Sweet Deceit (Privilege Series #4)

( 52 )


After Brigit’s mysterious death at the NoBash, Ariana will stop at nothing to make sure Kaitlynn gets what she deserves. With all the spots now open, getting into the Stone and Grave should be a breeze—but Ariana is not willing to share her new life with her worst enemy. Will Ariana be able to rid herself of her past without exposing where she came from?

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Sweet Deceit (Privilege Series #4)

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After Brigit’s mysterious death at the NoBash, Ariana will stop at nothing to make sure Kaitlynn gets what she deserves. With all the spots now open, getting into the Stone and Grave should be a breeze—but Ariana is not willing to share her new life with her worst enemy. Will Ariana be able to rid herself of her past without exposing where she came from?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416967620
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Series: Privilege Series, #4
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 696,050
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Lexile: HL790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Brian is the author of the NY Times and USA Today best-selling Private series and it's spin-off series, Privilege. She has also written many other books for teens including Sweet 16 and Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys.

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Read an Excerpt

Sweet Deceit

By Kate Brian

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Kate Brian
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416967620


“To know Brigit was to love Brigit,” Lexa Greene said, lifting her chin. Tears shone in her green eyes. Hundreds of candles adorned the marble stairs of the Atherton-Pryce Hall chapel, flickering in the cool autumn breeze. The black-clad crowd of students, faculty, and parents huddled even closer together against the cold—and their own sadness.

Ariana Osgood held a white candle in front of her, the flame blurring before her tired, tear-stung eyes. Her heart felt like it was collapsing in on itself over and over again, radiating misery and pain throughout her body. She'd arrived at Atherton-Pryce Hall just over a month ago, and she hadn't imagined that she'd become true friends with anyone as fast as she had with Brigit Rhygsted—or that it could hurt so badly to lose her. It had been a week since Brigit had died, and Ariana still couldn't believe she was gone. A vivid image flashed through Ariana's mind. She saw Brigit's body, so slight, so broken, crumpled at the foot of that regal staircase where she'd met her end. The pain in Ariana's heart squeezed ever tighter and her throat closed up. If only she'd been there. If only there was something she could have done.

“She was all about adventure and laughter, and she exuded pure joy,” Lexa continued.

Ariana heard a loud sniffle to her left. Kaitlynn Nottingham was weeping, holding her trembling fingers over her lips as if to keep from sobbing out loud. Ariana's free hand curled into a fist, and in her mind's eye she saw herself punching Kaitlynn in the face. Imagined the satisfying crack of her nose and the thud as the girl hit the ground.

Kaitlynn had killed Brigit. Shoved her down the huge marble staircase at the Norwegian Embassy for no better reason than her desire to be accepted into Stone and Grave—the secret society for which all three of them had been tapped. And now she had the gall to stand there and cry?

Hovering next to Kaitlynn was Adam Lazerri, his curly brown hair frizzy and his chin spotty with stubble. He stared at the ground, swallowing repeatedly, clearly trying not to cry. He at least had a right to be sad. He and Brigit had just started dating. Along with Adam was Landon Jacobs. The pop star's long bangs grazed the top of his dark sunglasses as he stared straight ahead. Next to him, Maria Stanzini let out a sob, and Ariana saw Landon reach out to squeeze her hand. Maria pressed her face into Landon's shoulder, looking for all the world like a girl who was leaning on her friend for support. Only Ariana knew that the two of them were secretly dating. At least her friend was able to take comfort from the boy she loved and not worry that anyone would read anything into it. For once, Landon was not the center of attention.

Ariana's own secret love, Palmer Liriano, stood at the edge of the group, his hands folded at waist level, his dark hair slicked back from his face. Every now and then he would sniffle and blink, holding back tears. Ariana wished she could go to him, comfort him, be comforted. But now was not the time to be selfish.

“If you would all bow your heads for a moment of silence in honor of our friend,” Lexa was saying.

Soomie Ahn reached out and took Ariana's hand. The coil in Ariana's heart loosened, and she took a long, deep breath. She looked up at the large photo of Brigit propped up on the black velvet?covered table next to Lexa. It was surrounded by small pumpkins, brightly colored leaves, and mums in gorgeous gold and white. In the photo, Brigit beamed on a white-sand beach, her blond curls lit by the sun. She looked alive, happy, and completely oblivious to the fact that her life would be cut short by a psychopath masquerading as a friend.

For a long moment, everything was still. The breeze whistled through the bell tower atop the chapel, and a boat's horn sounded from down on the Potomac River below campus.

“Thank you,” Lexa said finally.

Ariana opened her eyes. Lifted her head. Forced herself to breathe the crisp autumn air.

“I know that many of you have brought flowers for Brigit. If you'd like to come up one by one, you can take a moment and leave them here by her picture,” Lexa said.

