Not quite sure how I feel about this one: Kiss of Deception is deceptive in more ways than one. The cover and title make no illusions about the fact that this book is probably going to be another light fantasy romance. I was in some ways deceived, but also deceived about just how deceptive the title and cover are.
The premise is pretty classic: a princess is set to be married to a man she has never met, so naturally, she runs away, takes on a new identity, and tries to be a normal person. The princess in this story is Lia, and she escapes to the small fishing town of Terravin with her best friend and maid, Pauline. Lia is naive when it comes to real life experiences–most notably love–and in some ways is a bit obsessed with the idea of being in love and having that sort of deep, world-shattering connection with someone. I don’t blame her; I felt the same when I was a young teen. Two young men follow Lia to Terravin: we know that one is the Prince of Dalbreck and one is an assassin sent from Venda. One is named Kaden and one is named Rafe, and naturally they all get entangled in a love triangle.
I thought the novel was pretty clever because it was setting up a story that seemed like it was all about love when in reality it was going to set us up for some greater mystery more related to the fantasy side of things. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, because while the action does pick up in the second half of the novel, the story never really leaves the love triangle, and the romance becomes a central driving factor rather than some other, stronger plot element. I give this one 3 stars for the potential that I see, and hopefully we will see more of those interesting elements in the next one.
(Spoilers, reactions, and more after the jump.)