Review: Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken
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…
I've enjoyed several Rachel Van Dyken books; they're fun reads filled with steamy romance and big personalities. Cheater is pretty much the same, but I didn't find it nearly as engaging as other Van Dyken books. There is some ick to the story line that some readers will find (and have found, according to other reviews) hard to get over. It's not easy to get past the fact that the love interest was once engaged to the Avery's oldest sister and then found in a compromising position with the middle sister the night before the wedding. Whoooops. Fast forward about 4 years later when broke college grad Avery lands an internship at the same place Lucas works. She's his new assistant. She's also responsible for keeping up with his "other calendar," which is where he sets up his dates with his girl-of-the-day, i.e. Molly for Monday, Tabitha for Tuesday (not really, there are actually two on Tuesday, but he doesn't go so far as to call it Twofer Tuesday). This set up is pretty gross, even though each girl knows about all the other girls and they're all fine with it.
He insists it isn't "cheating" since everyone knows. And maybe it isn't, but I'm with Avery, who thinks it's disgusting.
The story takes a turn when Lucas's sister mistakenly comes to the conclusion that Lucas and Avery are together. Suddenly their families think they're in a relationship and both are hesitant to set the record straight, for a variety of reasons. Hilarity and make-out scenes ensue (well, you can be the judge of the hilarity).
And, of course, Lucas has had a thing for Avery since she was 17 (and he was 27...another possible ick factor). They fight, they kiss, they fight some more. The back and forth between the two of them is kind of fun. I did find some of the plot points of Cheater a little over the top and I had some difficulty getting over them. There's a family dinner that's just completely bonkers. Like, Lucas's mom goes off the rails and plans an OB-GYN appointment for Avery? And then goes to the doctor with her? What? Also, some of the side characters felt flat, such as literally every single sister. This was a fast read and I liked Avery, even though she seemed pretty young. Well, as it turns out, she is young--she's a young woman trying to find her way in the world, build her career, and get over being in love with her sister's ex-fiancé. I didn't particularly like that ex-fiancé as much and he definitely did not seem like a 32-year-old.
If you haven't read a Rachel Van Dyken book yet, don't start with this one! And if she's one of your favorites, I might still skip it. *I received a copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review*
Published by Skyscape on February 28, 2017
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