If You Deceive


Author: Kresley Cole

Publisher: Pocket Books – Simon & Schuster (2007)

Pages: 384

Synopsis: Ethan MacCarrick was a heartbreakingly handsome rake until a powerful nobleman ordered him brutally beaten and his face scarred for a crime he didn’t commit. Ethan’s reprisal -bankrupting the nobleman and forcing his exile- does little to appease his wrath. Ten years later, a haughty, mysterious beauty enchants Ethan – the daughter of his enemy. At last, Ethan will have the revenge he’s craved; he’ll promise her marriage, seduce her, then cast her aside… When Madeleine van Rowen’s family was suddenly plunged into destitution and dishonor, she steeled herself against further heartache. She never weakened, never trusted, until a towering, scarred Highlander relentlessly pursues her, breaking down her defenses. The passion between them burns hotter than Ethan’s fury, and soon he finds he can’t let her go. But when Madeleine uncovers the truth about him, can Ethan convince her to accept all he now offers – when he once destroyed everything she had?


If You Deceive, the third book in the MacCarrick Brothers trilogy by Kresley Cole, tells the story of Ethan and Maddy, two people destined to meet and fall helplessly in love, even if they share a past event that should turn them into enemies instead of lovers.

Ethan is the typical historical romance rake, the tall, dark and handsome single man who sleeps around with every willing woman, until the day the husband of one of them wants revenge and injures him badly. After recovering he sets his mind into a revenge of his own, and because he’s a rich and powerful nobleman, he achieves it with little effort. Ten years later he spots a random girl in a crowd and immediately wants her for his own. Turns out this girl, Maddy, is the daughter of that same man who scarred him, and who Ethan made sure went bankrupt, sending his family to destitution, but he doesn’t know this until he’s utterly, maddly, and irrevocably obsessed with Maddy.

I know, I know, this probably sounds like every other historical romance around, but I loved it, mainly because the couple is so, SO much fun to read about. They have a turbulent chemistry that makes it hard for the reader to wait for their next scene together, and the dialogues would make me laugh my head off every time, with Ethan being so blunt about everything, and Maddy being such a spitfire.  Also, the author uses Scottish accents in the hero’s speech (yes, he’s a Highlander :D) which is hilarious, and to be honest, takes the seriousness out of every of his attempts to sound dangerous and commanding.

About the story, I like how it starts off as a cruel payback plan that turns into a tale of forgiveness, redemption, and mad love. It may not sound like it, but it’s actually funny to witness Ethan planning to use Maddy at his will and then leave her dishonoured, because he simply can’t do it. Correction: he pretty much forgets all about his  numerous “evil schemes” every time he’s with her, for she’s constantly disarming and awing him either through speech, actions, or by simply being herself. That said, I’ll admit my only problem with this book -which is my main problem with almost every historical-, is that I wish there was more story development instead of so many long and detailed sex scenes. I mean, they are good, perhaps too descriptive for my taste at times, but definitely oh-my-goodness!-hot, and I’m only complaining because I was so into the couple’s relationship besides their bedroom action, that I often wished the sex had just a bit less of protagonism, and the rest of the plot a lot more.

The last part of the book surprised me immensely, and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried myself a river in one crucial moment -honestly, I could barely believe in what was happening before me. (O_O)

This was my first book by Kresley Cole, and without knowing her style, for some reason I imagined it was going to be a quite serious, dark, tragic tale of revenge, full of painful, heartbreaking moments, plus a maddening quota of vile misunderstandings, and I was so pleased to find out I was wrong. So, yes, I’ll certainly get myself the other two MacCarricks. 😀

Rating: 8/10

Goodreads ǀ The Book Depository UK ǀ The Book Depository.com

3 Responses to “If You Deceive”

  1. I didn’t know Kresley Cole wrote historial romances, but your review makes me want to read this, especially if it’s funny. 🙂

  1. 1 As Escolhas do Dálmata 2011 | Cuidado com o Dálmata

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