Conrad Royce, Lexa's boyfriend, slipped quickly from the crowd and left a white rose in front of Brigit's picture, before engulfing Lexa in a hug. Soomie gave Ariana a slight nudge, and they started for the chapel steps, hand in hand, as the large crowd of mourners broke and shifted behind them. Maria walked over and held on to Soomie's arm on the other side, bringing Landon, Adam, and Palmer with her. Together the six of them climbed the first tier of steps to the landing where Lexa and Conrad waited.

“We'll miss you every day, Brigit,” Lexa said, placing her yellow sunflower—Brigit's favorite—in front of the photo.

Soomie started to cry in earnest, her silky black hair covering her face. “I just . . . I can't . . . I can't imagine being here without . . .”

Ariana glanced at Lexa and bit her lip. She removed her own sunflower from the pocket of her coat and looked at Brigit's picture. “We didn't know each other for very long, Brigit, but you meant more to me than you could ever know. Thanks for being such a good friend.”

She lay down her flower. Then Soomie lifted her head and added her offering, still sobbing. Ariana held her breath—held in her own tears. She and her friends all realized that as Brigit's roommate and best friend, Soomie was taking Brigit's death harder than the rest of them.

Maria rounded her shoulders. Her light brown hair was back in a bun, and her angular face was makeup-free. “Wherever you are, B, I hope it's a party worthy of you,” she said as she added her red gerbera daisy to the pile.

As the rest of the large crowd started to form a long, solemn line at the foot of the stairs, the boys lay their flowers down before Brigit's photo. For a long moment, the eight of them stood staring at the picture of their friend. A stiff wind hit from behind, but Ariana didn't shuffle sideways or grip Lexa or Soomie tighter. She couldn't. She felt rooted to the spot. Like if she tried to move her legs, her feet might stay behind.

“Come on, girls. A lot of people are waiting,” Lexa said quietly.

She blew out her candle, and Ariana and the others followed her lead. Soomie rested her head against Maria's arm as they descended the steps. When Ariana's foot hit the first stair, her ankle started to buckle and she found herself grabbing for Lexa to keep her balance. Instead, she caught Kaitlynn's arm.

“Ana! Are you okay?” Kaitlynn's green eyes were wide. She had the concerned act down pat, but Ariana could see right through it.

Ariana snatched her hand back. The idea that Brigit's murderer had listened in on their last words to Brigit made her skin crawl.

“I'm fine,” Ariana said through her teeth.

Her friends had moved off to the side at the bottom of the stairs, where they watched the procession of mourners approach Brigit's memorial. Ariana walked over to join them and, of course, Kaitlynn followed. As they huddled in a group, a few more familiar faces from their exclusive dorm, Privilege House, approached the altar. April Corrigan, the editor of the literary magazine, was followed by Tahira Al Mahmood and Tahira's boyfriend, Rob Mellon. Then came Allison Rothaus, along with Christian Brooks, one of Palmer's crew teammates, who was whispering with an angular boy with blond hair. Ariana had seen him around the dorm, always with kind of a placid, distant look in his eyes. He wore no coat over his suit, even though the night air held a distinct chill. As Ariana observed him, another breeze kicked up the skirt of her coat, bringing with it the crisp, musky scent of a fire burning in one of the school's ancient stone fireplaces. Maria took a deep breath and tilted her head back, looking up at the stars.

“God, Brigit would have loved this,” she said.

Soomie let out a sound that was half sob, half laugh.

“Not her memorial service,” Maria said, rolling her eyes and squeezing Soomie tighter. “This night . . . the decorations . . . the weather. She loved this time of year.”

“Especially Halloween,” Lexa said, pushing her hands into her pockets. “They didn't really do it up in Norway the way we do here. She lived for Halloween parties.”

“She'd be so pissed to be missing yours,” Maria said to Soomie.

Soomie sucked in a breath and produced a rumpled tissue from the pocket of her black coat. She pressed it under her nose, gathered herself, and shook her hair back.

“Actually, I think I'm gonna cancel it,” she said.

“What?” Lexa said automatically.

Soomie's dark eyes flashed. “Well, let's see. (A) Brigit and I were going to dress up together, and every time I think about that it makes me bawl, (B) I can't even wrap my brain around the idea of digging through the decorations, half of which Brigit shopped for with me, and (C) I can't even dress myself right now, let alone decide whether or not we should serve spider eggs this year! So I don't think that I'm really equipped to throw a party.”

“I'm sorry, Soomie. I didn't mean . . .” Lexa's eyes brimmed with tears. “It was just a reaction. I . . .”

Lexa trailed off and Ariana looped her arm around Lexa, holding her close. The group fell silent. The guys eyed each other and surreptitiously edged away, leaving the five girls to themselves.

