When I think of a Medieval romance, I think of Knights and Damsels in distress. Usually, there is a bit of chivalry and a dragon – real or metaphorical – to slay. In that sense, Deception really didn’t seem to be a typical Medieval romance to me as it had none of those things in it.
Kieran is a member of what seemed to be the Medieval equivalent of the mob – they are the commenda. They control business interests and the justice system. At one time, Judge Darnley worked closely with Kieran until he did the unthinkable. He fell in love with Darnley’s daughter, Sophia, and asked to marry her. For daring to rise above his station, the commenda tried to kill Kier by burning him alive.
Years later, Darnley has been executed for his activities and Kier is determined to get revenge on the commenda, specifically, Cosimo the leader. The key to his revenge is a shipping company which he is trying to get the commenda to invest in. With Sophia as his front, Kier begins to work his revenge. But the cost may be higher than he thought. Back together, Sophia and Kier pick up where they left off. The attraction cannot be ignored and the two have to decide where they will go from here even after their plot is completed. But until then, Kier will protect her with his life.
These are only parts of the very complex plot of this book. It is hard to really summarize all the ins and outs. It is a very intelligent story and plot, yet the execution of it often left me confused and lost as all the characters moved through the story. There were a lot of people involved and the story line reminded me more of a mystery than a romance. While that would have been fine, the problem was that the romance was still there and it didn’t connect well with the plot. Sophia and Kier were either plotting and strategizing or they were having sex – there was very little in between for them or for the story.
I liked the backstory of Kier and Sophia. Five years ago, Sophia thought Kier had left her without so much as a good bye. Once the truth is out, neither character held any animosity towards the other. This kept the pace of the story going and avoided a back track over territory already covered. The biggest complaint I had was that Kier must have asked, begged, ordered, cajoled, etc., Sophia to stay behind at various points in the story. Yet she never once listened. Instead, she went head first against his wishes and the results were usually positive. To me this took any and all credibility away from Kier and it caused me to be annoyed by Sophia. The repetition of this became quite tiresome.
I wouldn’t say that I loved it as it never grabbed me to the point that I didn’t want to put it down, but that was probably because I was expecting a more typical Medieval story. Deception has a complex and engaging plot. The characters are well developed and the story has potential. Though I didn’t enjoy it, I could clearly see the skill and talent of the author. If you are looking for a romance with an intelligent and complex plot, this may be an excellent choice.