The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles Series #1)

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles Series #1)

4.5 122
by Mary E. Pearson
     
 

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In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia's life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn't—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning

Overview

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia's life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn't—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles.

Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

Praise for The Kiss of Deception:

*"Pearson offers readers a wonderfully full-bodied story: harrowing, romantic, and full of myth and memory, fate and hope . . . this has the sweep of an epic tale." - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"Rich and exciting . . . a bold ending whets appetites for the next installment." - Kirkus Reviews

 

Praise for The Adoration of Jenna Fox:

* “Raises the ante in unexpected ways until the very last page.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “This is a beautiful blend of science fiction . . . and teen-relationship novel that melds into a seamless whole.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“This is an amazingly powerful, thought-provoking, just brilliant novel.” —Teen Book Review

* “[An] outstanding examination of identity, science and ethics.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “This novel is truly unlike any other I have ever read and is a breath of fresh air.” —ELLEgirl

 

Praise for The Fox Inheritance:

“Riveting, thought-provoking.” —Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games

* “A dazzling blend of science fiction, mystery, and teen friendship drama.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Gripping, urgent, and highly appealing.” —School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/05/2014
Lia is a young princess doomed to an arranged marriage with an unknown prince in another kingdom, their union an instrument of a needed alliance. On the day of her wedding, Lia flees with a trusted friend, Pauline, traveling until they reach a seaside town where Lia assumes a life as a barmaid at a local inn, reveling in her newfound anonymity. After two handsome young men, Rafe and Kaden, arrive at the inn, Lia is taken with both, and they with her; readers, unlike Lia, know that one is an assassin sent to kill her, the other, the prince she jilted. Pearson (the Jenna Fox Chronicles) is off to an extraordinary start with her fantasy series, the Remnant Chronicles, creating an alluring world and romance that’s ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore and Megan Whalen Turner. Peppered with excerpts from sacred texts and traditional songs, the novel has a formidable heroine at its core, who is as quick with a knife as she is to laugh or cry. Pearson maintains the mystery of Rafe and Kaden’s identities, pulling readers through this masterfully crafted story. Ages 14–up. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Kiss of Deception:

The Kiss of Deception has it all--beautiful writing, heart-pounding suspense, a fiery princess, and an epic romance that'll make you swoon. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year!” —Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Immortals

“In The Kiss of Deception, a new realm is masterfully created, featuring court intrigue, feuding nations, breathtaking landscapes, and the gift of sight. Fans of the Game of Thrones series will enjoy the magic and fantasy in this timeless dystopian world.” —VOYA

"Gripping, urgent, and highly appealing." —School Library Journal

"Pearson (the Jenna Fox Chronicles) is off to an extraordinary start with her fantasy series, the Remnant Chronicles, creating an alluring world and romance that's ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore and Megan Whalen Turner." —Publishers Weekly

"Pearson offers readers a wonderfully full-bodied story: harrowing, romantic, and full of myth and memory, fate and hope. . . . This has the sweep of an epic tale, told with some twists." —Booklist, starred review

"A marvelous new fantasy series that is sure to find an audience with devotees of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games and John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice books (Philomel). Romance, adventure, mysticism--this book has it all and it just may be the next YA blockbuster." —School Library Journal, starred review

"After her strong Jenna Fox series, Pearson adeptly switches gears here from science fiction to fantasy, but her ability to write a romance featuring complex characters and a strong plot remains constant." —The Horn Book

The Kiss of Deception is a deeply satisfying, intricately plotted fantasy where no one--no one--is quite what they seem. Full of lush writing and rich, complex characters, readers will quickly become enmeshed in the intricate web of lies that have been woven into the very fabric of the kingdom itself. A thoroughly engrossing read--I couldn't put it down!” —Robin LaFevers, New York Times–bestselling author of Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph

“This is the kind of story I love--a heart-pounding tale of magic and murder, betrayal and romance set in a richly imagined fantasy landscape.” —Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times–bestselling author of the Seven Realms and the Heir Chronicles

“Peppered with excerpts from sacred texts and traditional songs, the novel has a formidable heroine at its core, who is as quick with a knife as she is to laugh or cry. Pearson maintains the mystery of Rafe and Kaden's identities, pulling readers through this masterfully crafted story.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Pearson's first book in her Remnant Chronicles is thrilling. Readers will be hooked from the first page to the last and will find themselves eagerly anticipating the next installment. Pearson pairs a rich and varied plot with a fiery and headstrong heroine.” —Romantic Times

