Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Cheater's Regret, by Rachel Van Dyken

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.
Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.
He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.
Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…
4.25 out of 5 stars
When a new RVD book pops up on my  kindle I get a little giddy!  I love her stories and style of writing.  I mean talk about taking a chance on writing a series based on a word that when many of us see we would perhaps just pass on reading because honestly not everyone is up to reading the angst that usually comes in a story where the characters are cheating.  However, RVD has managed to take a word with a serious negative connotation such as cheater and forces us to examine the possibility that maybe there is another side, a different emotion associated with cheating that doesn't necessarily come from a bad place.
If you've read book one in the Curious Liaisons series then you are familiar with the main characters of Cheater's Regret, Austin and Thatch.  However, no worries if you haven't read Cheater because book two can absolutely be read as a standalone.  The story starts with a heartbroken Austin, her unexpected one night stand turned real life romance with plastic surgeon Thatch comes to a screeching halt when she sees him lip-locked with another woman.  What's worse is Thatch not only breaks her heart but makes Austin feel as if it's all her fault while simultaneously pushing her as far away from him is possible.  Are you intrigued yet?  Wait it gets better because what you don't know about Austin yet is she is strong and a woman scorned is a force to be reckoned with.  She may still be head over heels in love with Thatch but she isn't going to let him get away with such careless behavior.  She will get answers, she will find her closure and then she will move on.  But does she really want to move on?  
Thatch's character caught me by surprise.  I won't lie, I didn't totally love him in book one and his introduction in book two doesn't do him any favors.  But, the more I got to know him I realized he was nothing like I first expected.  Apart from a bad decision based on a need to protect someone he cared about he was a surprisingly honest, loyal man who did something stupid because he thought he knew best, he thought he was protecting the girl he loved - clearly men don't really understand how us women think or tend to feel!  He's someone who was dealt a crap hand in life, who lost his innocence and was forced to deal with an adult situation way to early and perhaps has too many secrets he feels responsible to keep and thus doesn't really see a clear picture - doesn't really know the best tools to use and certainly doesn't realize it's okay to put himself first occasionally.
Austin's character perfectly encompasses a scorned woman - out for revenge.  Is this a good idea?  No not really, revenge never really is.  We think it's going to make us feel better but oftentimes it just leaves us feeling worse.  But, it's this path of revenge which open the story telling doors  - it's this path that provides the perfect opportunity for Austin to perhaps see Thatch in a different light and honestly this is the meat of the story.
I totally enjoyed watching these two deal with one another while trying to keep their feelings neutral. I also rather enjoyed watching Thatch's motives come to light and I loved watching Thatch accept which circumstances cannot be changed and embracing those which can.  These two make such a cute couple and by the end of the book I was grinning from ear to ear and swooning over the love between them.  I wouldn't give any hesitation to recommending you buy and read this book!  

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