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A Deal with the Devil (Romantic Comedy) (Sweet Home Chicago Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Abby Matisse
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Deal with the Devil - Overview

In this lighthearted romantic drama / comedy, a practical, responsible Chicago career woman agrees to pose as the fiance of her ex boyfriend in exchange for money. It's a fast-paced page-turner with many plot twists and a romance that veers toward the sweet side. The book is the first in a series about a group of friends and the mayhem, mishaps and misadventures they encounter on their journey toward love.

A woman in trouble.
Amanda Wilson is in trouble and as usual, it has everything to do with her irresponsible brother. So she heads to her best friend’s cabin in Lake Geneva for a weekend of solitude and soul-searching. But she didn’t count on the blizzard or the unexpected arrival of the man who broke her heart. The man she's come to think of as the devil.

A man from her past.
Fresh out of the Navy SEALs, Jake Lowell plans to start a business using his trust fund as seed money. But his grandfather has other ideas and changed the terms, requiring Jake to marry before he gets access. Now he needs a plan. But first, he must go to Lake Geneva where his ex is vacationing, ignoring the weather bulletins and her best friend's calls, pleading with her to come home.

A deal that changes everything.
Getting stranded in Lake Geneva wasn't part of Jake's plan. Neither was his proposal. And he definitely hadn't expected her to agree, but she did. Now they must deal with unresolved feelings and the issues that tore them apart a year ago. Jake's proposal seemed like the perfect solution for both of them but it's soon clear their harmless little engagement deal is far more complicated than either could have imagined.

Product Details

  • File Size: 422 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 098596121X
  • Publisher: Little Black Dress Press; Second Edition edition (July 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008PVJ5HA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Romance January 7, 2013
I got this book for free through Goodreads first reads. The opinions are all my own.

A Deal with the Devil really is a lighthearted romantic comedy. A book about a Chicago career woman who amidst her troubles agrees to pose as a fiance to her ex boyfriend who she envisioned marrying (before he broke up with her) in exchange for some money. Jake just returned from Iraq only to learn that his estranged uncle is refusing to release the trust fund money until Jake is married. With Jakes business on the line, he blurts out to Amanda his ex that the two should get married. Caught in debt with no way out, Amanda agrees to Jakes terms but in turns she gets more than she was willing to bargain for.

A deal with the Devil was a cute book. It was a nice light, clean romantic read with an interesting plot and characters. I did enjoy the whole background to the book, it was easy to follow and quiet entertaining at times, with enough going on that kept me from going bored.

The characters were good. I liked Amanda to a point, I felt bad for her because of her brother that took so much advantage of her that left her with a nice big debt that until Jake showed up - would have felt like a big mountain to over come. At the same time, I didn't feel bad for her because she looked weak when it came to her sibling. Clearly something else was going on, but without questioning she kept forking him the money, even when she was thousands of dollars in debt with everything maxed out. For someone who claims independence and refuses help constantly from people that try to give her yet she ends up take help from her ex Jake in the most unconventional way.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!!! August 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I love this book because its such a great page-turner and the characters. Amanda and Kate's friendship reminds me so much of my friendship and daily discussions with my best friend. It made me laugh out a couple of times and it made me sad when i finished it all in one night...I super recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing Story September 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Amanda's kid brother has borrowed $100,000 dollars from her over the last few months to start a restaurant business. Her financial situation is so dire, she goes to her friend's remote cabin to have peace and quiet enough to figure out what to do. When the weathermen forecast a huge snowstorm and Kate can't get in contact with Amanda, she sends Jack, Amanda's ex-boyfriend, newly back from Iraq, to bring her home. Although Jake had broken up with her a year ago, she's never been able to completely get over him. Now he's suggesting they fake a commitment, so he can get his trust fund, and he will pay Amanda enough to get out from under her debt burden. With a few subplots thrown in, this is their story.

