Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
I finished The Conspiracy undecided about whether I would continue with this series and remained on the fence until I read the blurb for The Deception, which convinced me to give it a try. This one has good suspense and action, but there are also several similarities between it and the first book in the series, so it has its good and bad points.
There is more of the same in Martin's characters here. The good guys are all pretty people, for lack of a better way to say it. I'll save the lengthy descriptions on both sides, but suffice it to say the bad guys are all the opposite of the good guys. Basically, in the Maximum Security world, there are no attractive bad guys and vice versa, or that's the impression it gives. All that accomplished for me was to make the characters almost caricature-like. That's not including our romantic couple, who of course, are both sexy and hard to resist. I did like that Kate is a strong woman, and she even though she does sometimes need rescuing, she can also take care of herself.
As far as the romance, there is a lot of back and forth about where things are going for both Kate and Jason, which is common in romance. However, the angst comes from the 'I'm not good for you, so I'm letting you go to protect you,' a trope that is tired at best. Kate and Jason do have good chemistry, and I liked them together, but I lost some of that when the romance is tested in that way. The story has some good intrigue, and there is plenty of danger for this couple so that extra angst just felt unnecessary.
All in all, The Deception had its pros and cons for me, but I did like it better than the first in the series.