before it’s too late, or continue to think he’s undeserving of true happiness?
***Contains Situations of domestic violence, sexual abuse, Strong Language and Adult Situations. Not for Young Readers***
It only takes a few pages of Deception to know that this is going to be an emotionally charged story. We first meet Luke, a teenager who’s taking enough drugs and alcohol to numb some horrible pain and put him into a haze from which he can barely emerge. You start to fear as he sets a pot of oil on the stove and leaves the house in search of food, and then a party where he can get more drugs and alcohol. You cry for him as he returns home to a house in flames and the smell of burned bodies heavy in the air. Luke’s’ drug induced actions killed his entire family.
Fast forward many years and we meet Luke again. He’s a fire-fighter, wracked by horrible nightmares, and he’s barely keeping it together. But he does, because every person he saves is important. He has to do something to make up for what he did as a teenager. His housemate, Jake, knows he’s a mess, but has agreed to hide it from the Chief at his fire station so that Luke can keep working and trying to atone for his sins.
The other main character in this story is Roxi. Married right out of school, with a young son, Ricky, she’s trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage. Her husband doesn’t hit her often, but that makes the abuse no less horrible. He belittles her, threatens their son, calls him a baby, and is generally a complete and total [%$!$%$]. We see Roxi having to clean up his messes after he’s spent the night pleasuring himself (to porn one would assume, though it isn’t explicitly stated), having to get the house in perfect condition or have to face his wrath, and have to play the perfect spouse over and over again. This is a type of abuse that isn’t often talked about. Bruises are one thing, broken bones, gashes. Those are well understood. But for Roxi, it’s not the physical pain. At least not mostly. Joseph, her husband, threatens her constantly. He forces himself on her, usually when she’s doped herself up on sleeping pills to try to forget, but he’s careful not to leave evidence of his abuse. Roxi is dead inside, surviving only for her young son. She dreams of leaving Joseph, but she has no money of her own, no job, and no resources. He’s cut her off from her friends. They see HIS friends when they socialize. Do what HE wants on the rare times they spend together.
The only time Roxi can relax and truly be herself and feel alive is when she runs. So she runs every day. The day she changes up her route and runs into Luke is the day that everything changes for her.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Roxi’s recovery, while a bit quick, feels natural. Her relationship with Luke starts out slow. They run. He sees something in her that he recognizes and we soon learn that he was abused as well by his father. We see glimpses of more between them. Just glimpses. A look here, a laugh there. They run together every day eventually, and Roxi learns that there are men who value women. Men who will give of themselves and ask for nothing in return.
Events transpire (which I won’t spoil) that lead to a sudden and dramatic need for Roxi to leave and Luke is there. Roxi is able to lean on him, but at the same time, she stands on her own. I liked that this story didn’t progress right into Roxi jumping in to saying she loved Luke after what she went through, but took the time to learn a bit about who she was-even though her time was spent largely with Luke.
I loved that Luke let her explore her own feelings and her own independence even though he knew well before she did that this was it for him.
The love story between the two was sweet, tender, and sexy. Luke’s healing was natural and healthy and something he never could have done without Roxi. And Roxi’s evolution into someone she could be proud of was aided by Luke, but didn’t depend solely on him.
Deception is the first in a series of books, each focusing on different characters (though we hope there will be at least some mention of Luke and Roxi in Jake’s upcoming tale). A solid, fulfilling, tale that will leave you smiling.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
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