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...
About the Author
Veronica Forand is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense.
She's lived in Boston, London, Paris, Geneva, and Washington, DC and currently resides near Philadelphia. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate.
Read an Excerpt
By Veronica Forand, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Veronica Forand
All rights reserved.
Simon didn't want to know what the future held, and he didn't want to acknowledge the past. At this exact moment, however, he wanted Anna Marie from Wisconsin, an all-American blue-eyed, blonde pharmaceutical sales representative looking to experience everything life offered. During dinner, he'd given her his usual warning that people weren't always what they seemed, but she'd ignored his words and stroked the length of his leg with her foot, requesting some private time with him.
"Listen love, I think we should call it a night. I'm leaving Bermuda soon and so are you, and, at this point, I don't have room in my life for a relationship."
She laughed and reached across the table for his hand. "I'm looking for company for one night only. I have to return home tomorrow, and so far, I have nothing to take home with me but memories of business meetings and a tour of the local hospital."
She caressed the top of his hand and weaved her fingers between his. How could he turn down such an offer?
He lifted her fingers to his lips and kissed them. His gaze rested on full lips painted blood red to entice and seduce. "I'm sure I can provide you with some far more interesting memories to take home."
"Good." She stood up and encouraged him to the door of the restaurant. "I bet I can leave you with a few as well."
Once they were alone in his hotel suite, Anna Marie poured them each some champagne, bending over enough to reveal an amazing pair of breasts about to cascade out of her floral sundress. Biting her bottom lip, she lifted her gaze to peek at him through golden hair. Seductive energy swirled around her. Simon read her intentions like the cover of a tabloid.
He stood on his balcony. The view overlooked Castle Harbor at night, but he faced his dinner companion who continued to pour them each a drink. Dinner had dragged for two hours, and he was ready for his dessert. Her eyes lifted from her task. Her smile reminded him of the carefree and happy life he'd enjoyed before Nicola had died in a blaze of heroism.
"This is the most luxurious hotel I've ever seen. It's four stars up from the hotel I'm staying in." Looking like a child in a candy store, she'd probably sacrifice everything to live in Simon's world. She had no idea how costly it could be. And he'd never allow her to find out.
"I'm glad you like it." He sat on the couch and stretched his legs under the bleached wood and glass coffee table.
"Wisconsin is beautiful in April, but there's no ocean breezes like here. Even the smell of the water is nice. Bermuda must be totally different from England, too."
"Have you ever met anyone with a title?"
Besides his father and half brother? "No. The British aristocracy doesn't lower itself into my social circles."
She laughed and whipped her hair over her shoulder. "I love the royal family. The dresses. The hats. It's all so glamorous."
"Come here." He had the perfect cure for her tiresome prattle.
She carried the crystal flutes to the couch and handed him one. He placed it on the table and focused his attention on her. Her blue eyes could swallow a man whole and keep him hypnotized. He had difficulty looking away.
She sipped the champagne too fast, without seeming to enjoy the taste, only the exclusivity of the beverage. "I haven't had champagne since my sister's wedding. I usually drink cosmos. What do you usually drink?"
"Most of the guys I know drink beer." She took a few more sips. Her eyelashes fluttered, and her tongue peeked out of those perfect lips to lick a leftover drop of her beverage.
Simon reached his conversational limit. He took her glass and placed it next to his. Her smile became demure, but seductive. She placed her hand on his leg, both an offer and an acceptance. That was all he needed. Tonight, nothing mattered but the beautiful woman in his arms. He pulled her toward him, his hand caressing her back. Straight blonde hair fell across her shoulders. He brushed it aside in order to taste the salty air flavoring her neck. A sigh escaped her lips. He wanted all of her, all night.
When he pulled the straps of her dress down and claimed an exposed breast, she sighed again and spurred him on by brushing her fingers though his hair. His thumb played with her nipple until her sighs turned into moans. Soon he had her sprawled across the couch, topless and begging for attention. He complied with her wishes and provided her with pleasures small town farm boys had probably never shown her.