“Mystery, romance, betrayal, redemption: There's plenty to hook readers in to this installment of Lia's saga and make them impatient for the volumes to come.” —Chicago Tribune

“Pearson's writing is beautiful, and her ability to twist a plot into knots keeps the reader wanting more.” —BookPage

“This thick book is fantastical and interesting (with a bit of mystery thrown in!). . . .There's a lot of mystery that spices up the book. It's not all about the mystery, but it's on the peripheral always, which makes it that much more interesting.” —USA Today

“Lia herself is a likeable heroine, and the selfishness in her act of leaving a kingdom in shambles for some future love is negated by her obvious naivete about political strategies and romantic relationships . . . Most intriguing are the two love interests, though, partly because of the way Pearson structures their narrating chapters.” —BCCB

Rich and exciting . . . a bold ending whets appetites for the next installment.” —Kirkus Reviews

VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Ann McDuffie
A first daughter in a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia rebels against her preordained role. Angry at being forced to marry a man she has never met, she runs away on the day of her wedding. Smart and resourceful Lia and her lady’s maid travel across the kingdom to start a life disguised as serving girls at a village inn. Meanwhile, two handsome men set out to track Lia down—the jilted prince and an assassin hired to kill her. Feeling safe in her new role, Lia does not realize that the handsome farmer and fur trader vying for her attention recognize her as the runaway princess. Not the least bit suspicious, Lia begins to fall for both men. A surprising twist reveals that the reader has been misled as to the identity of the two suitors. Lia is kidnapped, and a harrowing cross-country journey ensues. As the title implies, deception abounds in this captivating story. Instead of devolving into a predictable love triangle, the story delivers enough plot turns to appeal to a range of readers. Interspersed with verses from sacred texts, the novel presents a fascinating backstory and complex characters. Only a minor lapse is Lia’s naiveté when dealing with her two suitors. In The Kiss Of Deception, a new realm is masterfully created, featuring court intrigue, feuding nations, breathtaking landscapes, and the gift of sight. Fans of the Game of Thrones series will enjoy the magic and fantasy in this timeless dystopian world. Reviewer: Ann McDuffie; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 07/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—This genre-bending novel begins with 17-year-old Princess Lia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, about to undergo a ceremony of preparation for her wedding to the prince of Dalbreck, a man she has not yet met but already loathes. Rather than follow the demands of her father and the expectations of her mother, Lia and her maid, Pauline, slip away before the wedding can take place and travel to the coastal town of Terravin. Disguised as tavern maids, the teens manage to remain hidden until two strangers come to town; young men, each with their own agenda—one the prince Lia should have married, one an assassin bent on killing her. Pearson, author of the popular "Jenna Fox Chronicles" (Holt), has created the first in a marvelous new fantasy series that is sure to find an audience with devotees of Suzanne Collins's "The Hunger Games" and John Flanagan's "Ranger's Apprentice" books (Philomel). Romance, adventure, mysticism—this book has it all and it just may be the next YA blockbuster.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-14
There are two sides to every story—unless there are three.Unwilling to marry a foreign prince she's never seen to secure a treaty between nations, Lia bolts from her father's castle on the wedding day. She's the king's First Daughter, but she won't tolerate an arranged life, no matter how old the tradition. She settles in a fishing village and works, mostly incognito, at an inn. Lia narrates in the first person, but so do two others: the jilted Prince, intrigued by and resentful at her flight, and the Assassin, sent from a third land to kill her. The boys converge on the inn and enter posing as friends, neither knowing the other's identity, each using the ruse to his own ends. As the text shifts to labeling each boy's chapters by name rather than noun, Pearson plants more red herrings than truthful hints about which boy is which; some readers may guess right, while others will have it wrong until the explicit reveal. Post-reveal, the novel shifts to classic fantasy fare: travels across rough terrain; death, danger, kidnapping; romanticized Romany-esque wanderers; epic love; a magical gift of "listening without ears [and] seeing without eyes." A bold ending whets appetites for the next installment, in which, readers will hope, the assassin will become a less cryptic character.Slightly uneven but rich and exciting throughout. (map) (Fantasy. 14-17)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781627792189
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
07/08/2014
Series:
Remnant Chronicles Series , #1
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
706
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Kiss of Deception

The Remnant Chronicles


By Mary E. Pearson

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 2014 Mary E. Pearson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62779-218-9



CHAPTER 1

Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

The wind knew. It was the first of June, but cold gusts bit at the hilltop citadelle as fiercely as deepest winter, shaking the windows with curses and winding through drafty halls with warning whispers. There was no escaping what was to come.

For good or bad, the hours were closing in. I closed my eyes against the thought, knowing that soon the day would cleave in two, forever creating the before and after of my life, and it would happen in one swift act that I could no more alter than the color of my eyes.

I pushed away from the window, fogged with my own breath, and left the endless hills of Morrighan to their own worries. It was time for me to meet my day.

The prescribed liturgies passed as they were ordained, the rituals and rites as each had been precisely laid out, all a testament to the greatness of Morrighan and the Remnant from which it was born. I didn't protest. By this point, numbness had overtaken me, but then midday approached, and my heart galloped again as I faced the last of the steps that kept here from there.

I lay naked, facedown on a stone-hard table, my eyes focused on the floor beneath me while strangers scraped my back with dull knives. I remained perfectly still, even though I knew the knives brushing my skin were held with cautious hands. The bearers were well aware that their lives depended on their skill. Perfect stillness helped me hide the humiliation of my nakedness as strange hands touched me.

Pauline sat nearby watching, probably with worried eyes. I couldn't see her, only the slate floor beneath me, my long dark hair tumbling down around my face in a swirling black tunnel that blocked the world out — except for the rhythmic rasp of the blades.

The last knife reached lower, scraping the tender hollow of my back just above my buttocks, and I fought the instinct to pull away, but I finally flinched. A collective gasp spread through the room.

"Be still!" my aunt Cloris admonished.

I felt my mother's hand on my head, gently caressing my hair. "A few more lines, Arabella. That's all."

Even though this was offered as comfort, I bristled at the formal name my mother insisted on using, the hand-me-down name that had belonged to so many before me. I wished that at least on this last day in Morrighan, she'd cast formality aside and use the one I favored, the pet name my brothers used, shortening one of my many names to its last three letters. Lia. A simple name that felt truer to who I was.

The scraping ended. "It is finished," the First Artisan declared. The other artisans murmured their agreement.

I heard the clatter of a tray being set on the table next to me and whiffed the overpowering scent of rose oil. Feet shuffled around to form a circle — my aunts, mother, Pauline, others who'd been summoned to witness the task — and mumbled prayers were sung. I watched the black robe of the priest brush past me, and his voice rose above the others as he drizzled the hot oil on my back. The artisans rubbed it in, their practiced fingers sealing in the countless traditions of the House of Morrighan, deepening the promises written upon my back, heralding the commitments of today and ensuring all their tomorrows.

They can hope, I thought bitterly as my mind jumped out of turn, trying to keep order to the tasks still before me, the ones written only on my heart and not a piece of paper. I barely heard the utterances of the priest, a droning chant that spoke to all of their needs and none of my own.

I was only seventeen. Wasn't I entitled to my own dreams for the future?

"And for Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, the fruits of her sacrifice and the blessings of ..."

He prattled on and on, the endless required blessings and sacraments, his voice rising, filling the room, and then when I thought I could stand no more, his very words pinching off my airways, he stopped, and for a merciful sweet moment, silence rang in my ears. I breathed again, and then the final benediction was given.

"For the Kingdoms rose out of the ashes of men and are built on the bones of the lost, and thereunto we shall return if Heaven wills." He lifted my chin with one hand, and with the thumb of his other hand, he smudged my forehead with ashes.

"So shall it be for this First Daughter of the House of Morrighan," my mother finished, as was the tradition, and she wiped the ashes away with an oil-dipped cloth.

I closed my eyes and lowered my head. First Daughter. Both blessing and curse. And if the truth be known, a sham.

My mother laid her hand on me again, her palm resting on my shoulder. My skin stung at her touch. Her comfort came too late. The priest offered one last prayer in my mother's native tongue, a prayer of safekeeping that, oddly, wasn't tradition, and then she drew her hand away.

More oil was poured, and a low, haunting singsong of prayers echoed through the cold stone chamber, the rose scent heavy on the air and in my lungs. I breathed deeply. In spite of myself, I relished this part, the hot oils and warm hands kneading compliance into knots that had been growing inside me for weeks. The velvet warmth soothed the sting of acid from the lemon mixed with dye, and the flowery fragrance momentarily swept me away to a hidden summer garden where no one could find me. If only it were that easy.

Again, this step was declared finished, and the artisans stepped back from their handiwork. There was an audible gathering of breath as the final results on my back were viewed.

I heard someone shuffle closer. "I daresay he won't be looking long upon her back with the rest of that view at his disposal." A titter ran through the room. Aunt Bernette was never one to restrain her words, even with a priest in the room and protocol at stake. My father claimed I got my impulsive tongue from her, though today I'd been warned to control it.

Pauline took my arm and helped me to rise. "Your Highness," she said as she handed me a soft sheet to wrap around myself, sparing what little dignity I had left. We exchanged a quick knowing glance, which bolstered me, and then she guided me to the full-length mirror, giving me a small silver hand mirror, that I might view the results too. I swept my long hair aside and let the sheet fall enough to expose my lower back.

The others waited in silence for my response. I resisted drawing in a breath. I wouldn't give my mother that satisfaction, but I couldn't deny that my wedding kavah was exquisite. It did indeed leave me in awe. The ugly crest of the Kingdom of Dalbreck had been made startlingly beautiful, the snarling lion tamed on my back, the intricate designs gracefully hemming in his claws, the swirling vines of Morrighan weaving in and out with nimble elegance, spilling in a V down my back until the last delicate tendrils clung and swirled in the gentle hollow of my lower spine. The lion was honored and yet cleverly subdued.

My throat tightened, and my eyes stung. It was a kavah I might have loved ... might have been proud to wear. I swallowed and imagined the prince when the vows were complete and the wedding cloak lowered, gaping with awe. The lecherous toad. But I gave the artisans their due.

"It is perfection. I thank you, and I've no doubt the Kingdom of Dalbreck will from this day forward hold the artisans of Morrighan in highest esteem." My mother smiled at my effort, knowing that these few words from me were hard-won.

And with that, everyone was ushered away, the remaining preparations to be shared only with my parents, and Pauline, who would assist me. My mother brought the white silk underdress from the wardrobe, a mere wisp of fabric so thin and fluid it melted across her arms. To me it was a useless formality, for it covered very little, being as transparent and helpful as the endless layers of tradition. The gown came next, the back plunging in the same V so as to frame the kavah honoring the prince's kingdom and displaying his bride's new allegiance.

My mother tightened the laces in the hidden structure of the dress, pulling it snug so the bodice appeared to effortlessly cling to my waist even without fabric stretching across my back. It was an engineering feat as remarkable as the great bridge of Golgata, maybe more so, and I wondered if the seamstresses had cast a bit of magic into the fabric and threads. It was better to think on these details than what the short hour would bring. My mother turned me ceremoniously to face the mirror.

Despite my resentment, I was hypnotized. It was truly the most beautiful gown I had ever seen. Stunningly elegant, the dense Quiassé lace of local lace makers was the only adornment around the dipping neckline. Simplicity. The lace flowed in a V down the bodice to mirror the cut of the back of the dress. I looked like someone else in it, someone older and wiser. Someone with a pure heart that held no secrets. Someone ... not like me.

I walked away without comment and stared out the window, my mother's soft sigh following on my heels. In the far distance, I saw the lone red spire of Golgata, its single crumbling ruin all that remained of the once massive bridge that spanned the vast inlet. Soon, it too would be gone, swallowed up like the rest of the great bridge. Even the mysterious engineering magic of the Ancients couldn't defy the inevitable. Why should I try?

My stomach lurched, and I shifted my gaze closer to the bottom of the hill, where wagons lumbered on the road far below the citadelle, heading toward the town square, perhaps laden with fruit, or flowers, or kegs of wine from the Morrighan vineyards. Fine carriages pulled by matching ribboned steeds dotted the lane as well.

Maybe in one of those carriages, my oldest brother, Walther, and his young bride, Greta, sat with fingers entwined on their way to my wedding, scarcely able to break their gazes from each other. And maybe my other brothers were already at the square, flashing their smiles at young girls who drew their fancy. I remembered seeing Regan, dreamy-eyed and whispering to the coachman's daughter just a few days ago in a dark hallway, and Bryn dallied with a new girl each week, unable to settle on just one. Three older brothers I adored, all free to fall in love and marry anyone they chose. The girls free to choose as well. Everyone free, including Pauline, who had a beau who would return to her at month's end.

"How did you do it, Mother?" I asked, still staring at the passing carriages below. "How did you travel all the way from Gastineux to marry a toad you didn't love?"

"Your father is not a toad," my mother said sternly.

I whirled to face her. "A king maybe, but a toad nonetheless. Do you mean to tell me that when you married a stranger twice your age, you didn't think him a toad?"

My mother's gray eyes rested calmly on me. "No, I did not. It was my destiny and my duty."

A weary sigh broke from my chest. "Because you were a First Daughter."

The subject of First Daughter was one my mother always cleverly steered away from. Today, with only the two of us present and no other distractions, she couldn't turn away. I watched her stiffen, her chin rising in good royal form. "It's an honor, Arabella."

"But I don't have the gift of First Daughter. I'm not a Siarrah. Dalbreck will soon discover I'm not the asset they suppose me to be. This wedding is a sham."

"The gift may come in time," she answered weakly.

I didn't argue this point. It was known that most First Daughters came into their gift by womanhood, and I had been a woman for four years now. I'd shown no signs of any gift. My mother clung to false hopes. I turned away, looking out the window again.

"Even if it doesn't come," my mother continued, "the wedding is no sham. This union is about far more than just one asset. The honor and privilege of a First Daughter in a royal bloodline is a gift in itself. It carries history and tradition with it. That's all that matters."

"Why First Daughter? Can you be sure the gift isn't passed to a son? Or a Second Daughter?"

"It's happened, but ... not to be expected. And not tradition."

And is it tradition to lose your gift too? Those unsaid words hung razor sharp between us, but even I couldn't wound my mother with them. My father hadn't consulted with her on matters of state since early in their marriage, but I had heard the stories of before, when her gift was strong and what she said mattered. That is, if any of it was even true. I wasn't sure anymore.

I had little patience for such gibberish. I liked my words and reasoning simple and straightforward. And I was so tired of hearing about tradition that I was certain if the word were spoken aloud one more time, my head would explode. My mother was from another time.

I heard her approach and felt her warm arms circle about me. My throat swelled. "My precious daughter," she whispered against my ear, "whether the gift comes or doesn't come is of little matter. Don't worry yourself so. It's your wedding day."

To a toad. I had caught a glimpse of the King of Dalbreck when he came to draw up the agreement — as if I were a horse given in trade to his son. The king was as decrepit and crooked as an old crone's arthritic toe — old enough to be my own father's father. Hunched and slow, he needed assistance up the steps to the Grand Hall. Even if the prince was a fraction of his age, he'd still be a withered, toothless fop. The thought of him touching me, much less —

I shivered at the thought of bony old hands caressing my cheek or shriveled sour lips meeting mine. I kept my gaze fixed out the window, but saw nothing beyond the glass. "Why could I not have at least inspected him first?"

My mother's arms dropped from around me. "Inspect a prince? Our relationship with Dalbreck is already tenuous at best. You'd have us insult their kingdom with such a request when Morrighan is hoping to create a crucial alliance?"

"I'm not a soldier in Father's army."

My mother drew closer, brushing my cheek, and whispered, "Yes, my dear. You are."

A chill danced down my spine.

She gave me a last squeeze and stepped back. "It's time. I'll go retrieve the wedding cloak from the vault," she said, and left.

I crossed the room to my wardrobe and flung open the doors, sliding out the bottom drawer and lifting a green velvet pouch that held a slim jeweled dagger. It had been a gift on my sixteenth birthday from my brothers, a gift I was never allowed to use — at least openly — but the back of my dressing chamber door bore the gouged marks of my secret practice. I snatched a few more belongings, wrapping them in a chemise, and tied it all with ribbon to secure it.

Pauline returned from dressing herself, and I handed her the small bundle.

