The time I reviewed a book {8}

Posted July 8, 2014 by Stacee in Blog Tours and Hops, Giveaways, Reviews / 27 Comments

I read Kiss of Deception back in March and was instantly smitten.  When I found out that Mary Pearson was a local author, I went on stalker mode even though it would be months before the book was released.  I wanted to be sure that I met Mary so I could fangirl all over her the way she deserves.

It goes without saying that when Macmillan contacted me to be part of the Kiss of Deception blog tour, I would have done anything to be a part of it.  I’m pretty sure those were my exact words…

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Before we get to fangirling, let’s check out the book, shall we?

16429619In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

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.

Sounds good, right?

As the title says, I am doing a review for my post today.  However, I also have some special guests who are going to be sharing their opinions on the book as well.  Please welcome Christina and Michelle to the blog!

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**Thanks to Christina for letting us steal borrow her review format**

Initial First Reactions & Rating:

Christina: 4.5 stars! I actually enjoyed The Kiss of Deception from beginning to end. I liked the way the author allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions about the male characters and their role in deceiving our heroine, Lia. (Hint: I was wrong about which was the assassin and which was the prince, and, thus, pleasantly surprised when the reveal came.)

Michelle: For me, the beginning slowed things down. It was almost to the point where I didn’t want to continue. Once the pace picked up, the story just flew by. I was intrigued by the style of writing, specifically with the chapters, hiding the identity of the two male characters. It allowed me to guess the specific POV, and it made for a fun read.

Stacee: 5 stars!   It was a bit of a slow burn, but I was instantly sucked in. I struggled between wanting to devour it and wanting to savor it.  I loved all of the various POVs and the guessing game that came with it.

Characters:

Lia:

Christina: Every distinction in Lia’s characterization made me admire and respect her even more. Whether it was with her loyalty to her brothers and Pauline, her sharp tongue and quick wit even in the face of a more formidable foe, or the grand sacrifice she planned to make despite her current happiness and blossoming romance, I only grew fonder of the person she was becoming. I’m definitely looking forward to her expanding on her gifts and strengths as this trilogy continues.

Michelle: It isn’t often that I read stories where the princess doesn’t want the life she lives. I thought it was daring of Pearson to want Lia to dislike her surroundings, her family, and her riches. Lia’s life is one of tradition and honor, and I loved how she kicked it to the curb. As a character, Lia has a lot of strength, especially given her choices in the beginning of the book. But as the story continued, her character progressed into one of strength and bravado. Lia wasn’t afraid of the unconventional, and took a chance to risk something – her happiness.

Stacee:  Lia is a princess I could root for right from the beginning.  I loved that she wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted, that her happiness was more important than tradition. She’s feisty and headstrong, smart and strong.  She knows how to fight and has a hunger to learn all of the things.  Through the progression of the book, Lia grew a lot as a character and it only made me like her more.

The Assassin:

Christina: It’s hard for me to corral my thoughts on the Assassin, especially considering for the first half of the book I considered him to be one boy only to learn in the middle that he was someone completely different. I was definitely intrigued about him the entire way through the novel, though. Through his thoughts and Lia’s perception of him, it was easy to see that the thought of slaying Lia weighed more heavily on him than he even wanted to admit. Still, his deceit was pure until the last moment. Just as Lia was surprised, I found myself gaping and thinking I had read everything wrong prior to that point. Pearson deserves all the applause for the cunningness of his character.

Michelle: It’s hard to talk about the Assassin, specifically, without delving into who his character specifically is. As a generalized-non-spoilery tidbit, I will say that the Assassin constantly kept me guessing. It was revealed early on what his intentions were with Lia. And throughout the story, I was constantly guessing if he was going to kill her during every page turn. There were times where I fell in love with his character, but without knowing who the Assassin truly was, I assume that was the intention of Pearson. Tall, dark, and broody? That’s the Assassin. Did I love every moment reading about it? You bet.

