Published by Skyscape on May 23rd 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex—until he turns your world upside down again.
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…
Okay guys, big surprise here but I’ll once again tell you how much I love RVD. SERIOUSLY. She’s one of my favourite authors. So once again, shocker, but I stayed up until 2am one night (morning?) just so I could finish this book. I didn’t care about sleep. I didn’t care that I had to be up in a few short hours, I cared about the fact that Thatch and Austin were in a bit of a tizzy and I needed all of the answers! I needed all of the smirks and the swoons and the laughs! And boy of boy did Rachel deliver in these elements.
It’s not a secret that I struggled during the first book in this series, Cheater. I found it to be way too dramatic, childish, over the top and ridiculous for my liking. I was absolutely flabergasted because I have loved every other one of Rachel’s books that I’ve read so far. So then Cheater’s Regret came along and I fretted for a while. I couldn’t figure out whether I would give this series another chance or not but I’m glad I did. Thatch and Austin were similar enough to e first couple that I could see why they were friends, but completely different in that they seemed more grounded. I found this book more enjoyable to read and the process was a lot smoother for me. I thought it was funny and cute, which were two big elements I missed in the first novel.
Something that I definitely wasn’t expecting but was thrilled to get too was a tiny amount of angst! Now don’t worry if you’re not a big angst fan, it’s quite minimal, but definitely enough to deepen the emotions and feel more for the characters. I follow these little bits like a breadcrumb trail.
That could also be surprising tender at times and I LOOOOOVVEEEDDDDD IT! okay, I’m calm. But really. He’s arrogant and cocky and has that damn smirk and you don’t know what to do so this kind of guy. But when needed, he was the sweetest and so caring towards our heroine, he won me over and he did so quickly.
I get that originally Austin wants answers but at some point you just have to let it go. It felt like at times she was becoming a bit of a crazy person. And yes, I’m aware girls can struggle moving on from relationships but really? Do you need to stoop to following him, interviewing him, demanding answers, making a revenge plan and slandering his professional image? That’s all fairly unreasonable and immature to me. Yes, she’s 22, but growing up in the spotlight with her father being the mayor of a major city and she should know much better.
There were two things (more than but I’m just going to focus on two) that I really liked about Austin. One was her feelings and emotions in regards to how Thatch treated her at different points in the book. I felt she was justified and right to feel like she was portrayed to. Her insecurities also really help the reader to connect with her more. Not only did this give the hero a chance to shine with his sweet and tenderness, but she felt more real. What girl doesn’t look at her body in a bad light at times? And even more so when you dated a plastic surgeon. I loved the small, confidence building moments between these two throughout.
When things are heating up and we’re getting closer and closer to the answers we’ve been looking for, there’s a bit of a jump to conclusion from one character creating a small twist and inLOVED it! The emotions, the reactions, the dialogue and inner monologues were all so spot on to me, I couldn’t flip my pages fast enough.
I found the big moment (suppose to be romantic) at the end was rather odd. I couldn’t understand the reasoning or the timing for how it happened, or more importantly, the location. It didn’t feel special to me, more so like proving a point, I guess?
Without spoiling anything, I just don’t understand the point of cliched endings. I personally didn’t find it sappy in a cute way, I was more so just underwhelmed based in the rest of the caliber of the story. It felt meh and overdone, nothing spectacular like I know this author usually puts out. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed most of this book, but when the ending is that last little bit that you get, I was a bit disappointed. <—- MY opinion! Many readers are loving and swooning over this ending. Remember that I’m just grumpy, LOL.
Throughout the whole story, I had marked this as a four star read. It was enjoyable and fun, tender and caring; signed, sealed, delivered. But then the ending just sort of let me down. The entire story lead up to the plot and ending but then it was so easily just brushed to the side and forgotten. I had questions that I wanted answers to but received none. What I did get however was cliche and cheesy. Now I know l, sometimes that’s a given in romance novels but the rest of the story didn’t feel like this at all! I didn’t even see things going in this direction, the ending (while skipping the plot) just felt forced and fake to give the characters a characteristic and overdone HEA.
All in all, I think I will always love Rachel Van Dyken’s work, it’s hard not to, really. As a whole this series wasn’t my favourite but I did enjoy this book a lot more so than the first. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with for us next!
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.