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If You Deceive

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Burning vengeance... Ethan MacCarrick was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn't commit. Ethan's reprisal -- bankrupting the nobleman and forcing his exile -- does little to appease his wrath. Ten years later, a haughty, mysterious beauty enchants Ethan -- the daughter of his enemy. A Burning vengeance... Ethan MacCarrick was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn't commit. Ethan's reprisal -- bankrupting the nobleman and forcing his exile -- does little to appease his wrath. Ten years later, a haughty, mysterious beauty enchants Ethan -- the daughter of his enemy. At last, Ethan will have the revenge he's craved; he'll promise her marriage, seduce her, then cast her aside. Bitter hardships... When Madeleine van Rowen's family was suddenly plunged into destitution and dishonor, she steeled herself against further heartache. She never weakened, never trusted, until a towering, scarred Highlander relentlessly pursues her, breaking down her defenses. At what price forgiveness? The passion between them burns hotter than Ethan's fury, and soon he finds he can't let her go. But when Madeleine uncovers the truth about him, can Ethan convince her to accept all he now offers -- when he once destroyed everything she had?


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Burning vengeance... Ethan MacCarrick was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn't commit. Ethan's reprisal -- bankrupting the nobleman and forcing his exile -- does little to appease his wrath. Ten years later, a haughty, mysterious beauty enchants Ethan -- the daughter of his enemy. A Burning vengeance... Ethan MacCarrick was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn't commit. Ethan's reprisal -- bankrupting the nobleman and forcing his exile -- does little to appease his wrath. Ten years later, a haughty, mysterious beauty enchants Ethan -- the daughter of his enemy. At last, Ethan will have the revenge he's craved; he'll promise her marriage, seduce her, then cast her aside. Bitter hardships... When Madeleine van Rowen's family was suddenly plunged into destitution and dishonor, she steeled herself against further heartache. She never weakened, never trusted, until a towering, scarred Highlander relentlessly pursues her, breaking down her defenses. At what price forgiveness? The passion between them burns hotter than Ethan's fury, and soon he finds he can't let her go. But when Madeleine uncovers the truth about him, can Ethan convince her to accept all he now offers -- when he once destroyed everything she had?

30 review for If You Deceive

  1. 5 out of 5

    Buggy

    Opening Line: “Ethan had long grown used to the sinking expressions people cast him when they realized it was he who darkened their doorsteps—but in the East End rookeries this tendency seemed even more pronounced.” Does anyone else find it near impossible to write a review about a book you absolutely loved? You can't ever say quite the right thing or express adequately how much it affected you. How much you loved the characters, the heartache, the passion and the drama. It always ends up soundin Opening Line: “Ethan had long grown used to the sinking expressions people cast him when they realized it was he who darkened their doorsteps—but in the East End rookeries this tendency seemed even more pronounced.” Does anyone else find it near impossible to write a review about a book you absolutely loved? You can't ever say quite the right thing or express adequately how much it affected you. How much you loved the characters, the heartache, the passion and the drama. It always ends up sounding like a big pile of cheese, and really how many different ways are there to say amazing? I guess I should start by letting everyone know that they were right. This was fantastic (there’s one) placing as one of my top historical reads ever. I only wish now I hadn’t waited so long, because Ethan stole my heart. What a great hero. To watch someone as cold, damaged and emotionally shut off as Ethan fall and allow someone into his heart was just… sigh. His confusion, his denial and in the end his willingness to do anything to have her, to keep her, borders on obsession. And then there’s this big lie hanging over him and his guilt over how he’s inadvertently destroyed her life which he then tries to make up for which only succeeds in pushing her away just when he’s realized he can’t live without her. Gah, this is how romances are meant to be –not necessarily reviews though. What a great love story, what a great couple because as much as I fell for Ethan I equally adored Maddie. These two are equals, Their banter, flirtation and verbal sparring is some of the best I’ve ever read and sexy, jeez that carriage ride after the masquerade ball and oh let’s not forget the shopping extravaganza homage to Pretty Woman in Paris. Yeah. Not many books have the ability to give me actual emotions but Kresley Cole managed it here in spades; smiling, sighing, cheering, crying and at one point yelling at Ethan (you fool) to get away from those two floozies and go the hell home. I should also mention that I read this as a standalone and other than Cole’s odd way of backtracking the story and then doing a whole lot of showing not telling (of events that happened in the previous 2 books yet took place during this one) I had no real issues. Ethan MacCarrick has been out for revenge for the past 10 years, seeking to destroy the Von Rowen family who tortured and viciously scarred his face for a crime he didn’t commit. Once a handsome and successful philanderer, woman now shun him, turning away from his brutal scar with disgust. As a consequence he’s hardened his heart and sworn off women altogether. After bankrupting and exiling the Von Rowen’s Ethan still finds that his anger has not been appeased, so when their daughter comes of age he makes it his mission to seduce and ruin her then cast her aside as his final act. However when he meets Madeline he’s also met his match, she’s unlike anyone he’s ever known and he’s confused by his feelings. This is where the story takes on a Beauty and the Beast quality because Maddie doesn’t care about his scar or his hostile demeanour. She’s only out out for herself, trying to ensnare a husband of means before she faces a life of squalor and ultimately prostitution. So who’s playing who here? And what are they to do when the heart has a mind of its own? Taking us from London through the slums of Paris and inside Scottish country manors. We witness gun fights, cholera epidemics and some of the sweetest, heart wrenching dialogue written. This is a story I won’t be forgetting. Cheers “You canna do this—take my goddammed heart and then leave me! You think I will no follow” “Somewhere along the way, he’s fallen in love with her—or as much as possible for a man like him, with the lies between them.” 309jb5

  2. 5 out of 5

    ~IreneOust~

    5 GLORIOUS "WORTH THE WAIT" STARS!! This book ... THIS SERIES!! OMG!! I can't even ... PERFECTION!! From start to finish, this book and the entire series was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! I mean OH EM GEE! I can't stop reeling ... the writing, the story, the brothers, the women they fall for, the supporting cast, the setting, the brogue, the sexual tension, the actual act (which in THIS book was DEFINITELY worth the wait!) ... I can go on but if you are a fan of this author, you know she writes some of THE 5 GLORIOUS "WORTH THE WAIT" STARS!! This book ... THIS SERIES!! OMG!! I can't even ... PERFECTION!! From start to finish, this book and the entire series was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! I mean OH EM GEE! I can't stop reeling ... the writing, the story, the brothers, the women they fall for, the supporting cast, the setting, the brogue, the sexual tension, the actual act (which in THIS book was DEFINITELY worth the wait!) ... I can go on but if you are a fan of this author, you know she writes some of THE best alpha males [and in this case they come in a form of HIGHLANDERS!!!] and her heroines are super and I mean SUPER kick ass! They are strong, funny, sassy, independent, sexy & the banter they deliver is always BEYOND entertaining! And THAT EPILOGUE!! It was like a cherry on top of a perfect sundae! GAH! I DEVOURED this entire series! And I honestly feel like going back to the beginning and reading it all over again! I really don't know what else to say other than this is a MUST READ for anyone who enjoys a good love story. Or three. Truly, when a book leaves you feeling like this it deserves all the stars in the world! In this case, the ENTIRE SERIES did that! Cheers!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dina

