This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Jennifer Rayes. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Intricate Deceptions by Jennifer Rayes
Genres: Crime, Mystery
Release Date: November 18, 2013
Publisher: Independently Published
Source: Author, Jennifer Rayes
Purchase at: Amazon
Waking up in a desolate cell, Gaia realizes that she has been kidnapped by a human trafficking organization, doomed to be sold to the highest bidder and unable to remember anything before her capture.
An opportune rescue by Raoul, the Prince of Kayamato, saves Gaia from a gruesome future, and she is thrown into a world of luxury and privilege. As she struggles to regain her memory, Gaia learns that her rescue was no accident and finds herself in even more danger, hunted by a powerful drug lord, targeted by a thrill seeking pirate, and betrayed by those she thought closest to her.
Fighting for sanity and survival, she works to unravel the truth behind her capture, each revelation more shocking than the last. The intricate web of deceptions spun around her family will shatter her world, leaving her unsure if she will ever trust again. Through it all, she must survive to save a friend before it’s too late…
What drew me to this story was that it involved human trafficking and that is a tough subject to tackle. Intricate Deceptions starts out with its main character Gaia waking up in a cell without any memory as to how she came to be there or where “there” even is. Gaia also quickly realizes that she is trapped and is not alone. Not only is she not alone in the cell, she can also hear that there are several others in the same situation as her. Gaia immediately feels for her cellmate, Emily, as she is just a child and she quickly feels protective of this little girl. While trapped in the cell Gaia tries to piece together what is going on and how she ended up there. I felt that this part was written realistically and it definitely gave me the freak out feeling.
The girls become separated when Emily is taken and Gaia is almost brutally raped just before she is saved by Prince Raoul. He heard her cries and was compelled to intervene. He is shocked to see her there as she is the Princess of Ica, although she has no memory of this fact. When divulging the information to Gaia he refers to her as the lost princess but she has not actually been “lost” for very long. In fact, no one really knows that she is gone because her family is trying to keep the public pandemonium to a minimum. It is with Raoul’s help that Gaia starts to piece together who she is, although she still does not know at this point why she was taken.
As she begins to regain her memory Gaia soon learns that everyone around her has their own agendas and that she is just a pawn. Even her own family, once a source of love and happiness, is not as innocent as they seem. Gaia’s search for the truth will expose many secrets and in some cases, lead to heartbreak. Through it all Gaia remembers that Emily was taken from her and that Gaia had promised to get her out of there and to safety. With deception, lies and ulterior motives swirling around her Gaia stays true to her promise and is committed to finding Emily and ending the human trafficking taking place in her kingdom.
I thought this story had some good “bones” about it. I liked the characters, the story was fast with plenty of twists and turns, and there was a “good will prevail” vibe. What I felt needed more was the world development. I was a bit confused as to whether or not this story was supposed to be taking place in current times or was this story supposed to be set in a fantasy world but very similar to ours? Gaia at one point comments to herself that “there was very few ‘royalty’ left in this world” but yet almost every character she interacted with was connected with royalty. There were several royal families in this story, so that to me is not a world with few royal families. I wish the world would have been clearly developed to where it was actually taking place.
There was also a matter of small continuity errors as I see them. Example: Gaia’s clothes are ripped off during the almost rape scene and Raoul decides to wrap her up in a blanket, next thing you know she is waking up in a palace but what is she wearing? I don’t know, there is no mention of her clothes. If I was almost raped and woke in a strange place I would for sure be checking to see if I was clothed properly. Then I would be wondering how those clothes got on my body, who dressed me? Now if her clothes had not been mentioned in the previous scene I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it but they were introduced and when she woke up in the bed I was thinking to myself – Is she naked? In pajamas? What did she wear to breakfast? It was just little details that were introduced but not carried through that broke the realism for me and made the flow not as smooth as it could have been.
There is also the matter of the ending to the story. The ending was abrupt. It was not what I would consider a cliffhanger. It was mid-action of a rather terrible scene and it just ends. I can assume that I know why the scene took place and what the end will look like but that is all I have, my own conjecture. With everything said, I did like the storyline itself. It was very creative and there was a nice mystery element to it. I absolutely enjoyed how Gaia handled the human trafficking trade taking place in her kingdom. This was a fast read with plenty of twists and turns set in a world filled with deceit and manipulation, it kept me holding on until the end.
*Thank you to Jennifer Rayes for this complimentary copy of Intricate Deceptions*