Indies on Parajunkee: The Deception Dance by Rita Stradling

PJV Quickie: The Deception Dance is a book that just wouldn’t let me go. Every twist, every turn, every line had me hooked. It was filled with suspense, action, love, betrayal and lots and lots of tension. I am in love with this book and its characters.

Title: The Deception Dance
Author: Rita Stradling
Genre: YA/PNR with a dash of Thriller thrown in.
Source: Author provided review copy
Published: Dec. 2012

After a year of preparation, eighteen year old Raven Smith has researched and planned out every detail of her summer vacation in Europe; those plans DO NOT include boys, romance, or falling in love (definitely not the last one). But, even before the plane touches-down her well-laid plans go dreadfully off-course.

Almost as soon as Raven steps foot onto Rome’s streets, dark, seductive Andras starts showing up at nearly every site Raven visits; Raven finds herself drawn to Andras in a way she’s never been drawn to anyone, while at the same time… well, he terrifies her.

Then in comes Nicholas, an impossible-not-to-like Swedish guy, who is determined to keep Raven away from Andras…

The two guys share a dark secret. Both are determined that Raven never learns the truth. Who can she trust?

If Raven frees herself from the deception twined around her… the most horrifying secret she could uncover, might be her own… her past… who she really is…and how the forces of Hell plan to use her to destroy the future…

Lori’s Thoughts:
The opening of this book is one of the best openings I have read in a very long time. It immediately sets the tone of this book as something that is dark, creepy and otherworldly.
Raven and her sister Linnie are out to meet their homeless friend Andrew. They have to pass through a graveyard. A place they are forbidden to go from their father. But Andrew and his startling green eyes and affinity with crows is a draw that Raven just can’t resist. The graveyard spooks Linnie but not Raven.

I don’t agree. The morning fog makes the graveyard beautiful, soft and sad as a voice humming a lullaby, but I don’t tell her what I think. She’d call me a weirdo.

In the graveyard Raven is attacked by a crazed man and Andrew saves her, then he disappears from her life. She never forgets his eyes or his crows. Fast forward and Raven is eighteen, about to embark on a three month long eurotrip with her sister. Only the trip is crashed by Linnie’s selfish, self centered rich best friend/roommate, Chauncy. Raven barely tolerates her presence until something happens and then she just wants Chauncy gone. The night that Chauncy destroys Raven’s trust in her is the same night that Raven encounters Andras, a darkly beautiful man with beautiful green eyes and an affinity with crows. Instantly comfortable with him Raven risks everything to continue to see him, even her buddying relationship with the handsome Nicholas Tapper. What happens next is a steamy, twisty, and gripping story that is just simply epically awesome.

Where to even start to tell you how much I love this book. My job has a no electronic devices policy, like most jobs. As a matter fact in the past we have had a person fired for reading their kindle on the job. Knowing, this I was still tempted to bring my kindle to work just so I could read this book. Somehow I managed to resist the siren’s call that is the Deception Dance.
Did ya’all read PJ’s BB101 post on how to write a good review? One of the things was to take notes, highlight quotes etc. Well, I somehow managed to highlight a total of three quotes from this whole and entire book. And looking back at them they seem random, like I suddenly came down from book bliss and thought….”hmmm, this is a review book, I should be taking more detailed notes” and highlighted whatever I was reading at the time.

I have to tell you, this book is just so good. It’s dark, it has aspects of a thriller and a tad of a horror element to it. It’s got sexual tension brimming all throughout the pages, but it never crosses the YA line into New Adult. Doesn’t mean that it’s not hot. Nicholas, Andras, and Nicholas’s brother, Stephen all battle for leading man status in this book. They are ALL wonderfully charming in their own ways. Personally, Stephen with his brutal honesty and humor is the leader. At least to me. That was another great aspect of the writing. It’s funny. Like I literally laughed out loud at points. Confession time: I have a dark sense of humor so what I find funny might not be so to others. However, I think that Raven and her brand of sass, and sarcasm is something that I think most people will enjoy. Even in the heat of battle with the demons Raven had me rolling.

Nicholas doesn’t even look over at me, he hasn’t said anything or even looked into my eyes, but he stopped that knife with his own arm. I should say something; but what can I say? ‘Yo, thanks for that?’ I don’t think so.

The story is just one hit after another. The pacing, the world, the characters are all fabulous. It’s just, ahh, you just have to read it!

If you enjoy things like demon hunting, and hot demons, hot demon hunters, dark things, and a great sarcastic heroine then the Deception Dance is definitely the book for you!

And honestly, it’s a demon book without fallen angels. Whoot! Because I know some of you out there have not had good experiences with Angel books.