    I felt a bit uneasy at the beginning of the book, as the idea of having the hero almost having sex with the mother of the heroine wasn't something I thought I could easily overcome. Well... I should've known better than doubt Ethan! Way before I was halfway through the story, I was already in love in him. :) Obviously, that event would have to come back from the past to "bite him in the arse", and that was the only "fault" I found in him: he really should have come clean and told everything to M I felt a bit uneasy at the beginning of the book, as the idea of having the hero almost having sex with the mother of the heroine wasn't something I thought I could easily overcome. Well... I should've known better than doubt Ethan! Way before I was halfway through the story, I was already in love in him. :) Obviously, that event would have to come back from the past to "bite him in the arse", and that was the only "fault" I found in him: he really should have come clean and told everything to Maddie, instead of playing the odds and hoping that she would never find that out. Maddie was a breath of fresh air: very straightforward and honest about her feelings, she was what a man as callous as Ethan needed to "settle down". Unlike the heroines in the first two books in this series, Maddie wasn't coy and didn't play silly games in the pretense of being "feisty and daring", and I really loved her. Before I read the MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy, I'd thought that the ongoing theme was the curse that haunted the brothers and how they would get rid of it. In a way, it was... But the funny thing is, the curse didn't play a major role in this book, which ended up being the best in the series! Without the curse hanging over Ethan's head, I was saved from the push-pull behavior that plagued his brothers in the previous books, and that was a relief. As I've noticed before, Ms. Cole's writing sounds too "modern" sometimes and that can be a little distracting. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I am one of those readers who finds Ethan MacCarrick to be a completely irresistible hero. He is dark and dangerous, bitter, treacherous, unsociable, but deeply delicious. I love his large scar, his hulking presence, and his surly demeanor. But most of all, I love the fact that his wounded heart falls so completely for Madeleine, who happens to be the daughter of his enemy. Initally he plans to seduce and discard her, but she captivates him, and he begins to love her. For me, this story shows th I am one of those readers who finds Ethan MacCarrick to be a completely irresistible hero. He is dark and dangerous, bitter, treacherous, unsociable, but deeply delicious. I love his large scar, his hulking presence, and his surly demeanor. But most of all, I love the fact that his wounded heart falls so completely for Madeleine, who happens to be the daughter of his enemy. Initally he plans to seduce and discard her, but she captivates him, and he begins to love her. For me, this story shows that love can come to even the darker hearts. I think Cole is a fantastic writer, and it's very evident in this story. She knows how to write passion and love, and she researches and presents the Victorian period beautifully. A recommended read if you like passionate historical romance. I plan to reread this book to give it the justice in reviewing it, that it deserves.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    everyone who told me that this was fabulous can now say "I told you so!" lol yes, all you who know who you are (Leah, Catherine, Ally, Monica, UM, and anyone else I forgot), I loved Maddy and Ethan. Jane had a 2 second cameo and still managed to piss me off-wonder if I'd have liked Hugh's book better if I could have liked Jane? So it's no secret how much I love Kresley Cole's IAD, and I liked her Sutherland Brothers series a lot as well. So, since me being me (the Highland Hussy), I love KC, I love everyone who told me that this was fabulous can now say "I told you so!" lol yes, all you who know who you are (Leah, Catherine, Ally, Monica, UM, and anyone else I forgot), I loved Maddy and Ethan. Jane had a 2 second cameo and still managed to piss me off-wonder if I'd have liked Hugh's book better if I could have liked Jane? So it's no secret how much I love Kresley Cole's IAD, and I liked her Sutherland Brothers series a lot as well. So, since me being me (the Highland Hussy), I love KC, I love Highlanders, what could be better than KC's Highlanders? Apparently a lot. The first book was good, but nothing special, in fact the heroine irritated me and Court was a jerk for most of the book. The second book had such a great hero...I just loved Hugh, and I love the overlap of the series, but Jane? I really think it's fair to say that I hated her. Really. And I've wondered if I'd have rated the book better if Jane hadn't been such a holier-than-thou bitchy heroine? I mean I love me a kick-ass heroine, or even snarky and sassy, but Jane just made me want to slap her across her face! She needed someone to take her down a notch! (deep breath-this review isn't about Jane) So for everyone to tell me that this was the best book of the series when Ethan was kind of a prick for the first 2 books, I wasn't at all looking forward to reading it. I loved it! Not only was he a tortured hero, I felt he wasn't really as big an ass as he pretended to be. And thank goodness Maddy saw through that too! Of all the heroines KC has written I usually love her Valkyrie. I could seriously see Maddy as a kick-ass mouthy Valkyrie. I won't go into detail since a ton of readers have summarized and reviewed this one, but the big secret that Maddy finds out about Ethan? Broke my heart. I only wish Maddy had waited to see Ethan again before taking off for Paris. But him rescuing her? Fantastic. And the epilogue that had all three couples? So so wonderful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This book had almost zero surprises, everything you think is going to happen does happen basically, but somehow it still kept me interested. Maddy is perhaps a little too forgiving but otherwise is an enjoyable character. Ethan is the more troubled one in this relationship but his emotional transformation is very believable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zeek

    Brutally wounded and left for dead after being discovered with a conniving married shrew of woman, ruthless Ethan MacCarrick wants nothing but revenge and he will have it. Being a man of action, he proceeds to ruin the people behind the deeds of that devastating night, but it leaves him little consolation for the things he lost. Years later he becomes helplessly drawn to the friend of his brother's woman only to find she's the daughter of his hated enemy. Deciding to use her to finish them off fo Brutally wounded and left for dead after being discovered with a conniving married shrew of woman, ruthless Ethan MacCarrick wants nothing but revenge and he will have it. Being a man of action, he proceeds to ruin the people behind the deeds of that devastating night, but it leaves him little consolation for the things he lost. Years later he becomes helplessly drawn to the friend of his brother's woman only to find she's the daughter of his hated enemy. Deciding to use her to finish them off for good he enters into a relationship with her, only to find himself caught in a web of his own making- but he's not so interested in escaping. Living most of her life in the slums of France, Madeleine van Rowen is determined to get out of her abject, improvised state by the only decent means a woman has for herself- marry a rich husband. When Ethan ruins her chances with the one man she had dangling on her line, she's determined to cut Ethan out of her life, despite his dogged pursuit. Yet something about the gruff Scot tugs at her and when he makes her an offer she can't refuse, she caves. When she discovers the truth behind Ethan's actions, her devastated heart is ready to leave. Now Ethan must decide if the love he's feeling is stronger than his anger and desire for revenge- and woo her back to his side... forever. Perfect ending to a very romantic trilogy! Ethan's a bad boy for holding on to his hatred for so long, but I loved him for loving Madeleine despite his anger. I loved that he let her charm the pants off of him (literally) and I love the way he made a home for her in the end. Madeleine is an equally endearing heroine. Because of where she lives she's not as innocent as most women of her class, but still pure. Her heart is golden, as evidenced by her care for the ladies in her slum, and she has spunk. These two generated some scorching heat together and where a great pairing, making If You Deceive a historical romance keeper to be sure.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mojca

