When I first encountered Mary Pearson's fantasy-adventure novel The Kiss of Deception (A YALSA Teen Top Ten Nominee for 2015), I wasn't sure about it. My uncertainty stemmed from the fact that the main character is named Princess Lia, which made me think of cinnamon bun-like hairstyles, metal bikinis, almost crushes between siblings (before discovering they're your sibling and switching your affections to your siblings overly arrogant best friend), and, of course, iconic intergalactic adventures. I wasn't sure I could get past that unfortunate naming coincidence and enjoy Pearson's story. I'm just saying...
I was wrong. So very, very wrong.
The Kiss of Deception was awesome! And I should have expected nothing less from the author who penned The Adoration of Jenna Foxx (which you should definitely read if you get the chance). Apologies, Ms. Pearson. You fully rock and I never should have doubted your writing prowess!
THIS Princess Lia isn't one of those helpless female characters who waits for a guy to rescue her. No way! Rather, she saves herself. On the day of her marriage, which her parents arranged to secure a political alliance with a neighboring kingdom, Lia runs away from her home, her title, and all the outdated traditions and obligations that have chained her down all her life. Settling in a seaside village with her lady-in-waiting, Pauline, Lia makes a new life for herself and revels in her newfound anonymity. It isn't long before two mysterious and handsome strangers enter her life: One is the prince she would have married. The other is an assassin, sent to stop the wedding (and thus the alliance) from happening. What follows is a fast-pased tale of drama, intrigue, aventure, and, of course, romance! Who could resist?
To vote for The Kiss of Deception, visit YALSA's website. Voting begins August 16 and runs through October 24. --AJB