My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance.
When we last saw the woman we know as Bellona, she had just discovered that Lander Gable, the man she had targeted as the instrument of her revenge against him and his entire family for the wrong done to her late mother, knew that she was not the woman she had portrayed herself to be. Assuming the worst, Bellona steels herself for the unmasking she has always feared, only to find herself even more tightly connected to this man who could be either her savior or the undoing of all she has worked for. As she is drawn more deeply into Landon’s world and the seedy underbelly of his family’s activities, Bellona starts to question everything that has brought her to this moment in time, even as her feelings for Landon grow stronger and more threatening to her well-being. And when the debts accrued from her recent past collide with her current precarious position, it’s not just Landon that she’s in danger of losing for good.
One of the things I enjoy the most about Kyra Davis’s writing is how she is able to ratchet up the suspense without letting it overwhelm the romance. I was worried for Bellona in every moment, but was always aware that Landon was the key to her happiness, even as her need for revenge sent her down a path that could only end in tragedy for them both. Both here and in her previous serial Just One Night, Kyra Davis has shown that one’s identity is more than just the name we choose, or the way we interact with others, and that a facade is no real protection for one’s heart. Bellona fears Landon because he knows her body so well even as he has no idea who she really is. Yet Landon is just as much of an enigma to her, and he’s made it clear that although he knows their relationship is a pretense on both sides, it’s worth it to him to continue the charade for as long as it will last. The real risk to them both beyond the physical danger is what will happen when the masks are stripped away.
This second part of Deceptive Innocence is full of twists and turns, leaving us with yet another a cliffhanger where it seems all is lost for Bellona. Only the third and final part will show how this can possibly end well, and I love not having any clue what that might be.
I wish we were the man and woman we pretend to be. I wish I didn’t have to destroy him.