3.5 stars · Viki's review

ARC Review ‘Cheater’

Title: Cheater
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Curious Liaisons #1
Genres: NA, Romance, Humor, Contemporary
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Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions. But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell. Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women. Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…

My Thoughts

I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

I will be honest an admit that I didn’t even glance at the blurb before I started to read the book because it’s being on of Rachel Van Dyken’s works was convincing enough for me. Unfortunately the plot didn’t really agree with me.

Just from the title you can guess pretty much what’s going to be the main focus of the story. Yes, cheating. I generally doesn’t have a problem with cheating in books it can make the story a bit more emotional (not so much in real life), on the other hand forgiving a cheater for stupid reasons is another thing. And really if you read a little of the story you realize that the cheating situation is not as serious in it as the blurb and the characters would suggest. However the whole story is written in a way that it makes you more aware of the cheating than necessary. There is too much focus on it with the constant mentions and reminders; makes the plot tense and I personally felt obligated to hate Lucas. So yeah the plot wasn’t the most appealing situation. Because of this it took me significantly longer to finish the book than I intended. Even so I find Rachel Van Dyken writing style really clean, crisp and entertaining. She has a couple of returning motives in her stories as it happens in this book too, but she is a really productive author so I think it’s understandable. What I really like about her that she creates unbelievable funny scenes in her books and generally her stories are dominated by humor. This is present in this story too, but not as successfully as some other books of hers. It just didn’t come through me at every opportunity.

“Rest assured, he’s gone completely blind in his left eye. I highly doubt he’d able to hit a moving target.”
“Great, Avery, I’ll just practice my zigzag.”

“… I saved your life with my kung fu.”
H“Admit it. The closest you’ve been to king fu is the movie Kung Fu Panda, which you probably watched because you’re convinced the panda is your spirit animal since it’s always eating.”

The story is told from dual point of view, Avery’s and Lucas’, the two main characters. Avery is really stoic, sarcastic and cynical and also pretty desperate at the beginning of the book. She is the constantly criticized little sister which made her a bit prickly. She is also have a mean, vindictive side and extremely jealous and let’s be honest meddlesome. So its maybe fate that she meets with Lucas, the last person she really wants to meet when she is at her most desperate predicament. Her being extremely stubborn and afraid to let him in again doesn’t help their situation one bit. Their unique humor and extreme attraction to each other is the one thing ease the situation.

“Family pressure combined with drunkenness and lying makes people do really stupid things. You know, brain cells die because of the…” He licked his lip. “A-alcohol.”

Lucas is an enigma for me. For one his idiotic mentality, insensitiveness and lifestyle doesn’t really agree with some of his actions. He wants somebody to go home too, whom he can enjoy his life outside of work, he lives kids and so and so but can’t commit to a relationship. He is lying to himself. Really when I was reading about him one thing jumped into my head. The Pygmalion effect, all his life everybody counted on him cheating, they were really waiting for the moment so he started to believe it about himself and maybe a bit out of spite he ‘accepted’ his fate.
This conversation almost made me abandoning the book:

“Until next Friday, Lucas Thorn.” She pulled out a compact and started to fix her face.
“I will put you down for every Friday.”
“Thank you.” She grinned. The snap of the compact shutting closed mad me jump in my seat. “For allowing me to take the open position.”
“You proved your worth!” He called back.

(This after a quickie in his office. It’s just disgusting and I can’t believe that any woman would act like this.)

The supportive characters mainly the families are quite crazy, kinda caricature-ish. They all represent some extreme personalities but this is something else that is specific to the author.

After the initial obstacles their love story is cute and funny, maybe a bit mushy too for a couple of chapters. It has it funny moments and drama too. I enjoyed it but not my favorite from Rachel Van Dyken at all. I just couldn’t get odds over the topic.


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