His kisses moved up her neck, stopping to nibble her earlobe. She turned toward him, demanding his attention on her soft, full lips. His mouth feathered over hers until she parted her lips, and their tongues met. She tasted like champagne mixed with nuts. Almonds. Bitter almonds. Shit.
Her eyes widened, and she gasped for breath. He pulled away just before her body began to convulse. Five to ten minutes since the last sip — someone must have spiked the hell out of the champagne for the poison to hit her so quickly. It didn't help that she'd spent dinner flirting instead of eating. She had nothing in her system to stop the cyanide from killing her.
Simon turned away from Anna Marie and spit out her saliva. He wiped his tongue on his shirt and then spit again. He'd be fine, but she wouldn't be. He knelt next to the couch and brushed her hair back. Her body rocked, and he held her steady by her shoulders, whispering stupid nothings, but the horror reflected in her eyes didn't subside. Her convulsions had slowed, and tears fell fast down her cheeks. She would die in the arms of a stranger who didn't know her, love her, or have the capacity to mourn for her.
Anger rushed through him. Another woman dies because of me. "I'm so sorry. I didn't know."
Struggling to breathe, she stared at him as though he was a monster, until her eyes shut, and she faded away from Bermuda and the glamorous life she'd never have.
No one was supposed to know his location. He'd stayed hidden for the past eight months. It was time to relocate and hide somewhere new.
The next few hours involved moving her body to a vacant room in his hotel. The task was easily handled with the help of a laundry cart and knowledge of the security cameras. He cleaned off the champagne bottle and left it by her side for the local authorities to play with.
When he returned to his suite, he had a visitor. An unexpected and unwanted visitor.
"Simon Dunn. On a stakeout, are you?" Dressed in white trousers and a pink polo shirt, Tucker Magee looked like a pretty boy on a modeling assignment instead of a spineless intelligence officer.
"I'm on vacation."
"For eight months?"
"How the hell did you find me, Tucker?"
"The problem with shagging every sexy woman on the island is their love of social media. The boys at headquarters have had the facial recognition program scanning for you for months."
"Glad to know the vast resources of the Secret Intelligence Service are used for employee retention instead of actually protecting the commonwealth. You could simply offer more vacation time and a better benefits package."
Tucker glanced at the back of his hand. No doubt he'd just had a manicure and was admiring the handiwork. His image had always taken priority over his actual job requirements. "Her name was Sarah, here on break from university."
"I don't remember her."
"A picture of her in a bar with her friends showed your ugly face in the background. They tagged you 'hot guy.'" He smiled, the snotty prat.
"What the hell do you want?"
"My assignment is to bring you back to London."
"I'm not ready."
Tucker's eyebrows rose. "Word on the street is you killed Luc Perrault after he stole away your latest piece of ass. They even say you snuffed Nicola in a rage of passion."
His accusation fueled Simon's anger. "I didn't kill her."
"Doesn't matter. The rumor will increase your influence brokering arms deals. Everyone's going to mind you now that you're a known murderer, and that makes it even more important that you return to your post."
"I don't think you understand your options. Come back immediately or stay here and face a murder conviction." Tucker tapped his fingers together beneath his chin and grinned. "Choose wisely."
Simon's heart accelerated to full speed, drugged by adrenaline and fury. The bastard had framed him, killing a beautiful someone in order to punish him for leaving a job that slowly burned away his soul. He stormed over to Tucker's chair, intent on ripping his heart out. Before he reached him, Tucker pulled out his revolver and pointed it directly at Simon's crotch. His eyes narrowed, and he waved Simon back with the barrel of the gun.
"What makes you so sure I won't disappear again?" Simon asked.
"You've always hated collateral damage. It's your biggest weakness. We don't have time to insert anyone else into the game right now. Return to work or we'll create a bloody trail behind you so deep you'll drown in it." Tucker rose from his seat and strode to the door. "I expect to see you back in your flat by tomorrow." He left the room without looking back.CHAPTER 2
One transatlantic flight later, Simon paused in the hallway outside of his flat. Nicola had lived there with him for five years as his pretend lover. He'd hoped she'd become his real lover. It never happened. She'd died first.
