Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they’ve had, she’s ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there’s something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.
Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn’t want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him … and it’s the girl he loves who’s caught in the middle.
Trent Cruz’s orders are clear: take the girl. But there’s something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel’s protector runs out, he will turn his back on the only life he’s known, and risk everything, if it means getting her out alive.
This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
After finishing Forgiving Lies, I knew I had to follow up with Deceiving Lies due to the cliffhanger at the end of the first book.
“Okay, let’s do this.” “That’s my girl.” He kissed me hard before wrapping his arm around my waist and walking me toward the house. “I mean, honestly, how could they not love you and your bitchy personality?” “You’re such an asshole, Kash,” I hissed at the same second the front door opened and his mom stepped out. Oh good Lord, kill me now. This is where I need to run away. Mrs. Ryan’s eyebrows shot up to her hairline, and Kash tried to choke back his laugh but failed miserably. It felt like my stomach was simultaneously on fire and dropping. Not a good feeling, I was going to be sick. I was the freaking Queen of First Impressions with the Ryan family. When I’d met Kash at the beginning of last summer, I’d been a bitch to the extreme, and our first three run-ins had gone over about as well as a bale of turtles in a sprinting race. Now there I was, cussing in front of his mom in the first seconds of ever seeing her. I started feeling light-headed as I held my breath, waiting for Mrs. Ryan to tell me I was not good enough for her son, or to reprimand me. Instead she crossed her arms over her chest and leveled a glare at Kash that impressed even me. “What on earth did you say to the poor girl?” He raised his hands in surrender before wrapping his arm around me again. “No clue what you’re talking about. And why do you automatically think it had to be something I did?” “Because I know you, Logan.” “Eh . . . so anyway. Mom, this is Rachel. Rachel, this is my mom.” She brushed back a chunk of black hair that had fallen into her eyes and smiled brightly at me. I still felt like I was frozen and didn’t know how to breathe properly. “Rachel, it’s so good to meet you, honey!” I almost blurted out “But I just called your son an asshole right in front of you!” Instead I plastered a smile on my face and tried to relax my body as Kash let go of me and she wrapped me in a hug. “It’s nice to meet you too. Thank you for having us to dinner.” “Of course”—and then softer, so only I could hear—“he gets the obnoxious, asshole gene from his father. But, unfortunately, it’s one of the things I love most about my guys. You just get used to it and become a master at slyly flipping them off with a smile.”
Poor Rachel, she can’t get a break from nothing. Her parents died when she was 17/18, she’s stalked, raped, then forced against her will to leave with a childhood friend who has a sick and twisted obsession with her, and then, then, she is KIDNAPPED by gang members trying to get retribution against Kash and Mason. While Kash is called in on duty, two men from Juarez gang break in their home, dragging her out from her hiding spot kicking and screaming then she is chloroformed to be kept quiet and then is taken to their compound. Rachel is frightened and scared, but she finds that she can trust one of her kidnappers as he tries to keep her safe from the others. She comes to rely on Taylor – his real name is Trent but she doesn’t know that until about 60% in since he reminds her of Taylor Lautner in the looks department – and forms a friendship with him while she is held captive for over a month.
Funny how I still hated that nickname, but my heart fluttered every time he said it. I hadn’t forgotten the longing to hear him say it again while I was with Trent, because I knew hearing him say it meant seeing him again. And I knew that no matter how ridiculous it was, I would never complain about it again.
“Why are you such an ass?” she grunted when I turned back toward the living room. “All I want is to be alone right now!” “Ah, my little Sour Patch. We’re going to have to work on that if you want to get married. Because after we are, you can’t just walk out on a fight.” “I didn’t know we were fighting,” she grumbled. “We weren’t until you started PMS-ing on me.” “I am not PMS-ing! Put me down!” “Gladly.” I let her slide down and pushed her so she was lying down on the couch and crawled on top of her, caging her in. “Talk.” Her blue eyes were on fire as they narrowed at me, and I watched as her jaw locked while she took deep breaths in through her nose. My girl was about to explode, and as much as I loved her when she was pissed off, I needed to know what had just happened. “Drop the attitude, Sour Patch, and talk to me.”
Trent harbors feelings for Rachel – he has ever since he has been demanded by Romeo – head of the Juarez gang – to watch her four months ago – but he tries to keep them hidden as he knows she isn’t his to keep even though he wishes he could. To others he may seem like the rest, a bad guy, but he isn’t, he is just been dealt a crappy life, forced into a gang without a choice. He displays his goodness and caring side by protecting Rachel, trying his best to keep her safe, even willing to die to achieve it.
I was staring at one of the two holes above the bathroom doorframe where Taylor had shot, when his hand grabbed my chin and turned my head to face him. “You okay?” I nodded and swallowed through the tightening in my throat. When I opened my mouth to reassure his worried-looking eyes, nothing came out and tears clouded my vision again. The hand holding my chin released me and grabbed around the back of my neck, bringing me into his chest so he could wrap his other arm around me. “I won’t let them get to you, Rachel. I swear I won’t.” He held me as I cried, and when I could speak again, the questions came out all at once. “W-what is going on? Why am I here? Who were they talking about? Don’t give me your bullshit about not being able to answer! Who are you?” When he didn’t respond for a few minutes, I thought he wouldn’t say anything at all. But with a heavy exhale that hinted at the stress he was carrying, he tightened his grip and whispered into my neck, “I’m just a guy who got caught up in a bad situation a long time ago.” I pulled back and cradled his cheeks roughly as I pleaded, “Then get out of it! Get me out of here; you don’t have to be this guy. You’re not him. I don’t know what you did, but I know what you’ve done for me. I’ve told you, you’re not a bad person, Taylor.” “Trent.” When I just sat there staring at him, he placed his large hands over mine and repeated, “Trent Cruz. That’s my name.” I knew what this meant. I knew how big this was. He trusted me with that; and in giving me his name, he was letting me know again that I could trust him. As bizarre as that sounded. “You don’t like Taylor?” I asked and earned a somewhat-relieved smile from him. “If it’s coming from you, then, yeah, I like Taylor.” Pushing me away gently, he stood from the bed and waited until I was lying down. “Go back to sleep, Rachel. It’s going to be practically impossible for them to get back in, but if they somehow do, I’ll always protect you.”
The way she’d thrown herself into my arms tonight was playing in my mind on repeat; and even now with her pressed against me, I could still feel the way her head had felt buried into my neck, the way it had felt when she’d thrown her arms around me after I’d tried to push her back. I’d known she’d been changing, but something had happened since the power had gone out tonight. The feisty Rachel I’d come to know over the last few weeks was gone. She was terrified, like she always should have been . . . but instead of retreating from me like I would expect her to, she was clinging to me. I didn’t understand it, but I wasn’t about to question it. Because nothing about my feelings had changed, even though everything about her had. I’d already completely fallen in love with a girl who could never be mine. Only now, she was making it impossible for me to grasp ever letting her go.
Kash goes berserk trying to find Rachel, so much so that he gets kicked off the case. He isn’t the kind to sit idly by so he goes back to his undercover narcotic gang related roots to find her. When him and Mason does find her, it isn’t the reunion he hoped it would be. He sees Rachel kissing Trent – its nothing romantic as they thought they both were going to die as they tried to escape the compound – , which he isn’t happy about plus Rachel has a bit of trouble readjusting back to her old life once she is free. She doesn’t respond to Kash like she used to and he feels like his Rachel is gone but he learns he has to be patient with her because she is recovering, again from another traumatic experience. Eventually his patience pays off and she returns to her old self. Once everything is back to normal, they eventually get married and FINALLY get their happy ending.
