Jacob Archer is a liar and a thief and he is pretty unapologetic about it. His latest job is corporate espionage, digging into company computers to find information for a client. Jacob never expected to fall in love with the head of corporate security, nor did he plan to get caught. When the hunky Simon Ramsey finds Jacob stealing secrets from the company his brother-in-law owns, Simon feels betrayed and is determined to catch Jacob and bring him to justice.
Except things don’t quite go as either man expect. Jacob plans to head to Bali and never look back, but this job isn’t nearly as straightforward as it looks. It becomes clear quickly that there are multiple parties involved, all looking for the stolen information to use on their own terms. Almost immediately the men find themselves in danger, and between the kidnapping, the murders, and the double crossing, it is hard to tell who is behind it all.
Simon is determined to see Jacob pay for his crimes, but at the same time, he can’t turn off his feelings for the man. As much as he feels betrayed, Simon still cares about Jacob despite himself. And while Jacob knows his best move is to get out of town, he also can’t quite bring himself to leave Simon. As the men get closer to uncovering the truth, they also continue to grow closer to one another. But even if they can move past the theft and the betrayal, they may not make it out of this with their lives.
Oh, I loved this story and was totally drawn in from the very start. T.A. Moore does something really interesting here and starts the story as Jacob is breaking into the bioengineering firm and getting caught by Simon. That puts us right in the middle of the action and we are immediately focused on the aftermath of the betrayal and the suspense as the men try to figure out the bigger picture about what is really going on. Sometimes this strategy can leave me feeling like I have missed out on the relationship development and put some distance between me and the characters. But here I think it totally worked as the relationship these guys have had pretty much implodes as soon as Simon catches Jacob stealing. That allows us to see the rebuilding process, as well as the strong connection between the two men as they fight to keep their distance despite their feelings for one other.
The story is suspenseful and quite exciting. I think things are nicely twisty without being overwhelmingly complicated. The book goes in lots of interesting directions. There are moments of high action and suspense, and others where we get to follow along with the mystery and investigation. The story maintains a lot of intensity, but also allows for quiet moments where we can see the relationship between Jacob and Simon slowly recover. Even as we know Jacob’s betrayal has left them broken, we never doubt the connections and feelings the men have for each other.
I love a story with a clever character. It not only makes for an entertaining book, but also lets me appreciate how the author is able to come up with these actions and behaviors and build them into the story. And Jacob is really so much fun. He is a liar and a criminal and totally unapologetic about it. He obviously didn’t want to get caught, but when he does, he never pretends to be anything he is not. I loved watching Jacob’s mind work, seeing his clever cons, the way he is able to lie and manipulate. You shouldn’t like him; like I said, he is a liar and a thief and a manipulator. But I loved him anyway, and I think you will too. He is such a fun character and he has such personality that I was rooting for him to get away with it all. And Simon is a nice match, more steady and responsible, but also with his own demons. Neither man is perfect, nor does he pretend to be.
I will say I would have loved a little more backstory on both men, particularly Jacob. When I see a character who behaves way outside of societal norms, I want to know why, and I feel like his background could have been developed and explained more. Simon as well, as we learn about his military history and his drinking, but not a lot of detail. I don’t think we would have wanted huge histories here, but a little more information would have been helpful. I also wish we had gotten a teeny bit more time for the ending. There is a nice resolution, but the last few pages seemed a little rushed and I wanted more to just close it all out.
That said, I really enjoyed this one and was totally engaged throughout the story. Liar, Liar is a great suspense with some twisty moments and really fun characters. I can definitely recommend this one, particularly if you are fan of romantic suspense and like your heroes a little bit outside the box.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.