    If You Deceive (MacCarrick Brothers) Yes, this is the best book in the series. I don't care much about what happens to the previous two, but this one is staying with me for a bit, I'll definitely read it again.   Maybe Ms. Cole should've added a few more brothers to the MacCarrick brood, since it seems this series improves with time.   From the first book onward I was intrigued by Ethan, the oldest MacCarrick brother. The hints and innuendos sparkled throughout the two previous stories created almos If You Deceive (MacCarrick Brothers) Yes, this is the best book in the series. I don't care much about what happens to the previous two, but this one is staying with me for a bit, I'll definitely read it again.   Maybe Ms. Cole should've added a few more brothers to the MacCarrick brood, since it seems this series improves with time.   From the first book onward I was intrigued by Ethan, the oldest MacCarrick brother. The hints and innuendos sparkled throughout the two previous stories created almost a mythological quality around the man...His scar, his cold demeanor, his deadened eyes, the mysterious death of his fiancée...All this made me literally itch to read his story.   And I admit I wasn't disappointed. Far from it.   The emotional roller coaster this books takes the reader on is extraordinary and extremely well-developed and plotted, holing unforeseen depths I'm utterly glad I explored.   The prologue introduces us to an Ethan, completely different from the Ethan we came to know in his brothers' books. Ten years ago he was a drunken, whoring libertine...Whose destiny is completely changed by a chance encounter in a country inn. And it is the punishment for the act he didn't commit that sets the grounds for the true story that picks up ten years later.   I could easily say that Ethan MacCarrick was one of the best developped male characters I've ever read about. In the course of this book he goes through so many changes it could easily make your head spin, not being able to tell top from bottom, yet the author did a splendid job of keeping him and the reader (more or less) grounded, despite all the upheavals he and the story went through.   We first meet him as a good-for-nothing, handsome bastard intent on bedding yet another married woman, then everything comes tumbling down around him, transforming him into the surly bear we know, until he meets the one woman that "could break his family curse", yet the discovering of her true identity embitters him even more. It is only after learning the truth about her, and accepting his involvement in what happened to Maddy, that Ethan finally accepts the possibility of his feelings toward her and slowly starts to change.   But ten years of bitter anger and striving for revenge, deceit and lies cannot be buried, and instead of revealing the truth, hoping for forgiveness, he decides to lie and deceive further, almost bringing about his own downfall.   The only chink in my appreciation of Ethan was his "tender" feelings toward Maddy that (as even she noted), bordered on obsession. I know that he felt strongly for her, the woman who saw beyond his scar, and wanted to make some kind of amends for what she's been through, but this (almost) sudden reversal from cold and distant blackguard, to obsessed, besotted fool came off as a little unrealistic...Although it was a great excuse for his impromptu trip to cholera-infested Paris in the end.   Maddy quite paled in comparison with this larger-than-life Highlander. I liked her for her dogged determination and resilience, the environment in which she grew up shaped her into a strong woman who knew her worth and far from the replica of her mother (which was her worst fear). All of which made her rash decision toward the end so much more out of character. As he friend said, one should know when to run and when to stick around and wait for an explanation.   For the strong female character Ms. Cole created with Maddy, her flight from Ethan was odd...And stupid.   Instead of creating some suspenseful plot, Ms. Cole decided to stick on the simple dynamic between two completely opposite not-so-strangers, and explore the romance that evolved between then despite having to constantly struggle underneath deceit and lies, stubbornness, pride, and waning revenge.   The author made the right choice and this reader readily recommends this book to all lovers of historical romance, Scottish brogue (and superstition), nicely-timed humor, and a pinch of a little star-crossed love. A very satisfying read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    Wonderful angsty story. Great characterization, great pacing, great plotting. There wasn't a slow moment in the whole book. It didn't have a lot of outside stuff going on, no lame spy plot or silly ton stuff. Just a good solid relationship story as Ethan learned to love and Maddy learned to trust. Nice feel for the times and nice details of the slums etc., in Paris in the mid 1800s. Beautiful love story with some wonderful quotes. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series. High Wonderful angsty story. Great characterization, great pacing, great plotting. There wasn't a slow moment in the whole book. It didn't have a lot of outside stuff going on, no lame spy plot or silly ton stuff. Just a good solid relationship story as Ethan learned to love and Maddy learned to trust. Nice feel for the times and nice details of the slums etc., in Paris in the mid 1800s. Beautiful love story with some wonderful quotes. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Highly recommended for historical romance readers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Book Wonderland

    This series got better with each book, Ethan's and Maddy's story is definitely the best out of the three. This was a different kinda beauty and the beast story with an interesting plot and character background. My ranking: 1) If You Deceive (4 stars) 2) If You Desire (4 stars) 3) If You Dare (3 stars) This series got better with each book, Ethan's and Maddy's story is definitely the best out of the three. This was a different kinda beauty and the beast story with an interesting plot and character background. My ranking: 1) If You Deceive (4 stars) 2) If You Desire (4 stars) 3) If You Dare (3 stars)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Azet

