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Deception Kindle Edition

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Length: 386 pages

Fortune Smiles
2015 National Book Awards - Fiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for fiction, "Fortune Smiles" by Adam Johnson. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners

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About the Author

Kris Kennedy is the author of The Conqueror, The Irish Warrior, and Defiant. She lives in Washington State with her family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Five years later, June 1294
Last Fells, England

So it had come to this, after all.

Sophia Darnly had known it would, eventually. It was as inevitable as spring flooding and salted meat in winter. She was tipping over into corruption and vice like a pitcher off the table.

It had only been a matter of time.

There was no shame in making a mistake. There was not even shame in committing the same manner of error a second time, by virtue of being “precipitous” or more inaccurately, “foolish”—they never named it “bold” or “ambitious,” for she was a woman, and therefore occupied the same mental construct as all confusing, vaguely frightening notions, such as shipwrecks and comets in the sky and how one stocking always ended up missing in the wash.

No, none of these were the problem.

It was when one found oneself hurrying through the cobbled streets of the rich port town of Last Fells, en route to break into the offices of one of the most venerated money-changers of all of England, to steal—retrieve, she reminded herself firmly—a ledger that could mean the demise of many a powerful man, and perhaps of her, it was then one began to suspect one was entirely cut out for a life of crime.

It was a sobering realization.

Additionally, as Sophia had been explicitly warned off, and as she was determined this matter would not cause any (more) deaths, that left trickery.

Fortunately, Sophia was very good at trickery.

Or had been.

She was diminished this far, then, to make use of corruption straight on.

It had only been a matter of time.

Your name is unfamiliar but the matters to which you allude are, unfortunately and unwisely, not, Tomas the moneychanger’s terse missive had informed her. I shall ignore the latter and address the former: my business is entirely by referral, Dame Silk, the only ones who make it through my doors are the ones who can make it through. Unless you are utterly unlike the tree from which you fell, and therefore full of surprises, it is difficult to imagine how that ever would occur, it went on in blatant challenge. My world is a dangerous one, and does not deal kindly with conspiracies. Return to your widowhood and your silk trade. Do not contact me again.

Or perhaps it had not been a challenge, she reflected.

Never mind. She was here now.

But when neighbors informed you men had shown up at your door whilst you were away, bearing weapons and asking questions, questions that oughtn’t be asked, you knew the time had come. When you found your silk warehouse burned to the ground, a threatening note nailed to the tree nearby, demanding the ledger or you would suffer the destruction of your livelihood, a note read through the ashen clouds of smoke still wafting off the warehouse, well, then you knew the time had come to arm yourself.

Thus, the ledger.

A sensible woman would face the truth. A practical woman might even see the benefits. Accept it as a way out from under the drawn-back trebuchet of her unwanted past. Simply give them the ledger.

Sophia had seen herself as all of these things. Sensible, reasonable, practical. Above all, law-abiding. She’d aimed at these things the way one aims an arrow.

Unfortunately, she was also angry.

The thought of her trade and livelihood being subsumed so completely, so swiftly, was terrifying. The realization that her will and efforts could be so cheaply commandeered was maddening.

These men who took, these men who plundered, these raptors in their finery, brigands in their brocades, they were worse than a pestilence. These men like her father.

She could be harvested like wheat, or she could pose some sort of defense.

Thus, the ledger.

They really shouldn’t have pushed her so far.

Furthermore, two hardly counted as a conspiracy, she thought irritably. Tomas Moneychanger, of all men, should know that.

It took a minimum of three.

She gave her tunic another tug down and looked down the street. Time to make Tomas Moneychanger understand she was not a woman to be trifled with, nor ignored, nor set aside like a wooden spoon when the stirring was done.

He ought to have just agreed to meet with her the first three times she wrote.

One could almost say it was his fault it had come to this.

She stepped onto the bridge where his shop was located, and as soon as the guard at its door came into view, she affected a noteworthy—nay, pathetic—limp.

When she was close enough, she stumbled directly into the guard, then pushed a stray lock of hair out of her eyes, and aimed a small, pained, apologetic smile up at him.

He stared a moment, blinking, then he slowly smiled back.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3522 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (July 31, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 31, 2012
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061O0XCO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kris writes sexy, adventure romances set in England and Ireland, during the ages when chivalry and knights reigned supreme.

With hard alpha heroes, strong, determined heroines, searing passion, and loads of adventure, her books have won multiple awards, including DECEPTION, which was received Romantic Times' Book Reviewers Choice K.I.S.S. Award, for the best historical hero of the year, and THE IRISH WARRIOR, which won Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award.

Her upcoming story is included in the anthology CAPTURED BY A CELTIC WARRIOR and will be released February 2016.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisarenee Seduced by a Book on August 11, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My Synopsis:
Sophia Darnly's world was tumbling down around her. She'd tried to escape her past, but the past has a habit of coming back to bite you. Her father, once a respected Judge, had been found to be corrupt and had been executed for his crimes. Sophia had gone into hiding and had married. Her husband, however, had died a year ago and now someone was coming after her, or more specifically, after her father's ledger. A ledger reputed to contain a detailed account of the corrupt dealings that transpired between her father and those rich and powerful men who had bribed him.

