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If You Deceive [Mass Market Paperback]

Kresley Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 22 2007 MacCarrick Brothers (Book 3)
Burning vengeance...

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.

Bitter hardships...

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.

At what price forgiveness?

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?

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About the Author

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Game Maker Series, and five award-winning historical romances. A master's grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Her IAD books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the US and abroad. You can learn more about her and her work at KresleyCole.com or Facebook.com/KresleyCole.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars CAN'T SAY ENOUGH GOOD ABOUT THIS ONE July 17 2012
By Buggy TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I find it difficult to write reviews for books I absolutely loved, I can't ever say quite the right thing or express adequately how much it affected me. How I loved the characters, the heartache, the passion and the drama. It always ends up sounding like a big pile of cheese, and really how many different ways are there to say amazing?

This was fantastic (there's one) placing as one of my top historical reads ever. I only wish now I hadn't waited so long, because Ethan stole my heart. What a great hero. To watch someone as cold, damaged and emotionally shut off as Ethan fall and allow someone into his heart was just... sigh. His confusion, his denial and in the end his willingness to do anything to have her, to keep her, borders on obsession. And then there's this big lie hanging over him and his guilt over how he's inadvertently destroyed her life which he then tries to make up for which only succeeds in pushing her away just when he's realized he can't live without her. Gah, this is how romances are meant to be -not necessarily reviews though.

What a great love story, what a great couple because as much as I fell for Ethan I equally adored Maddie. These two are equals, Their banter, flirtation and verbal sparring is some of the best I've ever read and sexy, jeez that carriage ride after the masquerade ball and oh let's not forget the shopping extravaganza homage to Pretty Woman in Paris. Yeah.

Not many books have the ability to give me actual emotions but Kresley Cole managed it here in spades; smiling, sighing, cheering, crying and at one point yelling at Ethan (you fool) to get away from those two floozies and go the hell home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Jan. 4 2012
By Lovely
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kresley Cole has written the best books! This is a trilogy however they are stand alones. I loved all three novels. If you like Highlander books than these are must-haves!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! July 1 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Received book in excellent condtion and packaged to ensure no damage occurring during delivery. Fast efficient service. Thanks for the speedy delivery. I was waiting for this book to continue the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  134 reviews
55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Finale to a Great Series May 17 2007
By Lauren Sophie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm sad to see this trilogy end (maybe Kresley Cole can be persuaded to write Quinn's story next?), but Ethan's story made for a perfect finale to a unique, witty and romantic series.

If You Deceive tells the story of Ethan MacCarrick, the most tortured and haunted of all the brothers, and how his quest for revenge against the married couple who did him wrong ultimately leads him to true love. When Ethan was just twenty three, he went home with a married woman named Sylvie Van Rowen, only to quickly discover something strange and off-putting about her. Before anything physical can happen between them, Ethan attempts to leave, but not before the woman's husband arrives and assumes the worst. Even though Ethan is innocent of any wrongdoing, Sylvie claims that Ethan forced himself on her and her husband's henchmen beat Ethan and cut his face with a knife, leaving a large scar that mars his beauty.

Ten years pass. Ethan becomes increasingly more bitter, cold, and alone as he takes violent, covert jobs that harden his heart. Bent on revenge, he makes sure that Sylvie and her husband are rendered penniless and destitute. He almost marries, but his fiancee dies in a mysterious accident, forcing him to withdraw even further into himself. Finally, he decides to avoid both sex and alcohol and almost manages to grow immune to the disgusted stares women give him when they see his scar.

But one night he meets the young, beautiful and witty Maddy. The two enjoy an immediate attraction and one night of passion. But when Ethan later discovers he unknowingly bed Maddy Van Rowen, the daughter of his enemies, he is torn over what to do next. He still craves revenge, and imagines Maddy is just like Sylvie. But of course, his heart is just looking for any excuse to pursue the only woman he's ever felt truly drawn to.

From there, the plot takes us to the slums of Paris to the rugged Highland plains. Throughout, Ethan is an emotional mess, caught so unawares when it comes to the intensity of his feelings for Maddy that he nearly pushes her past her limit. Then the question becomes: will Ethan confess all to Maddy? And will she forgive him if he does?

Ethan is a darker character than Hugh or Court, but his turmoil is so expertly drawn and compelling that it's impossible not to sympathize with him. Maddy is a very Kresley Cole-esque heroine, in that she's strong, wise beyond her years, and modern for the time period. The love story is beautifully written, and there's never a shortage of conflict. In fact, I was dying to know how everything would be resolved and read this book quickly over the course of a few hours.

If you liked the other books in the series I think you'll enjoy this one, too. It moves from angsty to sweet to suspenseful without losing its way, and the epilogue gives us a very welcome glimpse into the lives of all the brothers and their wives.
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best!!! May 24 2007
By Viv - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
"If You Deceive" has been summarized by other reviewers so I will tell you what makes it a 5-star book for me.

The third book in the MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy and the best, in my opinion. I savored every word and prayed the story wouldn't end. The chemistry between Ethan and Maddy was so well-written I was completely immersed in their romance.

