Grace is a woman who is dealing with the weight of many long held secrets on her tiny shoulders. After running away from her home town twelve years ago, she is returning to make a better life for her son and to right the wrongs that she was involved in over a decade ago. She is ready to face the tormentors from her childhood head on with all the fierceness and determination that she has built up over time. For the most part, she can handle the judgmental people of the town, but there is one man who manages to get under her skin: Trick is her first love, the man who saved her brother from an almost fatal accident- and most importantly her step son. Trick is none too happy to see his step- mother on his property and is even more floored to find out that she is staying for the foreseeable future. But he cannot help that he is sexually attracted to Grace. He knows that she is hiding something important from him and is willing to do anything to make her talk- even if he has to burn to get those answers.
I have been a fan of Beth Kery’s for quite a while. With every successive book that she has released since Exorcising Sean’s Ghost she has gotten more assured as a writer and I have become a more loyal fan of hers. Tricked Truths is an older title (released in 2007) of Ms. Kery’s that I missed out on before I gained access to a credit card and a job to pay for my Kery obsession. There is no one more adept at writing a more vivid, diverse and memorable sex scenes than Beth Kery. No one period. She knows how to draw the very tenuous line between a romance novel and pure erotica. Two of her biggest strengths are her provocative number of sex scenes that are seem to outdo themselves every time, and her original plot twists on what seem like pretty typical romance plots. Kery immerses the reader into this small town and its cast of characters with ease and simplicity. The story is not necessarily how they fall in love (which is always the end game) but the juicy stuff that the couple does when in private. When Grace and Trick are not verbally sparring they actually have a great dynamic, or at least potential to be an amazing couple that can be espoused.
Her characters are intelligent people who, for the most part, are rational human beings who struggle between making logical and emotional choices. Trick logically should hate Grace because of her involvement in the death of his father. Trick hates Grace and her part in his father’s death and impulsively takes out his frustrations on her, and just as quickly hits on her and defends her when someone other than Trick himself tries to belittle and/or humiliate Grace. But he is also sexually and emotionally attracted to her, which leads him to contradict himself a lot throughout the story. He is at turns extremely offensive and charming and I cannot decide which is worse or better, which is what I like about him. I want to hate him but there are so many wonderful attributes to his character. For example his almost instinctually need to protect Grace, his dry humor, and undeniable sex appeal. He is also caring, compassionate, and thoughtful when he is not being an ass to Grace. His clever, if albeit contrived, way of making her reveal all of her real reasons for returning home is not well thought out but still entertaining to read.
I really liked Grace. She is a strong woman with a core of steel who never backs down from anyone when they publically confront her. Even when Trick, and almost everyone else in the town, is at their most obnoxious she still maintains her strength- that is until Trick decides he wants to have sex with her. Grace is clearly and irreversibly in love with Trick and is willing to do anything to have him in her life. I hate her reasoning as to why she feels that she deserves this sort of treatment-which she rightly defines as ‘bullying”-from him in public; yet accepts his sweet (or less taciturn) nature in private. I will suspend my disbelief in her willingness to sleep with him, but it would have left a better taste in my mouth if it was for a more self- serving purpose than such a pathetic one that is presented. She does occasionally have moments where she gives a few brilliant zingers that place Trick back in his place; but, for the most part she is too inclined to take the high road than defend herself against some of his more crude comments towards her.
Even with the problems that I have with the plot and certain aspects of Grace and Trick’s relationship it is still another well-written and irresistible read filled with sexually audacious scenes that will leave you breathless. I read so many books where the characters and stories can easily overlap, but never with a Beth Kery novel. She takes these seemingly staid and typical staples of the romance genre and adds much needed complexity and originality that makes her stories such an indelible experience.
Grace Jamison had left the little town of Everly twelve years ago with her son and vowed never to return. But in order to move on with her future, she finds she has to return to her hometown and fix the wrongs of the past — starting with the only man who had the power to hurt her.
The last person Trick Burnett wanted to see on West End property was his adulterous one time stepmother — the woman responsible for his father’s murder. Too bad his body seemed to have a mind of its own where Grace was concerned.
Trick hated secrets and Grace was a walking cache of them. He wasn’t above committing sexual blackmail in order to trick the truth from her time and again. Her sweet responsiveness always left him hungry for more until the mere revelation of her dark secrets was no longer enough. He couldn’t rest until he had everything from her — mind, body and soul.