Even though almost four years had passed since his death, there is still pertinent information documented in the ledger which could be used as a potential weapon. Someone wants that information and has burnt down Sophia's silk factory to make a point that they meant business. If she doesn't hand over the ledger she'll forfeit her life. So after several attempts to retrieve the ledger from Tomas Moneychanger, a ledger which was rightfully hers, she finally decided to resort to stealing it. That's where she unexpectedly ran into someone from her past. Someone who five years ago left without a goodbye and had broken her heart.

Kieran (aka Kier) was also looking for the ledger. It was part of his plan to exact vengeance on the man who had once wronged him in the worst way. Kier had set up an elaborate scheme which featured a mysteriously absent benefactress who owned a shipping company named Mistral Company. It transported luxury goods and was looking for clients and financial backing. The story was that Kier was Lady Mistral's factor (broker) and confidant. He planned to destroy the man who had once tried to destroy him. He knew him well enough to know how he worked, for he had once worked beside him.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chels on February 15, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Right off the bat I knew that I was going to enjoy this novel; just look at/read the covers! Sophia is being chased by seriously bad men that want information about the location of her corrupt father’s business ledger. Someone else is after the ledger, too. Sophia and Kier, the lover who left Sophia five years ago, break into the office where the ledger is being kept simultaneously and reach an agreement to work together. Kier wants the ledger for different reasons than Sophia; he needs revenge on the men because they tried to kill him. He lives with constant reminders of their acts of violence and will not rest until they are dead. The harder the two try to stay away from each other, the closer they become. The romance in this novel is fantastic. It moves the plot smoothly, flowing with the events and the scenes that take place. I was never bored while reading Deception and think anyone who likes romance could enjoy this novel.

Kris Kennedy’s Deception has all the traits of a good book. Plot, action, and romance all wrapped up in one little novel that makes an excellent rainy or snowy day read. I give this novel five out of five stars.

*Received a copy for review, this in no way affects my review*
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For the life of me I can not understand why Kris Kennedy isn't more popular. I guess it could be due to the medieval genre not being popular right now, but boy howdy are people missing out. I love love her books,(The Irish Warrior my favorite and reviewed here: [...] her writing style kind of reminds me of Teresa Medeiros. Anyway, per the usual with her, this book was great.

As much as I love reading her books, I hate reviewing them because her plots are so intricate, complex, and a thing of beauty that I'm left flummoxed trying to create an articulate summary.
This particular story involves Kier, a man who worked with Sophia's father for a corrupt group of merchants and Lords, who Sophia loved. Sophia has been in hiding due to a ledger that details these corrupt merchant and lord doings and everyone thinks is in her possession. Sophia and Kier have not seen each other for five years. Everyone wants the ledger and Kier wants vengeance for what was done to him five years ago. This story is a swirling vortex of betrayal, lies, and underhanded deceit.

Kier and Sophia meet up after the five years and what follows is labyrinthine plan developed by Kier to exact revenge on individuals who did him wrong. Sophia's added presence alternately helps and hinders as her life and well-being are wrapped up in this crazy cat and mouse game with the ultimate stakes not only concerning Kier and Sophia but England's very future.

I also feel it very important to note that not only does the action suspense stakes keep rising as the story goes on but also the sexual tension and bedroom scenes. Hot damn did I have to fan myself a couple times. Their sexytime was heavy on the sexy.
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4.5 Stars. This is going on my Best-of-2012 list, and no one could be more surprised than me! I didn't make it very far into Kris Kennedy's first novel, The Irish Warrior, and I was hesitant when this one showed up unsolicited for review. But I'm happy to say that Ms. Kennedy has come a long way in three novels, and I was really impressed with Deception.

England, 1294. After five years spent living a quiet life in hiding as a minor silk merchant in a minor town, Sophia Darnly's on the run for her life. Her father's nefarious past has found her, and the man he betrayed will stop at nothing to get his hands on the fabled Darnly ledger. Sophia doesn't have the ledger, but she knows who does, and when she breaks into Tomas the Moneychanger's office in the middle of the night to retrieve it, she's not terribly surprised to discover she's not the only one there to steal it, but the other thief's identity shocks her.

Kier. The man to whom she gave herself--body, heart, and soul--and who walked out of her life five years ago and never looked back. Tall, dark, and sexy Kier, looking as good as he always did and still making Sophia's heart flutter, much to her dismay. What she doesn't know is that Kier has spent the past five years coming back from the dead, and planning his revenge on the men who tried to kill him, and those men just happen to be the same men after Sophia and her ledger.

After a little bit of cat and mouse and a whole lot of sexual tension, the former lovers agree to work together to bring down the powerful ring of corrupt merchants who wronged them both, and who are continuing to wrong their King on the eve of war.
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