    "If You Deceive" is the third and last book in the "MacCarrick Brothers"-trilogy about the oldest of the brothers,the most dangerous and brooding warrior,the blackhearted Ethan MacCarrick. A man who believed himself to be a man whose heart would never get stolen finds himself trashed on his knees by the most brave and spirited woman of all,Madeleine van Rowen...the daughter of his enemy. I never once put this book down since i opened it,and finished reading it after two hours.Now i know that this "If You Deceive" is the third and last book in the "MacCarrick Brothers"-trilogy about the oldest of the brothers,the most dangerous and brooding warrior,the blackhearted Ethan MacCarrick. A man who believed himself to be a man whose heart would never get stolen finds himself trashed on his knees by the most brave and spirited woman of all,Madeleine van Rowen...the daughter of his enemy. I never once put this book down since i opened it,and finished reading it after two hours.Now i know that this series will stay true to my heart forever like never before.Yeah,damn how i love this book.If you want a tortured Anti-hero then Ethan is the right one,damn how BAD he was...hihi!(and how SMEXY i found him,such a guilty pleasure)!!!!!!!!!The curse no longer takes a huge part into the story as the other two brothers have found their happiness with their woman.What they thought was a curse was never about them hurting the ones they love,but it was a blessing in the told way that they would find their soulmates.That is what the brothers never expected.That their hearts would be stolen by the ONLY woman for THEM!Fate is a peculiar thing,and it made Ethan glance at Maddy,and instantly get captured,how i love it!After his deadly mission he sets out to get her,as his mistress.But fate takes another punch on him when he gets to know that she is the daugter of the man who let him get tortured and scarred at his face,and the daughter of the woman whose fault everything was.After that he sets out to a plan of vengeance,planning to dump Maddie after he used her (BASTARD)..but instead he gets caught up in her spirit,strength, wickedness,intelligence and humor.Being a pickpocket thief and survivor from the poor slums of Paris,i found Maddie hell of a exciting heroine.Life had done her no good ever since she lost her father as a child,and she have never given up since then.I love the way she never let herself be intimidated by Ethan,and always answered back with witty comebacks that even made Ethan grin (and he who NEVER smiles) and yes,also sometimes made him frustrated with rage,haha!He never could keep up with her!A man who had been so sure of his heart,it had been very hard for Ethan to realize that he can`t live without Maddie.He longed and craved for her affection,caring,desire and love.He may have been a infuriating bastard all the way through,but ONCE he knew that Maddie is the one for him,that he loves her,he chooses to FIGHT for her.Damn the consequences,damn the world but he loves her.That was a strength to his character i came to admire.The most fearless and brutal man in other peoples eyes,he teased Maddie,pleasured her,clung himself to her,adored her,spoiled her,protected her.With a fierce passion he was a very possessive man to the core and couldn`t stand when he hadn`t her attention-Just Awwww how i love him! They both accepted everything about each other,and loved each other for that.The angst are very high and the last pages made me very emotional. The romantic quotes from Ethan made my heart burn and i have actually forgotten how many times i have sighed with a dreamy look on my face. The rain-scene near the end is my FAVOURITE scene in this book, you should read it...its soooooo Epic and Romantic! Now i have finished this trilogy, and i am so in love with all of the MacCarrick brothers! All of the books are Big Fat 5-STARS and a must-read for all fans of historical romance. You will get EVERYTHING in these books. True smitten Alpha-Heroes that are all warriors, strong beautiful Heroines, Great Action, Exciting Adventure full of Danger and Extraordinary Love-Story full of Passion. Don`t miss these books, or you will regret it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Regan Walker

    A Scarred Soul and a Broken Lady Will Capture Your Heart! The last book in Cole’s Victorian trilogy and my favorite, this is the story of Ethan MacCarrick, the oldest of three brothers, Scots who live under a 500-year old curse that promises death if any of them marries. Of course, the curse was not all readable so they don’t know the whole of it. Ethan was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn't commit. In r A Scarred Soul and a Broken Lady Will Capture Your Heart! The last book in Cole’s Victorian trilogy and my favorite, this is the story of Ethan MacCarrick, the oldest of three brothers, Scots who live under a 500-year old curse that promises death if any of them marries. Of course, the curse was not all readable so they don’t know the whole of it. Ethan was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn't commit. In revenge, Ethan bankrupted the nobleman. Ten years later, a haughty, mysterious beauty captures Ethan’s attention one night at a masquerade ball. When he learns she is the daughter of his enemy, he decides to complete his revenge: he'll promise her marriage, seduce her, then cast her aside. Madeleine (“Maddy”) van Rowen has had a hard life. She comes to London hoping her cousins can help her find a new path, but alas, her encounter with a man who takes her virtue has her returning in shame to the slums of Paris where she ekes out a living. When that same man, Ethan, comes to Paris to find her, he is shocked at her living conditions and awed by her courage and kind heart toward others. I fell in love with Ethan and Maddie and their story (introduced in the second book in the trilogy, If You Desire). There is something about love healing a scarred man and a curse to overcome that melted me. The characters are well developed and the plot moves at a good pace. Cole did her homework on the historical setting—it feels authentic—and she makes you fall in love with Scotland and it's men. The three Scottish brothers are sexy and strong and love their women with a passion that is compelling. They will draw you in, I promise. And Maddie is, well, one of the most endearing characters I have ever met. I couldn’t put this story down. And the rest in the trilogy are equally good. The MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy If You Dare If You Desire If You Deceive

  13. 5 out of 5

    KatieV

    So many people have reviewed this, so I won't say much. This grabbed me and sucked me in from the prologue. I was up until 2am to finish. If you are a fan of the vengeful hero genre, then you should love this book. It's fast moving, engaging, witty, and sometimes very sad. This is my first book by this author, who I understand writes mostly PNR. This was not a PNR aside from a maybe relevant/maybe not Scottish curse. The characters were fascinating. The heroine was strong without being obnoxious So many people have reviewed this, so I won't say much. This grabbed me and sucked me in from the prologue. I was up until 2am to finish. If you are a fan of the vengeful hero genre, then you should love this book. It's fast moving, engaging, witty, and sometimes very sad. This is my first book by this author, who I understand writes mostly PNR. This was not a PNR aside from a maybe relevant/maybe not Scottish curse. The characters were fascinating. The heroine was strong without being obnoxious or "foot stompy". The hero was a serious bad ass and sexy as hell, but also a complete selfish ass until Maddie came along. Yeah there were some unlikely parts (like the beautiful young h managing to hold on to her virginity while living in one of the worst slum in Paris from the time she was 14). However, I don't expect or really want realism of that grim sort. You already learn enough about the poverty and desperation of Maddie's environment without adding rape or the trauma of having to sell herself to it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Missy

    I was looking forward to reading this book after all of the high reviews. Sadly, I didn't really like it. Something about the writing style bothered me throughout the book, It felt like I was reading fan fiction, particularly when the H/h have inner dialogue in the form of a question, like, But why? He had to have some grudge. Why her family? In fact, I find that there was way too much inner dialogue for me. I prefer books where authors can convey these kind of thoughts/feelings without them bei I was looking forward to reading this book after all of the high reviews. Sadly, I didn't really like it. Something about the writing style bothered me throughout the book, It felt like I was reading fan fiction, particularly when the H/h have inner dialogue in the form of a question, like, But why? He had to have some grudge. Why her family? In fact, I find that there was way too much inner dialogue for me. I prefer books where authors can convey these kind of thoughts/feelings without them being actual inner dialogue. The dialogue weren't really from that time period either (meaning I didn't feel like I was reading a historical romance). Everyone was on a first name basis. Perhaps because everyone were close friends? Oh, yeah, speaking of dialogue. It was a distraction to read the hero's dialogue (since he was a Scot) when it had the words "donna," "ken," and "no'." I haven't read the first two books in the series, and I probably won't if this is the author's writing style although...Book 2 (If you Desire) does look interesting. A few chapters from the beginning of this book contained what I'm guessing are events from Book 2 (If You Desire) and might be spoilers for that book if you read out of order. I don't know why I'm being picky about this next part, but the chapters were short and I felt that several of them could have been combined into one long one, considering that the proceeding chapter continues right where the preceding one ended. This is one of the few books that I've read where the heroine is no longer nobility. It was quite heart wrenching to read how she's survived in the slums of France since the age of 14 (I think). This is also the first book that I've read to write about disease of that time, such as cholera. I don't know much about cholera, but a few incidents towards the end of the book raise some questions. (view spoiler)[For instance, if she was contagious, then there's no way the authorities would have allowed the hero to take her out of France and back to London. If she was contagious, then why didn't the hero and his mother catch the disease when they stayed with her during her recovery? And can anyone really recover from cholera from that time period, especially the heroine, when the doctor claimed that she wouldn't survive the day the hero took her out of France? A couple of warnings for some potential readers: sex outside of marriage, the hero almost cheated on the heroine before they were married, the hero lies, the heroine forgave too easily. (hide spoiler)] I did enjoy reading how he came to love marriage life with the heroine after their wedding. That's probably all I liked about the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Jones

