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Book Review: Deceptive Cadence (Cadence #1), Katie Hamstead

Deceptive Cadence

Title: Deceptive Cadence
Series: Cadence #1
Author: Katie Hamstead
Published: 30/06/2015, REUTS Publications
Pages: 398
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4/5
Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after...
Until she doesn't A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake's wrath. Disorientated, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn't need to give it a second thought. She accepts.
Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she's armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determination to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She's focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.
But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he's very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose; deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.
Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?

Deceptive Cadence has got to be one of the cutest and beautiful stories I have read so far this year. It just starts off so heartbreakingly sad but gains a real feel-good vibe.

The majority of Deceptive Cadence is set during Cadence's repeated high school years after she has been sent back through time. Therefore, the high school aspect does relate quite well to her need to right her past wrongs, especially in terms of Geri and her string of boyfriends. Cadence's family also seem so real and slightly dysfunctional and anyone could relate to Cadence in that aspect.

Deceptive Cadence is told in the first person from Cadence's point of view. This is great as we see first-hand how Cadence's heart breaks when she finds out about her family's death. Then her confused feelings as a teenager again and falling for someone other than her husband. Some parts of the story were slightly predictable as the reader knows what Cadence wants to achieve. But in other parts, you really couldn't predict it, especially when it is other people's reactions involved. You have no idea where Cadence's new choices will take her and this does add twists to the story, especially in terms of James. The ending does involve a massive cliffhanger and I can't wait to read book two to find out what happens next.

The plot was quite slow in places, but I didn't actually mind this. There are a lot of jumps through time so it wasn't all fast paced, but you see all the relevant parts to the story, i.e. Cadence righting her wrongs and her growing feelings for James.

There are so many great characters in Deceptive Cadence and they all add that bit extra to the story. Cadence is such a strong woman who, although she is grieving, makes such a brave decision. In a way, she is also lucky. Many of us would love to go back in time to correct past mistakes, but I'm not sure if I personally sold have the guts that Cadence does to go ahead with it. Of course, Cadence then has to live with the unexpected consequences of her choice and this leads to a truly mindboggling decision - James or Austin. I also liked how she sort of reverted back to acting like a normal fourteen-year-old and doesn't try to isolate herself to achieve her goal of saving Austin. She doesn't flaunt her "extra" knowledge either and really does try to hide it to fit in. And her comment about her fourteen-year-old body actually made me smile. We never see ourselves for what we are, both in looks and achievements, until much later.

James is really an ultimate book boyfriend, albeit a bit stalkerish to begin with. He knew what he wanted and when Cadence wouldn't look at him he made very important, mature for his age, life decisions to convince her. It really goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. He is also so protective and sweet to Cadence and doesn't try to pressure her too much (except when he is originally chasing her). I honestly adore him. He is also deeply respectful towards Cadence's family especially her dad but does like to push his buttons on occasion. I really do want Cadence to choose James in the end.

Cadence's family is brilliant. As I have said, they really are just like any other family. I did think her dad's protective attitude was a tad over the top, but it was so funny to read that I really didn't mind it. I had tears in my eyes at one point! I also liked that her dad did have some respect for James and was only hard on him because he does really like him.

I loved Cadence's relationship with her siblings. It really did remind me of my own relationship with my brother. With Harper, it's the typical hate-your-siblings-guts-but-love-them-really attitude. On the other hand, her relationship with Dusty is really quite sweet and Dusty really looks up to her. They can hang out together and mock each other easily. I think most people can relate to these types of relationships with siblings.

I would definitely recommend Deceptive Cadence to fans of contemporary romance. It really is something different. There are really sad moments but also cheesy, happy moments mixed in that make it such a feel-good read. I will definitely be reading Diverging Cadence as well as other titles by Katie Hamstead.

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  1. Aw! This is a wonderful review! Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy Diverging Cadence too.

    1. Aw! It's no problem! It's a lovely book!

    2. Hey, I just wanted to make sure you knew Diverging Cadence is on NetGalley now, so you can finish the story :-)

    3. Hi, thanks for letting me know! I requested it a couple of days back and have been approved!


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