Sunday, May 15, 2016

Deceptions - Cynthia Eden (HI #1630 - Apr 2016)

Series: Battling McGuire Boys (Book 5)

People called Elizabeth Snow wild, and once she was. Now she's the straitlaced librarian with no interest in the wildest, sexiest McGuire…until she needs him to protect her from a murderous stalker. But former Delta Force Mac does more than protect -- he quickly unleashes her untamed side again, taking their attraction to the furthest edge of desire!

Secrets from their pasts threaten Elizabeth and Mac -- as much as"The Fixer," who seems to know their every move as they hunt this monstrous killer. Can they trust each other enough to go forward? Or will a shocking truth prove fatal?

This was a very exciting book, right from the opening pages. Elizabeth is the new librarian in town, and as she is locking up one night, she hears someone calling her name. This person makes threats against her, and she is only saved by the arrival of Mac. Mac has arrived just as the library is closing, supposedly to return an overdue book. What he's really doing is wangling some time with the woman he has a crush on, but who refuses to go out with him. He immediately steps in to protect her, not just then but also later that night when she runs toward even more danger.

I really liked Elizabeth. As a teenager she had been known as a wild child. But she had fallen in love with a boy and they were starting a new life when he was brutally murdered. After that, she took charge of her life, determined to make a better one. To that end, she has done her best to keep that life calm and controlled. Now that past has come back to haunt her. While she appreciates Mac's help, she doesn't want him to get hurt fighting her battles. 

I loved Mac. He is former Special Forces and is haunted by things in his own past, not just from his military service, but also from the murders of his parents. McGuire Security is his and his brothers' way of turning their pasts into something good. Mac is determined to do whatever is necessary to keep Elizabeth safe.

There was a connection between Mac and Elizabeth from the beginning, though she tried very hard to deny it. She was afraid that she would lose her new self-control if she let any of the passion that she felt reach the surface. Once she realizes that Mac will not walk away while she's in danger, she agrees to his protection and they begin the process of trying to find out why it is happening. As they worked together, I loved seeing how easily they understood each other's fears, and the support they provided. It was really fun to see the reactions most of his brothers had to the effect she had on him. The scene with Davis and Brodie was pretty funny. I loved the way that Mac realized his feelings first and that he had no trouble admitting them, at least to himself, and that he wasn't going to give up on trying to convince Elizabeth to take a chance. I also loved seeing the changes that Elizabeth went through, as she accepted that her past didn't have to define her present and future. She could be wild or straight-laced depending on her feelings at the time. Mac's big moment at the end was really sweet and romantic.

The suspense of the story was fantastic. The bad guy, "The Fixer", just wouldn't give up. Every time they thought they were safe, there he was again. Even when they had him in their hands, there was something creepily smug about him. I really didn't like that DA and his attitude, especially when Mac and Elizabeth tried to explain just how evil the guy was. Then came the information that the killer was just a hired gun, leaving them with the necessity of finding out who had hired him. I loved the outstanding detective work they did that brought them to that point. There was a very interesting twist to the end, that wasn't a total surprise. It certainly made for a very intense confrontation before it was all over.

There was also a very intriguing lead in to the final book in the series, dealing with Sullivan McGuire. He is the one who seems to be the most cynical and hardened of them all, and we got the briefest glimpse of what may have caused it. He also receives some information that may lead to solving the mystery of their parents' murder, a theme that has run through the entire series. I can't wait to see how his story goes!

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