If You Deceive is the 3rd book in Kresley Cole’s sexy Highlander series surrounding the MacCarrick Brothers. This installment focuses on the eldest brother, Ethan. Like his brothers, Court and Hugh, Ethan believes the family is cursed… the brothers never to marry or have children. If any were to open his heart, the object of his affections will suffer or die. Ethan feels like he is most intimately acquainted with the curse, as his old fiance killed herself years ago, shortly before their wedding.
10 years ago, Ethan was a handsome rake, who went home with a different woman every night. But one night, he went home with the wrong woman. She was married, a little older, and thought to seduce him. Once in her bedroom, he changed his mind. The woman became enraged. And when her husband came home early, she said Ethan tried to rape her. The husband had him beaten and his face slashed. Ethan made it a point to ruin the man and his evil wife. He bought up their debts and called them in. The husband killed himself. The wife and her daughter, Maddy, were driven into abject poverty. Anyone want to take a guess who that daughter will become to our hero?
Ethan meets Maddy in the novel’s present day, at a masquerade ball. They are inextricably drawn to each other. So much so, their passion escalates to sex in the carriage after the party. Ethan doesn’t know young Maddy was still innocent and he is a little too forceful with her. She leaves with a healthy dose of fear about sex. And Ethan is disconcerted by his intense feelings for the woman.
They go their separate ways… Maddy back to her seedy French apartment and Ethan on an assassin’s job. But after it’s over, he realizes he must find her again. It’s after he starts making inquiries that he realizes who she really is.
He pursues her anyway, thinking to find new ways to punish her mother. He asks Maddy to marry him. But he begins to truly fall for her. And he soon learns her mother is long dead –and he is to blame for the hard live Maddy has led.
Their feelings for each other are real and deep, but the secret between them creates a huge chasm. Ethan has so much baggage surrounding his scars, his curse and his past. He clearly doesn’t know how to love, but with Maddy, it’s inevitable. Their encounters are steamy. Their story is captivating. I couldn’t put it down.
And I loved the Epilogue, that gives us a glimpse into the future of all three brothers.
If You Deceiveby Kresley ColeRelease Date: May 22, 2007Publisher: Pocket Books