Stacee:  As Christina and Michelle said, it’s really hard to talk about the Assassin without spoilers, and we all know what River Song says about that:

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Just know that his POV was an absolute roller coaster.  There were swoons and violence and feels — all before it was revealed who he really was.

The Prince:

Christina: Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin with my thoughts on the Prince either. Of all the characters in this book, he probably struck me as the biggest mystery of all. Cocking and assuming in one breath, but gentle and compassionate in the next. However, now that I’m putting a title to a name (which I can’t share with you, sorry!), it’s easy to reflect on the moments he shared with Lia and swoon all over again. With how the story ended, I’m hopefully looking forward to a [*fingers crossed*] secret rendezvous or two happening in the next book, even if it has to take place behind enemy walls.

Michelle: I did not expect the Prince to be such an enigma! My feelings about him were all over the place! I wanted to know what his true intentions were, right from the start. “Will he bring her back to the king?” “Will he keep her for himself?” “Will he turn into an ogre and just eat her?” Oh wait, that last one wasn’t a real thought. Maybe. The Prince was dashing, like many are, but he had this dark and dreamy side. It was glorious to see it, and I swooned every moment that I did. Did I love him? You bet, and I cannot wait to see him again.

Stacee:  At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Prince.  He was {understandably} deferring to what his father wanted and usually that equals a man who won’t stand up for what he really wants.  I wasn’t sure that he deserved our headstrong Lia.  However, as bits of the Prince were revealed {not those bits, get your mind out of the gutter}, I found myself really enjoying what he was trying to do.  Oh and when the story ends and the twist ending happens? There better be some of those bits showing up in book 2.

Other Secondary Characters:

Christina: This book is chocked full of secondary characters that captured my attention, and their presence only added to the book because of the roles they played, no matter how big or small. I was inquisitive about most, quite skeptical of a few (I’m still side-eyeing Gwyneth), loved a few more (Pauline, so pure of heart and trusting and Berdi with her loving, yet fierce, nature), and just really wanted to hug one, Eben. I look forward to seeing how/if/when any of these characters change in future installments.

Michelle: There were many noteworthy characters that really supported Lia, the Assassin, and the Prince. I don’t think that this story could have been complete with the complexity of the secondary characters. Each one had their own purpose, and I enjoyed getting to know them.

Stacee:  Again, Christina and Michelle have pretty much said it all.  There is a great cast of secondary characters in KoD. All of them were fleshed out and completely there on the page, contributing to the story and progressing the plot along.  I’m really hoping we get to see some of them in the future books.

Writing:

Christina: I was easily enamored by this story, held captive in its spell of mystery and betrayal, one that had me charging through the pages in search of all the answers. Pearson’s words cocoon the reader, amassing gorgeous, mystifying landscapes and wondrous creatures, spinning elaborate tales of lore and magic, and creating characters and scenes you learn to love and love to hate. It’s hard not to get swept up in a good book, and Pearson makes it more than easy to lose yourself in her words.

Michelle: I just cannot get over the fact that I was kept guessing for a good portion of this book. With every chapter, I was kept in the dark about the voice that it belonged to. I constantly guessed and attempted, but failed, to scientifically search out clues. I couldn’t do it, but I wanted more. With this element of surprise, it made me hungry for the story. I needed to know. The pacing allowed me to get lost in this world that I became to love, and with characters that I adored. There’s a bit that I didn’t care for, but it’s towards personality quirks more than anything.

Stacee: As I said in the beginning, this was a bit of a slow burn.  Since I don’t have a lot of patience, usually this irritates me.  I want some sort of instant gratification to get me interested and keep me there.  Mary succeeds in providing that.  Not only was I captivated, I was constantly guessing what was going to happen next.  Every single page was amazing.

