Sunday, August 16, 2015

{ arc } review || DECEIVED by Suzanna Daniels

Self-Published | August 18, 2015 | New Adult Romance
Whiskey Nights, book 3


A hotel room.

A blindfold.

An invitation that goes horribly awry.

Now that Seren Flanagan has graduated from college and returned to Creekview, Tennessee, she’s getting reacquainted with her old high school friends, including Cade Mayfield. She had a crush on him in high school but lacked the courage to act on it.

Luckily, she’s not the same shy girl who used to admire him from afar. Knowing what she wants, she sets a plan in motion to capture his attention by inviting him on a trip to Ireland.

But things don’t always go as planned—a lesson that Seren will soon learn the hard way.

DECEIVED is the third book in the WHISKEY NIGHTS series. Since each book focuses on a different couple, they can be read as stand-alones, but many readers may prefer to read them in order for maximum enjoyment

{ review } .

Often when I read these friends-to-lovers stories, I start out by wondering, "Well, what changed?" What happened that the lead female decided to take a second look at the guy? Ok, so the girl has crushed on the guy for a while; what happened that is making her notice that he has been noticing her? Yeah, yeah, I know -- the book has to start somewhere and it would be awfully lengthy if we started at the beginning of some of these relationships, but honestly... What changed?

Seren Flanagan, or just Flanagan to Cade (which, side note, totally puts her in friend-zone if you're thinking guy-terms, but he just wanted to call her something no one else did), wants a change in life before she goes and does the 'adult' thing -- you know, lifelong career, 9-5 days, Monday through Friday. Before that, though, she wants to live just a little. She didn't get that in college so she wants that now. She's always had her eye on Cade, but he's been firmly in friend territory; but with her new goals, who better than Cade to help her live a little?

So she makes this decision, is dancing in their friends' bar, and notices Cade watching her. She wants his eyes on her, I know that, but in my head, if I were her? I would want to know, "Well, what changed?"

I loved the friendships in this book. Right away you get a sense of the camaraderie these people have, in a game as simple as "who you want to be handcuffed to".

"You wanted to be handcuffed to a strange guy, too?" --Seren to Cade

The entire group is paired off, initially leaving single-Seren and single-Cade, but their friendship has always allowed that pairing-off to be easy.

I loved this story. And with the synopsis as it is, you may be surprised (I was) with the location of that particular blindfold scene. The story unfolds far greater than that. Beyond the friends-to-lovers change with Cade and Flanagan, as a reader you get to witness the previous couplings (who I haven't read, but am dying to read their stories based off of their interactions in this book), but also you watch Seren deal with some personal things, as well as Cade -- Cade has a few personal demons that he battles in DECEIVED and they make him question his worth (Cade, you're a good man; don't worry about it all).

I loved Cade, I honestly did. He was a good friend, an adorable flirt, a jokester... but when it came time for the important conversations, he was levelheaded, he knew when to step back and allow room to breath and room to think, and he was mature enough to know that the most important conversations needed to be done face to face.

...and as for what changed? Honestly, nothing. It's that whole self-worth thing that had Cade keeping Flanagan in friend-zone, but when his hand is forced, he steps up and takes his prize -- even if he has to work for it a bit.

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