“Um, well . . . I can at least help with the last one, Soomie,” Kaitlynn said. “I do not think anyone should be serving spider eggs. Ever.”

Soomie, Lexa, and Maria exchanged a look, then laughed. Even Ariana smiled.

“They're not actual spider eggs,” Maria explained, tucking her dark hair behind her ear. “Just deviled eggs and veggies constructed to look like spiders.”

“I don't know, you guys,” Soomie said, looking at her battered black flats, worn over dark blue tights.

“We'll hire someone to finish the planning,” Maria said. “Seriously, Soom. Brigit would die if you canceled Halloween.”

Kaitlynn snorted at Maria's choice of words but quickly turned her laughter into a coughing sob. Ariana's toes curled in her boots.

Control, Ariana. This is not the time.

But when? How? Over the past few weeks Ariana had done every thing in her power to try to get rid of Kaitlynn, but Kaitlynn had over powered her every time. She'd even managed to worm her way into Ariana's group of friends. And that one frustrating fact always remained—if Kaitlynn went down, Ariana would go down too. She was trapped. Her star was tied to Kaitlynn's. One wrong move and they would both be headed back to the Brenda T. Trumbull Correctional Facility for Women.

“Hey, Lexa . . . is that your dad?” Maria said, squinting into the darkness.

Lexa glanced at the chapel stairs. A tall gentleman with salt-and-pepper hair approached Brigit's picture and bowed his head. As he closed his eyes in prayer, a guy in a black trench snapped his picture. A young Asian woman with short black hair and wearing a staid gray suit stood off to the side, surveying the crowd.

“Yep. That's the senator,” Lexa said.

The man walked right over to Lexa, the cameraman racing after him. Ariana saw a few people in the crowd take notice, pointing or whispering behind their hands.

“Lexa, honey, I'm so sorry for your loss,” the senator said, enveloping Lexa in a tight but somehow formal hug. The camera flashed as a couple dozen shots were taken. Lexa quickly released her father and backed away.

“Thanks, Dad,” Lexa said, avoiding eye contact with him. “You know Maria and Soomie. And this is Ana Covington and Lillian Oswald.”

“Nice to meet you, Senator,” Ariana said, shaking his hand.

“Hello, sir,” Kaitlynn said. Neither girl missed a beat at the sound of their assumed names.

“Girls.” His expression was grim.

“And this is Keiko Ogaswara. She's the right-hand woman for my family,” Lexa said with a warm smile. She didn't acknowledge the photographer.

“Nice to meet you,” Keiko said. Then she turned and hugged Lexa. “How are you doing? Is there anything you need?”

Lexa shook her head and hugged the woman tightly. “I'll be all right.”

A pair of middle-aged men hovered a few yards off, as if waiting to speak to the senator. Meanwhile, the long line of mourners continued to edge forward, their mingled conversation an ever-present hum.

The senator cleared his throat. “I have to be on a plane to Boston in an hour. But I'll see you when I get back?”

“Of course,” Lexa said with a forced smile. “Thanks for coming.”

“You know I'm always here for you,” he said. Then, after another stiff, awkward hug and a few more flash pops, he was gone. Keiko scurried off after her boss but turned around briefly and touched her fingers to her lips in a good-bye for Lexa. The two men who were lying in wait quickly fell into step with the senator as well.

Maria turned to Lexa, her hands in her pockets. “Since when does your dad crash funerals?”

“Since my parents are living in separate houses and his family-values supporters are freaking out.” Lexa rolled her eyes. “He's all about his image right now. Thus the photographer. I'm sure those pictures will be in the Boston Globe tomorrow.”

“I'm sorry,” Kaitlynn said.

Soomie rubbed Lexa's back. “I'm sure Brigit's laughing about it right now—her memorial service being turned into a photo-op.”

Lexa sighed sadly, looking down at the green bangle bracelet she wore on her right wrist.

Ariana looked down at her own bracelet—just like Lexa's, but in red. Soomie had one as well, in blue; Maria's was orange; and Kaitlynn—much to Ariana's revulsion—wore a purple one. The colorful set of bracelets had been Brigit's favorite accessory. So when Brigit's maid had come to take her things home, Lexa had asked if it would be all right for her and her friends to have the bracelets to remember her by.

“Life is so insane,” Kaitlynn mused, looking down at her bracelet as well. “Just a week ago, Brigit was wearing these . . . alive and well. . . .”

Ariana bit down on her tongue so hard she tasted blood. Kaitlynn took a deep breath and looked around at the group. Her eyes were full of bittersweet nostalgia. Fake. All of it fake.

“I think she'd be happy to know that we're all going to carry a piece of her with us . . . forever.”

