SPOILER ALERT!

Rich Virgin Hero Gets Blackmailed

The Mistress Deception - Susan Napier

Unfortunately this one didn't amuse me as much as The Bellini Bride (A Mediterranean Marriage). There were no down-pourings of out of the blue crazy revelations, which was a bit of a disappointment. But honestly, despite some minor hang-ups, this book was fairly decent.

Rachel is a 30-something personal trainer who only works at that job so she can supplement her lack of income from the security business she co-owns with her dead fiancée’s brother. (Take a minute to wrap your mind around that.) She also has a 15 year old daughter who she adopted out to her older sister because the kid was a result of a rape when Rachel was 15 herself. After so kindly helping a rich guy, Matthew, out of his wet clothes at a party where she was working guard duty, Rachel is outraged when incriminating photos show up on her doorstep with a harassing letter from Matthew.

Matthew, of course, was the original person the photos were addressed to, but instead of thinking rationally about who could've sent them, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that it was Rachel. Thus resulting in the harassing letter and photos making their way to her. This leads to some loaded barbs getting traded back and forth between them until the misunderstanding is cleared up and the two decide to work together. That happens around the half-way point and quite frankly its where the story started to lag for me. The villain was painfully obvious and descriptions of Rachel and Matthew's newly found bliss with each other got old kind of quick. Of course, there's one more misunderstanding that gets tossed in near the end for some needless melodrama between the two, but its quickly resolved.

What this book did that racked up some serious points with me was subvert some of the tropes that are typical to the genre. For instance, Matthew is the unbelievably old virgin and Matthew's the one sticking his nose in an investigation that the heroine is more qualified and able to properly handle. The only way this could've made me happier is if Rachel would've had a scene where she got to rescue Matthew. But unfortunately, the big confrontation with the villain was rather lack luster. In fact, they basically just talk it out which was a little lame after having such a huge build up. Dude doesn't even get a slap on the wrist.

All in all, a fairly enjoyable read. Kudos to Napier for shaking things up a bit.