The muscles in his face tightened. He needed a strong drink to get through the night. Alcohol and women were his panacea. Female companionship, however, would only remind him of Anna Marie, and that was a memory best left alone for a while.
He flicked the lights on and made his way to the kitchen. The flat smelled like window cleaner and furniture polish — too clean after being vacant and locked up for months.
Fresh food and beer filled the refrigerator. Probably compliments of the lying rat bastards at MI6 who were blackmailing him to return to his former position. He grabbed a bottle and went to decompress in an old leather recliner. One refreshing sip cooled his throat. He shut his eyes to filter out the lingering memories of his former partner who gave everything for her country and received permanent anonymity in return.
The click of a gun and a tap against the back of his head woke him up. Usually, he'd be prepared to counterattack. This time, however, he didn't care. Go ahead, asshole. Kill me.
"Don't move." A voice, soft and unsure, revealed all Simon needed to know. How wonderful, more estrogen.
"If you're going to kill me, do it now. If not, get the hell out of my flat."
She hesitated. The fool.
He reached behind him, grabbed her hair, and pulled her over the back of the recliner. She squeaked as she flipped forward into his lap. The gun flew out of her hand and skidded across the floor, landing under the coffee table. His fist kept a secure hold on her hair, and he tugged her face where he could see it — as wholesome and innocent as Anna Marie's. Blonde hair, blue eyes, American accent. She looked exactly like the future collateral damage Tucker had warned him about. Beautiful until poisoned with cyanide and left to die.
Maybe this was a nightmare and the blonde would disappear after a few minutes.
"Simon?" she whispered.
"Have I ever shagged you?" He brushed his hand over her jeans to the top of her thigh. Her rock-solid muscles tensed.
She shook her head.
He would have remembered. Model pretty, but not as thin. Long denim covered legs ended in bare feet with blue nail polish decorated with daisies.
His hand slid over her shoulder and rubbed the back of her neck. Her shiver shot across his limbs and into places Simon didn't want awakened. "Will I ever?"
She shook her head again and proved how useless she was to him at the moment. He pushed her off his lap, sending her to the floor.
"Then get the hell out of my flat." If someone wanted him dead, they'd hired an imbecile to handle the job.
His aggressive actions sent her fleeing from the room. She had five minutes to leave before he picked her up and tossed her out the door. Distractions would delay him from finishing his assignment and disappearing again permanently. His hand rested on his holster in case she decided to try to kill him again. Part of him hoped she'd succeed.
A minute later she returned from the kitchen with a glass of wine. Why the hell would she stay if he'd threatened her? The liquid rippled in her shaky hand. She wore a brave face — chin tilted up, lips closed and frowning — but if he yelled "boo," she'd hit the floor face first. He was certain of it.
"Why are you still here?"
"I'm Cassie Watson." She sat on the couch, all six feet something of her, dressed in loose jeans and a pink T-shirt. "They told me you'd be a jerk, but I thought they were kidding. They weren't." She took a deep breath and a swig of wine. "Anyway, I'm your new partner."
"I work alone."
She took another sip. "I was told to report to your flat and wait. They said it would be weeks until you arrived." She frowned, probably in response to his frown. "I understand if you don't want me, but —"
"I don't want you."
She ignored him and drank more wine. "I have no place to live except here. I was told that, once embedded, I wouldn't be coming out for a while. So if we're not colleagues, perhaps we can be roommates?"
"You want to be my chum? Are you daft?"
She swallowed hard. "The service won't let me return to my old job until I complete whatever assignment they placed me here to do."
She was right. In his world, you succeeded and moved to the next assignment or you died.
"No. I'm British. My father and mother divorced when I was five. Mom moved me to Southern California soon after. The service said sounding American would be better, because you wouldn't want an English woman after your last partner died."
He overlooked her comment about Nicola. It was in the past — a past he wanted to forget.
He phoned a contact at MI6 to confirm her identity, and that she had, indeed, been assigned as his new partner on a job the service wasn't ready to reveal. She remained on the couch, drinking wine and trembling. It was like they were now recruiting Sunday school teachers to be spooks. She spoke too softly, acted too timid, and drank her wine as though it was soda. She had nothing on Nicola, who was focused, smart, and sexy as hell. There was only way out of this situation — murder Tucker. He must be laughing his ass off. If Simon didn't accept this Cassie person, they'd eliminate her and send over some other annoying recruit.
