The Kiss of Deception: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonLia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, is seventeen years old. She is Morrighan’s princess and a key part of her father’s plans to forge an alliance with the neighboring kingdom of Dalbrek. The only problem is that Lia has no intention of marrying to further her kingdom’s political standing–certainly not to a prince she has never met.

When Lia flees on her wedding day she sets a series of disastrous events in motion that leave chaos and danger in her wake.

Her hopes to start a new life as a commoner alongside her faithful maid, Pauline, are threatened when two handsome strangers arrive at her new home. One is the prince Lia refused to marry, the other is an assassin sent to kill her.

Surrounded by secrets and lies, Lia’s entire world could unravel when the truth is revealed in The Kiss of Deception (2014) by Mary E. Pearson.

Find it on Bookshop.

The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles which continues with The Heart of Betrayal and The Beauty of Darkness.

The Kiss of Deception is a thoughtful blend of fantasy and suspense layered across a dystopian world. Tantalizing hints throughout the novel suggest that Morrighan shares a common past with the modern world, but no concrete answers are given leaving  readers to draw their own conclusions.

Lia is an interesting heroine and narrates most of the novel. She is often naive and reckless but she is also kind and selfless. What originally appears as thoughtless privilege soon morphs into a strong moral compass and royal demeanor. Lia’s growth throughout the novel is empowering and well handled but her character remains the most developed for most of the novel.

By all rights, The Kiss of Deception should be a fast-paced adventure beginning with Lia’s flight on her wedding day. Lia’s narrative is even interspersed with chapters from the Prince and the Assassin lending another level of mystery to the story. Unfortunately, these pieces take a bit too long to come together which makes the first half of the novel drag. Uneven pacing and predictable plot twists further weaken the story.

The Kiss of Deception introduces a rich world and a large cast of characters. Readers willing to forgive unanswered questions about world building and readers who don’t mind characters who withhold key information will get the most out of this novel. Recommended for readers looking for a new high fantasy with a lot of romance, strong female characters, and meandering action.

Possible Pairings: The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty, Romanov by Nadine Brandes, Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, The Reader by Traci Chee, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Skyhunter by Marie Lu, The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen, Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, And I Darken by Kiersten White, Blood Red Road by Moira Young

The Miles Between: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

The Miles Between by Mary E. PearsonOctober 19 is not going to be a good day.

For some people this would be an educated guess. For Destiny Faraday it is a bleak statement of fact. It is also part of why she tries so hard to never get attached. To anything or anyone.

October 19 has never been a good day for Des, which is why she crumples the day’s calendar page before the day has even started.

What was supposed to be a throw away day suddenly turns into something else. Thanks to an encounter with an odd stranger and the sudden appearance of a car, Destiny and three of her classmates start a road trip searching for one fair day–a day where the good guy wins and everything adds up to something just right. Which might be what will change everything in The Miles Between (2009) by Mary E. Pearson.

Find it on Bookshop.

Destiny is a broken, lonely character at the start of The Miles Between. Part road trip, part coming of age, this is the story of Des’ one fair day but also her own, literal and figurative, journey to healing. Pearson maintains a sense of wonder throughout this story to temper Destiny’s harsh reality and elevates what could have been a merely maudlin story to a charming, magically complex one filled with surprises where everything really does add up.

Destiny and her wacky classmates (Destiny does not waste time making friends) are lovable and utterly tangible as characters. So much so, in fact, that I hate the cover because it does not accurately capture any of the characters as I conjured them in my mind. So I am going to be a snob and post the cover from my advanced reading copy which I much prefer. Oh fine, the original cover can be found directly beneath the superior ARC version.

Possible Pairings: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, Stealing Henry by Carolyn MacCullough, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee, Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altedbrando
Sound good? Find it on Amazon: The Miles Between