Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) By Samantha Joyce

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In this companion to Samantha Joyce’s Flirting with Fame, Veronica Wilde finds that playing make-believe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—especially when it’s keeping her from pursuing the one man who makes her heart go wild.

As an actress-for-hire, Veronica Wilde has made a living out of pretending to be other people. It’s the one thing at which she’s always excelled: taking on someone else’s personality and running with it. So after Elise Jameson, author of the bestselling Viking Moon series, decides she no longer requires Veronica’s services, she needs to find a new gig—and fast.

But when her newest client hires Veronica to help him make his small business look more successful than it actually is, the sparks that fly between them are definitely not part of the act. Suddenly, Veronica finds she’s tired of playing pretend for a living. She’s been acting for so long, she’s blindsided by the one man who sees her for who she really is. And the most terrifying part? She might actually like it. Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2)

This was an unexpected book in many ways. A unique concept in the story plot along with interesting and in-depth character development made this book an amazing read.

The author did not shy away from creating a female lead that had some serious issues that made her almost unlikeable. But underneath every snarky comment is a warmth that needs to come out, given the right person willing to break some barriers. That person is Bax.

Bax is a sweet, do-gooder that Veronica didn't really care for, until he gave back what she gave. Smart wit and humorous bantering between the two, while whittling away the walls and issues, made this an engrossing read that was difficult to stop reading.

With some drama, deception, supportive respect, heated anticipation, and a lovely romance along the way, Samantha Joyce crafted a delightful read that is full of every emotion that we experience in real life. Her characters are likable, scared, flawed, and work so well together. Definitely a read that you have to check out! This is one you will think about for days after closing the cover.

Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) You know a book is compelling when you devour it in less than a day. And you know a book is amazing when you feel a whole range of emotions while reading it: happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, excitement, satisfaction. And DEALING IN DECEPTION, which I literally could not put down, delivers all the feels.

DEALING IN DECEPTION is Veronica's story-- if you read Samantha Joyce's debut novel, FLIRTING WITH FAME, you probably remember Veronica as... well, not so likeable. Which made me want to read her story even more, of course, because I love nothing more than an antihero. What makes Veronica such a believable character (and Samantha Joyce a very talented author) is that Veronica is so multifaceted. Sure, she's unlikeable at times, but she's also sad and vulnerable and underneath her granite-hard exterior is someone with a lot of demons in her past.

Enter Baxter, a guy who couldn't be farther from Veronica's usual type. He's kind and altruistic and has a plan to help the homeless population of DC stay warm in the winter, but he can't do it without help. He enlists Veronica, an actress-for-hire, to pose as his business partner and use her connections to hopefully get him an interested investor. Veronica and Baxter can't see eye to eye on anything, but the chemistry between them is palpable (and their banter is seriously laugh-out-loud hilarious).

When a series of events bring them closer together, will Veronica be able to open up to Bax? And will he be able to pry underneath the armor she wears to keep people out?

DEALING IN DECEPTION has everything you could possibly want as a reader. Plot twists, humor, realistic relationships, drama, and healthy doses of romance. I found myself turning pages at a rapid rate because I had to know what happened next. Samantha Joyce's writing is effervescent and feels effortless, which is extremely difficulty to accomplish! I look forward to whatever she writes next.

If you're looking for a book you'll be able to escape into, a book that will keep you up past your bedtime populated by characters you'll cheer for, don't miss DEALING IN DECEPTION! Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) Oh gosh, okay let's talk. Trigger Warnings for the book are a spoiler . I won't talk about those spoilers in this review, please see my review on my blog for that commentary.

I really enjoyed FLIRTING WITH FAME, Elise was my kind of heroine and Gavin was a good sort of hero. That said Veronica stole my heart. At the end of the book I somewhat desperately needed to know she would get her happy ending too. Because while I could identify with Elise's insecurities and foibles, it was Veronica I wanted to protect. Veronica who I wanted to see smile and happy.

Going into DEALING I was hoping she'd be happy. I was hoping she'd lose those demons and find someone on her level.

And Bax was so much more than I could have hoped for. Not perfect, a little self-righteous, but so warm. Snarky, genuine and earnest Bax who challenged Veronica just by saying Hi.
Veronica in FLIRTING both the same as the young woman we see in DEALING and different. As FLIRTING was about Elise, and her overcoming her troubled past, we only saw the Veronica who Elise saw. Conniving, manipulative, callous – a young woman who cared more about the superficial and materialistic than anything else. And this is true, but not for the reasons that Veronica presents.