    I've read a lot of romance novels in my day, and from a wide variety of sub-genres. Paranormal. YA. Contemporary. Historical. Futuristic Sci-Fi. Fantasy. Erotica. Dark Urban along the lines of Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton. From Jane Austen to Danielle Steel, been there, read that. But this one, this one's my favorite. Kresley Cole's If You Deceive is the third book in her MacCarrick Brothers trilogy. The first two were good. All of Ms. Cole's books are good. But this one is special. The I've read a lot of romance novels in my day, and from a wide variety of sub-genres. Paranormal. YA. Contemporary. Historical. Futuristic Sci-Fi. Fantasy. Erotica. Dark Urban along the lines of Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton. From Jane Austen to Danielle Steel, been there, read that. But this one, this one's my favorite. Kresley Cole's If You Deceive is the third book in her MacCarrick Brothers trilogy. The first two were good. All of Ms. Cole's books are good. But this one is special. The premise of the series is a familial curse cast upon three smokin' hot Scottish brothers. They can never fall in love, because if they do, their women would die. Of course, by book three it's obvious a 'Happy Ever After' is possible, so the third tale doesn't spend much time on the curse. In fact, you could read it as a stand-alone and not feel lost. I'm not encouraging that, but it's possible. What Ms. Cole does in the final book of the series is deliver two of the most compelling characters I've ever read, in a romance novel or otherwise. Ethan MacCarrick is the eldest of the three brothers, and the most scarred, emotionally and physically. A deep gash runs across his face, marring his masculine perfection. He's unapproachable, cold. Even hateful. Ethan MacCarrick is an asshole. Sure, there was a traumatic event in his past, a very traumatic event, but that's not the reason for all of his woes or his personality disorder. Even before that he was a bit of a jackass. Born into privilege, he spent his youth in self-absorbed pursuits often involving married women, and one such affair led to his tragedy. Pretty much his own fault, though he pays a steep price. Madeleine van Rowen was also born into a wealthy family, but a chain of events-- a chain in which Ethan is one link-- leads her to spend her formative years orphaned on the streets of Paris. Now she is a Survivor. Independent. Thrifty. And okay, an opportunist and a pickpocket. She's beautiful, knows it, and is willing to marry for money. Ethan has money. But he also has hidden motives in his interest in her. Reading this story is like experiencing a cleansing rain. Hurt, bitterness, and revenge morph into hope and joy. Love unfurls. I won't reveal more. But I promise you, the tale of these two imperfect characters, perfect for each other, will lodge itself in your heart and never let go. I reread it at least once a year.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie(babs)

    This final book in the MacCarrick Brothers' Trilogy features the most tortured hero of the three brothers. Ethan feels because of the scar on his face, no woman would want to love him let alone marry him. He is a loner and has no zest for life. And the fact that his family is cursed also makes his life very unsettling. But when he meets his heroine Madeline, his heart thaws and he finds a reason to live. All it takes is one look across a crowded room and Ethan has lost his heart. Madeline is one This final book in the MacCarrick Brothers' Trilogy features the most tortured hero of the three brothers. Ethan feels because of the scar on his face, no woman would want to love him let alone marry him. He is a loner and has no zest for life. And the fact that his family is cursed also makes his life very unsettling. But when he meets his heroine Madeline, his heart thaws and he finds a reason to live. All it takes is one look across a crowded room and Ethan has lost his heart. Madeline is one heroine that is strong willed and tries to make the best out of her life. What she doesn't realize is Ethan is responsible for her parent's downfall because of her mother's lying ways. But when Ethan and she meet during a masked ball (yes, another lovely typical scene from any historical romance) they are so hot together that there is no going back. Kresley Cole had written one hot and passionate book. Even though Ethan comes across as tortured, he is so unsettled by Madeline who gives as good as he does. It is a real joy to see these go at it. They insult each other every chance they get and Madeline won't allow him into her heart until she can trust him. These two lead the reader on a merry adventure with undertones of despair and lying that doesn't let up till the very end. Madeline is very witty and one woman you would want to have at your back during a fight. Ethan is her equal in everyway. And he has this lovely Scottish accent that is also intriguing. Passion and erotic love scenes are throughout this novel and they are scorching. But overall this story is simply about trust and letting go of deception and finding the right person to spend your life with. By the end you are routing for Ethan and Madeline so they both can become worthy of each other. Another excellent historical romance from Cole.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    Good historical romance novel. I enjoyed it. A nice escape. STORY BRIEF: Ethan was a handsome rake having affairs with married women. Although he never slept with her, Sylvie lied to her husband saying Ethan raped her. The husband had Ethan beaten and his face scarred (with Sylvie’s knowledge). Ethan was wealthy and got his revenge by bankrupting the husband who killed himself. Sylvie and her daughter were forced out of their home and went to live in the slums of Paris. Women are repulsed by Ethan Good historical romance novel. I enjoyed it. A nice escape. STORY BRIEF: Ethan was a handsome rake having affairs with married women. Although he never slept with her, Sylvie lied to her husband saying Ethan raped her. The husband had Ethan beaten and his face scarred (with Sylvie’s knowledge). Ethan was wealthy and got his revenge by bankrupting the husband who killed himself. Sylvie and her daughter were forced out of their home and went to live in the slums of Paris. Women are repulsed by Ethan’s scar. He is celibate for most of the next ten years. He sees Maddie and is unexpectedly attracted to her. She is drawn to him as well. They have an encounter and a misunderstanding. She is insulted and returns to Paris. Ethan then learns she is the daughter of Sylvie. He wants to continue his revenge, hurting Maddie and Sylvie, so he travels to Paris. Maddie has been living in the slums, an orphan since age 14. She survives by selling cigarettes, waitressing and stealing. REVIEWER’S OPINION: Characters and events were interesting. There were none of my pet peeves. I liked Maddie’s actions. When they were on a ship, he told her to entertain herself during the days and not be underfoot. She said right, be overfoot. Then she did what he asked. She made friends and was happily occupied during the days. But to Ethan’s surprise, he missed her. He got what he said he wanted, but he ended up not liking her being gone. I also liked Maddie’s reactions to Ethan’s scar. Aside from his scar, Ethan has a powerful body, a seductive smile, and gorgeous eyes. He is a brooding alpha male. This is the third book in the series. I did not read the first two books which are about Ethan’s two brothers. I found this fine as a stand alone book. DATA: Story length: 356 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 5. Total number of sex scene pages: 27. Setting: 1846 – 1865 England, France, and Scotland. Copyright: 2007. Genre: historical romance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lover of Romance