My engagement ring was on top of the same piece of paper I had left it on this morning, sitting in the middle of the bed. I sat on the edge and reached for the paper, letting the ring slide off it onto the comforter. I understand, and I don’t blame you. I’m sorry. I’m here. Always. And I’m never giving up on us. I love you. “So fall when you’re ready, babe . . .” Somehow, impossibly, more tears filled my eyes, and I pressed the paper to my chest as I fell back onto the bed. Grabbing my engagement ring, I held it above me and stared at it through blurred eyes as I replayed yesterday, then replayed the first and second times Logan sang “Fall into Me” by Brantley Gilbert to me. It was after our first time together, and then again as he danced with me in my kitchen last fall on the anniversary of my parents’ death. I loved him. I loved the man that was waiting for me somewhere in the house. I loved the way he loved me, and I loved all his faults. Including his quick reactions based solely on emotions rather than on facts.
“Rachel,” he said, cutting me off. Abruptly he’d stopped pacing and placed a hand on each side of me, his face directly in front of me. “I refuse to take care of myself alone. You take care of me, and I’ll take care of you, and together we’ll take care of Trip.” “Okay . . .” “And don’t ever tell me again to love another woman the way I have loved you, and will always love you. There is no way you could have expected me to move on after you.” “You say that now, but you don’t know how you would have felt in a few years.” He grabbed my face in his hands and his voice shook as he shouted, “I don’t give a shit! I know I don’t know how I would feel in that situation, there’s no way to know that. But I know that no matter what happens in our lives, if you were taken from me for good, there would never be anyone else like you. There would never be anyone else I could love the way I love you.” “Kash, okay. I’m sorry,” I whispered and brushed the tips of my fingers against the angry set of his face. Something in my touch broke him, because a pained cry burst from his chest at the same time heavy tears fell down his cheeks. He dropped to his knees on the floor and pressed his head against my stomach, his hands gripping my back as he cried into my lap. “I’ve come too close to losing you too many times,” he forced out. “I will do anything to keep you by my side for the rest of my life.” Looking up at me, I felt helpless staring back at his broken expression. “Knowing that you even had to consider me moving on with someone else because you might die, kills me. I hate that you went through that, and I hate that you prepared yourself for that.” “Okay, but I’m—” My voice gave out and I had to clear my throat. “I’m here, we’re together.” “I’m not letting you go, Rachel, for anything. It’s you and me. Always, got it?” I nodded, unable to respond, and his head dropped back against my stomach as another sob ripped through him. I’d only ever seen Kash begin to cry twice. Usually when he was upset, he got angry. So to see him break like this was absolutely breaking my heart. I kept one hand holding his head in my lap, and ran the other over his back. The muscles bunched and shuddered beneath my fingertips as he let everything out.
Once of my favorite parts that I saw coming was Rachel’s wedding present to Kash. I thought his reaction was cute. She gave him something that he’d been wanting for months – he even kinda badgered her about it early on in the book – and it made him very happy.
She dragged her hands through my hair and giggled when I bent low and kissed her stomach over and over. “What does it feel like?” “Nothing,” she said on a laugh as her fingertips continued to trail across my head. “You haven’t really been sick, have you? I remember that day last week, but I can’t think of anything else.” I felt shitty for not noticing, if she had been. I should have picked up on this, shouldn’t I? “Not really. There’s been times here and there, but from the horror stories I’ve heard, I don’t have it bad at all.” I nodded and kissed her stomach again before reaching over to the nightstand. Grabbing the ultrasound picture, I laid it down on the bottom of her stomach and hopped off the bed, looking for my pants. After I found them, and took my phone out of the pocket, I walked back over to Rachel and opened up the camera app. “What are you doing?” “Letting everyone know about my present.” That soft smile was back, before her eyes went wide in horror. “No! I’m in my bra and underwear!” “Calm down, Sour Patch. I’m not about to let anyone see the rest of you. You’re mine, not theirs.” All that you could see in the picture was her torso and the ultrasound picture. As soon as she gave me the okay, I set up a text to go to Mason, Candice, Maddie, Eli, and all our parents. Above the picture I typed out: MY WEDDING PRESENT, and underneath, I did a twist on Rachel’s words from the envelope: BABY RYAN 1 AND BABY RYAN 2 WILL BE HERE IN MARCH.
