True Deceptions by Veronica Forand

True Deceptions by Veronica ForandTrue Deceptions by Veronica Forand
Series: True Lies, #2
Published by Entangled: Select Suspense on October 19th 2015
Pages: 342
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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...

Well-plotted, crafted with sophistication and intricacy, story-wise at least.

Tortured by memories of his unrequited want for his (now-dead) partner, Simon Dunn has decided he’s done with the covert world of espionage, arms-dealing and undercover roles. Until he suddenly finds himself blackmailed into going back for yet another mission with a painfully naive new partner who’s geeky and a blond bombshell who’s only of use in the robotics field and nothing more. As always, there’s the instant-lust factor…at least more obviously on Simon’s part as he tests and punishes her simultaneously for his own unflagging desire and under the pretext that she should be ready for a job she has never been and never will be ready for as a field operative.

And therein lies the problem. My only gripe – and it’s a big one – lies with its characters that I honestly thought broke this book.

In short, Cassis and Simon stretch the limits of my ability to play along as their antics move from the hostile to the ridiculous. Cassie’s naïveté and eagerness to please just seemed completely out of place – the book acknowledges this as such but it gets too painfully awkward to keep up with her need for approval -; her pairing with controlling, brutish Simon (who suddenly feels the need to protect this simple geek genius?!) is a doubly bewildering one especially after she quite idiotically reasons that becoming his lover for real will give them the connection she craves. It’s hard to like this weak, harebrained heroine and even harder to accept that Simon’s sudden love for her. Cassie is wrongly placed in a role she should never have been in the first place and by the end of the book, I’m even more convinced that pairing should never even have been, period.