    Ethan, was once handsome as sin until a nobleman had him tortured and scarred, which would change his life, and Ethan spent years feeling a lust for revenge. Now ten years later, he finds a beauty who enchants him and spending a magical night with her, he knows she could definitely break through the ice around his heart, until he finds out who she really is, the daughter of the nobleman that ordered his scarring, and has a plan for revenge, to make her fall for him, marry her and then cast her a Ethan, was once handsome as sin until a nobleman had him tortured and scarred, which would change his life, and Ethan spent years feeling a lust for revenge. Now ten years later, he finds a beauty who enchants him and spending a magical night with her, he knows she could definitely break through the ice around his heart, until he finds out who she really is, the daughter of the nobleman that ordered his scarring, and has a plan for revenge, to make her fall for him, marry her and then cast her away from him in the end. Only things never go as planned when the heart is involved, and the more he goes after his plan, he starts to realize that they are perfect each other and he would rather cut his own face again over hurting her again...If You Deceive is the third in the MacCarrick series, and I have read a book or two from this author but they were average liked reads, so I haven't read much from her since, but when I read a really good review of If You Deceive I knew I had to give her historical's a chance, and I think I just loved this one and I am much looking forward to reading the rest in the series. I loved how there were different twists and turns throughout the story that continued to surprise me at every turn....the passion and heat between Madeleine and Ethan was body tingling, and the fast paced action kept me in suspense. The writing in If You Deceive was tantalizing and drew the reader into her story with a superb talent that I hadn't experienced from this author...looking forward to reading more from her!! A Splendid Read!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Addie H

    Re-read 5 stars dropped to 1 star I don't know where my first 5 star came from Re-read 5 stars dropped to 1 star I don't know where my first 5 star came from

  20. 5 out of 5

    Avid Booker

    I'm unsure on how to feel about this one. I didn't hate it but I didn't like it that much either. As the story continued I liked the characters a little more, but the plot was still ahn. And our heroine was ahn too. The hero wasn't any better but it was kinda weird. 2.5 maybe even brushing 2.75 But test it out for yourself. I didn't fux with this plot tbh. The hero, Ethan, he was about to sleep with the heroine's mother but decided not to. But it was too late the heroine's father caught them in t I'm unsure on how to feel about this one. I didn't hate it but I didn't like it that much either. As the story continued I liked the characters a little more, but the plot was still ahn. And our heroine was ahn too. The hero wasn't any better but it was kinda weird. 2.5 maybe even brushing 2.75 But test it out for yourself. I didn't fux with this plot tbh. The hero, Ethan, he was about to sleep with the heroine's mother but decided not to. But it was too late the heroine's father caught them in the house together and the mother screamed rape. The heroine's father then proceeded to have Ethan scarred for life. So Ethan decided to get revenge. Okay if that wasn't weird to you, the part that weirds me out is the age thing. Like I know its not unusual for a 33 year old to be with a 21 year old in this time, for some reason because they talked about it so much, it bothered me and seemed weird. Prob because of the whole mom thing. Other than deciding not to tell the heroine of this situation, he was a pretty well rounded hero. A little demanding though. The heroine, Maddy, she was a thief, street child, and she lived in dirty (at the time) Paris. She and her friends decided to go looking for adventure when she was spotted by Ethan. She stole everything in sight it seems like. And I don't know why but I didn't have a connection for her character at all. I do agree with her that she couldn't trust Ethan. She called him Scot so many times, that if I hadn't been reading this book in a day I probably would have thought that was his name. I thought I would skim through most of it, but I didn't. For the most part I read it all. But there were a few chapters I skipped. I personally didn't really enjoy this. I felt compelled to like the hero a couple of times because some things were too damn cute. But for the most part no. Oh and Courtland, the hero's brother, was adorable as hell! Quotes: Quin's eyes widened, and he lunged at Ethan, throwing a punch. Ethan caught his fist, crushing it with his hand. "Doona fuck with me, Quin. My patience wears thin." "You doona even want to know why I'm here?" [...] "No." She paused, tapping her chin. "Not unless you've come to return my virginity, which, regrettably, I misplaced in a cab in London." She raised her brows in question. "Don't have it with you? No? Then... goodbye." "Do you always carry a pistol?" At his brusque nod, she said, "Why? So when a criminal mistakes my woman for a whore, I can kill him. Why couldn't she suddenly have bigger breasts? She squeezed her eyes close, mortified. Softly kneading her flesh, he grated, "No bigger than a teacup." Maddy wanted to die. "You might be intelligent, but you're no' pretty," he sneered. Die immediately. He dropped his hand to palm her bottom, and low masculine sounds broke from his chest. "You're bloody beautiful." He sounded infuriated by that fact. "You steal, gamble, and speak the cant of the streets. If I'm to be our moral guid, we're both hellbound, lass." She gazed up at him, lips curling. "But at least we'd be together." "You canna do this--take my goddamned heart and then leave me! You think I will no' follow?" Ethan gruffly said to Maddy, "Verra glad you're better, lass." As he trudged from the room, she thought she saw him swiping a sleeve over his eyes. Oh, Ethan.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aoi

    Madeline van Rowen has had the most horrible childhood you can ever imagine, yet she goes on ahead, striving hard to make tomorrow better. She's no wilting flower, and she gives back as good as she gets. For the first time, I'm not afraid for the heroine when the hero goes after her with a sinister intent. And Ethan! The author hasn't taken the easy way out- he continues to be douchey nearly 40% into the book. But, I could somehow understand his bitterness and anger blinding him to all that stan Madeline van Rowen has had the most horrible childhood you can ever imagine, yet she goes on ahead, striving hard to make tomorrow better. She's no wilting flower, and she gives back as good as she gets. For the first time, I'm not afraid for the heroine when the hero goes after her with a sinister intent. And Ethan! The author hasn't taken the easy way out- he continues to be douchey nearly 40% into the book. But, I could somehow understand his bitterness and anger blinding him to all that stands in way of his revenge, not sparing a thought for the future of a young girl. The guilt when all was revealed nearly ripped him apart, and he spent each day fearing that Madeline would somehow find out. His transformation when he begins to fall for her, so organically show, is what made me love this book. (view spoiler)[ And fear not, he doesn't succeed in sleeping with her mother(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shyann