As the other girls nodded and sighed, Ariana grabbed her forearm and dug her fingers into the sleeve of her coat, trying to breathe.

In, one . . . two . . . three . . .

Out, one . . . two . . . three . . .

In, one . . . two . . . three . . .

Out, one . . . two . . . three . . .

It was the only way she could keep herself from reaching out and strangling Kaitlynn Nottingham right then and there.

All in good time, Ariana, she told herself. You'll figure out a way. You always do. She looked up at Brigit's photo one last time and clenched her jaw. I'm going to make this right, Brigit. I promise. I'm going to do whatever it takes to make this right.

© 2010 Alloy Entertainment


Excerpted from Sweet Deceit by Kate Brian Copyright © 2010 by Kate Brian. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Love. It.

    All i can say is this book is UN-BELIEVABLY GOOD!!! I think i'm im love with this series and the Private series. If you like Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game, The Clique, or any other prep school based series, you will NEVER put this series down, figuratively speaking of course. Don't get discouraged by the first book of a series. You might end up falling in love with it by Book 3.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I love Privilege (not the money or the ah-mazing stuff, but THE BOOKS!

    I love love love love love PRIVILEGE! It's so very mysterious and I cannot wait until this one comes out then I would read it all the way from the beginning because they are sooo good and I would read em over over over and over again! Privilege is more than a book. More than the clique, I would say because Kate Brian has taken a normal situation of a girl going to an academy or whereever for school but she switches it around and has this wonderful suspense and intrigue she pulls since Arianna is a killer and she has to live in secret since she murdered Brianna Leigh. Also, one of her killer insane asylum friends is there too who is really aggravating me but thats what Kate Brian wants. I wonder what will happen now since Bridgit is dead eeps! WRITE FASTER please Kate Brian!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    Sweet Deceit

    A great read. Do not read if you haven't read the other 3 books in this series. I thought this book wasn't going to be so good , but Kate Brian continued to prove me wrong. This book is totally worth the 8 dollars you're going to spend on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

    Awesome book!!!!!!

    I really loved this book and I recommend it to anyone who likes adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2011

    i. love these books and also the private series!

    brilliant. but i HATE the ending, it made me want to cry almost.

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  • Posted November 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    i finally read this book and it was crazy. i cant believe what happened in the book. It was really interesting. It shows Ariana's dark side. I love her character but then i hate it (confusing) I like how she is organized and plan everything out and has her set goals, she has some good in her but then she takes away lives like its as easy as throwing away an old book. I really enjoy reading about her relationship with Palamer. It gets so much more interesting with Jasper in the picture, im really curious to see what happens in the next book. Cant wait to read it =P it goin on the top of my book i have to muy list. =D

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ariana does it again

    Ariana is forced to do what she does best, kill, in this latest novel in the Privilege series. Everyone is coming to grips with the tragic death of Brigit at the end of the last novel and Ariana knows who did it...Kaitlynn Nottingham, and she has to be stopped from getting into the same secret society that Ariana wants into. What I like is the way Kate Brian paints the picture of Stone and Grave, the secret society that has tapped Ariana and others as pledges. The scenes dealing with the pledges and secret meetings all make you walk away with the same racing hearts as the characters.
    I have a love/hate relationship with Ariana. On one hand, I think she is a crazy girl who deserves to trip and land back in the prison she broke out of. But the other side is seeing just how evil and calculating she really is. Each book in the series she gets more and more calculating, and I just wonder how far Kate will take this character.
    With Private slowly coming to a finish, you now have the Privilege series to keep you happy. And it seems the next few books will be as gripping as the first.

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  • Posted July 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Call me Biased. . .

    but I loved this book. I havent been a huge fan of the Privilege series but i still liked it enough to read the new books after reading sweet deceit, i am dying for the next book. and i love this series. i dont want to give away any spoilers because this book has two huge events go down. well one huge and the other minor in this book but it will affect what goes down in the Private Series. Honestly I have been waiting for the two series to intermingle with each other and it looks like that might happen in the next couple of books. Well done Kate Brian. Cant wait until Pure Sin comes out in October. (Questioning why I may be biased? I am friends with Kate on Facebook and she used one of my ideas in the book. I felt honored)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    Sweet Deceit

    WOW even the title sounds intense, cant wait to read this book , loved the other 3 , so excited :)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I Heart this Series x10!

    This series is ah-mazing! KAte Brian brings a great twist to the prep school genre. Murder, deceit, and lies are a perfect mix, especially when you add in a ton of money. So Ariana/Briana Leigh/Emma/Ana is now at APH with Kaitlynn/Lillian and things are getting to such a great/suspenseful point. Love it!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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    Posted April 10, 2010

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    Posted January 17, 2011

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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    Posted June 18, 2010

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    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted September 29, 2011

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