Intricate Deceptions (Intricate, #1) by Jennifer Rayes
3.5 Stars: There is Potential with This One
So far this year I have read two books that dabbled in the topic of sex trafficking or human trafficking Las Hermanas by Raedene Jeannette Melin and Intricate Deceptions (Intricate, #1) by Jennifer Rayes. While the former doesn't do a deep dive on this horrific subject it does maintain a particular flow that doesn't feel jarring, in the case of Intricate Deceptions (Intricate, #1) the author first few chapters of Gaia being kidnapped by human traffickers which is heart-pounding writing, stress for the character and a child named Emily. Right along with Gaia, I am puzzled afraid for her and Emily, the author hooked me and then a rescue? And then a "Princess Romance" ?? I wrongly foreshadow and felt the author had something compelling to read and expose something to the world about the horrors of human trafficking.
The tonal shift from something horrid to "a princess needing to be rescued and also has amnesia, remains a sticking point for me, while you may say amnesia plot device is cliché I disagree, just like quicksand it is not really used these days. If Jennifer Rayes had introduced Gaia and the impending doom of Emily in a more light-hearted way, I would have enjoyed the rest of the book without thinking about child raped, sexual slavery, exploitation of minors, and bracing myself for some hard-stuff. Gaia herself does a lot and moves from plot point to another plot point at times it works, and at times you want to spend more time with the Gaia and flesh out her rescuer Prince Raoul. I will praise the action and the romantic hijinks, the royal families and pirates give Intricate Deceptions more depth.
I rate this 3. 5 Stars or out of 5 a dark beginning with some serious potential. On the positive side, I can see a different opening for this book perhaps gear more towards "Young Adult" readers, while I am underwhelmed on the writer's decision on using human trafficking to introduce her main character, and I also see her gift for writing romantic plot points and fun characters and action.