    Oh so many feels. I haven't had a good cry from a book in a while but this one had me bawling like a baby. Definitely a genre fave I'm kicking myself for not reading it as soon as it came in. I think I've read almost 20 Kresley Cole books and this one is definitely in my top 5, maybe even 3 favorites. Since I love about everything she writes that's really saying something. I already knew I was going to love it because of Ethan and I loved it so much more because of Maddy. They're a perfect hero+ Oh so many feels. I haven't had a good cry from a book in a while but this one had me bawling like a baby. Definitely a genre fave I'm kicking myself for not reading it as soon as it came in. I think I've read almost 20 Kresley Cole books and this one is definitely in my top 5, maybe even 3 favorites. Since I love about everything she writes that's really saying something. I already knew I was going to love it because of Ethan and I loved it so much more because of Maddy. They're a perfect hero+heroine combo. This might be a different genre then IAD but the characters are the same. You root for them to get past their demons you laugh with them, you cry with them and you wish they were real so you can be friends.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Keri

    What a great book! KC is a NTM author and obviously it won't be my last. I picked this up on a whim after seeing some of the reviews of it on here. Man am I glad that I did. Ethan MacCarrick is tied up in a barn about to pay for a crime that he didn't commit. As the horrible deed is done he begs fate to help him. But fate seems to have left him bereft and ignored his pleas. Now he is a scarred man out of revenge. Maddie is now at the point in her life that she must find somebody willing to marry What a great book! KC is a NTM author and obviously it won't be my last. I picked this up on a whim after seeing some of the reviews of it on here. Man am I glad that I did. Ethan MacCarrick is tied up in a barn about to pay for a crime that he didn't commit. As the horrible deed is done he begs fate to help him. But fate seems to have left him bereft and ignored his pleas. Now he is a scarred man out of revenge. Maddie is now at the point in her life that she must find somebody willing to marry her or face a possible life of prostitution. She is hungry and tired of staying one step ahead of the grasping hands and pinching fingers that she has endured these last 10 years. So she begs fate to help her out. But fate seems to have abandoned her as she outright ask one man to marry her and is denied. Instead she ends up in a carriage with Ethan in a twist of fate...or was it? Maddie's family had unknowingly been feeling Ethan's wrath for the last 10 years and the revenge had left Maddie destitute at a very young age because of his actions. Now that he knows who she is and what he did, can she forgive him enough to love him, despite what his sins are? Because now she has his heart she now has the ability to destroy him and his heart forever. This was a well written beauty and the beast story and I loved that it had equal parts fun and equal parts serious about it. Maddie was all light no matter how dark it got for her. Ethan was all dark and even after his revenge he desperately needed Maddie to bring him into the light. The love scenes were well done and sexy. I can't wait to get my hands on my next Kresley Cole.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Reread in February 2021. I love this book so very much. I just LOVE how Ethan is so very grumpy and Maddy is just so unaffected by his grumpiness and so just to annoy her, he does all the things he said he would never do. I love their relationship and I love the age difference and I love how she just doesn’t care about his scar and how she keeps him on his toes and doesn’t fall at his feet. I adore them. Ethan is just the grumpiest, most adorable Highlander. And when he hears the gunshots and she Reread in February 2021. I love this book so very much. I just LOVE how Ethan is so very grumpy and Maddy is just so unaffected by his grumpiness and so just to annoy her, he does all the things he said he would never do. I love their relationship and I love the age difference and I love how she just doesn’t care about his scar and how she keeps him on his toes and doesn’t fall at his feet. I adore them. Ethan is just the grumpiest, most adorable Highlander. And when he hears the gunshots and she says he’s scared of them and he’s all offended because the man is an actual killer for hire and she basically coddles him. LOL. Maddy is the best. And when he says he hates sleeping/staying in bed with women and he thinks she’s going to be sad about it and she actually prefers it that way so because he’s all offended he forces her to sleep (as in actually sleep, not sex) with him and the grumpy asshole secretly loves it. UGHHH I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    Usually enjoy retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but I loathed this one. There's not much to like in Ethan and I could not get past the annoying, phonetically written accent. Maddy comes across as self-centred and wanton, with no sense of honour. The author's modern style of dialogue made it hard to imagine that the story was taking place in the late 19th century. Usually enjoy retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but I loathed this one. There's not much to like in Ethan and I could not get past the annoying, phonetically written accent. Maddy comes across as self-centred and wanton, with no sense of honour. The author's modern style of dialogue made it hard to imagine that the story was taking place in the late 19th century.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    Out of the three brothers, I thought Court was my favorite but I was wrong. Oh Ethan, you stubborn man. How I loved his book. While I didn't warm up to Maddie immediately, I honestly did end up liking her. I think she was a great match for our hero. And that Epilogue? Just how I like 'em. Can we now get a book on the kids all grown up? Would love more of them. Out of the three brothers, I thought Court was my favorite but I was wrong. Oh Ethan, you stubborn man. How I loved his book. While I didn't warm up to Maddie immediately, I honestly did end up liking her. I think she was a great match for our hero. And that Epilogue? Just how I like 'em. Can we now get a book on the kids all grown up? Would love more of them.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Poisonic

