willaful's Reviews > A Just Deception

A Just Deception by Adrienne Giordano
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Aug 26, 11

bookshelves: sexy-beta, damsel-in-distress-knight-in-armor
Read from August 24 to 26, 2011

This romance started out with two strikes against it: the hero has the same name as my father, and he likes to wear a do-rag, a fact which is mentioned many, many times. I got used to his name fairly quickly, but continued to mentally shudder every time “do-rag” was mentioned. This was somewhat balanced out by him being very sweet and having epic hair.

Former SEAL Peter is on an forced mental-health leave when his boss (hero of the previous book in the series) asks him to help out a friend who needs a security system. Isabelle is a lawyer with some mental health issues of her own: sexually abused by an older cousin as a child, she closes off emotionally whenever she’s attracted to someone. As Peter helps Isabelle protect herself against the man who still threatens her, they try to get a relationship going, but things get even more complicated when Izzy is asked to help investigate her cousin’s possibly very seamy doings... and Peter, who always feels the need to fix everything, is not supposed to get involved.

It seems an odd thing to say about romantic suspense in which the two main characters are both suffering from forms of PTSD, but this is a pleasantly straightforward story. Although the problems they face are significant, there’s more open talking than emo brooding. I liked that neither fights the attraction between them, although they act on it slowly because of of Isabelle’s issues. If you’ve ever been really annoyed that a character recovering from abuse takes about five seconds to heal in a romance, this is the book for you: Peter and Izzy have to put some serious time and effort into it.

The effects of long term abuse by a loved one are realistically drawn, though I had some issues with the plausibility of Isabelle’s adult actions. (view spoiler) The language is also somewhat repetitive and the story starts to drag around the middle. But I liked patient, caring Peter and conflicted Izzy together and looked forward to seeing things work out for them. There’s also a really good balance between Peter being the protective dude we love to read about and Izzy being tough and resourceful and fighting for herself�.

This was clearly part of a series, but stood alone just fine.

(I received this e-arc for review from netGalley.)
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Reading Progress

08/24/2011 page 16
6.0% "Oh dear... not only does this hero have my father's name, but he wears a do-rag. Could there be a less sexily named item of clothing? Look-at-cover, look-at-cover..." 3 comments
08/24/2011 page 53
19.0% "Both books I got from Carina feature heroines who only do flings after having been abused, and are into home renovations. Is this a thing?" 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Fedora (new)

Fedora Great review, Willa--I think I have the first in the series; will be considering this one to follow up :)


willaful There was some good sequel bait too. :-)


message 3: by ElaineY (new) - added it

ElaineY Thanks for your review. I'll bump this MF up to read next, instead of the Sandra Brown I was eye-ing. What's a 'do-rag', btw?


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