England’s 13th-century silk trade is no place for a woman – or is it? Sophia Darnly’s father, merchant and royal judge, was dealt a traitor’s death for corruption. However, he preserved his nefarious dealings with England’s wealthiest high-born men in a private ledger. Some are determined to keep their dishonesty hidden and are now threatening Sophia. Give us the ledger and return to your silk trade; keep it, and we will destroy you.
Sophia’s best defense is contained in that ledger, but when she steals it from her father’s agent, more unfinished business returns. At first, she is dismayed to see Kieran, a handsome Irish rogue who was her father’s conspirator and also Sophia’s lover five years before. When her father fell, Kieran abandoned her. However, Sophia needs weapons to preserve both her life and her business. Smuggling and bribery contained in her father’s records can be turned against the men who committed those acts. Kieran is her keenest weapon by far, and as they work together to uncover a plot which threatens the kingdom, their passion is rekindled.
Kris Kennedy’s romance novel, Deception, is an intricate tale, so it takes a while for Sophia and Kieran’s pasts to fall into place. Kennedy does a fine job of bringing her characters and scenery to vivid life, and both Sophia and Kieran cross and double-cross with delicious ease. Kieran is more than her match for most of the book, so I was surprised by a rather tepid happily-ever-after conclusion between that hot-blooded pair. Nevertheless, I recommended Deception for those who love tales of romance and intrigue.