I found the book amusing in places but not really funny. The characters are interesting, and the plot held my attention, for the most part. About half way through, the story began to drag for me. The same problems and disagreements went on for too long. However, this didn't last forever, and the action picks up again. There's plenty of pre-martial sex, but it's not explicit. Amanda had locked her bedroom door, but Jake said he'd looked in on her several times as she slept to make sure she was okay. Nothing was said or explained about the inconsistency. How Jake planned to make money for his investors in his new business of helping vets was never explained either. Who would pay for these extra services? I found a few missing commas, but the mechanics seemed pretty good. All in all, I enjoyed the read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN Reads July 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a fun and delightful read! Could not put it down. Every bit as good, if not better than the Shopaholic. If you like Sophie Kinsella, you are going to love Abby Matisse.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A Deal with the Devil wasn’t a terrible book, but it was definitely one of those books that I could not wait to just get it done and over with so I could move on to something else. It was funny at times, but for the most part I just found it kind of tedious. I wasn’t a fan of the characters, especially Amanda and her best friend and the actual plot was not all that original so there was absolutely no surprises. And of course it ended with every single person getting exactly what they wanted with absolutely no consequences from their previous actions. That sort of pissed me off.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Deal with the Devil July 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this book! This author has a great way of developing her very interesting and fun characters. The story has many twists and turns that make you want to know more and you will find yourself not able to put it down. There is some suspense, some drama and some very funny situations. I finished the book the same day I got it. I can't wait till the next book by this author comes out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed September 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Plot has been done before and the writer doesn't even follow her own story line. In the cabin they lost electric......character is still able to turn on the TV.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pick another book to read January 19, 2013
By NormaB
Received as a Good Reads giveaway.

Book arrived 11/17, gift wrapped with lovely thank you note. Like getting a birthday gift!

11/19/2012 -- first impressions from chapter one; too much repetition. I got it that she is in finanical trouble the first time I read it; by the sixth time, I didn't care. And, the cabin is in the back of beyond, got that also. I hope the story moves forward a little better.

Finally finish -- my first impressions were correct. This is not worth reading and I am glad it was free. Jake seems like a nice guy and Amanda is too whiny and he should have moved on. The dog is the best part of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and fun
I enjoyed the fun story and the easy read. It kept me interested throughout. However when there is no electric at the cabin how is she watching tv. That threw me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda Rettig
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Fun and easy read, kept me interested from beginning to end. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Published 3 months ago by 911spatcher
4.0 out of 5 stars Love conquers all - or does it?
I am cynical enough to believe that an ex is an ex for a reason, and yet, romantic enough to believe that SOMETIMES an old love is the TRUE love of your life. Read more
Published 4 months ago by KrisNDaATL
3.0 out of 5 stars Cutesy, but predictable
This was a cutesy story. Quite predictable. still a decent read.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
funny and great read!!!!!!!!!! i had a great time reading this!
Published 6 months ago by Ana
4.0 out of 5 stars good, quick read. very entertaining.
Easy to read and very entertaining. This is the first I've ready by Abby Matisse and I look forward to more!
Published 9 months ago by TexasMom
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute read
Cute little story about about love and family. Some twists and turns and a nice ending. Enjoyed it overall, fun story.
Published 9 months ago by Frog Princess
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, romantic, great characters. Five stars....
I loved this book. Funny, romantic, great characters. feel good book. Look forward to reading more of her books. I couldn't put it down.
Published 10 months ago by Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading
I good book with lots of humor.
Published 10 months ago by Heidi Erb
2.0 out of 5 stars Every body hates Amanda......
Too long for the finale to be so blah. It seems that everyone hates the main character despite constant reassurances that they love her. Not sure about this one.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Abby Matisse is the author of contemporary romantic comedy and humorous fiction.

A native of St. Louis, Matisse received her bachelor's degree from Maryville University of Saint Louis in 1992 and embarked on a twenty year career in marketing and brand strategy. She has held senior level brand strategy roles in a number of Fortune 100 companies in the financial services and telecommunications industries. To a large degree, her career fulfilled her need for creating and reinventing things but like most authors, she dreamed of writing novels. In fact, if you were to view the scrapbook her mother kept which outlines notable moments in Matisse's schooling, you would find a career dream sheet on which she scrawled in her childish six-year-old script: When I grow up, I want to be a writer.