Plot:

Christina: Well played, Ms. Pearson. While I thought I was reading one story, you snuck in and ripped the lid right off, and I hadn’t even realized I was in a box. I made presumptions all along, and it wasn’t until I was on the edge that I was set back on the right path. Deceptive indeed. (Also, I agree with everything Michelle stated below. There’s no way I can say it any better, so I won’t even attempt it.)

Michelle: Everyone has a story, and there is something to be learned from every experience. Pearson made it clear that despite a person’s title, may it be Princess, Assassin, or Prince, we learn something different from the person itself. Pearson turned The Kiss of Deception into this enjoyable story set in a fantasy world, filling it with mystery. She added suspense, romance, and a coming-of-age element that I enjoyed. I wasn’t too thrilled about the possible love triangle, but I think the way Pearson wrote the things that she did, it wasn’t overdone. There was enough (hello, swoony mystery boys) that kept my interest, and this world that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Stacee:  Epic twist ending.  Enough said.  {Seriously.  I know I’ve mentioned it a few times, but it’s really that awesome.}

Rec it?:

Christina: Absolutely. I’m always a sucker for good characterizations (especially feisty heroines and swoony boys x2), mystery, a little historical-esque fantasy, and convincing romances, but combine all these elements into one book, and I’m 100% sold. Now, I’ll just have to sit over here twiddling my thumbs because The Heart of Betrayal and its 2015 release seem so ridiculously far away.

Michelle: There is something special about Pearson’s Kiss of Deception. So much thought was put into writing this story, and it should be shared with everyone who loves a good story. There is definitely a strong female character, and there are definitely two swoony boys fighting for your attention. The world-building is strong, with promise of more to come, and the words just flow off the page, ready for the taking. Loved. Everyone must read it!

Stacee:  Awesome MC? Check.  Two swoony boys? Double check.  Mindfuckery at it’s finest? Check.  A phenomenal ending that I didn’t see coming, but absolutely loved? Checkity check check check.  I will be pimping this book out hard.  If you haven’t read it yet, I can’t recommend it enough.  Do yourself a favor and pick it up asap.

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Huge thanks to Macmillan for the invite. And big smooshy hugs to Christina and Michelle for joining me.  Make sure you’re checking out Mary’s website, following her on Twitter and Tumblr and adding all of her books to your TBR shelf on Goodreads.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other stops on the tour for extra goodies.

Now.  Haven’t had a chance to pre-order a copy before it was released today? Macmillan is so graciously offering up one hardcover copy.  Book will be coming from Macmillan and is US/Canada only.  Additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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27 Responses to “The time I reviewed a book {8}”

  1. Sherry

    I can’t imagine being a princess so I’m going to go with a single barmaid. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

  2. This book sounds AWESOME. I have an ARC at home and plan to read it ASAP now that you’ve talked it up. Love the cover too! Also, two swoony boys? YES. Thanks for the fun post!!

  3. Stephanie T.

    I’d probably want to be a princess (hasn’t every girl some time in their life?) If I’m not okay with the prince, or if he’s just a complete oaf, I can just run away can’t I?

  4. Well if the arranged marriage was to someone like my boyfriend , I’d go with the being a Princess in the arranged marriage.. If not, and the person isn’t a good fit , i’d probably go with barmaid and wait for the perfect someone <3

  5. YvonneJ

    I think single and barmaid but it would really depend on the prince and what perks come with the princess gig. Neither sounds like an ideal choice but I’d want to work on the pros and cons list before committing either way.

    castle vs hovel
    horse drawn carriage vs walking or old nag
    beautiful gowns vs cast off rags

  6. Giaochau N.

    I would rather be a barmaid who is single because while the thought of being a princess sounds cool, you lose your choice in love.

  7. Christine

    Princess in an arranged marriage–I’d love to have the ability to do good in the world as a princess, and I would hope that my parents would arrange for me to marry someone good and kind, who I would love :)

  8. Chelsea B.

    I mean barmaid… freedom… not an arranged marriage… BUT PRINCESS! So, I mean, for all fictional intents and purposes: Princess :-)

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