I am also happy about how things turned out for Trent. He really was a good guy an I am so glad he got a second chance to start over.
A deep ache filled my chest, knowing this would most likely be the last time I saw this brave, and frustratingly stubborn girl. Grabbing the back of her neck, I captured her mouth with mine . . . but this time, I didn’t pull away immediately. She met my kiss easily, and I almost groaned when my tongue met hers. I could have stayed there with her forever. But I knew we didn’t have much time. Reluctantly, I broke off the kiss, and pressed my forehead to hers as I whispered, “Rachel, I know you’re not mine to take, and I know I’ll never hold a part of your heart the way he does . . . but thank you for giving me a little taste of what loving you would be like.” A choked cry left her, and one of her hands, which had been resting against my chest, covered her mouth as she gathered herself. Her voice was so soft, I could barely hear her next question. “Why are you acting like this is good-bye?” Because it is. Taking a step back, I pulled the rifle up and kept my eyes on her face as long as possible as I said, “Stay.”
“Put me down! I wanted to finish watching that.” “You’re recording it, it can wait until tomorrow.” “But it’s Duck Dynasty,” she whined, and I could picture her frowning as I carried her through the hall. “And it can wait.” She slapped my ass as hard as she could, and I paid it right back. “Jerk! I don’t make you stop watching your shows.” “But my shows are good.” “Duck Dynasty is amazing!” “Rach, you’ll live.” I put my hands on her waist and bent over as I pushed her off my shoulder and onto the bed. She jackknifed up and I crawled on top of her and pushed her right back down. “You’re such an—” She cut off quickly and moaned when I gently bit down on her neck and brought her shoving hands above her head and pinned them to the bed. Making a trail up her neck, I kissed her thoroughly and smiled when she leaned toward me as I backed up. “Such a what?” “I don’t remember,” she said against my mouth and pressed our lips together again. “That’s what I thought, Sour Patch.”
I will say that Candice did redeem herself in this book. She was much more likeable – although she still isn’t my favorite – in this book than she was in Forgiving Lies.
“Have I taught you nothing when it comes to women?” he asked softly. “What? That’s a shit ton of shoes!” I hissed and looked back to see her pull more out. I swear to Christ this last box was like Mary Poppins’s purse. It was a never-ending pit of shoes. “Okay, we’re gonna do this quick and easy. One, your woman can never have too many shoes, clothes, purses, or jewelry. Two, it doesn’t matter if you know you’re right—because God knows your mother is wrong about . . . well . . . just about everything—but it doesn’t matter. They are always right. Just say a simple ‘Yes, sweetheart, I’m sorry I’m a dumbass’ and you’ll be fine. Three, them asking if they look okay is a trick question. Because, let’s face it, even if we think it’s the ugliest shirt we’ve ever seen, it’s probably in style and we wouldn’t know either way. So they always look amazing, remember that word.” I laughed. Rachel could wear a sack and I would think she looked amazing. Or she could wear nothing . . . I preferred her in nothing. I cleared my throat and had to look away from Rachel when I started picturing her naked. “Four, and probably the most important if you want to keep your manhood, do not ever ask if she is PMS-ing. No matter what. Might as well dig your own grave if you do that.” Too late. I was always asking Rach if that was why she was in a bad mood. And if I was right, there was no way in hell I was going to tell her I was in the wrong. She could bitch about it if she wanted, but I wasn’t going to go easy on her for the sake of getting out of an argument. Arguing with her was one of my favorite things. Nodding, I slapped my dad’s shoulder and smiled. “Thanks, Dad, I’ll remember all that.”
I know Eli and Paisley’s book is next, but I think I will end it here with Kash and Rachel’s final book. Eli was featured somewhat in Forgiving Lies and Deceiving Lies, but not enough for me to invest in his story. So with that being said, I really loved this book as I did the first one. Definitely a much read if you want to see how Kash and Rachel pans out.