Rating: 4 out of 5 stars! Deception's Web hits the ground running, not leaving you much chance to gather yourself before the two main characters are getting it on. I'm not one to put too much thought into insta-love, I mean it could happen, right? LOL But insta-sex is another thing entirely. Hmm... the jury's still out on that one.
I realize this series (since I haven't read anything else from the author) has a common theme of having strong female leads. But while this really worked for Azhura in the first book, the other females just can't get it right. And while Azhura came off as seductive and a total temptress, the other females come out as aggressive and clingy since the male lead is beyond Beta and utterly helpless.
But the male lead in Deception's Web turns it around at the last minute (somewhat - the girl still wins the day LOL), which made the story more interesting to me. FYI: The scene in the bath house was super steamy and Alpha hottt *faints*
The characters' names are also interesting. The antagonist is Hostilius and Claudia's brother who is such an ass is appropriately named Asinius. LOL It definitely made for an interesting read. This book was really a 2.5 book, but I'm telling you that bath house scene *fans self* :D, definitely made the rating shoot up to 4 stars.
I hope the last book of this series doesn't have such a useless Beta male and that we see more of Azhura and the emperor (something I wish there had been more of in this book.)
Galerius is a former soldier who left the Legion in disgrace after he failed to (in his mind) protect the emperor. He goes on a drunken binge trying to forget his shame that a Azhura (even though she is the best assassin in the land) got the upper hand over him. (I'm assuming he wanted the glory for himself? Not really sure what his problem is to tell you the truth.) Still, his departure is kept hush-hush and it's not common knowledge he's left the Legion.
Despite this, the emperor doesn't lose faith in him and tells him it's all in his head and offers him a chance to somewhat redeem himself. There have been anonymous letters sent to Galerius warning about a plot against the emperor spearheaded by Hostilius, one of his governors. The emperor assigns Galerius the task of further investigating and learn who is sending the anonymous tips. Azhura, the empress, tells Galerius she thinks Claudia, the governor's daughter is behind the letters and it is up to him to find out if this is true.
Galerius reluctantly accepts and decides he's going to wash his name clean. Hostilius is immediately suspicious of Galerius when he arrives at his province and isn't buying that Hostilus has left the Legion in disgrace. He sends his daughter, Claudia to investigate by any means necessary what Galerius is doing in his region.
Claudia immediately sets out to please her father, since she knows only death awaits her if she doesn't. Within mere instants of seeing/speaking to Galerius the two can't keep their hands off each other, though she doesn't get much information out of him except a moan or two. LOL
A cat and mouse games ensues and it's every man for himself in a game of intrigue and suspense. Who is telling the truth? Will secrets be uncovered? What really is between Galerius and Claudia? Is it just sex or does their connection go much further than they think?
Deception's Web features: