Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #1
Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia of the House of Morrighan is to be given in marriage to the Prince of the Kingdom of Dalbreck. Duty and tradition demand the Princess relinquish control over her life, to help forge an alliance between the two kingdoms, but Princess Lia, as she prefers to be called, has other plans. The day of the wedding, she flees with her maid, Pauline, and the two of them make it to the small town of Terravin where they begin a new life. Lia thinks she has outrun and fooled everyone, but when two strangers arrive in town, her life gets even more complicated. Unbeknownst to the Princess, one of them has been sent to kill her and the other is the jilted Prince. When both begin to show a keen interest in her, Lia will discover that no matter how far she runs, she cannot outrun who she really is.
“With Pauline at my side, in one swift act that could never be undone, an act that ended a thousand dreams but gave birth to one, I bolted for the cover of the forest and never looked back.”
Mary E. Pearson’s The Kiss of Deception contains a variety of strong female characters, each with their own strengths and differing levels of maturity. Lia is pleasantly defiant and stubborn. I found myself gasping at her audacity one moment and applauding it the next. From the very beginning of the book you get the distict impression that Lia’s journey will eventually lead her back to her first duty as Princess of Morrighan. What I found a bit lacking was the evolution of this fact while Lia was in hiding in Terravin. Here the emphasis of the story is not on Lia realizing her larger role but her relationship with the two strangers, Kaden and Rafe. I felt that Gwyneth, a fellow barmaid, both fiery and sharp, should have had a more prominent role in Lia’s life, considering she challenged Lia when no one else would.
One of the book’s main plot devices is the mystery behind Kaden and Rafe’s identites. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you. I will say that it left me guessing and then second-guessing myself when I thought I’d figured it out. I will say that this book does showcase a bit of a love triangle which I sometimes found a little frustrating. My problem with many love triangles in literature is that the female protagonist tends to be be too passive in the situation and sometimes Lia fell into this trap. As for Kaden and Rafe’s characters, Pearson does a nice job of being sympathetic to both parties, forming well-rounded individuals that I am eager to read more about in the next book.