I sobbed through a lot of Veronica explaining to Bax her background. The scared, lonely girl Elise glimpsed at the end of FLIRTING had never really been given a chance to move beyond the guilt she carried. She wanted, even if she couldn’t admit it, what Elise and Gavin shared, but was secretly certain she didn’t deserve it. How could she? Her one moment of selfishness at 16 led to a horrible tragedy she should have prevented, but didn’t. (If you can’t tell that’s my sarcastic tone).

By comparison Bax’s personal unhappiness is much easier to relate to – in love with the same girl since high school, had their life all planned out, but he wanted to do more for the world and she wanted more from the world. She left him for someone rich, Bax was devastated and now was desperately trying to get his mad scheme financed. He’s a true do-gooder, the kind of altruistic sort you hear about, but scoff at because there is no way he is. But no, Bax is. This isn’t to say he’s perfect, but at the end of the day when he has a choice between helping a stranger because he can or walking away because it’s easier, he’ll choose the stranger every time.

I admire him for that and it’s something that Veronica slowly begins to admire too.

After a particularly nasty meeting with a former client, her cynical world view hit the pavement. She had, in her own way, lived within a naive bubble. She had believed because she was the one doing her clients a favor—getting their girlfriend back, pretending to be someone’s business partner or date—that would help them get everything they wanted, she was in control. And she was, but it was a false sense of security. Frank showed just how easily that security could be taken away.

The two of them together was marvelous. It wasn’t really a relationship of imbalance – Bax gave as well as Veronica did when it came to poking buttons. The both didn’t instantly fall for the other – it was a give and take. Bax gave her warmth and genuineness that she rarely felt from guys, Veronica gave him confidence and perspective on this brave new world he was trying to create. Bax showed her that sometimes it’s the little things that help, while she showed him that grand gestures don’t always mean being untruthful.

And yeah the truth can set you free. Both of them being honest about what they wanted/expected from the other, both willing to work with the other to be happy…well. I’m so freaking glad Veronica got her happy ending. Seriously. Like joyful tears in my eyes even now.

Also, thank you Bax. You gave her the warm blanket I wanted to wrap her in! Even if it was smelly, dirty and not very pretty—you gave her the warm hugs and blanket I wanted to give her. Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) I think I might like this even better than the first? MMMHHH ... Maybe not?
While I can't tell you which one of the two Love in Disguise novels I like better, I can tell you with certainty I like them both.
Dealing in Deception feature the villainess of the first book. It is set at a later time, we get a few glimpses of Gavin and Elise, but really DiD could easily be read as a standalone.

Like Flirting with Fame this is a slightly different kind of romance. With that I mostly mean the MCs.
The story line is cram-full of cliches, just like FwF was. But somehow Joyce takes an oldie theme (a goodie to be clear), throws in a bunch of well used cliches and makes it her own. There are beautiful insightful and inspiring moments here. And yet it is lighthearted and funny.

I think all of this shows Joyces talent as a storyteller. Her writing style is easy, simple and straightforward, yet she inspires with her descriptions and is on point with her insight. All of this is tied together with excellent character building.

And to be honest, while I like the story line, I absolutely and utterly adore the characters, with ALL the flaws. I mean some of them are a tad over the top, which makes them kinda cliche. Starting with Bax, who I completely adore btw. But he is your typical goody good doer. Well, at least half the time. Then Joyce shows sides and layers to him that make him so human and kinda real. It's actually kinda freaky, but I related to all the characters in both books so much, I honestly feel like I know them all. That goes for the support cast as well. I think, Joyce using the well known usuals, then adding her own twist to them, kinda makes one get to know them faster and relate better. As I said, brilliant.
Veronica is fabulous. I loved her in FiF and knew exactly where Joyce was taking her in this book. (especially with how things ended in FiF and Elise kinda spilling the beans.) BUT I didn't expect to love her this much. I totally related to her. I mean we all have the scared mean girl in us, at least to a degree. I love how Bax and her slowly change and fell for each other. The character growth of the MCs is inspiring.

Just like the first installment of the series, I was left to ponder over the deeper issues Joyce has touched on. Let's face it, the likelihood that Elise would have ended up where she does in the series, is small. The same goes for Bax and Veronica. But this is fiction! And more importantly I know there are people out there that are like Elise, Regina, Clint, Bax and co.
Bax with his ambitious goals and his great invention, might not exist in RL (does he? has the blanket been invented?) but people like him do. There are people who run shelters, volunteer and other who give to charity. Those are the kind of people I strive to emulate. I am touched that Joyce highlighted a reality we all too often forget. She did it with sweetness and kindness. Reminding us that there are wonderful people on this earth and that we have to help each other. All without being preachy or making a huge fuss about it.

Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2)

Book Review: 6++ “Hero” stars!!

Samantha Joyce has become after this, undoubtedly, one of the authors who gain more and more ground on my heart strings and with her with a huge head-start. Her books has done a delicious, unforgettable, read-over-and-over-again number on me which I don’t seem to bear to let it go. Even though, this book held me ’til the last word of the Epilogue to allow me to decide on my feelings for it.

Dealing in Deception is the second installment in the magnificent Joyce’s debut series, Love in Disguise, whose title couldn’t be more perfect for the stories it cuddles. For those who have read the great first book, Flirting with Fame, which told the soul-captivating story of Elise, the deaf writer of a YA book series, already know this book’s heroine, Veronica. Although, I never would have guessed or imagined the the background behind the image of a jealous, selfish, “diva” person she bore during her part in Elise’s story. To say that I was caught off guard of how incredibly much I loved both her and her story would an understatement. I simply couldn’t tear my eyes away for her pages since each chapter had me starving for more. The combination of the intriguing and beautiful complexity of her personality and the amazing, sweet, unselfish, caring soul of Baxter sealed the deal for me. They were on of these couples who not only click with each other instantly, but also YOU. And what more a reader could ask of an author? But let me set the stage for their love’s unfolding first for whoever isn’t familiar with it because s/he went straight for my review before the blurb :p

Veronica Wilde is a woman who works as a high-prided actor-for-hire, pretending to be a different person depending on the demands of each job she takes. Her business is advertised through the classic way, mouth-to-mouth. And that’s how Baxter Linton gets wind of her services. Bax is a guy who wants to get his social-entrepreneurial business of the ground so he can start helping people in need. He’s really an extremely charismatic, kind, unselfish, genius man who is passionate about helping the homeless with his genius invention. But he lacks on his promotional skills, so he decides to hire Veronica to help him look business-like and a serious candidate for big-money funds. There is a Greek expression we say when someone goes to do something, but the outcome is completely different from what he expected; the phrase goes something like this: “Πήγε για μαλλί και βγήκε κουρεμένος” (/phge gia malli kai vgike kouremenos/) which in a completely and maybe non-understandable translation is “Went for wool and came out hunted.”. And both Veronica and Bax fit this description since neither, especially Veronica, didn’t see the life-changing Ace life had dealt her upon her first meeting with him. And what a meeting was that, really?! I was left with my mouth hanging open and my heart beating erratically after the end of it. I wish I could say the “how” but It’s too much of a precious scene for me to spoil it for you and not let you discover it yourself.

That book was wrong. The devil doesn’t wear Prada. I’m pretty sure she wears Channel.

The subjects that I HAVE TO develop here are quite a few but extremely essential for me so please bear with me and keep reading. The first was how they first met which I said above. The second is how light-years different is this book’s Veronica from the brief one I met in the first book. There are some moments that I thought that I was reading a story of a different woman who, by chance, was called Veronica Wilde. Her meeting and working pretty close with Bax, worked miracles on her. Saying that it changed her wouldn’t be accurate since her heart was already in the right place, but it was locked deep down tightly with a bunch of unattainable layers blocking whoever tried to get close. And Bax had the keys for each layer’s lock, making him the one who set Veronica free.

I didn’t stand a chance against those eyes.

Next subject has two sides: the first is, who else than Ari, Bax’s phenomenal retriever? His full name is Armani but whoever knew him called him Ari. His role in the whole story is beyond essential; AND AWESOME! I couldn’t help not fall in love with him since his first appearance. His kind doggy soul and radiant personality pushed Veronica with every encounter to discover her humanity, unselfishness and let herself free to love and feel loved. The second side of the subject is little Connor who also did all the above, but at the same time forced her to see what really was happening around her. His 6-year-old sweetness captivated Veronica instantly – add ME too to that list – and with every meeting, he got to broke down a part of the emotional barriers of her heart’s layers, doing Bax’s job even more easy. Who couldn’t love these two pure souls and not consider them essential parts of this story’s unfolding?