With the action sub-plot resolved, carried over from book 2, early in the novel, the focus was on the intense love affair between Maddie and Ethan. And what a sizzler it was! This is not an erotic novel but an extremely hot and sexy book written with Cole's flair for burning love scenes. They will leave you breathless.

The sensual tension is taut and exquisitely written. Ethan is in love with Maddy, to the point of obsession that he is overcome with jealousy throughout the book.

What I enjoyed most about "If You Deceive" was the main conflict was Ethan's inevitable confession to Maddy. It made for an emotional and heartfelt read that makes it a definite keeper for me.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought the series couldn't get any better ... but! June 3 2007
By claudia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
In book #1 we had Court and Annalia's romance, and I thought there couldn't be a more scorching heroine! Annalia was on fire, but sheltered / protected, and aristocratic. In Book #2, Jane was daring - more modern than a heroine of the age depicted in the book, a daring and risk-taking independent woman. In this book (#3), we have a heroine who was made destitute (by the hero in actions that preceed the book), who grew up in the slums of Paris, who makes her way as a barmaid, even as she protects her virtue and occassionally forays into high society (which is her birthright). The dichotomy between her roots, and her current circumstances, her ability to walk in both worlds and not really be thoroughly poisoned by wretched poverty, is believably woven together by the author. You will believe that you are in Paris with her, when the book takes a path into her home territory. You'll hear the bells of Notre Dame, and delight in that world - including being thrown quite a few French phrases.

The hero is the darkest of the three brothers - the least likeable on the surface. He has a huge, big, nasty scar on his face. He was self-centered before he was given the scar by a jealous cuckolded husband (tho' he was innocent of the charges that time), and he turned inward after that. Even the members of his clan are reputed not to like him. He brow-beats his brothers to abandon their loves because he has no faith in love, and sees it as a liability.

But when he meets Madeline, the daughter of his enemy (like Romeo & Juliet), he is besotted! He can't understand it. He tries to get around it, and he lies to avoid consequences of his actions, past & present. But Maddy turns him inside out, revealing a lovelier, more caring, more nuturing Ethan - the person who is really there, buried under all the baggage.

I thought there couldn't be a better story that that of Court and Anna, I fell in love with Hugh and his struggles to forget Jane, but I do believe this book is the best of the three, with a reluctant hero who is all hero inside, and a playful, gamine, heroine who deserves to rise to the life she was born to lead.

Oh yeah, Ethan is majorly hot. Like Maddy, you'll quickly become bored with the scar and focus on other things! ;-)
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Ethan is Hotter than July! May 26 2007
By Jacqueline M. Raines - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Man! those McCarrick Bros. Series are/is absolutely fabulous. I loved each and every book. I read all three this week and they were great from the first to this one. Ethan and Maddy's book was worth the wait and a great ending to an excellent series. Ethan is a big, sexy, surly, Scottish Lord and Assasin and Maddy is a once rich, now destitute firebrand. Together they make magic. They go through hell an end up in heaven, and the erotic love scenes along the way are to die for. Loved it! I wish the McCarrick's had a long lost Brother so the series could be extended. But, Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series has a new book due out this October so I guess I will suffer an wait.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the series, but that's not saying much Aug. 30 2007
By K. Hinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the third installment of Kresley Cole's MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy, it's time for Ethan MacCarrick, the oldest of the brooding Highlanders, to take a wife. Scarred at the age of 23 for a youthful indiscretion, Ethan has forsaken women for the last few years while he carries on his duties as a spy for the Crown. Ethan knows that women find his visage appalling, and for that reason he has chosen to focus his attentions elsewhere. That is, until he spies a beautiful blond while he's out looking for his brother. The girl is young and curious and there's something about her that catches Ethan's eye. He seeks her out and gets more than he bargained for.

Madeleine Van Rowen is in London looking for a rich husband. Though her friends believe Maddy is visiting them from the rich Parisian neighborhood of St. Roch, in truth Maddy is on leave from her home in a Paris slub called La Marais. When her hopes of meeting a rich man are dashed, Maddy believes that she'll have to return to La Marais and marry an aging count just to repay the debts she accrued for her trip to London. Before sacrificing her future, Maddy wants one last thing for herself, a moment of pleasure that she can remember during her cold, lonely nights in the arms of a man she doesn't love. When Ethan MacCarrick presents himself, it's an opportunity she can't refuse...

If You Deceive is my favorite of the MacCarrick Brothers stories, but that isn't saying a whole lot. I didn't really enjoy these books as a whole, though I'm a huge Kresley Cole fan. I like the heroes. The MacCarrick Brothers are strong alpha males willing to fight to the death to protect the women they love. Ethan is arguably the most brooding of the three, with his scarred face and respect of tradition. It's hard to beleive he could be brought to his knees by a wee Parisian pickpocket. Maddy, likewise, is my favorite heroine of the three stories. She gives as good as she gets and her love for Ethan transforms her from a dirty little girl from the slums to a respectable countess. Still, I didn't LOVE this story the way I love Cole's Immortals After Dark stories. Don't get me wrong, the MacCarrick Brothers trilogy will fill a void while you're waiting for the next IAD story, but it's not up to par with that series.
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