Mini Book Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

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.

3 cupcakes

As with Born of Illusion, Teri Brown once again excels at creating an enchantingly atmospheric setting: through her vividly beautiful descriptions, I felt as though I had been transported to historic London alongside Anna. Between black magic, murder, and the Sensitives, the plot was fairly well-paced and kept my interest, even if it was quite easy to predict the outcome.

Unfortunately, the main focus of the story was neither magic nor mystery; instead, the romance between Cole and Anna takes the forefront, and it’s rife with petty conflicts and a love triangle. This not only caused the plot to drag in a few places, but also caused Anna to go from being a strong, competent young lady to a jealous girl who is constantly doubting herself. By the end, I no longer cared about Anna and Cole’s relationship; if more time had been spent developing Cole’s character, as opposed to introducing a new love interest, it likely would have worked out a bit better.

Overall, while the magical aspects of the plot and the atmospheric setting were excellently crafted, the romantic subplot caused Born of Deception to fall flat.

I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

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