Another thing, which was beyond amazing and bonded me more to the book, was the graphical tour of Washington DC through Bax’s eyes. I was experiencing the beauty this wonderful city has to offer all over again, making me missing it even more. The whole time he was introducing the real Washington to Veronica, the feeling that I was right beside them, walking the same streets and visiting the same spectacular monuments, was pretty overwhelming. I have felt this feeling with very few books before, but never as powerful and “real” as this time. One of the things that stayed with me the rest of the story and after the end of it, was the feelings he was describing to her while standing before Abraham Lincoln’s statue. I felt his words deep in my heart and remembered what I felt when I was standing in front of that majestic statue of this great man and leader.

Samantha, you created a real masterpiece and the perfect follow up for the gem that was the first book. This series is more than promising and will affect you deeply, both with the incredible characters and the unique stories they star in. It would be a shame not to experience it too. This series is 200% MUST for me and the recommendation goes without further thought. Please check it out; it beyond worth it!!
Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2)

I loved Ms. Joyce's first book in this series, Flirting with Fame. Veronica was the girl you loved to hate in that book, so I was excited to find out how she would find her own way and someone special.
Wow, just wow! This book has so much depth and all of the feels, sadness, anger, laughter, happiness, and frustration. Veronica was perfect. She went from the anti-hero to the perfect hero. Her character growth was so powerful and emotional, I couldn't stop reading the book.
Baxter was great from the start. He wasn't the cliché alpha hero. He was real, emotional, smart, sensitive, brave, strong, silly, protective, loving, and he was loved by his dog (you can't go wrong there!).
Baxter and Veronica's banter and their relationship growth was so fun to read, I couldn't put down the book.
If you enjoy reading love stories about real people that's funny, witty, emotional, and romantic, you need to read this book! :) Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) I'm SO LUCKY to have gotten my hands on an advanced copy of this story! It had me laughing out loud and biting my nails in turn.

Whenever I wasn't reading it, I wanted to be reading it.

And whenever I was reading it, I didn't want it to end.

The writing is phenomenal, real, engaging, romantic, compelling, and, YES, sometimes even a little edgy. One of my faves of 2016. Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2)

I knew I wanted to know more about Veronica when I read FLIRTING WITH FAME. What I didn't know was how much I'd fall in love with her!

And Bax...can we just talk about Bax for a second?? His do-gooder, save-the-world mentality was the absolute perfect pairing to Veronica's wild side/tough exterior. (Also, can Bax's blanket really exist?! It could change the world!) Bax also has an adorable pup named Ari whom I adored.

Samantha fleshed out a brilliant story here and managed to perfectly incorporate beloved characters from FWF. I can't wait to read more from her!! <3 Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) I read this book in one sitting. I loved it and I love Samantha Joyce's writing. She tells a story that pulls at your heart and makes you want to be a better person.

When I read FLIRTING WITH FAME, I knew I had a new favorite author who I had just discovered. That book has stayed with me for moths. I loved that one so much.

Now, Dealing in Deception is Veronica's story. She was the villain in FLIRTING WITH FAME and somehow Samantha Joyce has made you feel for Veronica in this book and made you see, she is not really a bad person, just lost.

Veronica is now made a career out of pretending to be someone else. She is an actress of arts, hired by people who need her help in one way or another. This is how she meets Baxter. Baxter is a good guy. Like a really good guy. He is trying to get some investors to make his blankets that help out the homeless population. He knows how cold it gets and how much these men and women could use help in the cold winter months. So, Baxter hires Veronica to help him get the backing he needs with her help and expertise.

Veronica and Baxter are such opposites, that they can't seem to see eye to eye on anything. You think this would work against them, but it doesn't. Being so opposite seems to bring out the better in the other person. Baxter is making Veronica slowly become a more caring person (to people other than herself). And Veronica is making Baxter become more business savvy and outgoing when dealing with others. He has been so lost and in a shell since him and his ex broke up, he needed someone like Veronica to make him see how special he is and his ideas are.

I really enjoyed this book. I hated Veronica in FLIRTING WITH FAME, like really hated her. I didnt think she had any redeeming qualities. But somehow, Samantha changed my mind and made me REALLY like her. And at the end, I forgot about how bad she used to be and she become a new favorite of mine. Maybe thanks to Baxter and how great he was!! Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2) I was really surprised by this book. This was my first read by Samantha Joyce and I really enjoyed this book a lot.

I instantly fell in love with Baxter. I love a lovable geek and Baxter fit it to a tee. An ex-accountant out to do good in the world around him. It did take me a while to warm up to Veronica, but the chemistry between these two was awesome. The bickering and the sarcastic nature of both made this a fun read.

This was a fun quick read that was full of heart and I can't wait to read more books from Samantha Joyce. She has definitely been added to my TBR list. Dealing in Deception (Love in Disguise #2)