That dream would be a long-time coming. Unless you count the collaboration with numerous advertising agencies on marketing campaigns and brand platform development. While fun, it wasn't enough for Abby. She delayed pursuing the dream primarily because of her practical Midwestern nature. She's an achiever and believes in pushing the envelope and going boldly after your dreams, but she doesn't enjoy pursuing the impossible. And historically, no matter how good the writer or story, getting a writing contract--a good one--has been akin to winning the lottery. To Abby, it just didn't make much sense. So she focused on business and had a blast. A self-described maverick, she took a completely unorthodox approach to managing her career, taking on a sequence of roles that helped to build a diverse skill set. It also moved her to city after city--eight cities in fourteen years--and exposed her to a fantastic and broad network of people and set of experiences that she treasures and which have helped spur many a book idea. (Don't worry, the names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent). ;)

She wrote occasionally, primarily just the first few chapters so she could enter writing contests and she belonged to Romance Writer's of America, attending local and national conferences to learn more about the craft. It was a very fun hobby but for the most part, her dream was placed in a folder enitled "maybe someday" and relegated to the back of the drawer where it gathered dust.

Then while on a business trip, she pulled out her laptop and dashed off two chapters which she entered into a contest. To her utter shock, she took first place. Encouraged, her writing as a hobby heated up, but it was still just a hobby. Then, in 2010 a notable birthday--we won't say which, but it's one where many people start wondering about paths not taken and dreams unfulfilled--coincided with the heating up of Kindle sales and indie publishing. A quiet voice inside whispered: it's time. And just like that, someday became today.

In mid 2012, Matisse's first novel, A Deal with the Devil, was published under her own imprint, Little Black Dress Press. Within six months, she'd sold enough copies to achieve Published Authors Network status with the Romance Writer's of America. That brings several benefits, the most important of which seems to be that you get invited to all the great cocktail parties at national convention. A humorous romance, Devil is now available in paperback, ebook and audio book fomats on Amazon. It's the first in her Sweet Home Chicago series. Two more books in the series are due out in 2014.

Her second novel, a laugh out loud romantic comedy entitled Crazy About Cressida is due out March 2014. It's the first in her second series, called Princesses of Las Olas, that deals with loss, love and finding the courage to start over.

She writes character-driven stories in which the heroines are feisty, the situations are fun and their lives are sprinkled with a bit of the fabulous and a lot of the ridiculous. While some find humourous and comedic stories frivolous, Matisse passionately believes otherwise. She considers humor and comedy a necessary counterbalance to the challenges life regularly tosses our way.

Yes, the pursuit of happy is somewhat of a cause for Matisse and her fondest hope is that readers feel just that at the end of her stories. She'd like her stories to leave readers with a smile, perhaps a chuckle and on a very good day, a great belly laugh. It's amazing the soul-changing experience and perspective shift a great laugh can deliver. It brings light to the darkest places and most challenging moments in our lives.

Her books are available exclusively through Amazon as she's a hardcore Jeff Bezos groupie, believing he's done more for readers and authors than anyone since the gent who discovered the printing press back in the day. She's grateful on a personal level too as, without his Kindle and his embracing of indie authors, her dreams would still be relegated to the someday file in the back of her drawer. Mr. Bezos, rock on with your bad self!

Matisse loves to hear from readers and embraces all feedback. As a brand marketer, she considers reader feedback the same thing as an expensive market research study. It's the holy grail. So she reads every review, good and not so good, and takes care to sythesize what it's telling her so she can incorporate it into her future works. She's learned immensely from every one of them. So please continue to share your thoughts on Amazon and Goodreads. You can also reach out to her through the contact form on this site, by sending an email to, connect with her via Facebook or follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.

Meantime, keep reading everything you can get your hands on and, most importantly, never stop in your quest to find your happy. Take a moment today to stop, savor and smile.

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