From the same author that brought us Obsession.
Well. I enjoyed this novel. But, boy, does the heroine suffer.
First. Her live-in boyfriend of one year just vanishes off the face of the earth. That's the hero by the way. He's a secret agent and he returns to her about 18-months later because he gets into trouble and remembers that he loved her. It doen't change the fact that Kate was living with a guy who lied to her on a daily basis for over a years. Kate goes through emotional agonies when Luke disappears. Lots of people telling her he's an adult and maybe he just wanted out of the relationship.
Next. Completely unconnected. Kate is driving the car which is hit by another vehicle. And Kate's passenger, who is her heavily pregnant sister-in-law, dies! Of course, Kate suffers more agonies of guilt. With the result that she completely changes her lifestyle and appearance, apparently. She quits being a successful artist and becomes, like, a punkish barkeep! However I thought that her relationship with her brother was somewhat unbelievable considering what he lost. But he's probably being set up for a sequel. It had better be a minimum of 5 years in the future. That is the appropriate length of time to mourn the death of someone who you swore, before God, to "love, honor and obey for as long as you are alive."
The book is about how Luke returns to Kate and has to convince her that he loved her despite the lies and the fact that his spy boss is gunning for him because he saw something he shouldn't have. tbh Luke doesn't have to work very hard to win Kate back. Particularly once she's seen his spectacular houseboat in Tennessee. Because, yes, Luke is one of those spys with lots of money.
And finally. In the denouement. Kate takes a shot to the gut for Luke. And has to recover from serious surgery. Surgery that will probably affect her for many years to come. Of course he asks her to marry him. Jeez! What else could he do without looking like a total heel?
Why did the author do that to the heroine? Was it because she was safe in the homeland while Luke was being tortured in South America? In the book there is no description of Luke's torture. So the reader basically has to take his word about the beatings. Except that Luke's experiences hardly seem to affect him at all. Apart from anger that he was betrayed into the situation by his boss. So Kate seems to have had all the trauma and not Luke.
The spy story that Luke and Kate get involved in is pretty fantastical in all honesty. But that is the legacy of Ms Plame coming into the romance market. I found it quite entertaining even though it reaches deep into the beltway.
So after all. I enjoyed this novel....but not as good as Obsession. (Because Obsession is a lot more personal than Deception.)