When Felicity Carter wakes up naked in a strange bed, she has no idea how she got there. And no recollection of meeting the gorgeous man calmly offering her breakfast. Shocked and embarrassed, Felicity flees – hoping that their paths never cross again.
The last thing she expects is to discover that her mystery man is Damon Fullbright, partner at the law firm where Felicity has just started work – and her new boss! Damon is appalled to find the young woman he rescued has been hired to work on his team. Apart from anything else, he doesn’t need the distraction.
Despite their early misconceptions, their appreciation for each other – both personally and professionally – begins to grow. But when Damon discovers what Felicity’s been hiding, how will he ever trust her again?
Maybe we haven’t all had quite the night our heroine, Felicity appears to have had. However most of us, at some stage in our young and foolish days, will have woken up with a monumental hangover:
“As she sat up, the Battle of Waterloo exploded in her head, infantry stabbing her temples, cavalry riding down the back of her neck, heavy weapons stationed in her forehead, firing round after round after round.”
Felicity wakes in a stranger’s apartment, with no idea as to how she got there or who the hell the hot guy offering her breakfast and cash is. After this awkward encounter, Felicity escapes, not wanting to cross paths with her mystery man again.
Unfortunately, a few days later at a crucial job interview (why it’s crucial will become obvious in the course of the story), her missing night comes back to haunt her. Her interviewer and potential new boss is her mystery man – Damon.
Damon cannot believe that the beautiful, well-presented woman in front of him is the same one he rescued in a drunken stupor only a few days earlier. He isn’t impressed, particularly with his growing attraction to Felicity.
Damon sees how committed and diligent Felicity is with her work and how good she is with people, and he yearns to trust her. However, his ability to trust has taken a major battering so he constantly tests both her sobriety and her patience. Felicity is struggling with the secret she is keeping – her hidden agenda has the potential to turn out very badly for her – but she sees in Damon someone who can help her achieve her goal, despite his mistrust. An attraction begins to blossom, that neither wants or expects. Secrets, misconceptions and tensions abound throughout the course of the story, while they move towards their HEA.
As a couple, Feliciry and Damon were very well-matched, with a chemistry that is obvious from the get-go. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest. Ms St George has created a neat suspense element within the story, without it becoming all-consuming. I really enjoyed the heady mix of romance, emotion and exotic locales that go into creating the world in which The Love Deception exists. It made me want to go to Barbados (particularly seeing as the rain here in Melbourne has been coming in sideways of late).
I admired Felicity’s bravery and loyalty to her family. Some other reviews have spoken about her duplicitous nature, but I disagree. She has had to sacrifice much of her own life in order to right the wrongs that she believes have been visited upon them. However to her, there was never any other course of action she could take. I didn’t see her actions so much as deceptive, more so as out of love and a desire for truth. Admirable qualities, I think.
Damon’s a bit of an enigma. You see him as this corporate legal eagle – all brooding and powerful, yet Ms St George has also done a great job showing his caring side through his love for his children and work with the disenfranchised. I definitely see that Damon has valid reasons for being so over-the-top when it comes to dealing with his attraction to Felicity. There were occasions when I wanted to say “Damon, old mate, take a breath and look at it with a more rational eye”, however when I learnt of his past, I could certainly see why he acts the way that he does.
The Love Deception is a thoroughly enjoyable read. If I had any real complaint about this, it would be that on occasion, the story felt rushed a little. However, that didn’t affect my enjoyment of this lovely Australian romance.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release date: 10 June 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia via NetGalley in return for an honest review.