A KISS OF LIES
by Bronwen Evans
On Sale: January 14, 2014
Pages: 320 | ISBN: 978-0-345-54728-6
Published by : Loveswept/Random House
Disclosure: Book provided by author or publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
In Bronwen Evans’s Loveswept debut, a pair of damaged souls ignite each other’s deepest passions—even as they tempt fate by deceiving the world.
Desperate to escape her abusive past, Sarah Cooper disguises herself as a governess in the employ of Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, the man who, long ago, she fantasized about marrying. Despite the battle scars that mar his face, Sarah finds being near Christian rekindles her infatuation. A governess, however, has no business in the arms of an earl, and as she accompanies Christian on his voyage home, Sarah must resist her intense desires—or risk revealing her dangerous secrets.
One of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian Trent once enjoyed the company of any woman he chose. But that was before the horrors of Waterloo, his wrongful conviction of a hideous crime, and his forcible removal from England. Far from home and the resources he once had, Christian believes the life he knew—and any chance of happiness—is over . . . until his ward’s governess sparks his heart back to life, and makes him remember the man he used to be. Now Christian is determined to return to England, regain his honor, and win the heart of the woman he has come to love. Loveswept/Random House
I tore through KISS OF LIES; I had to know what would happen next in this complicated and suspenseful plot. But, even with a compelling story, I felt the writing in this book was uneven. Sometimes it was fine, but I found my self snorting through several of the love scenes. I also thought there was a little too much “telling.
What I did like is the way the heroine, Sarah, falls for the hero, Christian despite his scars — it’s touching and noble without being condescending. She falls for him because of his character, and the beauty he still possesses despite his tragic burns. She isn’t ignoring them, but she doesn’t think he’s less because of them. That’s a lovely sentiment.
At the beginning she says that beauty is fleeting and intelligence is more important, but the character goes on to walk the walk as she falls in love with the hero. We live in a culture where we say that inner beauty is what counts but then we glorify appearance. But a pretty or handsome face opens doors and I see “pretty” women with “handsome” men, or rich ones. It seems the way of the world.
Do you think love is truly blind or does it overcome certain types of atypical appearance?
I had to remember that the character of Christian feels he has a violent streak, and he certainly has a tendency to act irrationally and out of proportion to the offense. Without this understanding, his reactions did seem out of proportion. But, it is helpful to remember that the character is drawn with a temper he worries about.
He also has some very good friends who stick by each other and are all in a pickle — that’s what ties the series together. And they will need to stick together to overcome the threat in the rest of the series.
This gets a “cautious recommend” for nobility of sentiment and complex plotting.