He stood up and stretched to his full six feet, five inches. In two steps he stood over her. Her earrings sparkled the same color as her eyes. Aquamarines. He leaned forward and rested his hands on the back of the couch, one on each side of her shoulders. She tried to pull back, but the couch kept her blocked in. His nose stopped an inch from hers.
"If you insist on staying here, you are under my control at all times. You do as I say, go where I tell you to go, and never talk to headquarters without my permission. Screw with me once, and I'll throw you and all your pretty things onto the sidewalk, embedded or not." Obedience and perseverance were the two most useful skills a new agent could possess, especially when lacking competence.
She nodded and held her glass almost steady. "I understand. I've trained for months for this. I'm ready."
Her gaze focused on his chin. Neophyte. She'd never convince anyone they were lovers. Her training must have consisted of watching James Bond movies and playing Risk, the game of world domination.
"How many assignments have you worked on?"
"Including this one?"
"You have a lot of catching up to do." He could smell merlot on her breath. So damn tempting, but thoughts of Anna Marie and her final kiss stopped him cold.
"I learn fast." She lifted her glass to take another sip, forcing him to pull his face away from hers. "Do you have our assignment?"
Even if he knew, he wouldn't tell her until she'd earned his trust. "I have no idea. I'll be told within the week. Can you stay out of my way until I learn why you're here?"
"Absolutely." She placed her hand on his chest to push him back. "I guess I'll be going to bed now."
He didn't move. He hadn't thought this far. "There's only one bed, and I don't sleep on the couch. Ever."
"Fine. I'll sleep on the couch." Her eyes became shiny, and she swallowed hard, making him feel like a callous idiot.
But he couldn't back down. She'd think he cared. He didn't.
"Fine." Pushing away from her, he stormed out of the room.
Oh. My. God.
Excerpted from True Deceptions by Veronica Forand, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2015 Veronica Forand. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the 2nd book in the True Lies series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading the series in the order intended. Simon and Cassie are a lot like the Bond movies. He is the alpha hero trying to protect everyone from a murdering psycho, and she is a new field agent who is mostly a um er nerd. They go together like oil and water. Cassie just wants to be more than the brain she is known for. Her eccentricities are what make for an interesting book. Simon and Cassie have to find common ground and catch a bad guy while this fast paced book keeps you on your toes! I thought the quick paced story was like watching a movie in my head. These characters are good together. Fans of this series are going to love this story. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher for an honest review.
This is a fast paced story with a lot of suspense. The mystery and intrigue hold the reader's attention throughout the book. The characters are very well developed and the story is very well written. There were a couple times when I thought Cassie was a bit too trusting and caring almost to the point of being naive. Other than that, this is a great story with several surprises. ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating. My original review that posted on my blog is too many characters for B&N because I was very back and forth on my feelings for this book. There was a lot of good elements that really reeled me in but there were also some bad ones that really dragged the story down for me. My negative feelings were mostly within the characters and the romance. I truly wasn't feeling it at all and I had a hard time really getting attached to either of the main characters. However the suspense and that part of the storyline were spot on for me. They were the real reason why I plugged through and made it to the end. To sum up I'll add my final thoughts from my original review: Overall I'm very in the middle on my feelings with this book. It was engaging and pulled me in and at times even had me on the edge of my seat. I feel like the romance really got in the way when it comes to True Deceptions though. It was one of the few times where I could have done without a romantic entanglement and I live for that stuff. And there were moments of pure frustration and aggravation. But regardless of how I felt about the romance and all that I did enjoy the rest and felt it made it worth the read. Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!!
