I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Deception Island by Brynn Kelly
Published by HQN Books on May 31, 2016
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Source: TLC Book Tours
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A stolen boy
A haunted soldier
A cornered con woman…
Rafe Angelito thought he was done with the demons from his past—until his son is kidnapped. Blackmailed into abducting an American heiress, the legionnaire soon finds himself trapped in paradise with a fiery, daring beauty who's nothing he expects…and everything he desires. But when he uncovers her own dark secret, Rafe realizes he's made a critical mistake—one that could cost him everything.
Playing body double for a spoiled socialite was supposed to be Holly Ryan's ticket to freedom. But when she's snatched off her yacht by a tall, dark and dangerous stranger, the not-quite-reformed con artist will make a desperate play to turn her captor from enemy to ally, by any means necessary.
Yet as scorching days melt into sultry nights, Holly is drawn to the mysterious capitaine, with his unexpected sense of honor and his searing touch. When they're double-crossed, they'll have to risk trusting each other in ways they never imagined…because in this deadly game of deception, it's their lives—and hearts—on the line.
Deception Island is a book that had me glued to the pages as I followed the thrilling story of a kidnapper and his victim. All isn’t what it seems from the get go with these characters, and the tension is high from the start. This one was a page turner that I read in one day on a flight to Hawaii! While this story isn’t light and fluffy romance, it’s a thrilling, dark and intense, often dangerous glimpse at survival at all costs.
Holly Ryan is sailing around the world on an expensive yacht, documenting the experience she’s been paid to perform in place of a United States senator’s daughter. Posing as Laura Hyland while sailing in the more dangerous parts of the world while the real Laura lives a life of luxury outside of public view on another luxury yacht between public appearances, Holly is enjoying her newfound freedom and new lease on life post prison—until three pirates board the yacht with the intentions of kidnapping her to demand a three million dollar ransom from the senator. If only she can keep up the ruse that she’s the senator’s daughter, but for how long?
Rafe Angelito’s life hasn’t been an easy one, especially since he was orphaned and forced to join a militia at the tender age of nine. He’d thought that he had put that part of his life behind him—until his own son is held hostage while his former militia demands that he kidnap the American heiress and hold her on an isolated tropical island until the ransom money is paid. Rafe abruptly takes a leave of absence from his French Foreign Legion post to do this one thing—and things go wrong as soon as he steps foot on the yacht with his two cohorts who don’t make it out of there alive.
Both Holly and Rafe are so layered and complex. I really liked how it took quite a while to get to know all about them, and their lives and pasts were revealed throughout the different parts of the book. Both of them know that the other isn’t what they seem to be right off the bat, and as they try to figure each other out and survive, the romantic tension skyrockets. The will-they-won’t-they isn’t overly played out here, and I definitely enjoyed their relationship as it developed throughout the book.
I give Deception Island a five out of five. With gorgeous settings and descriptions, these complex characters really come to life on the page as they struggle to survive—all while finding their way around each other. The suspense, danger, adventure, and thrills are abundant in Deception Island while the pacing flows nicely. Covering topics of human trafficking, kidnapping, international pirating, and abuse, serious topics were integrated into the story without being heavy-handed or sticking out.
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About Brynn Kelly
It took award-winning journalist Brynn Kelly only two decades to realize that all those stranger-than-fiction news reports (pirates, mercenaries, murders, conspiracies…) provided the perfect training for a new career: as a writer of larger-than-life novels.
She’s delighted that HQN Books, a Harlequin/HarperCollins imprint, is publishing her Golden Heart-nominated debut novel because it gives her an excuse to spend her days in a bubble of delicious words and fiendish plots. Secretly, though, after all those years writing about the real world, she’s terrified someone will realize she’s making it all up.
Brynn has a degree in communications with a journalism major, and has won several prestigious writing awards, including the Valerie Parv Award and the Pacific Hearts Award. She’s the bestselling author of four non-fiction books in her native New Zealand, and the mother of two young boys. In her (guffaw) spare time, she murders Italian arias studies classical singing.
She is working on a follow-up novel to Deception Island, which will also be published by HQN.
Represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates.
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