Early Cuddles: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Cuddles: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Published by Henry Holt & Co. on July 15, 2014
Format: ARC
Genres: High Fantasy
Pages: 492
Source: Publisher
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In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Reasons to read:

1. You will feel all the emotions

The beginning of the book was pleasantly surprising. The plot went in an unexpected direction (at least, I found it unexpected) and set The Kiss of Deception apart from other books of the same ilk (are people still saying ilk?). By the middle of the book, I was seething; furious to the nth degree. I missed a big plot twist and I can’t tell if I was just absurdly oblivious or if Mary Pearson is the cleverest of all the clever writers. I’ll give her the credit, for now. The twist enraged me to the point where I had step outside the world for awhile and remind myself that I wasn’t actually the MC, Lia. Then the last third of the book…basically made me cry. So, like I said, ALL the emotions. I think the last time a book did this to me was Katy McGarry’s Pushing the Limits. And now those reactions seem mild compared to my extremely visceral reactions to Kiss of Deception.

2. Amazing MC is AMAZING

Lia is the coolest MC to grace the high fantasy scene — and this is coming from a lover of high fantasy MCs (renegade princesses, knights, assassins, and thieves are obviously the coolest of the cool). She’s the most down-to-earth, strongest, bravest, likable-est, powerful, awe-inspiring runaway princess to ever exist. She’s an A+ best friend, honest worker, and timid flirt. Her overreactions occasionally led me to believe we’re the same person. Maybe that’s why I love her so much — or maybe everyone will find a trait of hers to relate to. Because (and I think I mentioned this before) she’s amazing.

3. The romance

My stomach did flips. My heart stopped. My chest warmed. These two are perfect for each other. I’ve never wanted anything to happen more than this relationship. Ugh just thinking about it makes me want to read it all over again. And alternating POVs make the romance all the steamier. And lovelier.

4. The setting

Solid, solid world-building. Terravin is exactly as Lia describes it: not your typical idea of paradise, but a certain kind of paradise all its own. The second half of the book explores more of Lia’s world and the descriptions are just amazing. I could feel the hot sun on my face and see the vibrant colors of the nomads. Reading this book is truly an engaging experience. It will captivate your senses and wrap you in such a close embrace.

5. The ending

The ending was complete agonizing torture…but it left me with a glimmer of hope. If Pearson hadn’t offered even that glimmer, I might’ve thrown the book clear across the room. Now all that’s left to do is pray I fall asleep and wake up in next year with the sequel in my hands.


Reasons to pass:

1. Love triangle

I know, at this point, most people hate love triangles. If you’re vehemently opposed, I’d skip this book. If you just feel kind of meh about them, then I might give this book a try. It’s hard to tell if the relationships here are actually going to grow into a full blown love triangle. Right now, there’s only sort of a love triangle. As in, one character’s feelings are not reciprocated. I feel like that’s not going to change — but I’m not 100% sure.

2. The L-word

The L-word is dropped, though not in dialogue. Do I think it was too soon? Yes. Does it ruin the book? Not by a long shot. In fact, it’s pretty easy to overlook. But it is, unfortunately, there.

3. The plot twist

It’s not really a bad thing, and some/most people might see it coming, but it did make me very angry. I mean, I eventually got over it…but if you don’t like a book flipping everything you assume to be true halfway through, then this might bother you.


In summary:

I would marry this book, if I could. This is the kind of book that I’ll buy two hardcover-copies of. That way, if I lend a copy out to a dear friend (and only a dear friend), then I’ll still have a copy by my side at all times. That’s how strongly I feel. Waiting for the sequel will be the truest test of patience I shall ever undergo. Wish me luck.



Kiona is an aspiring writer and graphic designer with a penchant for smooth, creamy espresso and all things pink. She has a hate-hate relationship with her kitten, Franklin, and is sometimes perceived as "too snarky" during job interviews. Whatever that means.
RT @heytaralynn: i'm ridiculously excited about the idea of @kionalynn designing animated infographics for @buildium http://t.co/ojAzlXzlHM… - 57 mins ago

12 Responses to “Early Cuddles: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson”

  1. Great review! I plan on reading THE DECEPTION PRINCESS this weekend. And you’ve prepared me for what I might find within it’s pages. But from what you said in your review, I’m sure I’m going to love it!

    I’m glad you loved it, even though the plot twist made you furious. But then again, it shows that the book did something right to stir up all those feelings! :) I can’t wait to see what epic story lies within these pages!

  2. I’m with you! I loved this one too. I actually wanted to reread it immediately after finishing it. Love it so much.
    Kristen@My FRiends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of After the End by Amy PlumMy Profile

  3. I am excited to read this! I am so glad there is awesome world-building! I am really sad about the insta-love and the L word, but at least it didn’t make you hate the book!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
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  4. I really love fantasy when it’s done right and this sounds like a perfect example! Just the romance and main character alone is enough to get me pumped about the release of this book :)
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Random Talk Time (9): Romance Pet PeevesMy Profile

  5. After reading this, I went to preorder…and found I had already done so in March! Now I’m really looking forward to it. It sounds awesome.

  6. I can’t wait to start this book!
    bookaddictbieke recently posted…Bookish Babble: How and why I started reading & new on the blog!My Profile

  7. I am okay with plot twists and L-words and such as long as there are feels and an awesome character! I AM SO GLAD THIS IS ON MY MAY TBR! Is what I am saying here :-D
    April Books & Wine recently posted…How To Catch A Bogle by Catherine Jinks | Audiobook ReviewMy Profile

  8. Hmmm, I was intrigued by this one, but the love triangle possibilites made me decide to pass on requesting it, and I think I will stand with that choice, at least for now!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: The Liberator by Victoria Scott!!My Profile

  9. Great review! I’m convinced to get a copy! I can accept insta-love if the plot is written well. :)
    Michelle recently posted…{Review} Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. ArmentroutMy Profile

  10. Sandy

    Thank-you for the review! I love an excellent plot twists and those are pretty hard to find so the plot twist you mention would be a reason for me to pick up this book. Actually I think it’s the main reason I want to pick up this book now even though there is a love triangle, I can overlook that. I can overlook the L word being dropped so soon too, I remember my days of youth when I dropped the L word and H word so easily.

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  12. […] We are huge fans of this book and are quite pleased to welcome Mary here today to talk about writing a sneaky twist (Meg’s working title: How To Trick Your Readers In The Sneakiest Of The Sneaky Fashions). […]

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