The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson is by far the worst book I have ever been unfortunate enough to read. Half the pages in the book could go missing, and it would still make sense. The characters are poorly characterized, illogical and sappy. The plot is hardly a plot at all, because nothing happens throughout half the book.
It starts off with the arranged marriage cliche, which can be brilliant if written right. This is no such book. The princess doesn’t want to marry a man whom she had never met before. So, at the possible cost of her country’s peace, she runs away with her servant.
Despite being a princess raised pampered and ignorant of the world, Lia is super smart when it comes to everything the world can offer. She has no experience on life outside the castle, yet knows how to cover her tracks from her fiance and bounty hunters. Half this book is spent with Lia posing as a waitress, and she ogles doing laundry, serving customers and being a waitress near the ocean. She’s a princess, so of course, doing laundry would be an amazing experience for her. But I did not enjoy reading paragraph after paragraph of the main protagonist monologuing about her laundry skills.
Then the love triangle arises, not the plot. The plot is still missing. There’s an assassin who can’t do his job because Lia is so amazing and beautiful that the assassin can’t assassinate her. There’s also Lia’s fiance, who, much like the assassin, finds her irresistible.
Coincidently, the assassin and the prince, within two chapters, travel across the country, join forces despite knowing nothing of the other, and are unknowingly after the same woman. That’s a pretty big coincidence.
This is a high fantasy tale, and there is no fantasy. The magic is missing, the world is bland, and most of this book stars a princess working as a waitress with two boys idolizing her.
Then there’s the dialogue. There was an entire conversation about kissing. Of how special the first kiss is, what it would be like to kiss and whatever else you can come up with about kissing. But throughout this conversation, nothing happens.
The Kiss of Deception is true to its name, and I recommend it to no one. I give it one out of five stars for boring characters, a bland world, lack of plot and the lie that this book is a fantasy.