"I'll take care of it," she said, a jumble of nerves at the last-minute preparations. She left the chamber just as my mother returned with the cloak.

"Take care of what?" my mother asked.

"I gave her a few more things I want to take with me."

"The belongings you need were sent off in trunks yesterday," she said as she crossed the room toward my bed.

"There were a few we forgot."

She shook her head, reminding me there was precious little room in the carriage and that the journey to Dalbreck was a long one.

"I'll manage," I answered.

She carefully laid the cloak across my bed. It had been steamed and hung in the vault so no fold or wrinkle would tarnish its beauty. I ran my hand along the short velvet nap. The blue was as dark as midnight, and the rubies, tourmalines, and sapphires circling the edges were its stars. The jewels would prove useful. It was tradition that the cloak should be placed on the bride's shoulders by both her parents, and yet my mother had returned alone.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Copyright © 2014 Mary E. Pearson. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
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.

Meet the Author

Mary E. Pearson is the author of seven novels for teens, including the popular Jenna Fox trilogy. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.


Mary E. Pearson is the author of bestselling, award-winning novels for teens. The Miles Between was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was listed as a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, an IRA Young Adult Choice, NYPL Stuff for the Teen Age, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of A Room on Lorelei Street, David v. God, and Scribbler of Dreams. Pearson studied art at Long Beach State University, and worked as an artist before earning her teaching credential at San Diego State University. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

