The Kiss of Deception

by Mary E. Pearson



Cover Beauty Score: 5 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 2 out of 5

Plot Blurb: Princess Lia can't stomach the thought of marrying some old prince she's never met to whom her parents have sold her off to, even if it would mean uniting their two kingdoms against dangerous forces beyond their borders. So on the morning of her wedding day, Lia flees the castle with her trusty handmaiden to start a new life in the faraway shipping town on the coast, planning to live out her life as a normal girl. Two handsome dudes show up after a while and Lia begins to fall for both of them without knowing that one is the prince she left at the altar, and the other is an assassin sent to kill her. As much as she wants to live a plain life, she is dragged back into the foray soon enough.

My Reaction: As much as I hate to admit it, this book was a DNF for me. I was so encouraged with the book - it started out fabulous and I really loved the character of Lia. The world building was awesome, with rich traditions filling out Lia's kingdom and her lifestyle. I really adore a well built background for a fantasy novel. The writing was excellent - succinct and descriptive and easy to read quickly... there's really not much I can complain about there. It was great!

So it went south for me as soon as the assassin and the prince show up. Ugh... I think you know how much I loathe love triangles. This book was one big fat triangle that didn't have any qualms about shoving the thing down the reader's throat. There's not even any pretense at concealing this... the guys walk into her line of sight at the exact same moment. One second Lia is swooning over the prince's eyes, and the next her stomach is flipping over the assassin's smile. Like. At the same time. There was a point in the middle where I thought, wait... is this a story about poly-amorous relationships? They all seemed to be pretty into one another... Lia certainly was into both at the same time.

And while I was trying to get over this double-boy scenario, Lia just kept on complaining. And I began to realize... wait, this chick is pretty selfish. Running away from her kingdom and basically dooming everybody to war because she's scared of a little unhappiness? Ugh. And now she wants to sleep with two dudes at once? Bleh.

Since I checked this one out on my kindle (thankfully I didn't buy it!), I said sayonara and stopped it about the time she was going to pick blueberries and her boy toys were both following her in secret to drool over the way she was lowering herself to the status of a peasant.

A valiant attempt, Pearson... I'll be happy to try another of your stories if you can master the strong woman characterization. But this one, unfortunately, just didn't speak to me.

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