Book Review: Engaging Deception

Book Review: Engaging Deception

About the Book:

A lively competition draws her into her rival’s blueprints–and maybe even his heart.

Olive Kentworth has spent her life hiding her interest in architecture, even though she pores over architectural books and sketches buildings. When she accepts a job on a home expansion, it’s only because her cousin Amos agrees to pose as the builder. To further hide her involvement, Olive takes a position as a nanny–not knowing that she’ll be working for her idol, Joplin’s leading architect, widower Maxfield Scott.

Maxfield is intrigued by his new nanny–she makes his home and his life bearable again. His work, on the other hand, is a disaster. An untrained builder is remodeling a completed project of his. What’s worse, Maxfield’s current client wants changes to his plans because of that builder’s work.

As the architectural one-upmanship heats up, Olive’s involvement becomes harder to hide. Will the relationship between her and Maxfield survive, or will they both miss out on building something for their future?

My Thoughts:

Engaging Deception is the third book in the Joplin series. While you don’t have to read the first two books they will introduce you to the full cast of characters and Olive herself makes an earlier appearance in those novels.

Reginna Jennings writes books that stand on the line between an easy Sunday afternoon read and a book of deep substance. The author is able to keep a light, humorous, easy reading tone while including deeper subject matter. In the case of Engaging Deception the heart of the book was actually about grief and loss, followed by a theme of being who you are without apology or ego.

Olive loves architecture. She is self taught, but gifted. Part of the novel is Olive’s journey from deception to owning her place as an architect despite her lack of education and her gender. Another part of the novel is Max learning to let go of the ego he has built around his name and reputation.

But even more, both Olive and Max are caught in their grief. Olive’s strategy is to hide and Max throws himself into endless engagement and distraction. Together they must discover what it looks like to learn to live through the pain rather than to pretend it isn’t a part of life. I found this aspect of the book stirred up a lot of deeper thoughts in my own life, which is one of the reasons I love fiction. Stories can sneak in sideways and all of a sudden you are thinking about your own life and circumstances in a new light.

I enjoyed this novel and was actually surprised how much it impacted me despite the light and easy manner of story telling. I recommend it to you.

I received a free copy of this novel for review and I’m giving you my honest opinion.