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The Kiss of Deception 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 123 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so confused as to who the prince and the assassin were. When it said Rafe and Kaden i was switching back and forth multiple times as to who i thought they were; it was confusing because the author switched back and forth by calling them assassin and prince or Kaden and Rafe. The details meant "help" distinguish them got switched around a lot. At times throughout the book i thought Rafe was the prince then the assassin in others parts and vice versa for Kaden. Other than that, i found the book entertaining and fun thanks to a strong thick headed woman. A refreshing twist from the usual meek, weak, fragile girl we're all used to.
MonicaEmme More than 1 year ago
I love this book completely. I so can't wait until the next! It had that Graceling feel to it. I could live in this world every day. It was one of those books that stays with you, and when you finish you want to just open back to the first page and start reading it all over again just so you can stay in it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once you start you cant stop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The confusion between Rafe and Kaden is meant to keep the reader guessing. I had to know if she was falling for the prince or the assassin. I knew both were in love with her. How could they not be. She is strong, smart, kind, and powerful! Great characters!
Bria808 More than 1 year ago
Fantastic Read I absolutely loved it! As for the confusing parts, I understood why the author decided to take that approach. It was certainly a pleasant surprise for me. Lia is a wonderful character. She is relatable and courageous. I loved how the story not only wove together nicely, but also showed how our characters matured. Very nicely done and I can't wait until the next book comes out this July.  Happy Reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely just joined the list of all time favorite books, has a bit of something for everyone. Im even gonna buy the hard copy if I can get my hands on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know who to ship! I like both of the guys and hate both of them too and now i seriously just want to finish this series and write a teensy weensy lotta bit faster cause the SUSPENS is KILLING ME. I love that the prince's name is Jaxon and Kaden ha a cute name too. AGHH I FIND BOTH WORTHY OF FAGIRL ATTRACTION AND YET BOTH DESERVING A BIT OF FANGIRL CONTRADICTIVE HATE?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May E. Pearson did a brilliant job of hiding & then revealing who was whom in this book. The reader is certain, at first, that Rafe is the Assassin, & the Prince is Kaden. I was confused when the reveal was made, but delighted when I discovered that as in real life, one can easily make assumptions on the "look" & "demeanor" of people. It caused me to sit back, consider & then connect the details of each description of the two main male characters inabling me to see how it actually made since that they were reversed. Bravo, Ms. Pearson! I am anxiously awaiting the sequel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the character of Lia. Also like the twist of who is who, definitely got me. The book is so good it makes you want to immediately reread it! Can't wait for the next book in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Action throughout the book and I loved that you were kept guessing on what was coming next. Easy read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The multiple perspectives kept the reader guessing who was the assassin and who was the prince. Once they are finally revealed the reader can reread the book in a whole new light. I was completely thrown off! From the secret meetings and stolen moments of affection, each character is completely developed and when all is about to be revealed the reader is still caught off guard. Best book I've read in a while!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is extremely good, some of the other comments are spoiler alerts so be careful. The identities of some of the characters are supposed to be unknown to the reader until the end. Otherwise the book is indeed a love triangle but a very good one and the way the book was set up allows never a dull moment! Its a must-read!
AwkwordlyEmma More than 1 year ago
This book was magnificent. I loved Lia, and I loved how she found a strong group of women to support her. I enjoyed both guys, and before we learned who was who, I definitely thought I knew who was the prince and who was the assassin! I didn't expect any of the twists, which made reading The Kiss of Deception all the more enjoyable. The worldbuilding is great. I still can't decide if this is fantasy or post-apocalyptic, although I think I'd prefer fantasy. In all of my reviews, I note inappropriate concept, and I'll do that here as well. The only thing that bothered me was some of the sexual content and references. I'm dying to get my hands on the sequel, and every day I had to wait to read The Kiss of Deception was worth it. This is definitely one of the best titles of 2014. It's a must-read for all lovers of YA fantasy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story! Loved the twists as I thought I had the guys straight but didn't. Love Lia, can't wait to read more about this girl's life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never really been interested in books that includes kingdoms and royalty but this was a good book. Although it got confusing as to who the prince and the assassin were, I still liked the mystery as to who the princess was falling in love with. This is a really good book that I deeply recommend.
kdbee More than 1 year ago
Failing to have the gift of sight traditionally held by First Daughters, Lia is to be married to a prince from a nearby kingdom to forge an alliance. As she prepares the morning of her wedding, she waits until the one moment she can, and runs. Taking her best friend Pauline with her and they race to the coast to the town of Terravin. Chapter 3 intr oduces you to the Prince and Chapter 4 to the Assassin. What's intriguing is that when she meets them for the first time in the tavern, the author describes and names them but doesn't link who they are to their names. It's fun watching Lia learn how to live the life of a commoner but she is by no means a meek character. She is determined to live her life her way, loyal to those she loves, and has great strength. This is a very well written story, with a few twists to keep you guessing, hints of romance and leaves you wanting the next book right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I broke one of my cardinal rules. I bought the first book in a series as a newly released book. I loved this book. I wish the second book was avaliable for pre-order, but sadly it is not even mentioned on the authors webpage. The book is a great read for any age.
Anonymous 2 hours ago
PollyBennett 6 days ago
Wow this book chronicles the struggles and bravery of a young royal woman. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but, it was a wonderful book, I hope the rest of the series is just as good.
onemused 14 days ago
"The Kiss of Deception" is the story of Lia, a princess who has been betrothed for an alliance. The morning of her wedding, Lia runs away to a small township where she works as a barmaid. Both an assassin from a rival kingdom and the prince she was supposed to marry seek her own and fall in love with her. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Although advertised as fantasy, it is more of a YA romance complete with the requisite insta-love triangle. This is a formula that works, and I loved the way it was written here. It has some elements of fantasy, which really begin to increase towards the end of the book (when it really starts to get more exciting). By the end of the book, you see Lia grow from spoiled princess to princess pretending to be barmaid to woman shrouded in unfortunate circumstances, beginning to learn about the world and her place in it. Although very predictable, I loved the romance and enjoyed Lia's journey. This is a must for fans of Sarah J. Maas and a lovely summer read!
Anonymous 23 days ago
One of the best series I have ever read. I have rarely finished a series and been equally happy I read every word and devastated that there's no more to read. If you like magic, adventure, strong willed and smart women, and a little romance, you will love this!
Anonymous 24 days ago
I hardly ever post reviews, but I had to. This is an absolutely amazing series of books. I love the writing style and the characters. Every question is answered by the end of the last book, so I know there no hope for a continuation of the story, but I wish there was.
Anonymous 30 days ago
I read a lot of bad reviews about not knowing who is assassin and who is the prince... well, I think that this is part of the beauty of the first book, trying to guess who she is in love with, and you do get the answers at some point... I just finished the 3rd book and I can tell you that it's only gets better with each book!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I've been discouraged lately by my literary pickings. I am so glad I stumbled across this series. There are few series I have to reread immediately upon finishing, but that's exactly what I did. There were a few unanswered questions, but overall the world-building and character development were spot-on, this is a series you'll want to clear your schedule for.
Anonymous 3 months ago