Check out my book blog, www.notapickyreader.blogspot.com A romantic romp through international politics and (domestic...ish?) relationships. The chemistry between Cassie and Simon is great (once Simon lightens up a little bit) and I thought the cast of characters were colorful and developed. Simon and Cassie are complete opposites and it's fun to watch them interact with each other, as well as Simon's crew of experienced agents/coworkers. Personally, I thought the action part of the plot was overshadowed by the romantic tension. Narratively, the spy missions/actions were well explained and (fairly) balanced, but I couldn't really get invested in it as much as I was the romance (which is a-ok). I was more interested in their interactions/relationship than I ever was about the spy mission or the stakes concerning missiles. If you are looking for a sexy, romantic roll through some high stakes sheets, this is the book for you.
Back in March 2015 I was lucky enough to read and review my first novel by this talented author, Untrue Colours. That was a great thriller with romance interwoven in it and, when I found out this book was being released, I jumped at the opportunity to read an ARC of it and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by this new novel! Many of the characters from the first story appear in this one, though obviously their lives and actions have moved on since then. The hero of the first story was Professor Henry Chilton and it is his half-brother, Simon Dunn, who stars in this latest story. Simon used to work for MI6 but tried to leave after his partner was murdered. Unfortunately for him, you don’t just decide to leave that organisation and he is blackmailed into one more job but with a partner who has never been on a mission before so is certainly not one he’d choose. She’s Cassie Watson, a highly intelligent, tall, blonde, vegan pacifist and expert on robotics and computers. With their lives on the line, this is going to be a job they aren’t guaranteed to survive. . . . This is another fast paced thriller by a highly talented writer. It has strong, well portrayed characters, a complex enthralling plot and is a difficult to put down read. If you enjoy your thrillers to have double dealing spies, horrendous mobsters and just a touch of romance, this is definitely a great book for you! As with True Colours, I highly recommend this brilliant, fast paced, thrilling book and will certainly be looking out for others by this author in future! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This novel is full of suspense, thrill and romance. Story is on the dark side, cold hearted killers, spooks and a dead body are involved so this is not for readers who are faint of heart. I really liked this book. Simon is a fascinating character and I simply loved Cassie. Clearly she was in the wrong profession but she was willing to do anything to prove her worth. Falling for Simon was not the plan but it happened. Surrounded by danger, they navigate their way through their mission which was of utmost importance. This is a must read for anyone looking for romance, suspense, intrigue, and a little adventure.
OMGoodness! Well, where do I even begin with this book?? There is so much awesome on it, I don't even know where to begin. This was a first read for my by Veronica Forand and I an hooked!!! I love all the suspense and action along with the romance that she intertwined together to make this one heck of a good read!! Cassie does desk and computer work for a British Intelligence Organization called M16. When she was going through all her training for the job, Cassie did not do so well on the physical out in the field part of the training, so they decided to make her more of an intelligence junkie with computers and robotics and such. Cassie has no idea how she gets assigned to the job with Simon and is not quiet sure about herself. When Cassie meets Simon and he goes on to tell her about the task they have at hand, she has no idea what she has gotten herself into. Tucker is the one in charge of everyone and is sort of the upper hand man. He encourages Simon to go back to work and on active duty after the loss of Simon's close partner that he has been mourning for. Simon is just trying to get the job done and keep his mind off of his partner. When Simon and Cassie are left alone to fend for themselves in his house, sparks begin to ignite between them and neither Cassie or Simon can ignore them. The story goes on to where Cassie is captured and treated pretty badly as a prisoner. When Cassie finally sees a way to escape, she fights her way out. The only person that she cares to see is Simon and she thinks that he did not come for her and they are being kept away from each other. Do Cassie and Simon get their HEA? You must read this one to find out. The action and suspense in this book will keep you on the edge of your seat and wondering how things will end for everyone. I loved this book and can not wait for more from Veronica. Thanks for an excellent read!!
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 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. 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. 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.
