Deception and Chaos by S.M. Soto

July 06, 2020

I told you once before that I would give my life to protect yours, and I meant it. I would travel to the ends of the earth to find you, because you’re a part of me now, you’re like a drug that I refuse to give up. You, Sophia, are mine, and I’m never ever letting you go.

-- Synopsis --

Sophia Cova lived a quiet, normal life, shadowed in sadness after the loss of her parents in a tragic airline accident. With her older brother being her only living relative and her anchor, Sophia is sure she's destined for a brighter future. But that was until she was taken.

Stolen from her mundane, orderly life, she was drugged, and woke to every woman's worst nightmare.

With only four grimy basement walls and a rancid mattress, she loses her sense of time, and preserves what's left of her dignity by hurtling herself into the safety of her mind. The men, the beatings, they come and go with no reaction, until she hears one word that sends an arctic chill through her body. Sold.

On the eve of Sophia's bidding, all hell breaks loose in the mansion of horrors. Gunfire and screams erupt all around her, as panic rises.

Snatched by one monster only to be taken by another, Sophia slowly starts to learn that not everything is as it seems. When secrets unravel, and the twisted game of cat and mouse ensues, The Puppeteer pulls his favorite strings and chaos brews. Lives are lost while the clock ticks, and only time will tell who will be killed next...

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious content, strong language, and graphic violence. May contain triggers for abuse victims.

-- My Two Cents --

This book started off with one hell of a bang. There was no lead up, no false sense of calm. We were dumped into the hell that Sophia was experiencing and it was glorious! However, once she was rescued, I realized that I haven't loved and hated a story this much in a long time!

Sophia's torture seemed never-ending and it was everything I look for when I pick up a book in this genre. The men who held her were brutal, unkind and inconsiderate, just like they were supposed to be. I lived for every time she got punched, kicked, starved, whipped, etc. It was described with perfection. With those scenes, this author garnered a fan in me. But then she was saved and it got so boring.

The beginning of the book - su-freaking-perb!
The middle - oh my gosh, why is this chick boring me with her existence? She was pathetic and needy and kept putting herself in situations that were unnecessary and then she'd get upset when no one (especially Creed) reacted positively to her. She was such a child!
The end - okay, so we're back in business. Finally!

I had a lot of problems with this book and here are the ones that really pushed at me:
✦ Every day that was explained through Sophia's eyes was like experiencing Ground Hog Day. She'd seek Creed out. She'd plead with him to interact with her. She'd beg him for attention and affection. She'd get mad when he didn't respond, as if he owes her something. She sounded and acted like an obsessed lunatic. Then it was rinse and repeat.
✦ She found out that she's probably in Missouri with the guys. When she's out to dinner with them, she meets her brother's girl (Wendy) and says to herself:
There's a twang to her words, some sort of accent that I can't place. I've never been much good at accents, nor placing them, but if I'm not mistaken, I sense a bit of southern in her tone."

Who hit this girl over the head with a stupid stick? If I'm not mistaken, her entire statement was dumb, which seems par for the course for this girl. At 61%, she was just as bimboliciously ridiculous as she was at the start of this book. At least in the beginning, I found some sympathy for her and her foolish choices while she was getting her azz beat. What would be her excuse this late in the game? It was bad enough when she proved herself insane at the start, doing the same things to her captors and expecting different results. She's so absurd.

✦ She asks herself, 'is the traitor plotting against us?' What 'us'? Sophia, you are not part of the group. You are a guest. Sharing their space doesn't entitle you to question them or learn their secrets and it definitely doesn't make you one of them. It only gets worse though... What part of being an off-the-books government agency that kills people, that have been doing it a lot longer than you've known them, do you really not get? Asking about their missions... NO! Asking members not to go on missions... NO! Sophia was stupid and selfish. Someone please drag this drama queen off the dang stage!

I think my biggest problem with this story (so far) is that it's told solely by Sophia. It was impossible to understand or connect to the male protagonist, Creed. He sounded delicious. He sounded as dark and dangerous as I hoped he would be. However, not getting inside his head... sorry buddy, just not feeling it. So when he says things like,

“So beautiful,” he whispers in a tortured voice. “Damnit, Sophia. You make me want things I shouldn’t. You make me crave things I shouldn’t.”

I can't really believe it. Sophia isn't a strong enough character to stand on her own. And her side of things doesn't convince me of Creed and his feelings. I need his voice!

As there was enough in this story to get my blood pumping, for me to be invested in what happens next, I'm off to read the next book, Blood and Chaos!

Deception and Chaos is FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US * Amazon CA

-- About S.M. Soto --

S.M. Soto was born and raised in Northern California where she currently resides with her son. Her love for reading began when she was a young girl, and has only continued to grow into adulthood. S.M. lives for reading books in the romance genre and writing novels with relatable characters. She refers to herself as a bit of a romance junkie. S.M. loves to connect with readers and eat copious of donuts that will surely lead to her demise (carbs are life).

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