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Five years later, June 1294
Last Fells, England
So it had come to this, after all.
Sophia Darnly had known it would, eventually. It was as inevitable as spring flooding and salted meat in winter. She was tipping over into corruption and vice like a pitcher off the table.
It had only been a matter of time.
There was no shame in making a mistake. There was not even shame in committing the same manner of error a second time, by virtue of being “precipitous” or more inaccurately, “foolish”—they never named it “bold” or “ambitious,” for she was a woman, and therefore occupied the same mental construct as all confusing, vaguely frightening notions, such as shipwrecks and comets in the sky and how one stocking always ended up missing in the wash.
No, none of these were the problem.
It was when one found oneself hurrying through the cobbled streets of the rich port town of Last Fells, en route to break into the offices of one of the most venerated money-changers of all of England, to steal—retrieve, she reminded herself firmly—a ledger that could mean the demise of many a powerful man, and perhaps of her, it was then one began to suspect one was entirely cut out for a life of crime.
It was a sobering realization.
Additionally, as Sophia had been explicitly warned off, and as she was determined this matter would not cause any (more) deaths, that left trickery.
Fortunately, Sophia was very good at trickery.
Or had been.
She was diminished this far, then, to make use of corruption straight on.
It had only been a matter of time.
Your name is unfamiliar but the matters to which you allude are, unfortunately and unwisely, not, Tomas the moneychanger’s terse missive had informed her. I shall ignore the latter and address the former: my business is entirely by referral, Dame Silk, the only ones who make it through my doors are the ones who can make it through. Unless you are utterly unlike the tree from which you fell, and therefore full of surprises, it is difficult to imagine how that ever would occur, it went on in blatant challenge. My world is a dangerous one, and does not deal kindly with conspiracies. Return to your widowhood and your silk trade. Do not contact me again.
Or perhaps it had not been a challenge, she reflected.
Never mind. She was here now.
But when neighbors informed you men had shown up at your door whilst you were away, bearing weapons and asking questions, questions that oughtn’t be asked, you knew the time had come. When you found your silk warehouse burned to the ground, a threatening note nailed to the tree nearby, demanding the ledger or you would suffer the destruction of your livelihood, a note read through the ashen clouds of smoke still wafting off the warehouse, well, then you knew the time had come to arm yourself.
Thus, the ledger.
A sensible woman would face the truth. A practical woman might even see the benefits. Accept it as a way out from under the drawn-back trebuchet of her unwanted past. Simply give them the ledger.
Sophia had seen herself as all of these things. Sensible, reasonable, practical. Above all, law-abiding. She’d aimed at these things the way one aims an arrow.
Unfortunately, she was also angry.
The thought of her trade and livelihood being subsumed so completely, so swiftly, was terrifying. The realization that her will and efforts could be so cheaply commandeered was maddening.
These men who took, these men who plundered, these raptors in their finery, brigands in their brocades, they were worse than a pestilence. These men like her father.
She could be harvested like wheat, or she could pose some sort of defense.
Thus, the ledger.
They really shouldn’t have pushed her so far.
Furthermore, two hardly counted as a conspiracy, she thought irritably. Tomas Moneychanger, of all men, should know that.
It took a minimum of three.
She gave her tunic another tug down and looked down the street. Time to make Tomas Moneychanger understand she was not a woman to be trifled with, nor ignored, nor set aside like a wooden spoon when the stirring was done.
He ought to have just agreed to meet with her the first three times she wrote.
One could almost say it was his fault it had come to this.
She stepped onto the bridge where his shop was located, and as soon as the guard at its door came into view, she affected a noteworthy—nay, pathetic—limp.
When she was close enough, she stumbled directly into the guard, then pushed a stray lock of hair out of her eyes, and aimed a small, pained, apologetic smile up at him.
He stared a moment, blinking, then he slowly smiled back.
Posted November 19, 2012
I really love Ms. Kennedy's books, she is one of my favorite authors for the medieval period. She puts her characters, tall and sexy Kier and beautiful heroine Sophia in a story of danger, intrigue, secrets and love. Deception is a suspense I found different from her previous books and I loved it. If you love historical romance, then this book is for you!
Posted August 10, 2012
Bringing readers back to 13th century England, this tale focuses on Kieran, a man who has enjoyed many successes in the ‘confidence game’ (AKA: He’s a brilliant con artist). Unfortunately, he has also experienced one failure in the past that he has yet to fix in order to redeem himself.
Kieran has worked as a “Piper” which, loosely defined, is a man who plays a game by tempting extremely immoral wealthy men into deals with other extremely immoral wealthy men. This, for a time, was a very profitable way to live for a person like Kieran who has no conscience whatsoever. However, folks begin to turn the tables against Kieran which brings him to the edge of anger, and soon he’s planning to make them pay for their betrayal in order to be the one who gets the last laugh.
Everything for Kieran’s revenge is put into motion when a young lady from his past, Sophia Darnly, suddenly reappears and throws a monkey wrench into the whole plan.
Sophia is the daughter of Judge Darnly, who was hanged as a traitor. She’s on the hunt for her father’s ledger that contains deals made by the most evil and richest men in England which she needs in order to get her revenge on the people who have ruined her life.
As the plot thickens, Sophia and Kieran find themselves walking down the same path. Once lovers, Kieran left her and Sophia had been forced to disappear after her father’s tragic demise. After many ‘overheated discussions’ they decide to team up and go after the wealthy who deserve to pay for their mistakes and the real fun begins.
This book is not your usual romantic adventure that can be categorized among the ‘bodice rippers.’ Instead, Deception is a truly exciting and fascinating adventure with a plot line that will keep lovers of action/adventure on the edge of their seats.
Quill Says: A good novel that gives readers a thrill ride for the afternoon!
Posted August 3, 2012
Posted August 1, 2012
Sophia is a woman lost in a world of torment and anger. She has lost everything as she looks at the ashes of the life she had built. Betrayed by her traitor of a father, left devastated by her love that disappeared at the moment of most promise, she is face with finding the only proof of her father’s ill-gotten deeds, and the destruction of all her life’s work, love and desire. Then he comes out of the dark, he has a plan to pay back all those who have devastated her life, but can she trust him. The man she holds most dearly in her heart. The devastatingly handsome, fiendishly clever rouge that her father last trusted before he was hung for treason, Kier the love of her life.
A great tale of intrigue, back stabbing, and seduction. Will Sophia and Kier survive to find their love.
Posted July 30, 2012
No text was provided for this review.