Temptation. Seduction. Murder. It's all part of the game... 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... Review: This book certainly kept me on the edge of my seat and tense. This romantic suspense had lots of great intrigue and was gritty. The book basically starts out with one of Simon's female companions getting killed and the action does not stop there. I liked that unlike a lot of romantic suspense stories, this one focused more on the actual suspense, that if you took out the romance the story could still stand on its own. The romance was good and there were some sexy parts. I do have to say that Simon seemed to do a 360 when it came to Cassie. There was lots of pushing away and then almost suddenly he changes his mind. I did like Cassie's evolution, she starts out as this timid little thing and through being with Simon and working this case, she becomes stronger and more confident. I had not read this Author before and it was one of the reasons I selected the book for review, I like trying new Authors and seeing what is out there. I think she did a great job and this story kept me entertained while I waited in a million long lines at NY Comic Con last week. I do think Dane needs his own story though, just saying. 4Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Simon Dunn had been hiding for 8 months from MI6, but they found him. A woman is dead and he’s given the choice of completing another mission or facing murder charges. To make matters worse, he’s saddled with a new partner who has no field experience: Cassie Watson. Cassie has superlative computer skills, is a triathlete, and doesn’t believe in violence; she’s all wrong for the job, and she doesn’t want to be there. Simon’s former partner, Nicola, whom he secretly loved but never reciprocated, was killed on the job, and Simon doesn’t want to be partnered with Cassie, but again, he has no choice. Cassie is totally out of her element, but she is spunky and rises to the situation when required; she’s a very engaging character. Simon is cold, extremely professional, but there is a lot of background on both characters, which makes things interesting. I love how Ms. Forand takes a realistic approach to the spying world: there is much more preparation than actual action, and it’s very well-researched. TRUE DECEPTIONS is a very nice little spy story. I received a complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review.
True Deceptions is by Veronica Forand. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, Entangled Publishing, and by Veronica Forand. Cassie Watson is a desk jockey for a British Intelligence Organization called M16. Her specialty is computer work and robotics. She can program drones to do things no one ever imagined. Or she can hack into just about anywhere. But that’s all she’s really good at. She did terrible at the physical aspect of her training. She doesn’t like guns and has terrible aim. So, why was she chosen to partner up with Simon Dunn? It hasn’t been long since Simon’s ex partner was murdered. Simon cared for her but their relationship never ventured past being partners. He’s been hiding out for eight months but is forced back into active duty by Tucker, his pain in the neck handler. He also didn’t expect to return home to his flat in London and find a beautiful blonde in his apartment. Simon does everything he can to make Cassie want to quit. But she is determined to see this through. He just wants to concentrate on this job but it’s pretty difficult with this beautiful blonde amazon living in his apartment. “She embodied everything he didn’t want in a partner - inexperience, clumsiness and a body he’d obsess over.” As Simon and Cassie spend time together, the attraction becomes too much to resist. And soon, lust turns to love. But with an ongoing operation involving multiple countries, danger lurking behind every corner, can Simon allow himself to be distracted by Cassie or could that distraction get him killed? “Her innocence and bravery made him ache for something he swore he’d never desire again.” Cassie struggles to find her place in all of this and the reason for her involvement soon becomes clear as she is needed to help to reprogram drones. As time goes on, she learns to trust Simon’s judgment but there comes a time when Cassie finds herself face to face with danger like she never imagined and she is forced to rely on herself to get out of it. I have to say that I was so proud of her at this point. Cassie found a strength she never knew she possessed. The situation was horrible and I was scared to death for her but so proud of her as well. So I mostly enjoyed this book. As things progress, it really got intense as I was trying to figure out who they could trust and who they couldn’t. And about half way through, things really ramped up. Simon and Cassie really did need each other and found each other at the perfect time in their lives. The only problem is that I never really completely warmed up to them. I liked them together, I just never got that warm and fuzzy feeling that I would have liked. So as romantic suspense goes, this was a really good book. The pace was fast and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. And the ending, although it’s not a cliff hanger, leaves things open for another book. I’ve had the first book, Untrue Colors, on my list for a while now so I really need to go back and read that one. This is only my second book by Veronica Forand and I definitely want to explore more of her work.
I loved this book - it's a very fast paced romantic suspense that drew me right in and kept me hooked until the very last page. Cassie is a robotics expert without any field experience when she is forced to partner with Simon, a spy extraordinaire. Simon doesn't want a partner and definitely doesn't want an inexperienced partner. Somehow, they get past that and embark on their mission. While dodging numerous obstacles, they also face their intense attraction to each other. This is a phenomenal book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 5 enthusiastic stars given and I've the author to my must read authors' list.