    H was going to cheat with h's mom but changes his mind. Then he tried to cheat again with 2 maids. H was going to cheat with h's mom but changes his mind. Then he tried to cheat again with 2 maids.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fmbee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Kresley Cole finishes her MacCarrick trilogy with the intensely compelling If You Deceive. And this book does not disappoint! Across three countries, we go on a journey filled with drama, secrecy, perseverance, forgiveness, and love. Along the way, there’s a bit of heartache, but the transformations that these characters experience make it all worthwhile. I give this story a very enthusiastic 4.5 stars. We begin with a flashback to 23 year old Ethan, who is a notorious rake. He is set to have an Kresley Cole finishes her MacCarrick trilogy with the intensely compelling If You Deceive. And this book does not disappoint! Across three countries, we go on a journey filled with drama, secrecy, perseverance, forgiveness, and love. Along the way, there’s a bit of heartache, but the transformations that these characters experience make it all worthwhile. I give this story a very enthusiastic 4.5 stars. We begin with a flashback to 23 year old Ethan, who is a notorious rake. He is set to have an affair with a married woman named Sylvie Van Rowen. At the last minute he changes his mind, but unfortunately, it’s too late. As Ethan is leaving, Sylvie's husband bursts in. She claims Ethan attempted to rape her, and in retaliation, Van Rowen has Ethan's face sliced as punishment. Seeking revenge Ethan bankrupts the Van Rowen family, and Sylvie and her daughter are forced to move to France. We then flash forward to the beginning of book 2, but this time, in Ethan's POV. He spots one of Jane’s friends on their way to the courtesans ball. Immediately sensing a kindred spirit, Ethan pursues this woman. At first sight, Ethan feels an "inexplicable sense of urgency to join her--to get her." In time, we discover that the woman is Maddy Van Rowen. Since the time she was forced out of her family home, Maddy lives by herself in a Parisian slum. She is in London to find a husband, yet "at twenty one years of age, Maddy had seen it all." And she finds Ethan, with whom there’s attraction/lust at first sight. Though he doesn’t know who Maddy is at first, once Ethan finds out, he’s determined to continue his vengeance on the Van Rowens. And he plans to use their daughter to do so. But as Ethan gets to know Maddy, the initial attraction starts to evolve into something more. And if Maddy ever finds out that Ethan is responsible for her family’s downfall, there will be hell to pay. Will these two be able to overcome various obstacles to find true love? It’s beyond clear that Ethan and Maddy are *perfect* for each other. From the first meeting, the attraction ooooooozes from the page: E: "Tonight you're aching for a man." M: "... But are you the man I await... Where I ache?" OOLALA!!!!! But Ethan is a stubborn man, and is hell bent on being a cad. For example, Their first time... She's a virgin, but he wrongly assumes she's experienced. And even though, Ethan regrets hurting Maddy, he is still horrid to her: "You picked the wrong man, aingeal. I could not care less if you're ruined now." Ughhhhhh! But it's weird... Ethan expressly says he won't be trapped into marrying Maddy, but then he forbids her to marry anyone else...interesting! And while Ethan can be THE biggest jerk, Maddy takes it all in stride. She has such fortitude and determination. She just survives! Over and over again, life--sometimes directed by Ethan--has tried to beat Maddy down, but she just gets right back up! When Ethan comes for Maddy in Paris, he has a plan to ruin her, but even without trying, she turns him around. Maddy is so good for Ethan! She doesn't let him take himself too seriously. She isn't afraid of him; she stands up to him. Maddy gives Ethan the opportunity to be vulnerable and show kindness. A few favorite moments: 1. "Aingeal, there is only one thing in my body that is 10 inches long, and if you'll recall, The scar is not it." lolololololol, see, already Ethan is doing better! or "It does not have to be bad, Madeline. I'll teach you to trust me again and we can bring each other pleasure." Geeeez, Ethan can be swoony when he wants! 2. I think it’s HILARIOUS how Ethan is emphatic about not liking to share a bed with anyone. But, when Maddy expresses that she wants to sleep alone, he refuses to let her sleep anywhere but with him! LOL, and he spoons her! 3. Ethan is so protective of Maddy...it’s instinctual! Like when Maddy sees the loan shark in the street, Ethan has the boutique closed so they can shop in private without Maddy having to fear the loan shark will spot her. Then he promises to settle Maddy's debt: "I will not have you fretting over this." :) 4. I love that Maddy knows her worth. She won't be bullied or abused, even by Ethan: “I'm not a whore. Buy me the clothes or not, but don't expect sex in return. And don't confuse my desire for you--and for self preservation--with desperation." You tell him! or "Although Maddy's own mother hadn't loved her, Quin hadn't fallen for her, and even Ethan seemed not to like her very much at times, Maddy boldly believed she was a lovable person." LOVE HER! 5. And of course, the sexy times are AMAZING! “I look at your wee body and reasoned thought leaves my brain. So if you want to see a man lose his mind, you'll come to me and let me touch you more. If you don't want my hands on you again, then come touch me." *UNFFFFF* or "It was as if he were an outsider looking on as she had an affair with his cock--she adored him with her tongue, consuming him with licks and tender kisses. The experience was mind boggling. She worked his flesh lovingly, yet wantonly, mystifying him." Damnnnnnnn!!! 6. As I’ve said, there’s a lot of humor too! Ethan comforting Maddy from a nightmare: “Uh, there, now. You should...You need to stop crying. Directly." *snort* or the way Maddy keeps saying Ethan is in his "advanced years": "Did you call me wench? Well, you certainly dated yourself there, didn't you? Sometimes I forget how old you are. What's your age anyway? Thirty seven? Thirty eight?" lolololololol 7. I probably shouldn’t like this so much, I appreciate Ethan's guilt: "The more attached he grew to the lass, the more guilt and strangling frustration he battled. The regret was riding him hard, and having never wrestled with that emotion before, he had no idea what to do with it. He resented being saddled with that unbearable guilt; he bloody resented her for being everything he could dream up in a wife." Ethan knows he’s been wrong, and he knows he needs to make up for it. 8. When Ethan realizes that Maddy is the one: "Maddy was his future embodied...if she loved him, then she would have to forgive him for what he'd done to her in the past. She would have to. Because he hadn't known her then and had never intended to hurt her." :) But I'm afraid. When Maddy finds out it’s Ethan that ruined her family it won't go well... There is such an incredible twist at the end. I was completely blindsided, and while it’s sad and scary, it gives us an opportunity to truly witness the extent of how Maddy’s love changes Ethan: "Maddy McCarrick, we're going to be together. Believe me. Lass, I could not love you this much for nothing.” *FEELINGS* And the epilogue is so lovely. It wraps this series up in such a satisfying way. We know that these characters have love and joy. And the thing that makes it all the sweeter is that we’ve seen how hard they’ve fought to reach it! I enjoy this series so much, and I really encourage you to give it a go. You won’t regret it!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Seffra

    3.5 stars! I really enjoyed this read! I was hooked from the very beginning until the very end! I loved how Maddy had a backbone and that's not a thing every HR female has. She was feisty and she fought for what she wanted. Ethan, well... he was a character that I can't really decide if I love him or hate him. I mean, I get his reasons for revenge but he was so awful. His growth and self hate was so angsty that it fuelled my dark heart.... muahahahahahahaaaaaa Why is it lacking a star and a half? 3.5 stars! I really enjoyed this read! I was hooked from the very beginning until the very end! I loved how Maddy had a backbone and that's not a thing every HR female has. She was feisty and she fought for what she wanted. Ethan, well... he was a character that I can't really decide if I love him or hate him. I mean, I get his reasons for revenge but he was so awful. His growth and self hate was so angsty that it fuelled my dark heart.... muahahahahahahaaaaaa Why is it lacking a star and a half? Well that was because Maddy forgave him so fast. And I felt that it was just such a hard thing to swallow. I got why he did what he did but she suffered for so long because of his actions. And I just couldn't stomach the whole "I almost slept with your mother but I somehow sensed it was wrong because you were in the house, unbeknownst to me" thing. In all seriousness, I thought it was a good read and I really did enjoy the writing style. I felt that the characters complemented each other wonderfully. Kresley Cole does the alpha male/ spunky female so well even in an historical romance setting!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Saly

    Wow this was an angst fest and my favourite in the series! It reminded me of the IAD series where the poor heroes only have the heroine's mercy to rely upon. Wow this was an angst fest and my favourite in the series! It reminded me of the IAD series where the poor heroes only have the heroine's mercy to rely upon.

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