Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Born of Deception (Born of Illusion #2) by Teri Brown

Release date: June 10, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.
After finishing and so enjoying Born of Illusion, I was desperately eager to dive into Born of Deception, chomping at the bit to see what happens to Anna and Cole when they head into London. And I was not disappointed! There's just something about these books--maybe it's the writing, maybe it's the characters, maybe it's the setting or subject (or all of the above!)--that just grabs me and makes me love them, despite any problems I might have.

Just as in the first book, the world of Jazz Age London is brought to life so vividly and delightfully that it's just fun seeing where Anna goes all day, who she meets, what she wears. But we're also treated to an even more developed world of the supernatural in Anna's day. In heading to London, Anna meets everyone else in the Society, a cast of Sensitives that ranges vastly in talents and personalities. In addition to the other Sensitives, there's a variety of characters in the tour with Anna, most intriguingly a very handsome American cowboy and a world-famous singer. These characters only serve to enrich and diversify the story.

Of course, there's a new mystery in coming to London. Someone is attacking--and even killing--Sensitives, and it looks like they're after Anna. And while I found the mystery rather predictable (I called who the bad guy was very soon), that didn't change that it was fun following Cole and Anna as they tried to decipher the clues and stop the killing. While there's thread of connection to the first book's, the baddie in this is quite different, and much scarier.

The only thing I found frustrating was that the love triangle addition here was unnecessary. I mean, I understood the appeal of the guy, but it would have been simple to make him a friend, wholly and completely. Anna and Cole flip flop from love to jealousy constantly, and all I wanted was for them to be happy, just for a little while, and just to talk to one another. They're so cute and perfect, why couldn't I just be given a little time to love them?

Born of Deception is a sequel that I found to be just as much fun as the first. While the romantic storyline was frustrating, it could never overshadow the fabulous writing, interesting and varied characters, fascinating subject, and seriously fun time period. Born of Illusion and Born of Deception are definitely among my favorite reads of the year.

About the author:

Well behaved women rarely make history. Teri Brown lived that quote way before she ever even heard it. The two things she is most proud of, (besides her children), is that she jumped out of an airplane once and she beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. She is a novel writer, head banger, pet keeper, math hater, cocktail drinker, booty shaker, book reader, city slicker, food fixer, French kisser, rule breaker, wine sipper and word scribbler. She loves her husband, kitties and chocolate.

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